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“Monkey Tour Costa Rica-Great trip for the Old Folks”

Costa Rica Monkey Tours - Day Tours
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8-Day Best of Costa Rica and Nicaragua Combo Tour
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Essential Costa Rica: 8-Day Tour
Ranked #3 of 28 Tours in Playa Samara
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Costa Rica Monkey Tours is dedicated to provide the visitor of Costa Rica an experience. An authentic experience of Costa Rica Traditions, its roots and the vast wild life. We have over a decade of experience organizing Tours, expeditions and adventures.We guarantee to our clients to organize activities to fully license and registered locations with the highest safety rules and regulations. Let us work on your visit so you can simply kick back and enjoy from location to location transportation on our private shuttles to the most beautiful locations with the most magnificent views and adrenaline filled activities.
Reviewed January 11, 2014

As Toby Keith said, "I ain't as good as I once was" but it didn't matter. My wife and I were 67, my son and daughter -in-law late 40's. We really had a great time and were able to do every activity that was offered. We were there during the rainy season but actually had very nice weather the entire trip. AND NO BUGS!

The white water tubing was the best, wild 50 minute ride of my life. (I had been on white water rafting vacations thru the Grand Canyon and Salmon river many years ago). Any areas that could be a problem were well covered by our guides. We we well instructed and protected by helmets and life vests.

Zip line was a new experience and very safe. Halfway in between the 7 zip line runs we were offered a repelling experience down into a narrow 40ft canyon. At the bottom we did a Tarzan swing across a stream to the opposite canyon wall. Everything was easy up to this point. At the base of the wall we realized that the only way out was to rock climb the 40 ft wall. I started to climb and was pooped about half was up. My energy was renewed when I saw my non athletic wife quickly passing me by. When I finally got to the top I vowed never again. There was really no danger because we were harnessed and helmeted and always connected to safety lines the whole time. The guides easily pulled me up the wall when I got tired.

After lunch, was a new helmet, and Horseback riding. 20 horses bunched together for a 30 minute ride to a waterfall, quick plunge off the boulders, and 30 minute ride back to the ranchero was more like being part of the wild bunch. My wife was became a victim of "trail rage", getting bit in the leg twice when she refused to let an overly aggressive horse pass her. Didn't even break the skin and she still loved it. (made a great story and we did not press charges against the lady that bit her).

The next day went on nature walking tours in, thru, and above the mountain rain forest, sky bridge and tram. All very informative, (Great Guide) beautiful and scenic. Easy walk.

The next day was the river boat tour where we finally got to see some monkeys, crocodiles, iguanas, bats, and birds in their natural habitat.

The last 3 days were at the resort, where we went kayaking, snorkeling, took non included trips including 3 hour horseback ride and half day un guided motor scooter excursion along the ocean roads and up into the mountains. (you better have some motor bike experience before doing this. 2 in our tour group crashed before even leaving the resort costing $1K each for damages. Fortunately they did not get hurt). The rest of the time was spent relaxing, reading, playing water volley ball (excellent pool) The food at the resort is OK but you can order a pizza locally or get a better meal in the town of Sumara. Town is a 20 minute walk on the beach (at low tide) or a $6 cab ride.

Every hotel was unique and adequate for our needs. (We did upgrade to Ocean View at the resort) I can't rave about the accommodations (if I could the entire package would be 5 stars) but we saw other tourists from other hotels visit ours because ours was so much better.

Unlike Mexico we were able to drink the water and not be worried. I got a tetanus shot before I left. No other shots are necessary for this tour.

The tour guide (Hero ?) and his assistants worked very hard and did a great job.

We purchased this tour on Group-on and it really would have been worth the full price for all that was included. Would recommend this tour to anyone considering a great safe adventure.

6  Thank Terry W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 7, 2014

We purchased the Groupon for the Costa Rica Adventure Tour. We thought it was a good deal overall for the money and would highly recommend it. The "adventure" tours were amazing with zip lining and tubing being my favorite part. I could have done without the pottery and church tours, but I prefer more fast paced tours.

The Hilton Hotel at Liberia is extremely expensive for food/drinks and the town of Liberia does not have much going on if you decide to head to town for food. We actually struggled finding restaurants. The 2nd hotel on the tour (Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin) is a basic rustic hotel and seemed clean. The bar and restaurant here is very good. The 3rd hotel (El Establo) is an AMAZING mountain hotel! We wished we had more time to spend at this hotel and the small town of Monteverde. The pool bar here is worth a drink or 2 and I would recommend to not eat at the hotel restaurant for dinner. There's several cute restaurants in town. The 4th and final hotel (Villas Playa Samara) is awful. We had numerous complaints from our tour group. In a nutshell -- it needs renovation, dirty and hard to get good service. The town of Playa Samara is really cute and it was a great way to end the trip. Tons a great restaurants and excursions. The excursions purchased in town are way cheaper than the ones purchased at the hotel. We did a private kayak tour and a private horseback tour. The private horseback tour was incredible... and very cheap. We had an excellent tour guide, Walter Nixon, from C&C Surf Shop located right on the beach in the town of Playa Samara. Highly recommended!

My first suggestion/warning would be: To have an itinerary or some contact from Monkey Tours before traveling to Costa Rica. No one in our group received an itinerary, aside from what's on their website. We had no idea what to expect or what to wear each day. I actually had to repack and change after they met us for breakfast the first day... after we had checked out.

My second suggestion/warning would be: Beware of long bus rides! Maybe it's my ignorance but I did not think about having to sit in the bus day after day for hours at a time. One day is 7 hours, but it's broken up a few hours at a time.

Regardless of those two negatives, we still highly recommend the Monkey Tours Adventure Tour. It was well worth it!

6  Thank meaglynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 18, 2013

I purchased the groupon monkey tours and it was well worth tithe guides were fun the views amazing it was an all around great time. I only wish we were able to check into the first 3 days of hotels earlier they were amazing hotels we only got a glimpse of. The final hotel was ehhh wished we stayed at the hideaway hotel next door but overall I enjoyed the trip.

4  Thank Scarlett2720
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2013

We took this tour. It's was touristy but our guide was a really nice young man and did a good job. The monkeys were fun. Big groups of them.

2  Thank BarefootBuddies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2013

Fist of all, after reading all the previous reviews it sounds like the "Costa Rica adventure tour" was a lot more enjoyable and activity filled. If I had to do it over again, I'd make sure I'd be on that tour, not the "Costa Rica+Nicaragua tour".

Our tour guides Henry and Hector picked us up at the Hilton to start our journey, and since there were some issues with a hotel, we were to start by heading to Nicaragua. It was a 2 hours drive to the border and at the border it was about 1.5 hours wait while they settled some passport issues and we filled out the necessary forms etc. Once cleared, it was another 2 hours until we reached our destination, Granada. We headed directly to the Masaya Volcano park where we were able to view this active volcano and walk up a short distance for a nice view. We spent about an hour there, then headed out and stopped at a nice restaurant with a great view for and included lunch (3pm!?). After lunch we stopped by "Le Mercede Church" where you could go to the top and get a good view of the city of Granada. (20mins). We then checked into our hotel for the night "Hotel colonial". The hotel was great, located a block away from the main street of restaurant and bars, had nice little pools and large rooms. Service was excellent and breakfast was great.
Next morning we headed to the "Boat Tour" adventure about 20min drive from the hotel. It was a tour of a bunch of little islands.....it was about 45mins long and was pretty unimpressive. Not much to see except different houses on these islands and thats about it. The highlight was a little island where there were rescued monkeys that we stopped to feed...apart from that, the boat tour was pretty pointless. I had previously read the boat tour comments from the other tour, which sounded a lot more exciting as they saw a bunch of wildlife, crocodiles etc. There was no such wildlife on this one thats for sure!
We then packed back into the van for more driving.

Our next Destination was back to Costa Rica, "Hotel Boroquin" where we would get to do ziplining, Horseback and Hot Springs. Buckle up, because your up for another 4.5 hours of driving, plus the border crossing once again. By the time we got to the hotel it was about 7pm and pitch black. We hadn't had dinner yet so everyone was starving, yet we were informed that both the restaurant and hot springs were closing at 10pm and that evening was our only chance at enjoying the hot springs as we were leaving at noon the next day after ziplining. We checked in as soon as quickly as possible, then went to the restaurant. It is fancy and weren't expecting that so we weren't dressed appropriately but had no choice. Meals are about 20$-30$ US per plate so don't expect cheap food around this hotel. The hotel was deep in the forest and was a very nice place to stay, no complaints about the facilites.
After dinner a goup of us (Most from our group as everyone had no choice but to go as soon as possible) headed down to the springs. First was the Sauna, if you could find it. It was pitch black and there was no lighting at all to get to it through the woods, so luckily we found it with the dim light of an iphone. You could see anyone or anything 6 inches in front of your face, so we didn't stay long at all. We then all headed to the mud bath, but as it was basically closed already for the night (no staff anywhere) the mud was all gone from the basin and we were basically scrapping it off the sides to try and cover ourselves. There was no effert from any staff at all to make sure our experience was a good one with regards to the hot springs. In the morning it was time for Horseback and Ziplining. What a great experience!! This is what we signed up for. Guides were great, both activites were awesome and it was a beautiful scenery and great picures! The horseback ride up to the top of the ziplining point was about 30-45mins and the ziplining about 1.5 hours, so we were done in about 2.5 hours. We then had an included buffet lunch...food was great. Then get back in the van for more exciting driving!! How long? Ah lets do another 4+ hours, why not! Basically get used to being in the van during the day and get to your destination at night.
Anyway we headed to "Baldi hot springs resort and spa". It took us about 5.5hrs to get there and we arrived at 5:30pm, again dark out and we only had the night to enjoy this great hotel, so going to town for dinner wasn't an option for us as originally planned. We settled in got our bathing suits on and headed to enjoy the 25 pools/hot springs. They were outstanding and relaxing. Food and drinks were very expensive though, 10$us for cocktails and I think 20$ for the buffet and the other restaurant was even more. We ordered some late night chicken fingers and fries for 14$. Bring your own booze as you can take your drink with you.

In the morning it was time for our white water rafting adventure. We met up with Wave expeditions, great company, great people. We got on their bus and it as about 1-1.5 hours to the rafting site. The expedition was a lot of fun, great scenery, and people who wanted to could jump off a 16ft cliff into the water, it was great. It lasted about 2.5hours. We then drove back (so another 1-1.5hr, Inclueded Lunch in between which was great) back to meet the monkey tour guides to continue our tour. Up next? You guessed it, another 5hr drive during the day to our final destination Playa Samara (8 hours in a van in a day!?!?!). Afterter looking back and assessing the trip, we REALLY should have spent more time at Arenal, they had ziplining, Hanging bridges and all kinds of activites that you could do.
Anyway we arrived at Playa Samara at around 8PM checked into our hotel "Hotel Villas Playa Samara". You know what they say "Save the best for last", well I guess monkey tours didn't get the memo. What a run down hole. At first glance in the dark it actually looked decent, nice pool, clean lobby etc. After checking in we realized that the reviews were more accurate and it was at most a 2 star type place. No TV's, Phones (wtf?), and our room was never checked by a maid service. We had a coffee machine in our room but no pot lol Didn't matter as coffee isn't provided anyway, but you could buy it at their little store if you ever saw it open. Some of our group had mold in their room, there were no shower curtains so water would get everywhere. The location of the hotel is at the other end of the main beach area where the main town was located. It was about a 20min walk along the beach or a 6$ cab ride. The beach was a bit rocky, but was much nicer down the other way. We spend as much time as possible away from our hotel because it just wasn't a place you'd want to be. We rented ATV's 60$ for 6 hours and toured around the town on them, it was great. We got to travel the back roads, see some wild monkey's and have a blast. The couple we were with took surf lessons at Plato's surf school and they really enjoyed it. My girlfreind and I hired a couple horses for 20$ each for 2 hours and we went on a horseback tour over through the mountains and over to another beach, it was nice. You can get better rates on activites obviously on your own if you go into town and look for them. We also took advantage of the Isle Chora Kyak tour that was included with the groupon we purchased. It was basically the island directly in front of the hotel. Took about 15mins to Kyak to, then we were provided snorkles and masks to explore the shores. Our guide had 3 pinnaples he brought and cut up for a snack. The experience was not that impressive, if you've ever done snorkling in any area that had and coral reef, then this wont measure up at all. It was rocky, saw some small fish, a starfish, thats about it. We were all ready to go back after about 30mins. It was good that this was included because i looked at what it usually would cost and it was priced at 45$!!!! I would have felt super ripped off had I paid for that, let alone 90$ for the two of us.
Food was great, we ate two times at "Coco's Mexican grill", great mexican food if you like it. We also ate at a little italian restaurant off the beach right next to Plato's surf school. I forget the name but it was very good too.

All in all the country was beautiful, the guides were great, and the hotels apart from our last one were all wonderful. We expected driving obviously but not to that extent. Stick to the Costa Rica only tour. The nicaragua part could have easily been cut out of ours and used for more productive use, definitely not worth the 8+hour driving plus border crossings for what we ended up seeing there. The time would have been much better spend in Arenal where we could have seen and done very similar things without additional driving time.

Also there should be an age limit. We had a couple bring (at no fault of their own) their 6 and 8 year olds with them. Long drives with nothing to do = not enjoyable for them= not enjoyable for anyone. They were also not able to come to the white water rafting which seemed was communicated properly to them from the get go.

17  Thank Kurtis F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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