Turtle, Ecuador

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1 Review

  • Reviewed December 2019
    Louisa Green


    I had not been on holiday for over a decade before I embarked on this trip, so suffice to say I had high expectations! Costa Rica had been on my list ever since a colleague visited the country two years ago, and it was well worth the wait. We were fortunate enough to only have eight travellers, which meant that our guide, Jonathan, had ample time to answer all of our questions. If you are looking for a holiday which will give you eight hours of sleep a night then this trip is not for you. We were up for breakfast before 8am every day and despite there being several optional extra activities listed on the trip notes, we didn't have time to do any of them as we were constantly on the go! I felt as though I was away for six months or more, and I enjoyed moving to a new area of the country every few days. Each hotel we stayed at had a different style suited to the area of the country we were in - rainforest lodge, spa resort, mountain hotel, ranch, beach hotel. The food was wonderful - all breakfasts are included and on the days when our lunch and/or dinner weren't included, we never felt hungry.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I thoroughly enjoyed our turtle nesting tour in Samara and after three hours of walking up and down the same stretch of beach, we finally witnessed a female Lora turtle making her way up the beach, dig her nest, lay her eggs, cover them up again and return to the ocean.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jonathan, our tour guide, was absolutely brilliant. He even managed to squeeze in a few extra activities which weren't on our itinerary such as a visit to a fruit market with a tasting session, a stop in Nicoya town en route to Samara, a trip to the man who produces "the best coffee in Costa Rica" and also a slight detour to another of his friends who has their own pottery business. He knew the calls, English and Latin names of every bird we saw, gave a debrief at the end of each day, made sure we knew the plans for tomorrow, took us to local restaurants for the not-included meals and consistently went above and beyond for us. He made an incredible trip into an unforgettable one.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip is currently (Dec 2019) tagged as a culture trip, but in reality it is definitely a wildlife adventure. Some days we saw in excess of 30 different types of birds and reptiles, and were very lucky to find sloths, howler monkeys, white-faced monkeys, spider monkeys, spiders, frogs, snakes, toucans, macaws, crocodiles, turtles, caimen, lizards and iguanas every single day. The trip notes state that the average lunch is around $15 and $35 for a dinner - in practise we found that we paid nowhere near this much. Hotel meals are expensive, but local restaurants often charge half the price for a more authentically Costa Rican meal.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If I could give this trip 10 stars, I would, and I will be booking all my future adventure holidays with Exodus :)