We’ve been back for just over a week now so I thought I better write our trip report before time gets away from me. I apologize if this is very long, but I'm hoping to be thorough and maybe help someone since I received so much help here to plan our trip! Thanks again for all the help!
We arrived at SJO in the evening and stayed at the Barcelo Palacio hotel. Upon arrival at the airport I followed all the advice on here and had no problems. First stop was the ATM that was next to the currency exchange by the baggage claim area. Took me a few minutes to figure out how many colones I wanted because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t putting in too many zeros. Once we had our money we kept walking in the same direction and not far down was the ICE desk. I asked the woman for a SIM card for $20. She spoke English, which was helpful. She took my phone popped out my SIM card and put the new one in and tested the phone to make sure it was working. This all took about 5 minutes and we were off to get an orange taxi. Got in the taxi without a problem and to the hotel for some much needed rest.
The next morning we got up early to catch our 9:00 am Nature Air flight. We had the breakfast that was included with the room at the Barcelo and it was wonderful! The spread was huge, and I think we only paid a couple dollars extra for the breakfast from the rate without breakfast. Definitely worth it! Off to Nature Air around 7:15 or 7:30 and made it with plenty of time to spare. Here’s some advice about Nature Air. First, the weight limits we had were 10 pounds carry-on and 30 pounds checked luggage, however, the agent was saying something about 15 pounds checked luggage. I didn’t quite understand, but I think there was some change in weight if you bought your ticket after a certain date? We bought in July so we were allowed 30 pounds checked no problem. So if you’re flying Nature Air just double check the restrictions before you buy your ticket. Our bags weighed about 20 pounds or so but I packed extra because we had the room. Now as far as the carry-on, they didn’t actually weigh it. They had me get on the scale with the carry-on for a total weight only. So, I could have shoved more things in the carry-on if necessary. I have no idea what the total weight limit is, but I’m not very big, so I could have easily packed extra in my carry-on and less in my checked if necessary.
The flight to Quepos was a quick 20 minutes. I absolutely hate to fly and that airplane looks even smaller when you get inside, but it actually wasn’t bad at all. It was a clear day so no shaking or anything. It’s noisy, but that’s about all. Arrived in Quepos and took the shuttle to Tulemar for $6 each.
We stayed at Tulemar in lower Villa Mot-Mot for 7 nights and what a treat it was! Tulemar is beautiful! We were greeted by Chris our concierge who took us on a quick tour of Tulemar and the area and then to the grocery store. He was so kind and helpful during our entire trip. We even had him cook us lunch one day and that was spectacular! I can’t say enough about how helpful he was making reservations and checking in on us during our stay.
We didn’t do a lot of activities because we really needed the rest so we spent time at the beach listening to the ocean, and often we were the only ones there. We visited the week before Thanksgiving week so it was the end of the raining season and we did see some rain, but we didn’t mind at all. If it was during the day we would sit on our porch or take a nap. There were a couple of days like this and a couple of days where the rain was during dinner, which worked out perfect. It definitely did not deter us at all.
The couple of activities we did do were horseback riding with Canopy Safari Tours and the National Park. The horseback riding was incredible! We were planning on going with another outfitter, but Chris suggested this one and since it was last minute we said whoever is available is fine with us. We are so glad we took this tour. I have been on a horse once before while my boyfriend has ridden many times. We both were amazed at this tour. We went through open fields, rainforest, rivers, up and down narrow trails and we even got to gallop! What an adventure! Our tour guides, Allan and Mauricio were the best! And…we were the only ones on the tour!
The park was not as good as an experience. I think though this is because it was a bit crowded because it had been closed due to all the rain the prior week. We had a mess trying to figure out how to get in. We went to the exit, the old entrance, and learned that they only sell tickets at the new entrance so we had to go back and get tickets there and then return to the old entrance since the new entrance and areas around there were still being worked on from all the rain. We did see a ton of monkeys, but it was a little strange how they weren’t frightened by the people. I didn’t really like that they were so accustomed to the people. It made me feel like they weren’t living how they should. These monkeys are a lot braver than the ones we saw in Tulemar. I also saw one man hit a monkey because the monkey wasn’t posing how he wanted it to. I was so mad, but then the monkey stole the man’s bag so he got what he deserved.
As far as eating, we had breakfast almost everyday at Café Milagro, delicious! We tried 3 restaurants for dinner – Kapi Kapi, Aqua Azul and La Hacienda. We loved Kapi Kapi. The atmosphere and service were great. Eliot was an excellent server! The food was the best of all the places we ate. Aqua Azul the food was good and it was a great place to hang out, watch the sunset and have dinner. Everyone seemed to be having a great time when we were there. Definitely try the house drink with the I think it’s vodka and rum and then it’s infused with fruit.
We had made a change in plans and needed a ride back to the airport on our last day. I called Luis, Roadadvisor, and he happily helped me make arrangements. Our driver was Andres and he was very kind and got us to the airport no problem.
We truly had a wonderful and relaxing vacation. Probably the best we ever had. We can’t wait to go back and may even make Costa Rica home one day. I can’t say enough about the people we met in Costa Rica. Some of the nicest most helpful people I have ever met, especially when on vacation in another country. The staff at Tulemar was amazing. Dave was so helpful with everything as was Mauricio, Julian and Chris. Thank you for making our vacation so unforgettable. We will be back soon!
P.S. I'm happy to answer any questions anyone may have. :)