Most Inspirational Moment
Lots of great moments. The sunrise boat trip along the waterways of the Tortuguero National Park was astonishing. Hunting the elusive quetzal at sunrise (only partially successful) but then having a great encounter with one later in the day, not to mention an amazing snorkeling trip on the Pacific Coast.
Thoughts on Group Leader
Alejandro Rodriguez was a great leader. He was very well organised, communicated arrangements clearly and dealt with minor issues as they arose. His wildlife knowledge was outstanding as was his ability to constantly spot birds, lemurs etc at the top of trees. I don't think there was ever a question he couldn't answer!
Advice for Potential Travellers
Be prepared for some very early starts most mornings. It's a bit of a shock at first, but you quickly get used to it and end up going to bed quite early! The rain forest can be very wet as well as warm and humid, and I was very glad I had taken a fairly substantial poncho which could be worn over a backpack. Walking sandals and trainers/boots are needed. In addition, the early morning quetzal hunting is very cold, needing warm clothing including a hat and gloves. Also take light, cover up clothing for evenings in the rain forest, when the insects come out biting!
Accommodation was always adequate and comfortable, but sometimes charmingly basic. Often it was lodge style. There was always a ceiling fan or A/C. The hotel in Turrialba Valley, Villa Florencia, was modern and charming looking in a lovely setting, but there was an issue with the food there with inadequate dining space for the number of guests, and food which gave a number of tummy problems. The hotel in San Jose was modern and functional and within easy walking distance of the heart of the city. Dollars are widely accepted but make sure that any dollars you take are in small denominations. Anything above twenty is often refused.