Our safari covered Tortuguero National Park, the Osa Peninsula, San Gerardo de Dota, the Arenal Volcano with a fleeting visit to San Jose. Our brief was that we wanted to cover as much of the country’s main wildlife areas as possible in 14 days and to have the most intimate wildlife viewings as we could, all during the Christmas and New Year break. We have extensively travelled and we know that the best wildlife viewings are achieved where you have the least people (or the most well managed groups) and in all locations we were fortunate enough to see and hear the comings and goings of the wildlife with very limited human interference.
Overall the guides and the accommodation were fantastic, with two particular highlights, Tortuguero National Park which lived up to picture perfect jungle experience and San Gerardo de Dota, a place recommended by Natural World Safaris and not on the well-trodden tourist trail. Tortuguero certainly gave us the most prolific wildlife experiences with some directly outside our room or within the lodge itself. We were lucky enough to see all of the larger mammals, all four species of monkey, (with the ubiquitous howlers starting early, although for us this was not wake up call, as we were already out by 5.30am each morning), porcupines, anteaters and sloths as well as the smaller creatures, the blue jeans dart frog and the fearsome bullet ants. The guides saw our enthusiasm for both the large and small creatures and kindly organised us extra safaris throughout our stay including additional early morning boat cruises and walking safaris (in the torrential rain!) so that we had the best opportunities to see as much as we could within the three full days we were there.