Alex (the owner) picked us up from the airport when we arrived in Costa Rica...and from the moment we met him, we knew we were going to have a great experience with him for our day trip to the Arenal Volcano scheduled for several days later...and he did not disappoint!
There were four of us on the tour and he picked us up promptly at 7am. After a warm welcome, he told us, "We were his boss" and he was open to anything we wanted to do along our drive.
The drive to Arenal was four hours, but went by quickly with the change in scenery...from the dry brown of the costal areas (since we were here during the dry season), to the lush tropical forest of the mountains. I might mention here...that driving in Costa Rica is a major challenge. For example, cars will pass anywhere, there are pedestrians walking ON the road, bicycles ON the road, animals ON the road, and cars that just stop haphazardly on the road. Alex is an excellent driver and was able to avoid all of these obstacles without ever slamming on the breaks!!!
Along the way to Arenal, we saw signs for a German Bakery and asked if we could stop there. Alex exclaimed, "But,of course!"...and we did. The tour included a short walk through a tropical refuge where we saw the most amazing blooming plants, frogs, sloths, birds, bats, etc. Alex and his co-worker Roger (who accompanied us on the tour), were wonderful about seeking out interesting things for us to see, to ensure that we had a great experience.
For lunch (which was included in the tour), we were taken to a wonderful outdoor restaurant where we had a typical Costa Rican meal. The food was delicious and plentiful.
After lunch, Alex took us to a resort/spa that used the hot springs from the nearby by Arenal Volcano to fill their numerous pools, which included huge flumes you could ride down. The ambiance of the resort was everything you would imagine Cosa Rica would be.
We had several requests to stop along the way, and Alex always obliged with enthusiasm. We stopped at a roadside stand and bought pineapples. He also took us to a tavern along the way to get a special drink that one of our group was wanting. Unfortunately, the place had already closed, and you could tell Alex was disappointed.
Our tour also included dinner, and we were taken again to a typical Costa Rican restaurant for another amazing meal. One of the people in our group wanted a special Costa Rican dish that wasn't on the menu. I believe because of the special relationship that Alex had with them, they cooked it up for her.
We arrived home around 9PM which made for a long day for Alex, especially since he literally had to drive every inch of the road!
The four of us had a wonderful day and felt like we were able to experience a good part of Costa Rica. Alex and Roger treated us like we were family...and I am sure they are like this with every one of their clients.
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