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Discover Costa Rica - departing 14th July 2012

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 08:49

Discover Costa Rica - departing 14th July 2012  - hi, my name is Lesley, I am joining the trip on the group flight at LHR . I am travelling solo and really lookig forward to the trip. Does anyone else want to do the zip linning over the rain forrest?

Thu, 04/12/2012 - 20:05


Hi Lesley, Exodus say the trip is  well for booked  this date, although for me it will be a repeat of a trip at Xmax in 2007 following exactly the same plan. But that's how good it will be; one of the places that are so perfect it justifies another visit although in a different season. We will be at the beach site Tortuguero at one of the most likely times to see turtles laying and that is a great experience. I'm unsure whether or not to post photos since i would hate to spoil anyones anticipation of pleasures to come.

Thu, 04/12/2012 - 20:38

Hi there, nice to meet you.I am going on this trip.Meetin up with my 2 travel buddies in San Jose on the 12th.I am looking forward to the trip immensely.

I am not sure yet if I will do the ziplining...only because  have done this before ( in Gautemala).I would recommend it 'though as it is good fun. 

Sat, 04/14/2012 - 09:26

Hi guys, good to hear from you ! I am looking forward to meeting everyone, Is anyone taking the group flight from LHR? if so I will see you there.

I would love to see photos of your prevoius trip to Costa Rica. I have chosen to travel to Costa Rica in July to have a good chance of seeing the turtles on the beach laying their eggs.  I am also keeping my fingers crossed in the hope of spotting any of the big cats - jaguar, puma or anything smaller.

Elaine , Guatermala sounds like another destination I would like to visit some time - perhaps you can tell me about your experiences there when we meet up.


Sat, 04/14/2012 - 16:10
Sun, 04/15/2012 - 14:46

hi George, Fabulous photos ! you are obviously a keen photographer, I love the one of the little frog at aquarium and the lovely sunset. the volcano looks very active, it all looks brilliant - I can't wait to get there.  Thanks for sharing those.

Where else have you visited taking wonderful wildlife photos?  Have you travelled with Exodus before? This will be my first trip with them.


Sun, 04/15/2012 - 18:39

Hello all, I think I can finally start counting the weeks down - 13 weeks today we will be there. As ever I am really looking forward to the adventure ahead. I am travelling on my own too and this is my 6th Exodus trip so I guess I am a good advert. I will be on a connecting flight from Manchester the night before the group flight so I hope to meet up with everyone at Heathrow. I shall be watching out for Exodus labels on cabin luggage to find fellow travellers. I too am a keen if not skilful photographer - but I have some reasonable efforts to remind me of my travels. I'm really looking forward to the diversity this trip offers and looking forwards to meeting new friends. Hope you all feel the same. Kind regards Sue W

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 06:40

hi sue, I too am counting the weeks. I have a green Exdus kit bag, with the name boldly written on the side so I should be fairly easy to spot at the airport.  It will be great if some of us can meet up before the flight.


Mon, 04/16/2012 - 10:51

Hi Lesley etc Early retirement allowed me to travel a bit, see things and take images for memories so there lots of sets on my flickr site. Lots of Exodus etc.trips and never (well almost never) been disappointed. Most recent extended trip to Madagascar was brilliant (photos on Exodus etc sites) and even got a picture selected for monthly prize and then 2012 calendar. Look forward to meeting up at airport. We will easily be spotted too with Mountain Kingdom bags. There is a good book by Hannah Robinson 'Costa Rica; An Ecotravellers Guide' which I found more interesting than the usual guides 

Mon, 04/16/2012 - 21:00

hi george, how do I go onto the Exodus photos site? I am especially interested to see your pics of Madagascar as I am planning to go there next year, I hope to hear about your trip we  there,  when we are meet up.  Not looking so forward to the very early check in at Heathrow - it is about an hours drive from where I live so I am wondering whether or not to book into an hotel nr the airport. I will look out for that guide book you recommended, although I have bought the Lonley planet guide on Costa Rica.

Lucky you taking early retirement - wish I could, as much as I enjoy my work, there is just never enough time for everything. 


Mon, 04/16/2012 - 22:44


This is my Madagascar set which is accessed through 'your community, photos, sub saharan. There are several galleries there from other visitors. I also did a Blurb book which can be seen (the first 20 pages) on The book is titled Fables,Fires and Fady again under Nailsinhead.

Re hotel, it sometimes just as cheap to book a room and leave your car there as the cost of the car parking.I'm also an hour away, what time is check in? 

Tue, 04/17/2012 - 07:09

that settles it - I definately have to go to Madagascar next year. those Baobab trees look majical ! I love the pic you took ofthe leaping lemur - well done catching that. we can talk about Madagascar at a later  date - for now I am very excited about going to Costa Rica. As you have done this trip before - what foot wear do you recommend taking? I was thinking of wearing my hiking boots to travel in (as they are quite heavy to put inthe suitcase, and taking some sandals and fit flops for by the pool.  Maybe ask your wife her opinion.


Wed, 04/18/2012 - 07:38

Our flight is at 7.25 am so  check in will be 3 hrs before  at 4.25am , will need to leave my house 3.25am - that is pretty early, have to get up soon after 2am, not really worth going to bed !  - going to be somewhat tired that day. Unfortunately, I can never sleep on the plane, but that may be good for those who can.


Wed, 04/18/2012 - 09:18


Ouch! thats early. If the conditions are similar in July then I recall the tour co. provided Wellingtons at Totuguero and at the Esquinas Lodge, mostly because of mud/water but they help keep leeches off. I will take both lightweight boots and trainers to walk on the Arenal lava field and in the Santa Elena cloudforest. Binoculars are useful although everything, even hummingbirds, get quite close 

Wed, 04/18/2012 - 21:18

Hi all I am travelling with George (Nailsinhead) but, unlike him, this is my first trip to Costa Rica.  Really looking forward to it and also hope to get some good photos.  Lesley - lots of snakes out there so will aim to keep my feet covered! Looking forward to meeting you all.

Thu, 04/19/2012 - 09:03

hi Kathie, good to meet you. I am glad to have the oppotunity to learn a few names before we go, I am rubbish at remembering peoples names.

Yes, I have seen the photos of the snakes in Costa Rica -  there are some really colourful snakes there, I am hoping to get a few photos of them. My son has kept reptiles since he was about 10, so I am used to having them around, need to establish which are venomous though. I plan to wear trousers rather than skirts though, to avoind insect bites, ticks etc.

Having looked at past travallers photos - in images - I am so looking forward to the boat trips at tortugaro  - it really looks like you are in the dence jungle - one party were even lucky enough to see a jaguar swimming not far from their boat !

I am thinking I should get a book on the bird life in costa rica- so many different beautiful birds, it would be good to know what is what.

Anyone else out there on our trip - please get in touch , if only to help me learn everyones names.


Sun, 04/22/2012 - 16:12

12 weeks to go - I have already started buying bits and pieces for the trip. do we need anything warm to put on in the evening or when we are at a higher altitude?

Can anyone recommend which malaria tablets to take , the ones Boots are sugesting has the side effects of stomach upset - not too keen on that idea as we have long road trips and hikes.

Mon, 04/23/2012 - 14:21


Hi Lesley This site recommends chloroquin weekly and proguanil daily or just covering up in risk areas. I dont recall being especially concerned anywhere.

You are well ahead, I tend to leave everything until about 10 days before, sometimes getting tablets when I get there but thats quite risky if we have to make early departure from San Jose.

I will probably take a few thin/ medium micrcfleeze using layers. I do remember the Col du Muerte being cold but not by English standards. But if it rains and I suspect it will most afternoons then it was torrential and a decent waterproof/overtrousers should mean you can avoid hiding indoors for too long. 

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 20:15

hi george,

 thanks for that. Did you watch the wild life programme last night on Borneo ? Somewhere i would very much like to visit - but i did not like those leeches , i believe they have them in Costa Rica too, did you see them on your last visit?

By the way, what part of the south of England do you two live ? I am in Caterham, East Surrey.



Tue, 05/01/2012 - 18:52

Hi everyone - I have been following this thread so thought I should introduce myself. My husband - Des - & myself - Caroline - are booked on this trip - really looking forward to it - although nearly time to pay for it! This will be our 3rd trip with Exodus - last May we went to Jordan & Egypt - and had the trip of a lifetime - &  at Christmas we went to The Turquoise Coast in Turkey.

 Regarding the check-in time - I assumed it would be 2 hours before our flight - although still very early in the morning. We were originally not on group flight, but booked via Miami on later flight which would entail getting transit visa & also paying for transfers from/to airport in San Jose - then had a call from Exodus to say that they could now get us on group flights from LHR - so happier now as can meet group at same time & saving extra costs. Hope we can meet either at LHR or at Madrid airport - but from last experience this isn't easy.

We've looked at photos from flickr link above - amazing photos - also photos from group that saw jaguar. Hope we see as many incredible birds/wildlife/flowers etc.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 09:21

Good to hear from you; no doubt we will all be 'guessestimating' our fellow travellers at Heathrow. I thought the check in time was 3 hours although I'm sure, with all the fuss about delays there, 2 hours will suffice.

I was lucky enough to see the jaguarundi (jaguars smaller cousin) when I was out birdwatching alone one morning at Esquinas. It was sufficently big ( smoky blue and muscular) and intimidating for me to freeze and miss the photo. I would still like to think it was a jaguar but when I was able to compare the two at Belize zoo I think I have to settle for the little version.

Lesley, we both live either sides of Maidstone so face a journey time to Heathrow of only about an hour at that time in the morning.

Wed, 05/02/2012 - 19:19

hello, two more names for me to memories - good to know. Hopefully a few more people will make contact.  the reason i suggested 3 hrs check-in is because it is a long-hall flight to Costa Rica, although we sre only going as far as spain on the first flight, i think it still is regarded long-hall. I could be wrong, I'm sure they will let us know nearer the time.

I am really looking forward to hear about everyones other trips.

George, what time did you see the  jaguarundi ? Was it very early in the morning , I shall be up at the crack of dawn, out out hunting for one - or his bigger cousin.


Wed, 05/02/2012 - 19:39

Jaguarundi spotted about 1 km away from the lodge entrance on the track/road in walking directly at me. Well before breakfast but just after sunrise when birds were most active. When I recovered from the shock I stupidly walked quickly to the spot where it went into the jungle, again probably not my brightest moment

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 14:46

well, I'm sure I would have done the same, shame you didn't get a photo of it - be ready next time. I am quite envious - but we may be lucky on this trip !  Were you alone at the time ?

Sun, 05/06/2012 - 08:48

Final payment now sent ! it feels like the trip is getting closer, hooray ! got to save up spending money now. George, as you have done this trip before - can you tell me what sort of size bag do I need to bring for the day-bag that is suggested we bring? would it be a small back pack ?  what do we  need to carry other than camera, water and possiably a change of clothes if we get caught in a heavy shower. 

Sun, 05/06/2012 - 10:54

Hi Lesley; bag size is difficult and wholly dependant on your needs. I tend to be OTT and carry several camera bodies, 3/4 lens, binoculars and lots of extra gear. When I have added on full raingear, water and a top I need a bag of 40/50 litres capacity and even then end up carry one camera outside. More sensible people with one camera and binoculars (absolutely essential although the guide did have a telescope fpr group use) will get away (and be much more comfortable) with 20/ 30 litre bags. The walks were seldom much more than 2 hours, wide shoulder straps help.

One problem on out trip was that the majority of the groups non cabin luggage did not arrive until 3 days into the trip. But since we were leaving San Jose early on Sunday morning to get to the lodge we only had our travel clothes and rubbish t shirts which we could buy at the lodge to last for several days. So I intend to carry some extra bits in cabin and not leave binoculars in main luggage.

I use every available opportunity of free time to explore around, mostly alone. The problem with any group walk is that people inevitably at the rear miss the guides comments and by the time you get to that point the 'thing' has gone. Noise can be an issue too with wildlife scattering as the group approach. Hopefully as with all previous parties the group will be willing to rotate the prime positions at the front to ensure some fairness. It would be sensible to seek the guides advise if you want to explore jungle alone in view of the poisionous snakes etc, I will not be picking uo large rocks or diving into thick undergrowth.

Of course evry trip differs so please dont hold me to any advise offered. 

Sun, 05/06/2012 - 14:13

hi George, thanks, I will heed your advice  - and realise that things may be a little different to when you went before. I have been on safari in South Africa and Namibia and do realise that we must respect the wildlife - and be careful, but  I wish to see as much as possiable whilst in Costa Rica.. I will also take a spare set of clothes in my hand luggage

I invariably wake very early in the mornings - so that may be my best time to view animals. At all the lodges in southern Africa there are water holes to attract the animals and are ideal viewing positions. I guess that isn't the case in Costa Rica, as the rainfall there is not in short supply. But do they have any hides?

Sat, 05/12/2012 - 00:47

Hi Lesley George is away at the moment hence my reply.  Not sure there are any hides in Costa Rica from what George has told me.  Unlike you, who wants to know so much before you go, I love the unknown.  I like going with no pre-conceived ideas - just letting it all hit me, good and bad, when I get there!  Might mean I am not fully prepared for all eventualities but that is part of the fun!  Kathie 

Sun, 05/13/2012 - 20:01

hi kathie, yes, I know what you are saying and agree the unknown and unexpected is exciting - but I am so o o o o o  looking forward to this trip, I can't wait ! and I am sure we will get enough unexpected suprises anyway. You can't always predict nature - animals, volcanoes etc.And  I am very much looking forward to meeting everyone.  Lesley

Sun, 05/20/2012 - 16:09

hello to everyone going on our trip in 8 weeks time - I wondered if any of you dance the Argentine tango ? if so I'll bring some music and we can dance in the rain forest !

Fri, 05/25/2012 - 20:42

hi , does anyone know if and where we are able to use mobil phones in Costa Rica, to send texts ? I am with Orange - which was fine in Argentina and Brazil - so I,m hoping , at some of our destinations to be able to comunicate to back home. 


Thu, 07/12/2012 - 18:08

Busy sorting the packing now !    Almost ready to go, hoorray - see you at the airport - LHR, Madrid or San Jose.  Hope everyone has a good journey and I lookforward to meeting you all.


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