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“Trip Highlight!”
Review of Venado Caves

Venado Caves
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed December 30, 2013

This excursion was amazing!!!! This is for those who want an adventure but not if you're claustrophobic. When they say you'll get wet, they weren't kidding!!!!! Our guide was fantastic and so was the photographer - his disc is definitely worth buying. We wore long sleeved shirts, wind pants and water runners - but shorts would have been good. Just wear very light weight clothing that don't hold a lot of water - definitely wear water runners. I think they would be better than the rubber boots they offer.

Thank Love2Travel306
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"rubber boots"
in 44 reviews
"change of clothes"
in 51 reviews
"waterproof camera"
in 22 reviews
"water shoes"
in 24 reviews
"tight spots"
in 10 reviews
"underground river"
in 9 reviews
"cave walls"
in 7 reviews
"la fortuna"
in 35 reviews
"costa rica"
in 35 reviews
"different routes"
in 5 reviews
"per person"
in 22 reviews
"an adventure"
in 16 reviews
"water level"
in 4 reviews
"comfort zone"
in 6 reviews
"tour group"
in 8 reviews
"a lot of fun"
in 13 reviews
"unique experience"
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180 - 184 of 360 reviews

Reviewed December 27, 2013

Good fun for my husband and I. Well worth doing since there is not that much to do in Arenal. You have to go via a guided tour as 1) you might get lost trying to find the place and 2) there are no guides for hire at the caves, contrary to what I have read in other reviews. UNLESS you get lucky and there happens to be a group going that morning/afternoon you get there and even then it's not guranteed, they will take you. We had a car, but glad we did not drive there.

You get to explore about 45% of the cave - good to go during rainy season, as there is a waterfall then; you get to wade in water which is lots of fun; get to one part of the cave which is only accessible when there is rain. There are bats, but only small colonies; we saw some tiny spiders and that was about all for creepy crawlies. A bit of climbing in some parts but nothing daunting; birthing hold was fun too.

It does not feel claustophobic in the caves and there are many instances where you can stand up.

Bring a change of clothes as you will get wet. Again, lots of fun.

Thank KitKatChunk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2013

My travel buddy really wanted to do the caves. We arranged a tour via the concierge at our hotel. Let me start off first by saying I REALLY HATE spiders. I am absolutely terrified of the buggers, other reviews made mention of cave spiders so as you can imagine I had serious trepidation regarding this tour. Honestly though, I was embarrassed to chicken out, SO i went and it was truly one of my favorite things to do in CR. We booked a private tour and were outfitted with helmets, headlamps, and wellies. Upon entering the cave I was in a state of anxiety and fear, the spiders were really creepy but the shear beauty and sounds of running water calmed me so I was able to enjoy the experience. It wasn't difficult to complete.
As many made mention before; do not take anything you do not want to get wet. Also be sure to bring along a dry change of clothes and a towel to dry yourself since it’s not provided. Fresh cut fruit was provided afterwards as a snack. Also be mindful of your surroundings! I almost stepped on a baby Fer De Lance while on the trail on the way out, and that would have made for a bad day!
Still the experience was one I will never forget.

1  Thank dicookie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2013

This is a great cave. Loved the experience. I had been with my 10 year old son. He enjoyed it too. I was apprehensive before going in this, but it wasn't difficult at all. I had been through a tour group and our guide was very experienced and great (booked through our hotel Volcano Lodge, so don't remember the tour group and guide name)

The birth canal mentioned in many of the reviews is very easy. It is a very short distance. What was surprising and a bit difficult was the climb up the 15ft wall at the end of the birth canal. The walk, swim (not swim actually but crawling in the water), going through the water falls was awesome. The guide told where were the deep points were, to avoid. A photographer accompanied us and the 20$ picture CD was worth it. The bathroom facilities to change/shower were good. If you are wearing crocs or any water proof sandals, you don't have to use their boots. At the end of the tour we were served with light drinks and yummy fruits.

Here is an important note to read if you plan to drive there on your own:
Before going in the tour, we had tried going there on our own 2 days prior. Our GPS took us on a shortest route(never taken by an tour group or locals. This goes ahead of springs resort, which is opp direction to the normal direction taken), through unpaved, treacherous, winding roads up the mountain, through a river...it was really horrifying white knuckle moments of drive in the heavy downpour. We realized mid way that our non 4 wheel drive wouldn't make it...it was totally deserted....no one in sight and decided to return. Unfortunately the car couldn't make it back on a particular section and midway slid down the mountain since the road was all slush and pebbles...we had an unfortunate accident. Even the police couldn't make it to the point we had gone. So please ask before you drive. If you have a 4 wheel drive, you might be able to do it...but everyone we asked later told us that no one uses that road and it is not listed on any printed maps.

3  Thank ttaf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 25, 2013 via mobile

Currently in Arenal wanted to do something different. I came across venado caves and having never spelunked it seemed interesting. After viewing photos on Google and trip advisor I was also scared. I contacted some tripadvisor members for their advice and they were all helpful describing the experience (thank you!). Reluctant still, my friend and I drove to venado today. We were greeted by Victor who outfitted us with a helmet and big rubber boots. We walked down to the cave and I'm so happy I didn't back out! What an amazing experience! Our guide Victor was very nice and funny setting my fears aside. He took us into the cave, helped us on a segment of high drops (about 12' with footing) en route to the "birth canal" by letting us step on his shoulder and hands. He also snapped great photos of us. I can honestly tell you now having done venado and happy I did it - it's not scary. It is dark but a flashlight in addition to your helmet light helps greatly. You will see bats, scorpion spiders, tarantulas and maybe a frog. They are more afraid of you and will run away. We went into 4 chambers, each stunning with limestone, coral, calcium. You will get wet. You will duck through a short segment of subterranean river into the 3rd chamber and encounter waterfalls - magnificent! Your head and chest will be above water. Now - for those claustrophobic with a fear of heights like me...the only part that was a challenge but not very challenging at all - the second chamber - that has a rather tall drop (you'll need a boost if you're short like me at 5'2") and the "birth canal". Victor went first and helped me on the other side getting down. From there there's the "birth canal" it is simply a narrow hole you crawl through. You're not crawling for long in fact as soon as you stick an arm through you're on the other side. That's it! Then you pop out right where you started. If you must bypass this you can but I'm telling you from my own experience it was awesome. That is the only time during the 2 hour underground hike you'll encounter that and then you can say you did it! The rest is mostly standing erect walking, a couple narrow passages you walk though sideways and a couple areas where you crouch/duck (or if you need to crawl). Great experice, easy to get to from Fortuna and $23 for a private, easy going guide who will explain details about the cave and help you along as opposed to a $69 tour. Ask for Victor you'll have a great time and lots of laughs!

3  Thank DigsInNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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