359 Reviews of La Paz Tours
What an AMAZING 6 week trip of 6 countries! January 20195.0
Operator Peregrine Adventures
Amazing Adventure with Teens October 20185.0
Rica. We went at the start of the rainy season and were lucky with the
weather, but don't think you'll be suthbathing (much) as Exodus keep you
My thirteen year old son told me that the Pacific coast beach we visited was
the most beautiful place he'd ever seen.
Excellent, excellent, excellent.
Gio has an exceptionally calm, professional and efficient manner. He's also
incredibly knowledgeable and endlessly enthusiastic about his country. On top
of that, he understands the importance of group dynamics and ensured that we
formed a happy group.
I really don't think we could have asked for a more thoughtful, organised and
all-round nice guy to lead our holiday!
Two things -
1. If you're travelling in the rainy season, ignore the advice to travel
light as you cannot dry clothes (everything is constantly damp)
2. Ignore Exodus's terrible and costly advice to take dollars. You need
enough dollars to get you to a cash machine, then withdraw local Colones and
use them everywhere - otherwise you will be ripped off by terrible dollar
exchange rates offered in shops and restaurants.
Operator Exodus Travels
Wow, wow, wow!!! October 20185.0
a family of 5, parents of nearly 50, my mum in her early 70s and 2 girls aged
10 and 12. We were looking for a change from the usual pool / beach holiday
and gosh, it was different!!!
The wildlife is nothing short of phenomenal. We saw spiders, snakes, macaws,
crocodiles, lizards, fantastic birds, frogs etc...... the list just goes on.
The plantlife was great - plants we have at home in pots in the house growing
tens of feet high in their natural habitat - it was quite something to see.
It was also very educational, not just seeing plants and animals in their
natural environment, but also other experiences such as the trips to the
chocolate / cacao plantation and the sloth sanctuary. And it was great fun,
especially the white water rafting and the zipwiring in Arenal.
It was however, quite exhausting. I must admit we were not quite prepared
for the pace, the early mornings and the long coach trips, but, in
retrospect, they were all for a reason and all worth it for the sights and
sounds and experiences in each location.
And of course, I must mention our guide Glenda and our driver Mauricio who
were quite simply, marvellous. Their professionalism, efficiency and
enthusiasm for their country made the holiday very special for us.
I think we all enjoyed the quiet boat trip in Tortuguero - how Glenda managed
to find a waterway all to ourselves given the amount of traffic on the main
river I will never know. But the chance to see turtles, crocodiles, various
birds including toucans and macaws, monkeys, lizards etc in their natural
habitat with the added highlight of the 2 dolphins was marvellous.
The white water rafting and zip wiring were such fun and we all enjoyed the
And seeing something new almost at every turn was great. Traipsing back to
our room one afternoon we came across an armadillo, seeing a coati in the
grounds of the hotel, howler monkeys moving across in the trees above the
swimming pool... etc. I could go on.......
Nothing short of fabulous. Glenda was so knowledgeable and her telescope
managed to pick out things that we could not even see with the naked eye.
Mauricio was always there incase anyone wanted to finish a walk early and his
keen eye also spotted other treats hidden in the trees.
Glenda's enthusiasm for her country and her willingness to share this with us
was much appreciated. Our experience of Costa Rica would not have been half
as good without her...
It is hot and humid in August and clothes all get very damp. Anything that
gets wet, stays wet. So pack clothes in ziplock bags and keep them zipped
wherever possible. Dry-wicking clothes are perfect and do not bring anything
that cannot dry easily.
A ball or something for the kids to play with in the pools is a great idea.
And test your waterproofs before you travel. These need to be industrial
strength as when it rains I mean it really rains!! Stand in the shower for
15 minutes on full blast and check those seams!!!
If your kids are remotely travel sick - think about travel bands on their
wrists as the roads are windy and bumpy.
Connecting or family rooms are rare however if you have young kids the rooms
normally have 2 double beds so you could all sleep together although it might
be quite tight!
A zoom camera is a must and maybe, as we did, another soft bag to throw in
the washing and / or hiking boots when these are not being worn will keep the
suitcases relatively clean and organised.
Come with an open mind - this is not a five star country and yes it does rain
- loads!! However, the experiences are well worth the early morning starts
and the requirement to pack up and move on every 48 hours.
It is, admittedly, quite daunting. The concept of spending 2 weeks in close
proximity with 3 or 4 other families and hoping the kids get on and the
parents find common ground. However I feel we were incredibly fortunate on
our tour and met some lovely families. The kids had great fun together and
the parents did too! Looking at other reviews this seems to be a common
theme, so do not delay and book today, you will not regret it!!
Operator Exodus Travels
COSTA RICA FAMILY ADVENTURE October 20185.0
with a plethora of fantastic birds, animals, and flowers to see - and the big
appeal of it when travelling with children is that on any expedition you
ALWAYS see something. Hotel gardens themselves are places where anything can
happen - I had one of the most exciting bird sightings (a trogon) in the
garden of our hotel in Dominical - where we also saw a boa constrictor in the
stream by the hotel. It really did feel like an adventure - the itinerary
packs so many experiences into a short space of time. It was great for our
11 year old daughter to have other children in the group to make friends with
- that made her braver and more tolerant of some of the long journeys and
physical challenges of so much torrential rain. What makes it all work is
the style of the tour - yes, there is a busy itinerary but our guide always
sought to offer choices of places to eat and things to do, so it felt quite
organic and we never felt over-managed or regimented. Her deep local
knowledge, and that of the driver made a huge difference. Costa Ricans are
friendly, efficient and proud of their country and that made this trip
My daughter and I loved the rafting trip at Sarapiqui - which was the
"floating safari" rather than the white water version as we felt too nervous
to do that. In fact, because of heavy rain the night before the water was
quite stirred up so it was actually quite thrilling. The guide on this raft
was wonderful - he made it really fun. She also loved the zip wiring at
Sarapiqui, and we all enjoyed the hot springs at La Fortuna - absolutely
magical in the twilight. But the stars of the show were all the animals we
saw - especially sloths and monkeys, and endless iguanas!
Katia was one in a million - so knowledgeable and such a brilliant
communicator. Long journeys were broken up with really good background on
where we were and what we were seeing, and she gave us really good
historical, cultural and social background too. - As a birdwatcher I really
appreciated her willingness to take us on 6am bird spotting strolls. I would
never have seen half so much if she hadn't shown me it - and her passion for
flora and fauna is infectious. I will never forget her detailed description
of the social organisation of the leaf cutter ant! She is a born leader -
always managing to make things feel organic and informal, while doing masses
of contingency planning behind the scenes. She also treated us all as
individuals and sought to offer options that would appeal to each of us. Her
local knowledge of restaurants was invaluable - she gave us choices and took
us to great places.
We went in the rainy season - and boy, did it rain. Not just an hour or two
a day, but torrentially for hours on end, especially on the Caribbean side
where it rains more or less all the year round. And when it isn't raining it
is more often than not very overcast. Once we got to the Pacific side the
weather was much better - sunshine for at least half of every day. So be
prepared for the weather - it can be demoralising. Others have mentioned the
difficulty in drying clothes out - our guide was ingenious and took us twice
to local laundrettes where a service wash was efficient and far cheaper than
in the hotels. Returned either same day or following morning. Hotels are
simple - but we liked the simplest one, at Cahuita, the best because you
could hear the ocean from the garden. We had a miserable time on the
optional turtle trip at Tortuguero locally run, not organised by Exodus. We
had to walk through rainforest to get to the beach and, because of heavy
rain, floodwater was nearly up to our knees - the pitch dark and the warnings
about going single file because of the risk of snakes resulted in our
daughter being absolutely terrified. We did see turtles but by this time she
was unable to enjoy and just wanted to feel safe again. It felt very
overcrowded and not really in the interests of the turtles. But the river
trips made going to Tortuguero worth it.
Do consider doing what we did: we booked a hotel on the Pacific coast and
stayed on for five more nights after the tour relaxing, swimming and whale
watching. Really worth it - after travelling all that way.
This is a really good way of seeing fantastic wildlife and visiting a
tropical country very different from our own, with children. The
organisation and the guide take all the stress out of this kind of travelling
leaving you all free to get the most out of the experience. The Caribbean
coast is wetter but it is really fascinating and shouldn't be missed - its
Afro-Caribbean heritage making it very different from the rest of the
Operator Exodus Travels
Excellent intro to Costa Rica - outstanding guide Edward October 20185.0
one is definitely worth a few lines!
Firstly, our guide Edward absolutely made the trip for us. Enthusiastic,
unfappable, great with kids. Very knowledgeable about all aspects of the
country, particularly wildlife and specifically birds (Edward is a trained
and expert ornithologist and took keener members on a couple of early morning
twitching trips). Edward gauged the needs of our diverse group really well,
and made just the right number of decisions for us to keep it relaxing
without being constraining. A special word for how he dealt with a favourite
cuddly toy being left in a hotel (when we noticed about 200 miles away).
Edward's connections, organisation and determination led to a reunion the
Costa Rica, generally, delivers exactly what it says on the tin. Amazing
wildlife and landscapes.
The big highlights for us were the additional paid-for trips. White water
rafting was exhilarating, with just enough thrills to feel edgy for our 9 and
11 year olds, whilst feeling completely safe and in control. Zip wire near
Arenal volcano was similarly exciting. As someone with an intense dislike of
heights (I feel wobbly in thick socks - and seriously, struggle to stand on a
step ladder) I'd encourage anyone like me to go for it. The start and interim
platforms are deep in the trees, so don't feel at all exposed or high. And
the "zippy" bits are, yes, high above the valley, but high enough for the
drop to be abstract and so fast there's no time to look down! The only
slightly tricky bit for me was the walk (down a spiral staircase - think of a
fire escape) at the end.
- Everyone accepts dollars, and debit cards work everywhere too (including
all the restaurants).
- It's wet in August! (as everyone kept reminding us - it's a rainforest...).
Doesn't interfere with the enjoyment at all but anything that gets wet, will
stay wet and then smelly. If we went again we'd take 7 days worth of clothes
and get them washed (i.e. and also dried) at a couple of hotels. This was
fast and efficient when we tried it.
- We travelled 1000 miles on fairly slow roads (so, a bit more than 20 hours
in total) over the 2 weeks. For younger kids, bring activities for the coach.
Feedback for Exodus (other than the obvious "it was all great and Edward is
Cahuita didn't really do much for us and also featured the weakest of the set
of hotels. Nothing specifically bad about it (so don't worry, prospective
bookers!) but maybe drop that (and the 2 long-ish transfers) for more time
The last 36 hours felt a bit flat/wasted. Maybe have an early start, drive
straight from Dominical to the airport on the last day, and have an extra
night in Dominical?
Overall, and excellent trip, well worth the money, and we'll be back for more
in the future!
Operator Exodus Travels
Costa rica family adventure October 20185.0
Araya, our fantastic driver Mauricio and 3 families who met as strangers and
ended the 2 weeks as one big, happy family. It may have rained every night
(and when it rains it really rains) and we may have witnessed some of the
most amazing thunder and lightening I have ever seen, but that didn`t
detract from the scenery which was stunning and the wildlife which was up
close and fascinating.
Every day involved a new experience whether it was gliding slowly on a boat
through the deserted waterways of Tortuguero ( made possible by Glenda`s
expertise in managing to capture a quiet time of day) or chewing on raw cacao
beans on the chocolate tour then sampling the finished product or white water
rafting, something I always said I would never do but somehow it seemed right
to be brave and give it a go.
You lose track of the days of the week and really it isn`t important- just
let go and enjoy the experience as everything is organised for you.
Gliding slowly though the waterways of Tortuguero National Park with no other
boats around us- just the forest,the water and us. Glenda, our guide, and
Jeffrey, our boatman, helped us spot dolphins, turtles, a host of birds and
Glenda was approachable, fun and also had an extensive knowledge of her
country and it`s flora and fauna. Armed with her trusty telescope she allowed
us to capture amazing videos and pictures and spotted wildlife which, quite
frankly, I would never have seen had she not been with us. She was very
patient even when the group were dithering about the rafting and what grade
of river we would be on as some of our insurance didn`t cover certain grades
of river. She made several phone calls to try and clarify this for us and
found out the information and came with us for the experience.
Bring a poncho ! Bring lots of quick drying underwear as nothing dries if you
wash it. There is a laundry service in most hotels the cheapest was at
Montechiari at Arenal. Everyone took suitcases - I only mention this as I was
unsure when it said `pack light` whether it meant rucksacks or not though
you still need a day rucksack, and definitely bring walking boots or shoes.
If you are wanting a relaxing holiday to put your feet up by a pool this may
not be the best trip for you. If you want to see this wonderful country and
pack as much as possible in and still have a few afternoons or mornings to
relax then this is the best way to do it.