I enjoyed every single day of this trip but particularly three (optional) activities:
(1) Monteverde hanging bridges. A lovely walk in the tranquillity of the cloud forest.
(2) Cano Negro Wildlife Reserve river safari. We saw all three monkeys found in the region (howler, spider and white-faced capuchin), many exotic birds, caimen, butterflies, so much more.
(3) The boat trip at Samara (although I would have preferred a bigger boat with more shelter from the sun). We had a magical encounter with a huge pod of spotted dophins which included many calves and several acrobats performing all the tricks - hurling themselves out of the ocean, doing flip flops and even tail walking.
Because I was visiting in the rainy season I expected it to rain a lot - and Costa Rica did not disappoint! We had several downpours of biblical proportions and spectacular thunder and lightning storms. However, there are real advantages in travelling at this time - fewer tourists at many of the venues and in restaurants, better access to river channels, less extreme heat.
We were a micro-group (just three of us) and Jose was our guide/driver. This was my 11th Exodus trip but the first time I have travelled in such a small group. In fact this proved to be a very enjoyable experience (thank-you, Suzy and Tim) allowing us the flexibility to set our own schedule. In practice, we soon realised (with Jose's input) that it was best to start our days early and complete our activities around lunchtime (after which the rains inevitably arrived), usually leaving afternoons free for us to do our own thing - swimming (all the lodges/hotels had pools), spa treatments or just relaxing.
Tourism is very important to Costa Rica's economy and it shows. The standard of accommodation was pleasing and everywhere we went we were greeted warmly and service standards were top notch. We ate well - delicious, fresh, local produce especially fruit (pineapple - divine) and vegetables, eggs at breakfast cooked to order and we had many tasty meals at lovely restaurants (Chilean Sauvignon Blanc recommended) and pit-stop cafes. I thought food was very good value for money (compared to London prices).
I have been back from this holiday for ten days now but the feel good factor of my visit to Costa Rica has yet to wear off!