Central Valley > San Jose

Gecko Trail Costa Rica

Gecko Trail Costa Rica stands for excellence in service to the gay and lesbian (LGBT) community. We are dedicated to promote diverse and individual tourism that gives you the opportunity to discover Costa Rica's incredible variety based on your specific needs and wishes.If you are looking for excitement and an alternative experience in Central America's most open and gay-friendly country, make Costa Rica your next destination.

Location

Comments about Gecko Trail Costa Rica

Write a comment/review

What are people saying about us?

Eric Cavanagh from Canada
Awesome vacation

I had an amazing time while in Costa Rica - Apr 19-28. It was great getting up and knowing that everything had been taken care of. the hotels were great, the transportation was good and the day trips were amazing. I can't wait to come back and experience more of, what Costa Rica has to offer. I have recommended Costa Rica, and Gecko Trail Adventures to all my friends, and anyone else I talk to about my vacation. I have uploaded some,of my photos and am working on getting my zip line and river drift videos uploaded on my google drive. Here is the link.

Thanks again for an amazing vacation.

May 11, 2015

What are people saying about us?

Luc from UK

Many thanks to Ernesto who put together a great itinerary for us in a short time for our first visit to Costa Rica in March.
I found the online chat facility very useful and was impressed by how quickly Ernesto would get back to us.
Costa Rica did not disappoint at all.
Everything was easy,transport was on time (even early sometime!) Some of the transit vans could have been a bit more comfortable but we survived them ok! We went on many tours, highlights were the Monteverde Sky Walk, the horse riding to La Fortuna waterfall, seeing the quetzal in the Curi Cancha reserve.
Rafting down the Pacuare river was out of this world.
Can't wait to return and explore other areas of CR.
Highly recommend Gecko Trail.

May 03, 2015

What are people saying about us?

Philip Rohrbough from San Francisco
Perfect vacation in paradise!

Hola Ernesto. We arrived in San Francisco last night after a great trip to Costa Rica. I just want to say that everything worked perfectly... The rides were on time, hotels very good (especially Villa Roca), tours excellent. It was a great way to see your country.. Lots of independence, but little hassle... Thanks for making this possible...

Philip Rohrbough and Mike Gorman

February 02, 2015

What are people saying about us?

Paul from London, UK
Top bespoke tour from Gecko

An excellent bespoke tour designed for us who had no idea what the wonders of Costa Rica were. A balanced trip with all the main sights and not filled with unnecessary trips. From landing in San Jose and departing 14 days later, every meet, tour and stay operated like clock work. Ernesto is a top agent and if you are LGBT trvaller and looking for a real expert look no further than Gecko

January 13, 2015

What are people saying about us?

Michael Trovela from New York, NY USA

Thank you Ernesto and the rest of the Gecko Team for putting together a fabulous itinerary!

The bookings, from hotels to flights between San Jose, Arenal and Manuel Antonio, were handled efficiently. We especially loved our stay at La Maison in Manuel Antonio and the Volcano Inn in Arenal. Hotel staff were friendly and the tour guides were knowledgeable of the beautiful ecosystem.

I would definitely book with you guys again!

December 15, 2014

What are people saying about us?

Kevin from Washington, DC, USA
An Unforgettable Trip in Costa Rica

We had Ernesto and he was fantastic in taking the ideas of what we wanted to do and the short time frame we had to do them and developing a plan for us to follow. Everything was organized for us and we have a clear itinerary to follow. We didn't have to worry about anything on our trip. Transportation, food, hotel, adventures, all covered and planned. We only had one hiccup with a hotel wanting payment, but they made a quick call to Gecko and it was handled in less than a minute. We had an unbelievable time in Costa Rica and it was in large part to Gecko Trail Adventures and the trip they put together for us.

July 20, 2014

What are people saying about us?

Fraser Valentine from Ottawa, Canada
Great Trip to Costa Rica! We will be back!

We used Gecko Trail to help us plan our first trip to Costa Rica. We chose the bi-coastal tour, and added a few extra days in the rain forest and on the beach on the Caribbean side of the country. It was great to spend about 10 days doing and seeing lots, and then hanging out in Puerto Viejo on the beautiful beach. We really enjoyed the bi-coastal tour, as you get a sense of the diversity of the country - the geography, the climate, and the people and architecture. Put simply, we had an amazing trip! Everything - and I mean everything - was perfect! Ernesto and his team pay attention to all the details; you arrive and the program just unfolds. Throughout our 15 days in Costa Rica, everything went off without any problems or issues - it was perfect. The country is beautiful, the people are friendly and warm, and the range of activities you can do is vast. It’s a great holiday. If Costa Rica is on your “bucket list;” make this the year you go, and make sure you book with Gecko. You’ll have a wonderful trip. We will be back for sure!!!

June 07, 2014

What are people saying about us?

Maddox from Dallas, TX, USA
Exotic Costa Rica

Ernesto planned an absolutely fantastic 10 day trip to Costa Rica for me. I stayed in Manuel Antonio, Monteverde and La Fortuna. Each of the accommodations that he selected were just what I was hoping for. The tours that he suggested were excellent and overall, the trip was a DREAM VACATION! I can't wait to go back! Thank you Ernesto

March 09, 2014

What are people saying about us?

Ken from NYC, USA
gecko is the best!!!!

without a doubt, gecko trail adventures planned an amazing, custom trip for me and my partner. We started our planning a few months before our trip in may, our trip was in August. We worked directly with Ernesto who was nothing short of amazing in response and suggestions. He made everything so easy via email catering to all our questions and whim. It definitely helped that he was american and had that perspective as he definitely knew what we would like and what we wouldn't. When it came down to the actual trip, everything went down absolutely flawless from start to finish. Every single tour, bus, transport that was scheduled picked us up right on time! As a seasoned traveler that has been around the world, I have always been skeptical of working with travel agencies but Gecko definitely impressed me which says a lot! One of the things that impressed us the most was when we were on our actual trip and wanted to make adjustments, all we did was email them and they responded with the adjustments in a prompt manner, easy!

Our trip path was:

San Jose-Manuel Antonio-Monteverde-Arenal-Tortuguero-Pecuare-Puerto Viejo

See pics here.

We ended our trip in Puerto Viejo were Gecko is based and we were so happy to meet the amazing and friendly staff (especially Ernesto, as he helped us the whole time) and thank them for the amazing trip so far!!! Thanks Gecko, will definitely be booking with you again soon!!!

Pura Vida!

September 03, 2012

What are people saying about us?

Tim & Dave from El Cerrito, Ca
Our recent trip to Costa Rica

We worked a couple of months with Ernesto - Gecko Travel's Rep. He was very patient with us as we worked through all alternatives for the locations we *thought* we wanted to travel to and the various adventures offerred at each location. We were very concerned about the methods of traveling (intracountry buses and taxi's) and about actually having people meeting us when they said they'd be there. Rest assured - it was incredibly smooth. Every time someone was to meet us they were there - on time or even early a couple of times! There is "system" they use specifcially set up for us tourists and worked incredibly well.

As far as what we did, liked, etc: -- we were in the country for 12 days:

San Jose : The Poas Vocano, Dakota Coffee Plantation, and la Paz Waterfall park -- This really was a wonderful excursion. It takes all day after being picked up at 7:30 AM. There were only 6 of us & the Guide (who was with us the entire day & spoke perfect English). We hit the Poas Volcano on a beautiful clear day - unusual according to the guide, or more like "lucky". It was awesome -- and actually much much better than Arenal. You hike to the rim of the crater and peer down into its bubbling green lake. The Dakota coffee plantation was a nice stop along the way before the volcano. We got a (free) decent breakfast & wonderful coffee and learnt how coffee is harvested. The La Paz Waterfall park was equally awesome - a must do if you stay in San Jose and have a full day. Really beautiful wildlife and the climax of some really beautiful waterfalls -- which you cannot swim in; only pictures.

The next day we set off for the 2-day Pacquare River Rafting trip. This turned out to be the highlight of the trip … and only because we did the 2-day trip which includes an overnight stay at a (upscale) Tent Camp. Being the off season, we were the only 2 on this guided trip; so we were basically 1 on 1 with the main Guide (Puluche), his guide-in-training (Gabby), and the out-in-front in-case-of-emergency Kayaker (Kenneth - who spoke English). The drive to the launching area was an even longer drive than what the 1-dayer's did because they only do about 17 miles whereas the overnighters do 22 miles of river -- class 4 rapids. The long 1-hour drive DOWN into the Canyon was potentially a scene out of a Horror movie (e.g., 2 tourists in an old beat-up 4x4 with 1 person who spoke English drigin for 1.5 hours down a dirt road behind multiple gates. lol.) After 2-3 hours of rafting, we of course stopped at the tent camp and assisted in hauling the provisions up to the camp (food, drinks, linens, our overnight stuff, etc.). PS - by RAFTING I mean WE ALL DO THE WORK. WE ALL PADDLE AS THE GUIDE BARKS INSTRUCTIONS. We had the camp to ourself and our tent overlooked the river, which was a soothing sound at night for sleeping. We saw Fireflies (luciernagas). Geckos. Beautful flowering plants. All tents are raised platforms & have actual beds with mattresses and linens and pillows. Not the best - but hey, it worked fine. The guides did all the cooking - lunch upon arrival, and AWESOME dinner (fresh sea bass & chicken) & Wine, and the typical breakfast (eggs, fruit, sausages, beans & rice, juice.) Then we hauled everything back down to the raft and we were off for the 2nd day. We were on a timeline to meet up with that day's 1-day rafting groups for a group lunch. So after like 2+ hours of rafting & stopping at secret waterfalls & large pools of water to swim in we met the "groups". Ugh, 8 people in a raft with a Guide? Uh, no thanks .. glad there was only 4 of us in our raft. After lunch and another 2 hours of rapids we were back at the Exploradades Center to pick up our luggage, which was secured overnight.

Then off via a small bus to Puerto Viejo - stayed at Banana Azul. This is on the Caribean coast, right on the ocean, and was very HOT (September). A really nice place, albeit very open and a bit "noisy" if you have "active" neighbirs to your room … which we did .. up and walking around all night, sitting on their balcony smoking at night, etc. They were probably the worst part of our stay. They have a very nice restaurant on-site with a different menu each night - for $14 each. We did the Kayaking trip through the jungle which was very fun. It's on a 2-person Kayak and we saw lots of jungle life -- including a Sloth that actually came down out of the tree. We sat there for 10 mins., snapping pics & video. Downtown Puerto Viejo is just a small town with a lot of tourist traps. We heard about a restauraunt called "Bread & Chocolate" and wanted to give it a try, but were unable to make it in for breakfast or lunch given our schedule. We also did the "3 in 1" tour: Animal Rescue, Chocolate Farm, and Waterfall - frankly, this was a bust after everything we did to this point. The Animal Rescue is really just a small ZOO. Too much emphasis in things that were disinteresting to us; yea we saw a couple of howler monkeys in the trees. Being in the cage WITH the monkeys was a treat. But for 1.5 hours it was really not worth the HEAT. Then the journey to the Waterfall was long and the hike DOWN into the canyon was LONG & difficult & slippery in spots. The Waterfall is realtively small and very difficult to get into the pool to swim -- and at this point we had been in really wonderful waterfalls and pools (see above). So we would pass on this excursion if we had it to do again given what we had already done. In town we ate at the red neon upstairs restaurant (Rios something) which was a BUST. The food really sucked. The "fried Calamari" was a rubber dish of tasteless goo and inedible. Each of our main dishes were pretty bad as well. The only thing going for it was a nice view of the street life and they had 2 for 1 drink specials.

Then we were off to La Fortuna (Arenal) - stayed at Los Lagos. A pretentious up-scale resort with a lot of swimming pools & hot springs. we stayed at the very top of the hill -- the "view rooms". Heads up: They are too far away from the main part of the resort to WALK. They have 2 Shuttles that basically run 24x7 to pick you up and bring you to wherever you are trying to get to in the resort .. like the swimming area, dining area, etc. They can sometimes take 15 mins. to pick you up … if not require a 2nd phone call to the desk. Frankly, it would have been better to stay downtown some place and not in this sterile and snooty environment. the loud & "bad spanish singing" by the bartenders at the pool-side bar was enough to chase away anyone. I didn't get the point; maybe they were trying to make it Disneyland-esq? We did the Arenal Volcano "tour" & Tabcon Hot Springs on the 2nd day here. It was also a BUST. It POURED on us. The operators refused to cancel the tour. After getting there we couldn't see the Volcano the entire trip for all the fog & rain. I was miserable and damp; even with the rain gear. After we hiked in the dark back to the van, they dropped us off at the Tabacon Hot Springs. This was kinda nice, but being dark, we couldn't see much as we strolled around the warm (not HOT) freshwater pools. Would probably be nice to see it during the day. Included was a really nice Buffett - finally some food different than what we had been eating the previous week. This was the only trip with any "confusion" - and it had to do with being "handed off" to another driver. But it worked out as we got back to our room around 10 PM and exhausted --- only to be kept awake by a group of 8 or 10 Asian guys who decided their world was more important than our sleep! I asked them nicely to quiet down. Nada. They were LOUD until 2 AM. I even called the front desk pleading for "help" … the front desk could do nothing for us. Glad to check out of that hole the next morning.

Then off on a long bus ride to Manuel Antonio - stayed at Villa Roca, which is about 4 miles outside Quepos, so it is dead in this area. This was a really nice (Gay) resort, but only 3 rooms filled. Beautiful infinity pool to sit by over a beer. And Joseph was really a sweetheart. We chatted with him most of the 2 days we were by the pool or bar. We did the Snorkeling excursion which turned out much better than we had anticpated. We were grouped with about 20 Dutch tourists which made it really fun. We saw some really cool fish and saw Whales breach and porpois. It included a really nice lunch and all the beer you wanted. We met the 1 guide named Miner. He was pretty funny and personable. The only other thing we "tried" to do was take a bus and go into the National Parque (Jungle) by ourself -- without prearranging it. It was a total Bust and I don't recommend trying it. There are a ton of "local" scammers that will accost you outside the park and demand that you pay them to be your "GUIDE" … even if you simply want to go in by yourself. It was very intimidating - we walked away and never saw the park.

Then it was a small plane ride from Quepos back to a final night in San Jose. This was very cool to see the area from above. 30 mins. later we arrived in San Jose and hired a Taxi to get us to Casa 69; downtown San Jose. It cost us $20 for the Taxi. That night we ventured out to walk around and find a couple of (gay) bars. We went to Avispa, which was OK .. but not much of an American Dance Club given its size. And it was ear-splitting LOUD! The few people dancing on the floor were "partner dancing" to Latin music. Then to Bochinches - but they wanted $4 each to get in and we had not planned to stay long; so passed. There is also Puchas in the same area - which we assume is some sort of Gay strip club. The streets felt very safe to walk around - especially given the various "warnings" about not going out alone at night. We saw Police everywhere and never felt threatened. Oh, and Casa 69 - well, very very noisy due to the Trains that run right in front of it from 7 AM to 7 PM (or so). The "free/included" breakfast was NOT included contrary to what our travel documents said. But being under new ownership there was probably miscommunication what WAS included (continental only).

So to recap, great trip and very friendly people.

- Do use Gecko Travel !! Trust them. They were awesome.
- Do the Poas & la Paz Waterfall park
- Do the 2 day raft trip & tent camp (not the 1 day)
- Do Banana Azul, but try for Room #1 if possible. While there, do the River Kayaking but skip the 3 in 1 Waterfall, Animal Rescue, Chocolate place.
- If you wish to save $$ on accomodations in Puerto Viejo, there are MANY MANY choices to stay at just outside town. We saw places as cheap as $15/night on the south end of town.
- If you actually see Poas on a clear day, skip Arenal altogether … probably shrowded, very hot and probably rain - or just do a DAY trip to Tabacon .. or even just stay THERE.
- Definitely do both: Bus ride between towns and a plane ride back to San Jose for your final.
- Take a bunch of $1 bills for tipping. Every tour will "nag" you for tips at the end of the excursion - and they do deserve a couple of $$. Don't tip in restaurants - tips are already included. (unless you get special service).
- And you don't have to pre-book the excursions during the off-season. All of the resorts/hotels have the same "packages" that you can arrange when you get there. That way if you're tired or the weather doesn't suit the excursion (e.g., RAINING), you don't have to waste the money.
- They all advertise "free WiFi" at the hotels/resorts … but it is spotty at times, but overall was there for my use on a cell phone.
- The mosquitos were nowhere NEAR as bad as we had anticipated. One of us got like 8 bites over the 12 days, I got 3 … Just use the netting over the beds when it's available.

I'll put my reviews on TripAdvisor.com for the specific places we stayed if you wish to search the place over there.

Pura Vida !!

October 05, 2011

What are people saying about us?

Steve & Phil from Florida USA

We had a excellent time on our 25th anniversary. Gecko made it happen without any flaws. Would highly recommend anyone use them for their trip. Ernesto was the best. Loved Costa Rica and the people. Will be back with friends.

May 14, 2011

What are people saying about us?

Stephan Wininger from Nashville, TN USA
Thank You Gecko Trail Adventures!

Don't hesitate to utilize Gecko Trail's talented and professional staff to plan every detail of your Costa Rican vacation!

Everything went flawlessly and I could not be happier with all they did on my behalf to ensure a wonderful vacation. I highly doubt any other agency could be more informed or helpful.

Ernesto's patience and prompt responses to each and every question during the planning phase of my two week vacation was comforting and most reassuring.

Once I arrived in San José, I immediately took a regional Nature Air flight to San Manuel/Quepos for a week at the beach. Then a second Nature Air flight to La Fortuna to visit Arenal Volcano and Tabacón Thermal Springs Resort and Spa. Finally a third flight Nature Air flight back to San José where I enjoyed the last few nights of my Costa Rican vacation.

Gecko Trail's staff's attention to detail ensured each and every connection was perfectly choreographed and each hotel reservation perfect. Ernesto even had cabs waiting for me when appropriate. How nice not have to worry about any details!

On my next trip to Costa Rica, I will definitely be using Gecko Trail Adventures again. Soon, very soon!

Thanks again Gecko Trail Adventures!

April 18, 2011

What are people saying about us?

Brian from Chicago
CR Trip with Gecko

I arranged my entire trip through Gecko based on feedback from friends that had used them before. It took about a month of working with them, looking into their advice and some research on my own but I basically had my entire trip booked via Gecko before I went. Everything was as smooth as could be and I enjoyed the trip immensely.

Some MUSTS are Tabacon if you are in Fortuna and the zip line canopy tour in Monteverde. Relaxing on the beach in Manuel Antonio was also very nice.

I only had 1 small problem on the trip with confusion at one hotel whether breakfast was included. It only took one quick email to Gecko and they resolved it with the hotel. It was the hotel's mistake.

Highly recommend Gecko to help plan a fun trip to CR!!

March 15, 2011

What are people saying about us?

M Waugh from Canada
So helpful.

We used Gecko to help plan our trip. We provided them with the places we wanted to go and what we wanted to see ..... we had a hassle free vacation and amazing two weeks in Costa Rica. I have already recommended this firm to others. Thanks guys for making our vacation so special.

March 07, 2011

What are people saying about us?

Brian from New Jersey

Our 10 night custom vacation was spectacular thanks to Ernesto at Gecko putting it all together. Out trip included 4 cities: San Jose, Manuel Antonio, Arenal and Santa Ana. We had a mix of active days and others for relaxation so we reutrned home refreshed. The only suggestion I would make for those who can pack light (<40 lbs) and afford it is to fly between destinations rather than take the tourist vans. These trips can be between 4 and 5 hours with air taking about 30 minutes.

March 07, 2011

What are people saying about us?

David from Winnipeg, Canada
Thanks to Ernesto and Gecko Trail Adventures!

My trip went really well. All the details planned by you at Gecko went flawlessly. A couple comments to keep in mind when you are dealing with other tourists follow:

1. The Arenal Volcano area is quite beautiful with great hiking and other activities available, but don't expect to see the top of the volcano as it is almost always cloud covered.

2. Of my two excursions on my full day in the Arenal area, the first one (the horseback ride to the La Paz Waterful operated by Desafio) was very scenic and nice, but I was the only English speaking person on the three-person tour so the guide primarily spoke Spanish. In fact he really only spoke to one person so it didn't seem he was telling us much of anything about the nature and scenery we were passing. The second excursion (the Arenal Volcano Hike operated by PVT) was excellent. The guide was amazing at pointing out and explaining so much. Our group members were also quite fit so he took us on a longer more challenging hike. I gave him a big tip!

3. In Manuel Antonio National Park, a lot of the trails are closed so if somebody wants to do lot of hiking they have to go around the barricades and hike the closed trails themselves (that's what I did). Manuel Antonio is beautiful.

4. Colours Oasis Resort is nice and a good gay place to stay in San Jose. It is easy to meet people there (especially as a solo traveller) so you can go with people on excursions into the city. I'm not sure I would have wanted to do too much in the city by myself ... at least not at night. Breakfasts were very good. Other food and drink was excellent but a bit pricey.

5. Hotel Mandarina is a nice place to say. It is gay-friendly but definitely not gay ... but that's good too. The people working there were really friendly and knowledgeable about the area whether it was the park, the beach, the clubs (including gay ones), etc. The room I had in the Hotel Mandarina was so beautifully decorated (somewhat modernist) that it was a real pleasure to stay there. There are no views from the rooms, but that's fine, you can just walk across the street. The breakfasts were excellent.

Overall the trip was excellent. I really enjoyed everything. I would definitely recommend Manuel Antonio as an area to visit. On a previous trip I went to Playa Grande and it was great too. The Arenal Volcano was alright to visit as long as you can accept you won't see the top of the volcano or any eruptions. I'm glad I went to Manuel Antonio on your recommendation instead of the cloud forest (there were enough clouds on the way to the volcano from San Jose and at the volcano).

Thank you for arranging everything. I would definitely use your services again.

February 22, 2011

What are people saying about us?

Tim and Robrt from Portland

First of all Ernesto at Gecko Trail, you are awesome!!!! Everything was wonderfully coordinated and the accommodations, activities, tour companies and guides were exceptional.

Or time at Banana Azul passed quickly. We would highly recommend BA. The place is magical. We thoroughly enjoyed the accommodations and the great staff. The grounds are amazing to say the least. The food was top notch and we loved the bar and open lobby.

The white water rafting trip is a must! Ricky, Miguel and the other guides were all professional and really fun. We would highly recommend this guide company.

We arrived at Los Lagos Resort shortly after sunset. Again, thank you Ernesto. What a great place. The natural hot springs were heavenly to say the least. The room was really nice. We could see Arenal from the front terrace. The grounds and facilities were wonderful.

In San Jose we stayed at Casa 69. Nice place. Well kept and very friendly.

We went out on the town Tuesday night a found a wild scene at the local gay bars. Another surprise for sure.

January 07, 2011

What are people saying about us?

Ed from St. Louis, MO USA
Incredible service by Mauricio

Found Gecko Trail Adventures through a Google search for gay-friendly travel. Any reservations I had about booking every aspect of my travel in Costa Rica with a company I was not familiar with was immediately put aside. Mauricio was my agent at Gecko and did an amazing job of recommending various hotels and activities. Considering how many times I had to change my itinerary in the months before my trip, I am indebted to him for 1) keeping me organized 2) making all the hotel, transport and activity arrangements for me 3) being incredibly responsive to my questions. My transports included private driver in San Jose (airport to hotel) as well as the Interbus shuttle system (shared shuttle with ~7 other people). Be forewarned that car travel in parts of CR can be rough/bumpy, since the road system is not as well-developed as in the States. Shared shuttle is a nice, cheap way to go, plus gives you the opportunity of meeting some other adventuresome travelers (in my case, mostly students, Europeans, those wanting to save a little money).

Things that I would highly recommend that were suggested by Gecko/Mauricio: 1) splurging for a stay at the Tabacon Hot Springs Resort (http://www.tabacon.com/). The incredible service at the resort and the hot springs are not to be missed. None of the other hotels in the area can boast as large a variety of hot springs (most only had 1 or 2 hot spring pools, Tabacon has easily over 15 hot spring pools to lounge in). However, it's a tough hotel to get into, so plan at least 6 months in advance. There is also a nice buffet dinner at Tabacon, which is nice to do after a couple hours in the springs. But put your reservation in for dinner early, it's a pretty place. The spa is also very nice. I slurged on a 1.5 deep tissue massage, which was conducted outside in a private cabana surrounded by the hot springs. 2) White water rafting through Desafio (http://www.desafiocostarica.com/). Highly experienced guides who were very much into our safety on a class 3-4 river. Travel and a nice, picnic-style meal to match the rugged activity afterwards. 3) Sky Tram/Sky Trek (zip line) through Sky Adventures (http://www.skyadventures.travel/index/index.html). I wish I would have known beforehand that there was a tree-top restaurant at this place, so that I would have scheduled more time afterwards to enjoy it. But the zip lines were long, fast, and unlike other companies, you don't have to do any braking, the zip guides do the braking for you. 4) Hike through Manuel Antonio National Park. Pay the fee for a professional guide, they will notice wild animals and flora that you would easily miss if you did this hike without a guide. Unfortunately, because of the recent rains in the area, did not get to see all the trails that were available.

Things that weren't as nice about my stay: The California Hotel (http://www.hotel-california.com/) was a little disappointing. It was more rustic and a bit run down, though fine for spending time just hanging out at the beach. Unfortunately, it's a little bit further out from the beach than some of the other hotels of its type in the city of Manuel Antonio. I had ordered a king sized bed. What I got was a kingsize bed frame with a queen mattress on it. In addition, there is desk clerk between 10pm and 6am, so guests are pretty much on their own (e.g., if locked out of room, etc.). Otherwise, the desk staff were helpful and breakfast buffet was included and reasonable (fresh fruit, eggs to order, toast, juice, coffee). If you're looking for higher end accommodations, it looked like the Parador (http://www.hotelparador.com/) was the nicest in this town (didn't stay there, but got to see it when my shuttle bus stopped there before the Manuel Antonio nature hike). If you do plan to stay in Manuel Antonio, I would recommend staying closer to the beach. There is one bus line that goes between MA and Quepos. Small hotels, shops and restaurants line the single main road between the two villages.

January 07, 2011

What are people saying about us?

Ed from St. Louis, MO USA
Incredible service by Mauricio

Found Gecko Trail Adventures through a Google search for gay-friendly travel. Any reservations I had about booking every aspect of my travel in Costa Rica with a company I was not familiar with was immediately put aside. Mauricio was my agent at Gecko and did an amazing job of recommending various hotels and activities. Considering how many times I had to change my itinerary in the months before my trip, I am indebted to him for 1) keeping me organized 2) making all the hotel, transport and activity arrangements for me 3) being incredibly responsive to my questions. My transports included private driver in San Jose (airport to hotel) as well as the Interbus shuttle system (shared shuttle with ~7 other people). Be forewarned that car travel in parts of CR can be rough/bumpy, since the road system is not as well-developed as in the States. Shared shuttle is a nice, cheap way to go, plus gives you the opportunity of meeting some other adventuresome travelers (in my case, mostly students, Europeans, those wanting to save a little money).

Things that I would highly recommend that were suggested by Gecko/Mauricio: 1) splurging for a stay at the Tabacon Hot Springs Resort (http://www.tabacon.com/). The incredible service at the resort and the hot springs are not to be missed. None of the other hotels in the area can boast as large a variety of hot springs (most only had 1 or 2 hot spring pools, Tabacon has easily over 15 hot spring pools to lounge in). However, it's a tough hotel to get into, so plan at least 6 months in advance. There is also a nice buffet dinner at Tabacon, which is nice to do after a couple hours in the springs. But put your reservation in for dinner early, it's a pretty place. The spa is also very nice. I slurged on a 1.5 deep tissue massage, which was conducted outside in a private cabana surrounded by the hot springs. 2) White water rafting through Desafio (http://www.desafiocostarica.com/). Highly experienced guides who were very much into our safety on a class 3-4 river. Travel and a nice, picnic-style meal to match the rugged activity afterwards. 3) Sky Tram/Sky Trek (zip line) through Sky Adventures (http://www.skyadventures.travel/index/index.html). I wish I would have known beforehand that there was a tree-top restaurant at this place, so that I would have scheduled more time afterwards to enjoy it. But the zip lines were long, fast, and unlike other companies, you don't have to do any braking, the zip guides do the braking for you. 4) Hike through Manuel Antonio National Park. Pay the fee for a professional guide, they will notice wild animals and flora that you would easily miss if you did this hike without a guide. Unfortunately, because of the recent rains in the area, did not get to see all the trails that were available.

Things that weren't as nice about my stay: The California Hotel (http://www.hotel-california.com/) was a little disappointing. It was more rustic and a bit run down, though fine for spending time just hanging out at the beach. Unfortunately, it's a little bit further out from the beach than some of the other hotels of its type in the city of Manuel Antonio. I had ordered a king sized bed. What I got was a kingsize bed frame with a queen mattress on it. In addition, there is desk clerk between 10pm and 6am, so guests are pretty much on their own (e.g., if locked out of room, etc.). Otherwise, the desk staff were helpful and breakfast buffet was included and reasonable (fresh fruit, eggs to order, toast, juice, coffee). If you're looking for higher end accommodations, it looked like the Parador (http://www.hotelparador.com/) was the nicest in this town (didn't stay there, but got to see it when my shuttle bus stopped there before the Manuel Antonio nature hike). If you do plan to stay in Manuel Antonio, I would recommend staying closer to the beach. There is one bus line that goes between MA and Quepos. Small hotels, shops and restaurants line the single main road between the two villages.

January 07, 2011

What are people saying about us?

D'Angelo & Michael from La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Costa Rica Travel Agency we RECOMMEND

July 23, 2010

Go to comments page: 1  2 

Leave a comment

Listing Details

Nearby major points of interest:

Casa Cari 4.1 km away

Nearby restaurants and coffee shops:

El 13 4.4 km away

Best of Gay Costa Rica

The top LGBT places in Costa Rica

See all Top Picks