At the end of March I went on my first G Adventures tour and went with their National Geographic Journeys tour style. The tour was the 9-day “Natural Highlights of Costa Rica” starting/ending in San José also going to La Fortuna, Monteverde, and Quepos.
The National Geographic Journeys Exclusives of this trip are:
- Make Tortillas In A Family Home
- Monteverde Institute Lecture
About the tour: Choosing this adventure with G was an easy choice because of the inclusions and itinerary. We spent approximately 2-3 days in each location. One day we would have included activities such as a walk in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest and an entrance into Manuel Antonio National Park. On the way to our next location in our private transport, our guide would stop the van if he saw any wildlife. Because we were a small group, we were able to get in and out quickly. We were able to spot monkeys, sloths, crocodiles, and macaws while travelling on the road. If we were in a large group, this wouldn’t have been possible so I’m glad G’s group size allowance is between 8-16 people.
Travellers can expect that G Adventures is well known in Costa Rica; our guide was also well known. Every location we went to our guide was able to get us ahead of large lines such as when we went zip lining. The vacation was everything I expected but better as I saw more sloths than I thought and there was more I got to experience than what the itinerary mentioned on the G website.
Our guide was a local from Costa Rica so his commentary was excellent and he took us to places where tourists wouldn’t know. In La Fortuna he took us to a hot springs river where the locals go and then in Monteverde he took us into the Forest to climb a hollow tree that is more than 100 feet high.
Food: Rice and beans are a common staple that can be eaten 3 times a day. I had gallo pinto every morning; all of our hotels had breakfast included. Costa Rican coffee is great too. With G we had a coffee co-op excursion included in Sarapiqui and got to learn where the famous coffee is grown and try some too!
Add on excursions: My favourite excursion out of my trip was the add-on activity G offered of Rappelling in La Fortuna. Rappelling is like hiking but adds lots of rocks and waterfalls. It gave me a huge adrenaline rush. Other activities that can be added onto your trip that I did were the Hanging Bridges and Zip lining.
Locals: Costa Rican people are the friendliest people I’ve ever met and that’s saying a lot because I’ve been to over 20 countries and regions. A common word they use is “Pura Vida”. I really like this phrase because it can be used for so many things such as bye, hello, thank you, your welcome, see you later, etc.
What to bring: I would recommend to pack lightly for your trip. You’ll be responsible for carrying your bags so take what you can carry. Here’s a few essentials to bring: sunscreen, bug spray, rain jacket, hiking boots, water shoes (for rappelling and water activities), USD (widely accepted) and binoculars.
Travel tip: The number one travel tip about Costa Rica is not to leave your belongings unattended because the monkeys will steal them! I was walking in Manuel Antonio National Park and a White Faced Monkey jumped on my friend’s bag and the monkey grabbed the water bottle out of the side pocket. They are very smart and fast.
Recommend to others?: Costa Rica is my favourite destination visited so far. It’s a great mixture of wildlife encounters, spectacular scenery, and friendly people. It’s also relatively affordable in regards to accommodations and eating out.