We returned from a 2-week vacation in Costa Rica and had a WONDERFUL time! We were 3 adults and 3 children. The first week was spent at the Barcelo Playa Tambor - an all-inclusive resort. We loved the wildlife in the area, the food was okay, the beach and pool area great.
One tip that I have regarding this resort is regarding tours: the hotel charges a lot more than you have to pay!! The hotel workers get a percentage, and try to discourage you from using the independent tour guides that offer their services at the beach of the hotel, telling you it is not safe - not true!
I can tell you that we used Israel (met him at the beach of the hotel) - a super nice, honest local who works for a tour company called Pacific Coast Voyages. Israel took us to do the waterfall tour in Montezuma - a fun hike, we had a great time swimming once we got there! We also booked a trip to Tortuga Island with Israel, the beach there is so amazing! White sandy beaches! Lunch was included and was excellent, made fresh while we were enjoying ourselves at the beach. Israel also arranges tours to Arenal, sport fishing, horseback riding.
If you are interested in contacting Israel, for an excellent tour at a reasonable price, and knowing that you are helping out a local and his family, here is his contact information:
You can use the pay phone by the lobby (very inexpensive - you have to use local coins) and call him at 2683-0272 or 8357-6254. His business card also lists an email, firstname.lastname@example.org
I will post pictures of the tour and one with Israel and our family in the review for Barcelo Playa Tambor.
Have a wonderful time in Costa Rica!