We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Miravalles Waterfall Excursion - Best Adventure Ever”

Papagayo Vargas Tours
Ranked #15 of 45 Tours in Liberia
Attraction details
Baltimore, Maryland
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Miravalles Waterfall Excursion - Best Adventure Ever”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 January 2014

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.

Visited January 2014
9 Thank aerosurferlv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

95 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Day trips”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 January 2014 via mobile

My daughter and I took three tours with Papagayo (Nicaragua, Arenal, and Palo Verde). All three tours were excellent. We appreciated the time that Josta took to help us select the right tours for us as well as meeting with us in person when we arrived in Costa Rica. The drivers as well as the tour guides were polite and courteous and very knowledgeable. Look forward to returning to Costa Rica and enjoying taking more of Papagayo tours with this company. Everything was done first class.

Visited December 2013
Thank DavJM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
289 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 310 helpful votes
“Great canopy and hot springs tour!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 April 2013

Our group of 4 had a fantastic time with Vargas tours last weekend. We had very limited time and wanted to see as much as possible. After a lot of emails back and forth, discussing a number of different options in the area, we settled on a private tour. Our tour guide picked us up directly from the airport and took us to Vendera resort near Rincon after a quick stop for snacks at a grocery store (it's about an hour from the airport). Once at Vendera, we had a wonderful lunch (I typically try to avoid having lunches on tours - I usually find them to be tourist-geared and never that great; but this one was really an exception - a tasty 4-course meal and really nice atmosphere...certainly better than the food at the all-inclusive we stayed at!). After lunch, we went on to the zip-lining tour (about 45 mins on 10 different lines - don't miss doing this in Costa Rica, this is really so much fun and not that scary once you get used to it). I recommend having the photographer take your pictures on the zip lines. Carrying a camera would be really difficult and we got lots of really great photos on a CD for $30. After zip-lining, we got a mud mask and washed off in the river. The finale was the hot springs - a warm pool in the middle of the forest. The best thing? We didn't see anyone else the entire time and even had the hot springs all to ourselves. We paid more for the private tour, but it was really worth it and if you want to maximize your time (and at the same time not be rushed and enjoy everything for as long as you want), I really recommend going this way.

Everyone at Vargas was very nice and I would definitely look to them for booking a tour in the future.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank Sunny77777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Nicaragua Full-Day”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 March 2013

I took this tour with Papagayo. LOVED THEM! I had David as the tour operator. He was amazing, knowledgabe, funny and kept the day filled with activities.

This is a great tour because you cover a lot of ground. Cigar stop, Church, Market Bazaar, City Tour,
Lunch, River Boat Ride and Volanco stop and see. All stops are great and you have just the right amount of time to see everything. A complaint I heard from many people on my bus was this country depressed them. It can be true, it is a very poor country but you are going to see the richness in the culture.

The only comment I have is this is a very, very, very long day. It starts at 5am and you do not return back until 10 or 11 because you have to cross into two different immigration points back-to-back going in and out of the country. This was the biggest pain in the you know what and took a significant amount of time from the tour. My second quibble, depending what type of eater you are, you can feel like your starving when you return to the hotel. Lunch is around 1:30 and that is the last time you see food.

My recommendation, buy or bring fruit or snacks because everyone on the bus complained they were hungry by the time we got back to the hotel.

Tip: I think it is prudent for you to know but Liberia airport profiles Hispanic people leaving the country. My hubby and I had a 45 minute interrogration before we boarded the plane. They scruntized the one day trip to Nicaragua. It is not uncommon and can be very uncomfortable. I am not writing this to discourage you from taking the tour. Just an FYI of what can happen to you at the airport as a result of going to Nicaragua.

Visited February 2013
Thank BK_Lolita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Burlington, Canada
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Vargas Tours was incredible - amazing experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 March 2013

We visited Costa Rica for a week with a group of 9 friends and stayed at Riu Guanacaste. We found Vargas Tours through Trip Advisor before we left and received amazing service that started with the emails before the trip. Lupita answered all of our questions in a timely manner and was very helpful with our excursion plans.

We did 2 excursions. The first was a trip to Arenal Volcano, where we did the La Fortuna Waterfall, had a local lunch and later visited the Springs Resort and Spa. The second excursion was to Monteverde where we did the nature hike, hanging bridges and the Sky Trek/Sky Tram (zipline).

During both tours our tour guide Miguel and driver Tony were amazing! They made our tours very memorable with their knowledge, friendly personalities and their willingness to customize our experience.

Thank you Vargas Tours, Lupita, Miguel and Tony for making our trip to Costa Rica wonderful. We are already talking about coming back for another visit!

Visited March 2013
2 Thank Jelena M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Papagayo Vargas Tours also viewed

Gulf of Papagayo, Province of Guanacaste
Liberia, Province of Guanacaste
Liberia, Province of Guanacaste
Liberia, Province of Guanacaste

Been to Papagayo Vargas Tours? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing