The following are excerpts of letters sent to us by our guests, and
they represent what they had to say about their trip to Costa Rica.
Where you see the camera icon ,
click to see their photos.
Here to add your own comments to this page.
[Current 2013]      
I am sending a link to our local monthly newspaper that includes a photo of our group along with Alan. I'm happy for you to have it as well as Alan but since we promised it to Alan I would like to hear from him directly of his response. Feel free to share my email address with him.
Wendy and I had an amazing trip. Thank you for all your hard work. It is very hard to say what was our favorite. Maybe when the howler monkey in Manual Antonio National Park decided to pee on Wendy!!!
All of the hotels were great.
The Hot Springs were magical, especially at night. We will send you something a little more formal to use in your guest book.
Thank you so much for planning a perfect trip for us. The accommodations were excellent. The Arenal hotel was spectacular and the views from the hotel in Manuel Antonio were breathtaking. The cooler with refreshments was a special treat, enjoyed by everyone. All of the drivers were very nice and polite. Norman gave us a nature tour as we traveled from Arenal to Manuel Antonio.
Expect to hear from me again in a year or two.
Thanks so much. Pura Vida.
We can't thank you enough for making this trip so amazing for us! We all agree it was the best trip we've taken. Everything was fabulous
and Costa Rica and the people who live there are just the best. We truly enjoyed every minute.
Alan, our driver from San Jose to Arenal was beyond wonderful. He is so friendly and knowledgeable which made the beautiful drive even better. We really enjoyed his company and the scenic drive up to La Fortuna. Please tell him we love Lizano sauce so much we bought a huge bottle to bring home and the restaurant he sent us to in La Fortuna was great! He was the best.
The hotel in Arenal is an incredible property and we would definitely stay there again and recommend it. The view is breathtaking, but the
service and the grounds and the atmosphere were top notch. They made coming and going easy and I had a complimentary mud facial that was
better than any "free" spa treatment I would have imagined. Its a lovely place. We enjoyed the town as well the afternoon after the
horseback ride to the waterfall. No one should miss seeing the waterfall.
Gerald who was our tour guide and raft captain. That was possibly the best day of the trip. The ride to the river was fun, the rafting itself was a thrilling experience and the food they served us for lunch was spectacular. Trevor got to ride on the front of the raft for a bit which was really cool. We all jumped off a cliff into the water at one stop. Again, great service, really fun day. They could not have done any better.
The day we went to the Sky Tram/Sky Trek turned out perfectly. Thank you for seeing we might miss connections and switching the time on that tour. There were only two other people with us and we rode in with some of the staff, so they tailored our experience so that we would make it back to Kioro on time. The other couple had to be back about the same time we did, so it worked out well for everyone. Again, our guides were fabulous. Milton and Diego took us on the tram/zipline and we had a blast. We have done zipline before in Mexico - but this one was really terrific. The views from up there are just incredible. The hike was nice too although we didn't do the entire 3 hours. Our guide for that was Eddy who was very informed about the flora and fauna and made sure we got to see some lovely views.
Our driver to Guanacaste was Roberto. Another star on our incredible journey. He had "buena vista" and spotted howler monkeys and toucans
along the way. I told him I wanted to see a sloth in the wild (I am a wildlife educator and work for a small zoo where I raised a baby sloth a couple years ago). He took us off the main road onto a very scenic unpaved road and sure enough, we found a sloth. He was also very friendly and knowledgeable. That is one crazy road though coming out of Arenal aroudn the lake!
The Westin was a wonderful way to end the trip. Its a huge property - almost too huge, but absolutely gorgeous. We intended to spend those
days just relaxing on the beach which we did. We also took out kayaks and snorkeled and I did a horseback ride through Erik Garcia which was really fun. The resort has everything you could want and the water "toys" were there for you to use free of charge which was really nice. When we go back though, we think we'd rather stay at a small beach hotel even though the Westin was lovely.
Again, we can't begin to thank you enough. Please feel free to use us as a reference any time. We will definitely be back to Costa Rica. Hopefully not too far in the future!
We were daily talking about you during our trip. We were surprised at how you were able to pick the places we loved so much. Very intuitively.
All the places you recommended for us were amazing. All the transfers were on time and everything went very smooth. My son loved the hot springs you recommended at the Arenal area and we both loved the Rios Tropicales rafting and the lodge. The view from the bungalows at Manuel Antonio was breathtaking, I probably took 50 pictures of it. We really appreciated the great care everyone took of us in Costa Rica. We had the best time. Definitely coming back :) Thank you for organizing this amazing trip for us.
I am sending a few pictures.. really hard to choose.. as there are so many precious ones...
All the best,
We really enjoyed our tour today. Our guide was Victor and our driver was Charlie. Everything went like clockwork. The breakfast and lunch stops were excellent. Victor knew so much about the areas on our tour but also told us a lot about Costa Rica's history. Four of our party went on the zip-line experience and loved it. This tour really made our last day in Costa Rica special.
Thank you so much for providing us with this opportunity.
We did indeed have a great trip. My granddaughter and I especially liked our days spent at Arenal. We decided if we ever go back, we will raft the Rio Balsa every day! We loved it and also the kayaking on Lake Arenal.
Lake Arenal reminded me of the movie Jurassic Park. It was awesome. We were pleasantly surprised by our guide who was very intuitive and seemed more American in some ways. We had some good laughs.
Everyone we came in contact with was so friendly and helpful. Our tour guide at La Fortuna Waterfall helped us practice our Spanish. He was a remarkably sweet young man. We were truly blessed to meet the people of Costa Rica.
P.S. And the pineapple!!!! Pineapple lovers, if they want not just good, but great pineapple, they have to go to Costa Rica!
Yes I'm back in Québec with my family and back to work! I have enjoy every minutes of my Costa Rican experience, the mission and the exploration of the country. Thanks to you for the company it was was perfect. Rainforest Tours has brought me a lot of excitement and pleasure, to be repeated very soon. Be sure that I will recommand your tours company to my friends. I have written my review on Trip Advisor and send you photos. You can use my review for the guest journal and also the photos.
Thanks for the information on Nicaragua, and for sure, my next trip in Central America will be with no doubt organise with Rainforest Tours.
Again if you are in my country, do not hesitate to call me ...and this isn't an Tico invitation!!!! Take care and success with the Nicaragua experience!
I had most wonderful time ever. I was little nervous going alone, but everyone was so nice to me I truly enjoyed my vacation. I also loved the flight to Tambour that was really great and I will fly again next time. Xandari is always great I love the pool and the spa there. Your drivers most polite, helpful and nicest guys ever. Ylang Ylang was most wonderful relaxing place ever. I been in so many great places on the beach and always hoping to go to a place that I really love and can go alone also and now finally this is it. I just love Ylang Ylang. I went for long walks on the beach every morning. The food is the best ever. My massage therapist at Xandari told me I look like a different person completely when I got back there and I told her I really feel different too I was so relaxed and got a great tan too.
I attached few pictures for you.
Thank you again for all your help and your drivers too for a most wonderful vacation.
Have a wonderful Holiday Season,
Please find attached pages from my journal. I don’t know how to place PDF files on trip advisor.
I would be happy to copy and paste the text.
You may use these as you see fit. Ultimately our complete journal will appear on our web site, but that will be a while yet.
Overall we were extremely satisfied with both tours. We wanted a small group and got that.
I meant to write to you sooner regarding our recent trip to Costa Rica. We booked the 4 in1 tour for 2-12-13 & had a wonderful time. Our guide Mauricio was great, very informative & we learned a lot. Your referral for the hotel on the beach was perfect, what a fantastic place to unwind & enjoy the most beautiful secluded beach we've ever seen. We really loved it there & hope to go back next year, perhaps to use as a base of operations to explore the Pacific coast a bit more. Any suggestions you have would be appreciated.
We both also fell in love with the Carretas & have been looking to buy a bar cart from one of the companies in Sarchi. Do you have one that you recommend over another? I appreciate your advice.
Thanks very much,
I wanted to let you know what a wonderful time we had in your beautiful country. All the arrangements and accomodations were excellent. Our driver/guide, Allan, added so much to our experience and when we return again we would certainly want to travel with him. Our thanks to Inez for all her assistance in setting up the trip. We were sorry that we didn't get to meet her and want to wish her the best with her new baby.
We will certainly pass along our satisfaction with your operation both on facebook and to our personal friends.
I just wanna say my girlfriend and I had an amazing time and thank you for sharing you country with us. Vandara was awesome and packed with activities all in the same day. Kayaking through the estuaries we're fun but I'm sure snorkeling in the ocean would've been more eventful. And like last time Tabacon did not fail to exceed any expectations.
I would definitely love to visit again and tour more of your beautiful country. Thanks for all the help and service you've provided for me and my girlfriend, and I'll be contacting you to plan our next adventure.
Thanks to Arturo Napoles at Rain Forest Tours, my husband and I had a wonderful vacation in San Jose, Costa Rica. I was a little skeptical. I always read trip advisor reviews but after speaking with our hotel (Hotel Grano de Oro, San Jose, which highly recommended Arturo) and after numerous conversations and emails to Arturo, I finally decided to trust our vacation to Rain Forest Tours. I am so glad I did! Without Arturo, I would have never been able to plan the perfect vacation. They are very professional and friendly and I'm just sad I didn't get to personally meet Arturo. We did the One Day Adventure Combo Tour (zip-lined through the rain forest and white water rafting all in one day. Everyone was extremely nice...just an awesome time) Had dinner @ Marador Ram Luna...good food..met nice people. The next day we did the Doka/Poas/Waterfall Combo Tour. Everyone HAS to do this. It is awesome. We road a very nice tour bus to the coffee plantation, had breakfast, saw the Volcano, beautiful waterfalls, monkeys, butterflys...absolutely breathtaking and our tour guide "Ricardo" was amazing. At the last minute Arturo helped me plan an inshore fishing trip and Arturo recommended a perfect choice and a perfect fishing trip. We did make one change to our plans, Arturo had reserved a rental car but after seeing how Costa Rican's drive, we decided we wanted a driver. Arturo refunded our money for the rental car immediately, no questions asked. I left Costa Rica feeling like I had met the nicest people in the world! If you are going crazy trying to plan your vacation to Costa Rica....stop right now and call Arturo.
I just love the people that took us ziplining and rafting. I had never done either and I was a little afraid....now I feel like an expert! The first two times we zip-lined our tour guide let me go with him (he didn't even make fun of me) and then I got my nerve to go by myself so I did 7 cables by myself. It was so awesome but the most fun I've ever had was white water rafting. We stopped at one point and the tour guides cut open a fresh pineapple and we just floated and enjoyed the beauty of that place.
Arturo, thank you again for setting everything up for us. Please feel free to give my email if anyone requests a reference.
We were very pleased with our Costa Rica trip. Thank you for rearranging our transportation at the beginning of our trip, from January 27 to January 28, due to our weather delay from Chicago and missed connection in Houston. The ecologically sustainable footprints of both Lodges were most impressive and welcome to us. We also thought the sequence -- going first to the more primitive, then to the more lavish lodge -- was just right. The staffs of both lodges were warm, gracious and helpful. We loved the rainforests and the beach. It was great.
Hi Arturo, we are safely home and very tired. I was just down loading photos and videos from our trip onto my computer. I will definitely send pictures and if there is anything I can do to help you with information for your clients, I would be so happy to do that. I cannot thank you enough for all you did to help me plan our trip. If not for you, I would have been lost! Tomorrow when I get a chance I'll write more and send pictures of all the tours you organized. I'm trying to decide which one enjoyed the most but they were all awesome!
I just want to thank you for making our family trip to CR so enjoyable and carefree. Our drivers Gerardo & Eduardo were exceptional and kept us informed on the wildlife and attractions along the way. As this was our first time in Costa Rica we couldve not had it planned any better with your suggestions and we certainly saw almost everything we wanted to. We will definitely be coming back and probabaly contact you again with our return visit. Thanks so much for helping us plan such a memmorable family vacation. Saludos! Puro Vida!!!
Per your request here is some info on our experience. The others can add I they wish.
Despite the dry season we had a lot of rain! Tortuguero, Arenal, and Monteverde were wet and cool. We enjoyed those places however we really had a nice time on the pacific coast.
The hotels in Quepos and Monteverde were very nice with the Quepos hotel the best and the Monteverde restaurant the best. The San Jose
restaurant was outstanding, of course.
The hot springs were great and it might have been best to stay at the hot springs.
If we go again we'll probably want to go to the Ora peninsula and the other peninsula to the north.
Tortuguero was particularly crowded with tourists and even though we had a good time we wonder if there is a way to travel and stay there in more quiet privacy.
It was great having a driver. Not sure we always used him as much as possible because many days we had a tour in the morning and relaxing by poolside in afternoon.
Great trip. Thank you to Rainforest Tours, Ines, and Alan.
NAI Northern California
San Francisco - Oakland - San Jose
Thanks for the wonderful trip! Please see below for our testimonial:
Rain forest tours was a savior for what looked like a vacation about to be ruined because of airline delays! I had worked closely with Arturo for weeks before we got there, and he was very responsive and understanding about our needs and restrictions. He was able to huffle all of our tours around and we ended up not missing even a single tour I had originally booked with him, even though we arrived a day late due to delays beyond our control!
The tours over all were professionally managed. All guides were bilingual and knowledgeable. Tour buses were comfortable and the food provided was a good mix of local as well as continental food. Overall a good experience in Costa Rica, and I can honestly say that Arturo did everything he could to make it enjoyable. I would recommend them to everyone I know.
Thanks again for all the work and extra work to make our trip of a lifetime. I thought you might like to get an adventure by adventure report for future trip planning. Our luggage mishap was a real bummer and we ended up going back to the airport on our way to Arenal to get all of my daughter Tera's luggage. They made due with just the clothes they were wearing for 3 days. We should have strategized our packing a little better. Getting the rental cars was easy but we felt it was necessary to get the full insurance after hearing the rental agent. It was a $250 surprise but seemed well worth it. He scared us a little about driving in San Jose. We converted $500 to Colones at the airport and used all of it. It is necessary to tip in cash or they don't get it but everyone took dollars so it didn't matter much.
The trip to Turrialba was a rough introduction to Costa Rica. The traffic was incredible and the driving was crazy. Everything had bars on the windows and doors and we were a little concerned about the drive once it got dark. We stopped on the way for dinner and no one spoke English but we managed to get a good meal and made it after almost 4 hours of driving. Without GPS we would still be looking for Turrialba. GPS is absolutely necessary.
The hotel in Turrialba was really a beautiful place and we loved it there. The people were wonderful and service excellent. Not having air conditioning wasn't a problem. The sun comes up almost 2 hours earlier in Costa Rica than here and that was an adjustment. Coffee was not available until 6:30 but the breakfast buffet was very good.
Our first adventure was white water rafting on the Pacuare River. The water was low but still a terrific and challenging ride. It is rated the #5 river in the world and we wish we had hit it at a higher water level. Our guide, Jimmy, was a blast and spoke excellent English. He deftly navigated the rapids, directed our every move and threw in some 360's, dunkings and reverse rapids. The put-in is remote with no facilities, and no drinks are provided. The end is a feast with full facilities, souvenir shop, bar and slide show. Bring extra cash for the photo CD. Professional shots that you will want to have. Bring a change of clothes, towel, water and sunscreen. Need cash for photos, tip and souvenirs. This is a great ride!
We then had a long trip to Arenal with a stop at the airport again. All went well and the trip was really beautiful. We got to Arenal after dark, checked in and then went to the Hot Springs. The meal was just OK but there wasn't hardly anyone there and we had a great time exploring all the pools and the water slides. The swim-up bar was great and we finished the night there. All-in-all we loved the Hot Springs. The hotel in Arenal was very nice and for a few minutes we could see the volcano out of our window. Cloud covered it the rest of the stay there. Breakfast buffet was very good but again, no coffee until 7 a.m. Would have loved an English newspaper while we were down there, but it was nice to unplug completely.
Our next adventure was the La Roca Canyoning trip, and it was one of the best. 4 great, albeit beginner rappels of 40-120',with waterfall dunkings, a nice zip line, a cable bridge, cannonballs, and Tarzan swing. The crew was bi-lingual, fantastic and enthusiastic, and they sell a CD of action photos at the end that are well worth the money ($30 or $40). Nice fruit snack at the end and then a delicious lunch up high in the mountains with a great view. We had a blast and would highly recommend this adventure. Showers and bathrooms were clean. Bring a change of clothes. They provide towels. Tip jar is out and they deserve it.
Next up was our Zip lining canopy tour. It was really just a 100% zip line ride (no bridges or touring per se). We absolutely loved this adventure and the valley that we zipped through was breathtaking. It was only about 2 hours but we had 11 or 12 great zip lines and the staff was fun and friendly. Cold water at the end before the trip back up by tractor. The photo CD was professional quality and worth the $30. Tip jar was out and again, they deserved a little something extra.
It rained almost the entire time in Arenal but it didn't really bother anyone or anything. It actually improved our adventures a little. Next up was the horse back ride. The horse back ride part of it was pretty bad. It is really just a stroll up an ugly road to the top of the hill/mountain. Once there, we had some juice and a little fruit. Luckily, we then hiked down to Fortuna Falls and it was really a beautiful hike with a great hanging bridge and river crossing to get to the falls. Very very nice. My son Triston had gotten sick by this point and stayed in the hotel. Luckily Kaden, my 4 yr. old grandson was scared of horses and stayed with Triston. He could not have made the hike down or up. Someone would have had to stay at the top with him and missed the only good part of this adventure. It wasn't clear what these adventures entailed but it worked out fine. My wife did not get her beautiful horse back ride in the mountains as she had hoped but we still had a great time. We were very late getting back to check out but the hotel was fine and we quickly got on our way. The GPS took us completely around the volcano for a beautiful ride towards Tamarindo. We stopped for a picturesque lunch and really enjoyed the trip. The last 2 hours to Tamarindo were not that good, with Friday night traffic really slowing things down.
We arrived at Tamarindo after dark and checked in. I think we must have had one of the worst rooms in the hotel. Overall the hotel is gorgeous, the staff very friendly and helpful and the view of the beach and bay is to die for. Our mattress was very uneven and worn out. The air conditioning worked on and off (mostly off) for 2 days and then died. Hot water was sometimes available and sometimes not. We were right next to the road (rm. 128) and the noise from the street was unbearable and sleep nearly impossible. We tried to move but they were sold out until the last night when they moved us to a very nice beach view room. The breakfast buffet is excellent but coffee doesn't start until 6:30 (sun comes up 5:30 there) and full buffet doesn't crank up until 7. We were having so much fun that this didn't ruin anything but I wanted you to know that they have some bad rooms there.
Unfortunately by this time my son-in-law Jamie had gotten very ill and spent the entire stay in Tamarindo in bed. The deep sea fishing trip, which was for Jamie, was missed by Jamie and Triston. We didn't catch anything except 2 small bait fish but it was a beautiful morning and the beer was cold. It was an expensive boat ride for myself and Randy but that's fishing. The boat was very nice and the crew was nice, there just weren't any fish.
Sunday was our last day and we went scuba diving. The visibility wasn't very good but we really enjoyed both our dives and the weather was perfect. Guides were great. Debbie went snorkeling with Tera because Jamie was still in bed. We had a fantastic dinner on the beach at the Pescadore. Tamarindo was nice but nothing like the rest of Costa Rica.
We got up at 5 a.m. to start back and it was good thing because it was long trip and the airport was a mess. We got back to Tampa at 4 a.m. and I was completely exhausted, but I had just had one of the best weeks of my life.
My whole family would like to thank you for putting together this wonderful trip. We have lot's more pics if you need any for your website. I tried to find you on Trip Advisor to leave a nice review but did not see a listing. Let me know if there is some place to do that. Thanks so much Ines.
Just a quick note to let you know how incredible our trip was. It was a blast beyond description. I will send you a long email when I get settled to detail everything for you. Thanks so much for planning our trip of a lifetime and for all the help down there with our luggage.