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“Amazing family experience!”
Review of Venado Caves

Venado Caves
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Venado Caves Underground Experience from La Fortuna
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Venado Caves and La Fortuna Waterfall from San Jose
Certificate of Excellence
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Reviewed January 4, 2014

The caves were my families FAVORITE activity while in Costa Rica! There were 5 of us, including my 3 kids ages 18, 10, 9. I was hesitant to tell them too much about the activity prior to arriving because I didn't want them to freak about the bats and critters they'd see inside, but they were totally gung ho! It's shocking how small some of the spaces you crawl through are. I wouldn't recommend a guy who's over 6', 200 pounds go through! I was also nervous about having my kids go through because there weren't a ton of reviews from families with kids, but ABSOLUTELY they did great, and made it through a lot of areas a lot easier than I did! It's not strenuous, you just need a good attitude and be very ready to get filthy. I brought old tennis shoes and my kids all had Keens covered toed sandals. I don't recommend wearing Teva type sandals; there's too many rocks you could stub your toe on. I do recommend wearing long camping pants and thin long sleeved tshirt as well to cut down on possibility of scrapes. It's an awesome 2 hour adventure with great showers to clean up in at the end. Def bring a change of clothes! It's a 45 min drive from La Fortuna. You won't regret going!! We had a blast!

1  Thank lakeharrietgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 2, 2014

this place is up in the hills near Arenal, about a 40 minute drive. not that easy to find. $22 a person, we went in the late morning, had our own guide to take us in. the literature says scheduled tours at 10 and 2; we called ahead, they took us at around noon, no problem. almost no one else there. they give you helmets with lights, rubber boots if you want them, we brought our own lights too which we were happy to have

you walk a couple hundred yards down the hill to a hole in the side of a mountain with a river flowing out of it. then in you go in, about 1/4 mile in or so. some of it is pretty tight, on your hands and knees for up to 30 or 40 feet, a lot of ducking in and around rocks and squeezing thru small spaces, most of the time in flowing water up to your knees or so. The footing is slippery and unstable. If you take their boots, they fill up, not comfortable. Sandals don't really give your feet enough protection. Good watershoes or sneakers at least are strongly recommended.

The cave is pretty cool, some interesting limestone formations, a few fossil shells and some coral. Fairly hot for a cave, maybe 70F, very humid. Many bats (insectivores, fructivores, a few vampire bats) some large crickets, some big ugly bugs with claws that eat the crickets (think of the bug that Moody expands then kills in the Harry Potter movie), a couple of medium sized tarantulas. Occasional snakes we were told, didn't see any. Not a good place to be if you mind getting muddy and wet in small dark tight places full of bugs. This activity would be a little hard to do unless you are in fair to moderate shape. dressing rooms with cold showers available for after. we liked it a lot.

2  Thank peterfenn1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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.

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