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Please Rate These Activities/Tours/Excursions

United States
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43 posts
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Please Rate These Activities/Tours/Excursions

So airlines, lodging and transportation are set! Now trying to decide on our activities/ tours/ excursions. Please rank the following on a scale of 1 to 5. 1 being wouldn't bother and 5 being must do. They are in no particular order. Please add any must do's I didn't list. Also, please note I'll be 5 months pregnant and can't do a lot of the activities people normally come to CR to do! Thank You!

1. Desafio Cano Negro tour

2. Arenal Hanging Bridges Tour

3. Butterfly Garden North of MA

4. MA night tour

5. Desafio Nesting Turtles Tour

6. Desafio Dolphin Tour

7. Calypso Cruise tour to Tortuga (really worth $100/pp?!)

8. Tabacon Hot Springs (really worth $70/pp?!)

United States
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1. Re: Please Rate These Activities/Tours/Excursions

Forgot

9. Coffee Tour

10. Nigh Arenal Volcano Hike

Munich, Germany
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343 posts
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2. Re: Please Rate These Activities/Tours/Excursions

Hi mkover,

I can't rank most of them, because I haven't done those tours, but I might be able to give you some useful tips on some of the activities. It looks like you will be visiting Arenal, Manuel Antonio and another beach on the Nicoya peninsula, right?

Desafio offers really nice tours, but for the nature tours at Arenal my favorite is Erick (www.tarabatours.com). He is very knowledgeable about the flora and fauna of the area and offers private tours. The prices for the tours were very reasonable and we very much enjoyed the tours we did with him on our last two trips to Costa Rica. The volcano night hike was great and was really done at night so we saw frog, snakes, many different insects, an owl and even a kinkajou (a funny nocturnal mammal). The Hanging Bridges tour was also very nice. Many birds, poison dart frogs, a boa and of course many interesting plants. I can't say much about the Cano Negro tour offered by Desafio. I found out that most large tour companies don't go to the actual reserve. Again we did this tour last year with Erick and went into the Cano Negro Reserve. We saw a huge amount of birds, caimans, turtles, lizards and monkeys.

Manuel Antonio has very beautiful beaches, especially inside the national park. I would do a day tour there. No idea about the night tour. Lost of sloths, monkeys, racoons, coaties,... great during the day.

Tabacón is great, but I would reconsider going there in case the pools might be too hot since you are pregnant. Maybe a less expensive one like Eco Thermales would be a better choice.

Texas
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for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
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3. Re: Please Rate These Activities/Tours/Excursions

We really love the Cano Negro tour; we've done both going inside and outside the reserve and couldn't really tell a difference. It's just sort of an imaginary barrier - wildlife we saw was exactly the same. We've seen howlers, capuchins, spider monkeys, sloths, tons of birds, caimans, etc. It's a good activity for someone who is pregnant since it's not strenuous, just a nice boat ride. There is a little section of road near it though that is extremely bumpy though. We use Sunset Tours, but have used Desafio for other tours, and they're great as well.

We thought the Hanging Bridges was a pretty hike, but despite looking, we didn't see any wildlife there at all, except leaf cutter ants. There's a nice volcano view, but it was socked in by fog when we did it. I think hiring a guide would increase your chances of seeing wildlife.

Tabacon - it's very pretty. To me it isn't worth $70 though. We preferred Eco Termales since they limit the number of people who can come in, and they serve a great chicken dinner. Tabacon is more elaborate but Eco Termales was more relaxing to us.

We did the Doka Coffee Tour and enjoyed it - got to go out in the fields, pick "cherries", see the drying/packaging, and shipping, and go to their small gift shop. They also had a tasting for us, so that was fun to compare the different beans and flavors.

We've done a night hike before and loved it - very fun to see what comes out at night! When we did ours, we saw a fox, raccoon, porcupine, agouti, coatis, tarantula, sloth, and all kinds of cool things. We did ours in Monteverde - where is the one in MA offered? if it gets good reviews, I would do it.

Texas
Destination Expert
for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
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4. Re: Please Rate These Activities/Tours/Excursions

For our night hike, we enjoyed it, but it started raining really heavily when we were at the observation point, so it really affected our visibility. We stayed at the Lost Iguana and got to see the lava flow while we sat on our balcony, so the volcano hike didn't wow me that much. If the weather isn't clear, I wouldn't bother with it.

United States
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5. Re: Please Rate These Activities/Tours/Excursions

So, do you think we could do the bridges tour by ourselves? I really don't want to pay for something we can do on our own and have a similar experience. I've read that the night volcano tour isn't really worth it and was thinking we'd just do that by ourselves.

Seattle, Washington
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6. Re: Please Rate These Activities/Tours/Excursions

Cano Negro is at the top. If I were pregnant I probably wouldn't bother with the hot springs, but if you do Eco-Thermales is great and less including dinner. One you don't have listed, that you might really enjoy, is the cultural tour with Desafio. I thought it was excellent.

United States
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7. Re: Please Rate These Activities/Tours/Excursions

The only reason I was interested in the Hot Springs is because they made it sound so fabulous and so did some other travelers. We have some natural hot springs a few hours from us and they are not $70/pp. I checked out Tabacon's website and it has a pool that is about 78 degrees, which would be fine for me but I think we might pass with the hefty price tag.

Munich, Germany
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8. Re: Please Rate These Activities/Tours/Excursions

Check out this trip report for Arenal activities (4 month pregnant): tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g309226-i10673-k32…

9. Re: Please Rate These Activities/Tours/Excursions

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