I would highly recommend booking your Costa Rica vacation with this travel company for a stress-free holiday. We used Zicasso before for a Peruvian trip last year and we were very pleased with the US agent (we are Canadian) who linked us up with the Peru tour company for our trip. This time, this company and one other Costa Rican agent quickly got back to us with great itineraries. In the end, we ended up going with this company, eventhough they were slightly more expensive (might not have been an apples to apples comparison- it was difficult to assess) because we were impressed that they called us in Canada very soon after writing us back. We also noticed other traveller good reviews and we would agree! One of the owners, President and CEO, met us at the airport at 1:30am when we arrived, along with the driver and another lady from the agency. That was reassuring in a new country! We had also accidentally overpaid our trip and the owner had our money in cash, as they had promised! They presented us with a day-by-day itinerary, which they had also sent us by email a few days prior. Everything was very organized and they gave us a nice little welcome gift!
We were travelling with our 14 year old daughter and we all really enjoyed the trip. Each day of our 10 day trip we did one activity, which typically lasted 1 1/2hours to half a day- which was perfect! We did quite a few hike/walking tours, sea kayaking, catamaran, zip lining, and a coffee/sugar cane/chocolate tour. We travelled the 3 main areas, spending a few days at each, Arenal (the volcano), Monteverde (cloud forest) and Manuel Antonio park area (Pacific ocean and beach). I would recommend all three areas if you can fit them in. Our best experience of the trip was a night walk in Monteverde, where we saw 3 moving sloths (we were quite lucky with this many sightings!), viper snake, sleeping parrots, leaf cutter ants, scorpion and other local creatures. So great and exciting- would highly recommend! The hotel we stayed at in Manuel Antonio was fantastic - high-end but totally worth it with gorgeous pools, monkey trial on premises, monkeys and a sloth (some people we ran into on excursions hadn't see ANY sloths whereas we had our own at the hotel!) and access to a private beach.
We would highly recommend the night walk in Monteverde, the sunset catamaran tour in Manuel Antonio and my daughter really enjoyed the surfing there as well! Our personal drivers were great- very nice, polite, trustworthy people. The water was safe to drink and the food was very good. We would recommend doing as many excursions as you can (one a day was perfect). The hotel in Manuel Antonio was fantastic with their own sloth, tons of monkeys, a monkey walking trail, beautiful pools, great restaurants and service and it's own private ocean beach (albeit a tough walk away).
We would recommend the sunset catamaran tour over the sea kayaking tour as both involve snorkelling at the same location- sea kayaking is demanding but the catamaran chased dolphins, we saw the sunset and sliding off the boat and snorkelling was great. The one thing we would recommend to our travel agency that the other Costa Rican tour operator provided was more details around each of the tours- the duration, what to bring (walking shoes, binoculars, how to dress) and what was included in the fee (lunch, water, etc). It just would have made packing our day pack easier if we knew what to expect.
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