Most Inspirational Moment
Well the 16 zip lines around the cloud forest at Monteverde (two @ 1km long), plus a Tarzan swing was great fun, and seeing the Resplendent Quetzal on three separate occasions (not easy!!) was quite amazing, and the huge numbers of Frigate Birds at Tarcoles were just astounding. The hotels/lodges at Monteverde, Savagre and Tamarindo were outstanding. Overall the experience of the jungle at the lodge at Esquinas and the two optional night walks was maybe the standout. (two separate sightings of the 'ultimate viper' the Fer de Lance and lots of cute frogs) But really the whole tour was great for us, everyone will have a different favourite place.
Thoughts on Group Leader
Our group leader was Pedro. A great guy. Went above and beyond, interesting, informative, flexible, easy to chat to, knowledgeable. Don't see how he could have been better.
Advice for Potential Travellers
There is not a lot to do in San Jose. If you fly out early as we did, one full day in the City Centre is probably fine for some self guided walking tours, visit to the market (quite functional, not really a tourist destination), a guided tour of the Theatre, well worth doing, and a visit to the Gold Museum (underground in the square, next to the Theatre). Probably don't join a tour to visit outwith the City, as you may find some of these tours will be revisited as you travel around with your Exodus guide.
If you do the Tamarindo extension at the end, the Capitan Suizo hotel is the best - at the end of the beach away from the noisier town, great hotel, only 35 rooms, as many staff (super helpful) as clients. But not if on a budget! It was suggested to us that Tamarindo would be busy and noisy. For anyone worried about this, it is absolutely not Magaluf, certainly busier than other places apart from San Jose, but where we were at the Suizo was very relaxing, quiet (the centre of town and that end of the beach is busier, but not excessive), lovely beaches, wildlife (howler monkeys in the hotel grounds, cuckoo jays, pelicans etc etc). We even saw a humpback whale and brown boobies just offshore (try a Sunset Tour on a catamaran).
BUT NOTE timings about how long the Bus transfer takes from San Jose to Tamarindo are hopelessly optimistic. Our transfer took 6 and a half hours including pickups near the airport after we were picked up at our hotel, a stop halfway to transfer passengers to other buses/toilet break, and dropping off folks at hotels, some not even in Tamarindo. Coming back was better with a private transfer, but just to the airport (not City centre) took 5 hours, including a stop for a drink/toilet. The roads in Costa Rica are not good, consider a private transfer or plane transfer, (which another couple with us did), and only takes 35 minutes as well as being (apparently) a wonderful flight with the local airline Sansa. To repeat, this is not a great road journey.
We did consider flying back from Tamarindo, but had too much luggage weight (you need to know you're going to fly internally and travel light due to the weight restriction on the small planes they use - check the limit in advance)
You will likely find that the Trip Notes will be varied by your Tour Leader, but only for the better. For example we would recommend (if you are not asked) the option of a boat trip and small bus to get from Arenal to Monteverde (while your bus negotiates the tortuous road all around Lake Arenal). This should be the standard transfer. Much more interesting and fun. And a stop at Tarcoles river to view the crocodiles and birdlife should be offered.