My wife and I were staying at the RIU Resort Guanacaste for our honeymoon during high season in January. We elected to take the Miravalles Waterfall Excursion with Vargas tours. It turned out to be a spectacular experience, and the quality of service that we received FAR OUTWEIGHED our experiences with the hotel tours. In a nutshell: Vargas tours will allow you to customize your trip on the fly, whereas if you're going with the hotel tours, you're getting a more commercialized experience that lacks that special human touch.
Lupita with Vargas Tours (And the driver, a very nice and knowledgeable man, I forget his name unfortunately) met us in the morning at the resort and brought us to our van which had full AC, including our very own vents in the back that we could control. They had a cooler packed full of drinks for us including water, sodas, and beer!! They drove us 1.5 hours to Miravalles where we started the day out zip lining in the cloud forest. There were 10 lines, so we spent a good hour and a half zip lining through the forest and seeing all the amazing sites there are to see. Both of our tour guides (including the driver) joined us for the zip lining, instead of just letting the zip lining guides take us, which I found very cool.
Following that, they took us to lunch, which was incredible, and then they asked us if we would like to go horse riding for the next part of the tour (which they included for free, the alternative was walking). This to me showed that these people truly are well connected and can offer you perks that other tour companies cannot. No two trips are identical, and that's a good thing. We rode horses to the next site, where we hiked through the jungle and walked across multiple suspension bridges (not as scary as the Indiana Jones movies, but close, these were made of steel wires instead of rope), and we saw multiple gorgeous waterfalls. Everything was breathtaking.
Then came the icing on the cake for me. The tour guides got the sense that I was a bit of an adventurer and that I liked going a bit off the beaten path. They led us to an area where most tourists don't get to see, it was a platform to jump INTO the waterfall!! It was a 20 - 25 foot drop, not too bad, as I had done similar jumps in Hawaii. Being that we were the only people there, they let me go as many times as I wanted. It was the most amazing experience.
Following that, we went to the hot springs area which was the COOLEST volcanic area I'd ever seen. There were peacocks, cuotis (spanish: pizote), and lots of nice dogs. None of the animals were hostile, and you could pet basically everything (except the peacocks, those things keep a small distance from humans). We did the mud bath, the sauna, and sat in the jacuzzis, and by the way, all that stuff is NATURAL. The tour guides packed some Imperial Beer along as another nice surprise, so I sat in the natural volcano jacuzzi and sipped on some of Costa Rica's finest. Life was never so good. It was in that moment that my wife told me "I finally feel like I've arrived at our honeymoon." Cheesy? Maybe. Did she mean it? ABSOLUTELY.
My wife is obsessed with sloths (spanish: perezoso), and though the tour didn't include sloth sightseeing, our tour guides called around and managed to zero in on a current sloth location. They took a detour to get there, and when we arrived, we found what appeared to be 1 sloth, but turned out to be a mother sloth cradling her baby sloth. It was a dream come true for my wife, and for myself! What I loved about this tour group is that they customized the excursion to better fit our interests. The tour ended up going over by 2 hours, the tour guides told us it was because they were enjoying the trip with us and they didn't want the day to end.
Case in point, I WILL be using this group again. Do yourself a favor, and go with them too. Just be sure to email them at least a few days in advance (preferably at least a week though) to get everything scheduled.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.