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“Fun day... beautiful drive” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Venado Caves

Venado Caves
Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
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Type: Caverns/ Caves, Outdoors
Attraction details
Miami, Florida
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Fun day... beautiful drive”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2014

My husband and I rented a car for our stay in Costa Rica so we were able to drive out to the Venado Caves (with the aid of our GPS of course). The drive to the caves was quite nice as we got to really see the country as we wound up and down the twisted roads. Our guide, Fausto, was very fun and friendly. He was very knowledgeable about the caves and the animals that we found within. We purchased the additional "photography deal" and it was well worth it. We also took along our GoPro and it could not handle the lighting issues. The photos Fausto took were excellent and really the only way to capture our caving experience. These caves were not the most beautiful or awe inspiring caves that I had been in however, it was a lot of fun as we were lead through narrow passages and even did a bit of climbing! This is a great tour and we really enjoyed it.

Visited May 2014
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English first
Denver, Colorado
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Incredible sights, great guide.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2014

This was an amazing adventure. Our guide, Johnny, was so knowledgeable and helpful navigating the cave. He showed and taught us everything about the geology, animals, and even the plants and area around the cave. He was also very on point about safety throughout our adventure. Great experience!

Visited May 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Nice caves, average tour.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2014

This was a tour that we booked and were very excited about. After getting there we were told we were not allowed to take cameras due to to many flashes going off at once and also no water as it could grt contaminated and they would provide some afterwards. This seemed fine to us and we set off in our wellies and messy clothes. After getting to the caves our group was rushed around very quickly and we spent more time looking where we were going than at the cave walls. If we held back a bit to look around the tour guide would rush on, not wait and then start talking about something before we got there. The tour was very short and after talking to people it seems we missed out a fair bit. Ths photos that they took were good however not many of them per couple but this again is understandable as they want to reduce the impact on the bats, however although $20 is fine for 2 people, its $20 per 2 people. So if you are a group of 4 and they take pics of you together they will charge you $40 which I think is a little steep. All in all im hoping it was just a bad day as im sure this could be a great tour of but unfortunately it just did not match up to the others we have been on and even the tour guide was not as good. Other tours the guides chat to the people in the bus on the way and find out a bit about everyone. Our guude just sat and chatted to his driver all the way there and back. He is the only tour guide we didnt tip as we really did not think he deserved it, and normally I will still tip any way as I get far to embarrassed when I dont. Perhaps save the caving and visit some somewhere else in the world and if you are going for the bats then you will learn lots at The Bat Jungle in Monteverde.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“If we can do it, you can do it!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2014

I felt a bit claustrophobic just thinking about going into the caves. Once we were in the caves, I got over my fear and I had a blast. There are some tight spots, but nothing too bad. We had my 74 year old mother with us on the tour. So if we can do it, you can do it too!

During our tour we saw a ton of bats, spiders, a nice little snake and poison dart frogs (don't touch these frogs!). We also heard howling monkeys on our way out of the caves.

It is a bit slippery, so make sure you use their rainboots or wear appropriate water shoes.

In case you are wondering, we got picked up in a large van. The drive to the caves was about 45 minutes. There was 4 other women on our tour. So you might get paired up with other groups. This was not too bad, the more the merrier when you're down in those caves.

They also provided fresh fruit and facilities to shower after your tour.

I loved this tour and I would do it again!

I booked my tours through anywherecostarica.com

Visited March 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Worth the drive!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2014

So, we decided to drive to the caves from the village of Nuevo Arenal, which is the north side of Arenal Lake. The lady who gave us directions said, "it's direct, about half an hour from here." Well, the road is direct, but plan on a bumpy, winding ride that takes about 45 - 1 hour from Nuevo Arenal, passing though farms and not much else. We became worried when it seemed like there could not possibly be a tourist attraction there -- but, eventually, we got there. We were the only ones there, and arranged a tour with Johnny.

They give you a helmet/headlamp, rubber boots, and a paper mask to protect yourself against bat guano (yes, there are lots of bats in there, but the bat guano is only really dangerous when it dries -- not really in the humid environment of the caves. We only wore our masks in the really bat-heavy areas).

Things get interesting right away -- you go through the "Birth Canal" on your hands and knees, a hole that's about 30 inches across. If you are a big person, you'll get through, but you'll feel it! I've never been caving before, and it was awesome, a true adventure. Totally disorienting and somehow magical. You'll see three kinds of bats, some fish, some weird spidery looking insects, frogs, and fossils.

This would be so fun to do with kids. Make sure everyone wears clothing that covers the knees, brings a change of clothes (and maybe shower gel), and a dry towel, since there are showers at the end.

Visited March 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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