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“Costa Rica Monkey Tours”

Costa Rica Monkey Tours - Day Tours
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Essential Costa Rica: 8-Day Tour
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Costa Rica Monkey Tours is dedicated to provide the visitor of Costa Rica an experience. An authentic experience of Costa Rica Traditions, its roots and the vast wild life. We have over a decade of experience organizing Tours, expeditions and adventures.We guarantee to our clients to organize activities to fully license and registered locations with the highest safety rules and regulations. Let us work on your visit so you can simply kick back and enjoy from location to location transportation on our private shuttles to the most beautiful locations with the most magnificent views and adrenaline filled activities.
Reviewed 3 November 2013

The first day with Monkey Tours is packed with tubing, zip lining, horseback riding, and a trip to the hot springs. After that, it slows down a bit, but is still amazing. If you get a chance, definitely take a night tour. Be aware that although the excursions are arranged through Monkey Tours, they are led by guides that are employed elsewhere, so you may want to carry some cash at all times for tipping the guides. Some things I did not like about Monkey Tours:
1) We were not informed ahead of time that drives between activities were very long and on mostly very rough roads. Some days it took four hours to get from one place to another!
2) The pictures & videos taken during the first three days were VERY expensive when you consider the fact that there were 26 other people included in them whose pictures we didn't necessarily want.
3) There were three injuries within our group of 28 people and there are no Monkey Tours employees with basic first aid training. There is no nurse or EMT on call for emergencies. I sprained my ankle while hiking with my husband in Arenal and had to be carried by my husband and our guide off the mountain. The base office at Arenal had no first aid or medical assistance available either. If my husband hadn't brought his own first aid kit, I might still be trying to get off that mountain.
4) The hotel they put us in in Samara, where we spent the most time during our trip, was horrible. Although it had a lovely pool and was right on the beach, pretty much everything else about it was bad. See my review of Hotel Villas Playa Samara.

7  Thank Kim W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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492 - 496 of 537 reviews

Reviewed 30 October 2013

We had a most excellent time, from the moment monkey tours started until the day we left. The Monkey Tour guide “Gyro” (I hope I spelled it right) was amazing keeping us informed about the activities and what to expect. He is very knowledgeable about the area, history, people, customs, and traditions as he grew up in Monteverde and went to college in Liberia. A great young man who is full of life and very proud of his country as was everyone that we met and spoke with along the way. It is very refreshing to see such conviction.

The other reviewers are pretty accurate in describing the hotels and activities. However, I must say the tour is very well put together.

The first day puts you in a familiar hotel “Hilton”, which for the first time Central American visitor probably is a good choice for peace of mind. Good accommodations, good food, polite and good service, what you would expect from a “Hilton”.

The Second day you are in a nice but a more typical Costa Rican Hacienda. This place is incredibly beautiful and magical. Its not meant to be luxurious; it’s a ranch on the side of a mountain. For me it was what I wanted to experience, it was comfortable but not totally roughing it. The activities all take place on this property, zip line, horse back riding and river rafting all before lunch. We went on the tour at the end of the rainy season so it normally rained after about 2pm everyday so all the activities had to be done early. This did not hinder the trip at all, as far as I could tell we did not miss doing anything. After lunch we were brought to the natural hot springs in the mountain and soaked there for a long while. Very nice, relaxing and much needed after the days activities.

The third day takes your breath away in the cloud forest, take time to sit outside and watch the clouds form right in front of you. The beautiful flowers and green landscapes like the tropics on steroids. Prices are comparable to US, no deal here; however as part of this tour it’s a deal in itself. This comes at the end of a day of travel on long bumpy roads stopping a few places to stretch, you will also go on the sky walk and sky tram I still can not get over the beauty of not only the landscape, but the people too.

The Fourth day takes you to Samara Beach Resort, Monkey Tours Headquarters, where you will stay for the next three days. Again much like the other reviewers this was not the best hotel, however it is in the midst of a much needed face lift. We upgraded, which took us moving two times, for a hefty price, but worth it in the end. As part of the tour you will take a kayak trip to a near by island with a guide, Luis. He is a very lovely young man that encourages you to do what ever we wanted on the island. You can snorkel, climb the rocks and explore and even climb the mountain. We managed to do all of it and still walked to town, ate and talk with the locals. Fun, fun, fun.

In my opinion this tour was very well put together, the people are wonderful, the country gorgeous and the overall atmosphere was outstanding. The interaction between all the staff shows they really like what they are doing. Thank you Monkey Tours the best vacation I have ever had. A special thanks to our photographer Deanna. You did a wonderful job and was great fun too.

1  Thank Tracy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2013

We recently came back from the Monkey Tour. It was fantastic! The guides were ever so nice and made sure we all had the time of our lives. The zip line was gorgeous, the tubing a fantastic rice, and we saw the most beautiful scenery. I would highly recommend this to anyone wanting a great adventure!

1  Thank dpatchie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2013

My wife and I went on our honeymoon and it was a blast. The guides were fun and the accommodations were nice. It was about three stars at all the places we stayed outside of the Hilton Garden Inn. The beds were good but a little firm for American standards. The activities are more exciting and adventurous then I could imagine. All of the activates were well planned and I felt overall safe. Sometimes the adrenaline from an activity was a little over whelming. My wife and I only have great memories. The drives were long and on bumpy, windy roads, but that is to be expected in Central America. The staff was exceptional and I did not meet a single one I did not enjoy. The only thing we wished were better was the coffee tour was only a tour of a coffee shop and not an actual plantation, even though we did stop on the side of the road were some coffee plants were growing and our guide showed us some beans. In the past, I have visited coffee plantations and really enjoyed it so that is what I was expecting. Also, there is no real shopping for any good unique souvenirs or other goods. I was expecting to visit a market at some point but we never did. As for the hotel at Sumara, I would recommend the upgrading for both the all-inclusive and rooms. The upgraded ocean view room is very large and included a kitchen, dining table, and sitting area. The all-inclusive food and drink was also worth it! The food and drinks was very good at the resort but it is also expensive if you pay for it alacart. Many of our travel mates mentioned that we were smart to get the all-inclusive meal and drink plan. It was surprising how expensive goods are in the areas of Costa Rica we traveled through. Be prepared to spend about twice as much as in the US for many items. Overall, the tour is a great introduction to what Costa Rica has to offer. It was a great deal for what the tour included. The tour does not give you much time to explore the area you visit other than Sumara. My wife and I are now more comfortable to visit Costa Rica on our own at more of a slower pace.

Thank Mathew M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 October 2013

Day 1 - We landed in LIR airport. We didn't know if we had to call for shuttle but the hotel shuttle was waiting right outside the airport (not just for us, I suppose it makes frequent rounds). The hotel is about 3 minutes from the Airport. We arrived at the hotel and our reservation was not in the system but our name was on a printed list. The food at the hotel was reasonably priced with a good variety. We did not go to the town but passed by it the next day and it's only a couple of blocks so we did not regret it. Hotel had free Wi-Fi.

Day 2 - The next morning after a very nice breakfast buffet at the hotel, the Monkey tours guys showed up and after a brief overview, loaded our luggage into the two vans (we were a large group). After a couple of hours drive we were taken to zip-lining. It's not as scary as it sounds. There were a total of 7-8 zip-lines and you are practically sliding on the line without too much effort. The only place of effort was rock climbing in the middle but that was optional. We did it anyway. It was our first time doing this and we really enjoyed it. You are harnessed every second from start to finish. Then we got our horses and went to a small waterfall. This is more scary than zip-line because my hours just wanted to overtake everyone for some reason. We did river tubing last and it was very fun - You will get soaking wet so wear your water shoes. You will check in at the Hacienda Guachipelin which is right on the property where you did all these activities. You will each lunch, dinner and next days breakfast at this hotel's restaurant (dinner on your own). DO NOT set any expectations for this hotel otherwise you will be disappointed. Remember you are there for fun and activities and not for luxury. We were so tired that we just crashed. Hotel had free Wi-Fi.

Day 3 - Its a long 4+ hour ride to the Cloud forest with every bumpy roads - enjoy the experience. We did the Sky Tram and Sky Walk, ate lunch in town and then opted to skip the walking around the town because it was raining. We did a coffee making tour instead in town. Then we were taken to hotel El Establo. This is a 4+ star hotel and is probably the best hotel room of the whole trip with a nice open view. The main door had a big glass window on top for all the light to come in from the lobby - They should do something about that. The restaurant was the most expensive of all hotels with limited breakfast options as compared to other hotels on this trip. Hotel publicized free Wi-Fi but there wasn't any signal in our building.

Day 4 - A long 3 hour trip again for the river boat ride. The river was a dump but I guess that is where you go to spot crocodiles, monkeys, iguanas, all sorts of birds, etc. It was really fun. On the way back we stopped at the lunch place where we were served some real Costa Rican food with all sorts of side (all included in the tour). This was the best food for the trip in my opinion. Then 1 hour ride again to the pottery place and then 1-2 hours to the final destination Playa Samara.

Day 5-7 - Monkey tour has a reception/representatives 24/7 at this location. Upon check-in to Playa Samara we wanted to upgrade to the Ocean View room (We had emailed earlier and were told since this is not busy season we could upgrade when we got there). They wanted us to charge $20 more per night just because we didn't do it online. After showing proof of emails, we were allowed to upgrade for the regular online published price. The room that was given to us was probably build 100 years ago. It had a living room and bed room, but there was mold on the fridge, blinds would not close, lizards roaming around freely in the room, etc. I had read online that they have upgraded rooms so I wanted back and demanded to see some upgraded rooms. After some more arguments we where shown a couple of other rooms. We finally got an upgraded room view a new Ocean view. Although, Monkey Tour staff were very helpful, I am taking 1/2 star off because of this inconvenience. This was off season, they should have given us the best room available to start with - we were paying for it. A tip for whoever is trying to upgrade to Ocean View - Demand to see the upgraded rooms.

You can sign up for Kayak tours for any of the remaining days. There are 4 kayaks there so its a maximum of 6 people per trip. The Monkey Tour guide uses 1 kayak and goes with you. On the island he cut some fresh fruits for us and gave us bottled water. The water was not clear enough for snorkeling on any day.

On the 6-7 days we rented scooter and went to the town (5-7 minutes straight on one road), ate lunch and got some souvenirs. There is Mexican place - KoKo or JoJo something like that, that has amazing food.

We paid for the Pictures and Video from Monkey tours which is not cheap. We were disappointed to see that MOST pictures have a drop or two of water on the camera lens even though the pictures where taken on the dry land - it wasn't wiped from the previous activity/day. They don't look good at all. When they were being edited, the person doing it should have noticed it and should have offered for 1/2 price for their mistake. The Monkey Tour lady who was doing the editing was at the hotel with us for the last 3 days. I am taking 1/2 star off for this.

Overall it was an amazing experience that I would recommend to anyone. We snagged a Groupon. Total five Monkey tour people were with us - 1 Guide, 2 drivers and 2 cameramen. Two people spoke fluent English while the others barely. We had a large group but regardless every Monkey Tour employee was committed to helping us in any way they can to make our trip enjoyable.

The next morning we were taken to the Airport. On we way we made a quick stop to spot a big family of hauler monkeys.

4  Thank A_Reviewer_11a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CRMonkeyTours, Front Office Manager at Costa Rica Monkey Tours - Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 31 October 2013

Thank you very much for taking the time in writing this amazing, detailed review.
We are truly sorry about the situation with the upgrade you got to experience in the last hotel. There might've been a confusion. The upgrade to an Ocean view villa is $6 USD + per day, once you do it onsite. So the online price is $50 USD + tax per night, and in the hotel it would be $56 USD + tax per day. We are making sure we let everyone know before they get here to avoid this inconvenience!
Besides this im glad you enjoyed all the activites and places we visited.

It was a pleasure to have you here!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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