Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera) Rainforest Tour Excursion Reviews

Step into enchantment as you tour the awe-inspiring rainforest in Puntarenas. This lively town is overflowing with lush natural beauty and biodiversity that you will be glad you tapped into.
Love what Costa Rica has done for ecotourism and wish other countries in the world could follow ...
Sail Date: January 2019
Love what Costa Rica has done for ecotourism and wish other countries in the world could follow suit. The "Level 3" Rainforest skywalk was very easy - not sure why it was rated Level 3. If you are afraid of heights, it would be ... Read More
Love what Costa Rica has done for ecotourism and wish other countries in the world could follow suit. The "Level 3" Rainforest skywalk was very easy - not sure why it was rated Level 3. If you are afraid of heights, it would be difficult. It was the dry season and very nice, lovely. We saw many birds (toucans, hummingbirds, even flying scarlet macaws) in the rainforest and later, two separate pairs near the crocodile Tarcoles eco tour. Crocodiles there, too, of course. And many birds. Very nice, but too short. Also too long of a wait for a "snack" as this is a full-day tour. Bring something to eat. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Hour and a half bus ride to the "cloud forest" We walked on suspension bridges above and through ...
Sail Date: April 2018
Hour and a half bus ride to the "cloud forest" We walked on suspension bridges above and through the canopy. Beautiful plants but few flowers or wildlife. Ok lunch and a little shopping before hour and a half bus ride back to
Hour and a half bus ride to the "cloud forest" We walked on suspension bridges above and through the canopy. Beautiful plants but few flowers or wildlife. Ok lunch and a little shopping before hour and a half bus ride back to the ship. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Celebrity Cruises
The tour was well organized and done, good guide except on the tram ride.
Sail Date: March 2018
The tour was well organized and done, good guide except on the tram ride. wonderful to ride over the tree tops, but not so much to see there. A butterfly house and little zoo ok, but hard to walk in that area. Food mediocre, but fine.
The tour was well organized and done, good guide except on the tram ride. wonderful to ride over the tree tops, but not so much to see there. A butterfly house and little zoo ok, but hard to walk in that area. Food mediocre, but fine. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Princess Cruises
Spent 5 hours in a bus to see nothing!
Sail Date: February 2018
Spent 5 hours in a bus to see nothing! There was none of the rain forest wildlife we were promised.
Spent 5 hours in a bus to see nothing! There was none of the rain forest wildlife we were promised. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Princess Cruises
The rain forest part was OK but other than the suspension bridges and some views was not that great ...
Sail Date: February 2018
The rain forest part was OK but other than the suspension bridges and some views was not that great as there was not much to see in the forest - not animals or birds. The hike was difficult for a few and a man fell and had to be carried ... Read More
The rain forest part was OK but other than the suspension bridges and some views was not that great as there was not much to see in the forest - not animals or birds. The hike was difficult for a few and a man fell and had to be carried out by a friend. We were warned it was a level 3 but it seems few read the warnings! The man that fell had recent knee surgery and should not have selected this excursion! Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
We did Walk In The Clouds.
Sail Date: October 2017
We did Walk In The Clouds. It included a bus tour of city areas, then delicious lunch and hike on suspension bridges in cloud forest.
We did Walk In The Clouds. It included a bus tour of city areas, then delicious lunch and hike on suspension bridges in cloud forest. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Tour guide spoke only basic English and gave NO narration on the hour bus ride each way.
Sail Date: February 2017
Tour guide spoke only basic English and gave NO narration on the hour bus ride each way. He also greatly shortened the route due to a very obese man who could not keep up and should have NEVER been allowed to take the tour. The crocodile ... Read More
Tour guide spoke only basic English and gave NO narration on the hour bus ride each way. He also greatly shortened the route due to a very obese man who could not keep up and should have NEVER been allowed to take the tour. The crocodile boat guide and boat portion of the tour was good but, again, our group specific guide was silent. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
It was okay.
Sail Date: February 2017
It was okay. The food was just okay. We did enjoy the tour guide.
It was okay. The food was just okay. We did enjoy the tour guide. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Disappointing!
Sail Date: January 2017
Disappointing! Went to Turubari Eco Park with aerial tram ride. The tram ride lasted only a few minutes each way. Hardly anyone else appeared to be visiting the place. Saw various animals in pens, butterfly area, orchids growing and the ... Read More
Disappointing! Went to Turubari Eco Park with aerial tram ride. The tram ride lasted only a few minutes each way. Hardly anyone else appeared to be visiting the place. Saw various animals in pens, butterfly area, orchids growing and the sugar mill. Certainly not worth the price we paid!!! Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Didn't see much wild life at all, was way to expensive of an excursion for the experience.
Sail Date: December 2016
Didn't see much wild life at all, was way to expensive of an excursion for the experience.
Didn't see much wild life at all, was way to expensive of an excursion for the experience. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Princess Cruises
A visit to the Monteverde cloud forest was one of the reasons we booked this cruise.
Sail Date: December 2016
A visit to the Monteverde cloud forest was one of the reasons we booked this cruise. We chose Thumbs Up Tours and arranged a private group with eight of our CC roll call members. We were met just outside the port gates and had plenty of ... Read More
A visit to the Monteverde cloud forest was one of the reasons we booked this cruise. We chose Thumbs Up Tours and arranged a private group with eight of our CC roll call members. We were met just outside the port gates and had plenty of room inside a nice Mercedes van. Our guide Ronald obviously had a biology background and we had a photographer Albert who sent us pictures after the cruise. Weather was 20 degrees F lower than at the port and very refreshing. The flora, birds and monkeys along the roads, trails and swinging bridges at the Selvatura Nature Park were awesome. We stopped at the hummingbird garden afterwards, highlight of the cruise for my wife. Well worth the 80 minute ride. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
This tour should have received a rating of "very good", close "excellent", but it didn't.
Sail Date: December 2016
This tour should have received a rating of "very good", close "excellent", but it didn't. Our guide was wonderful and truly passionate about the birds, animals, and ecosystem of Coast Rica. He could (and did) name ... Read More
This tour should have received a rating of "very good", close "excellent", but it didn't. Our guide was wonderful and truly passionate about the birds, animals, and ecosystem of Coast Rica. He could (and did) name every bird, tree, flower, monkey, etc, that we saw. It was pretty cool. We started off visiting an area with white-faced capuchin monkeys, then to Tarcoles to see wild Macaws and take a river cruise to view crocodiles and migratory birds. OMG, the crocs were amazing!! Afterwards, a traditional Costa Rican lunch was provided at a local hotel. A few more photo stops and our day was nearly complete. So everything sounds perfect, except.... Early in the day we stopped at a little roadside stand to ostensibly get cold drinks/smoothies, use the restroom, whatever. Until I realized that they were charging us about double what they were charging everyone else because we were from a cruise ship. I don't like being taken advantage of and that ticked me off. Strike #1. Fast forward to the end of the day when our final stop was at a gigantic souvenir store. Admittedly I'm not a big shopper, especially for the kitschy type of crap they offer at ports and these types of stores. But as soon as we exited the van someone is slapping stickers on each of us so they can track how much we spend and which tour group we are with. I'm thinking kickbacks? Strike #2. Finally, I did actually see one thing that I planned to buy earlier in the day but our guide persuaded me not to buy it but to wait until we went to the "big store" at the end of the day. Not only did the big store not have anything even close to the item I had been looking at, but it made me start wondering why I was being pushed to shop at this store instead? Strike #3. Interestingly enough, while at our shopping stop, the owner of Thumbs Up Tours asked me about the tour and what if anything could be done to make it better. After telling him my thoughts, he immediately said "we don't get any money from these sales". Funny, I hadn't even mentioned that suspicion. Guilty conscience? Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Princess Cruises
The tour, itself, was excellent and an unique experience with the aerial tram over the rain forest.
Sail Date: December 2016
The tour, itself, was excellent and an unique experience with the aerial tram over the rain forest. The worse part was the long cramped bus ride to get there. Luncheon was mediocre.
The tour, itself, was excellent and an unique experience with the aerial tram over the rain forest. The worse part was the long cramped bus ride to get there. Luncheon was mediocre. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Princess Cruises
Ricky picked us up at the end of the dock on time.
Sail Date: October 2016
Ricky picked us up at the end of the dock on time. There were 10 of us on the tour. He showed us wild monkeys & macaws, crocodile river cruise, medicinal plant sampling, leaf cutter ants, sample exotic fresh fruits, wood-crafter & ... Read More
Ricky picked us up at the end of the dock on time. There were 10 of us on the tour. He showed us wild monkeys & macaws, crocodile river cruise, medicinal plant sampling, leaf cutter ants, sample exotic fresh fruits, wood-crafter & shop, a look-out view of the harbor & ship, a grocery store for great coffee prices, lunch at a restaurant by the beach, a short city tour, and an ice chest full of drinks (beer, juice, bottled water). Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Princess Cruises
Very pleasant day, varied and entertaining, certainly experienced rain in the rain forest!!
Sail Date: April 2016
Very pleasant day, varied and entertaining, certainly experienced rain in the rain forest!! -- loved the gondola ride, had a very knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide, a good lunch, and a beautiful bus.
Very pleasant day, varied and entertaining, certainly experienced rain in the rain forest!! -- loved the gondola ride, had a very knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide, a good lunch, and a beautiful bus. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Princess Cruises
Beautiful scenery.
Sail Date: September 2015
Beautiful scenery.
Beautiful scenery. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Celebrity Cruises
We had a guide who was involved in his own business, trying to sell his car and real estate.
Sail Date: April 2015
We had a guide who was involved in his own business, trying to sell his car and real estate. From what we saw I think the tour was better for folks who had a different tour guide.
We had a guide who was involved in his own business, trying to sell his car and real estate. From what we saw I think the tour was better for folks who had a different tour guide. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Princess Cruises
Excellent tour with lunch and the gondola ride showed us monkeys and other wildlife with an ...
Sail Date: April 2015
Excellent tour with lunch and the gondola ride showed us monkeys and other wildlife with an explanation of what we saw. Good forest tour. Good value
Excellent tour with lunch and the gondola ride showed us monkeys and other wildlife with an explanation of what we saw. Good forest tour. Good value Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Holland America Line
Exciting and fun.
Sail Date: December 2014
Exciting and fun. Lots to see
Exciting and fun. Lots to see Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Holland America Line
The "port" at Puntarenas is a simple jetty jutting out to the sea.
Sail Date: March 2014
The "port" at Puntarenas is a simple jetty jutting out to the sea. It is just wide enough to allow a bus in each direction and limited foot traffic. The distance along the jetty from the front of the ship is probably 150-200 ... Read More
The "port" at Puntarenas is a simple jetty jutting out to the sea. It is just wide enough to allow a bus in each direction and limited foot traffic. The distance along the jetty from the front of the ship is probably 150-200 yards. The day we were there, two cruise ships docked either side of the jetty at about the same time. Disembarkation was delayed for both ships while they got both ships tied up and all the equipment in place. Buses for the excursions backed up along the jetty. The Infinity handles most of their excursions out of the Theater, and the system is generally smooth and effective. Since all the earlier excursions were delayed, there was a mass of people waiting, and for some unaccountable reason Housekeeping chose that time to close the restrooms for cleaning. We took the Rainforest Skywalk, Pura Vida Gardens, and Lunch tour. After about an hour's drive, we arrived at the Santa Lucia Hotel for a short bathroom break, and then were driven a few minutes up the road to the beginning of the trail. It took about 1 1/4 hours to complete the walk. It was mainly downhill, fairly strenuous (most of the group were seniors). There are three suspension bridges that you cross, that are probably 50 -100 yards long each. They are quite bouncy and swing a little as everyone goes over them. Nobody in our group had any problems and crossing them was fun. The guides will tell you that there is a 50/50 chance of seeing animals. As the day went on, it became more clear that there is little chance of seeing animals at that time of day, especially in the dry season, The noise of the road and people scare them, also by the time the tours get there it has become too hot. Apparently in the wet season, the noise from the water helps to mask the other noises. However, we had been forewarned by friends so were not overly disappointed. Our guide was excellent at talking about the trees, plants, and vegetation. After the walk, we returned to the hotel where we served with fresh fruit and a drink. Very refreshing and welcome! We then drove to the Pura Vida Restaurant and botanical gardens for a very nice lunch. We spent some time looking around the gardens before being driven back to the ship. The gardens were pleasant, and the view of the bay below was great (although somewhat misty on our visit). Do not expect an organized botanical garden, but rather a small country estate.This tour gave us a good introduction to Costa Rica. We saw some of the countryside, and our guides were very good at explaining about life in their country. The tour was a pleasant day out. It was not the sort of tour that you come back saying that was amazing, but if you don't set your expectations too high and want something that is not overly strenuous, it can be an interesting one to take. Don't expect excitement. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Celebrity Cruises
A short walk thru the botanical garden followed by lunch & a gondola ride thru the rainforest.
Sail Date: January 2014
A short walk thru the botanical garden followed by lunch & a gondola ride thru the rainforest. We were deeply disappointed in the experience. We expected to see animals but saw virtually none. If you're into botny, it's fine. ... Read More
A short walk thru the botanical garden followed by lunch & a gondola ride thru the rainforest. We were deeply disappointed in the experience. We expected to see animals but saw virtually none. If you're into botny, it's fine. If you're into zoology, not so much. By all reports, the Cloud Forest was much better. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Princess Cruises
Another private, independent trip!
Sail Date: December 2013
Another private, independent trip! this time with Berny Sanchez, a Costa Rican native who had amazing knowledge of the area and what we could find. We first went to Carara National Park where we spent 5 glorious hours on a leisurely stroll ... Read More
Another private, independent trip! this time with Berny Sanchez, a Costa Rican native who had amazing knowledge of the area and what we could find. We first went to Carara National Park where we spent 5 glorious hours on a leisurely stroll on the Meandrica Lagoon Trail. An excellent time, saw so much and Berny was awesome!!! After Carara, we ventured to Playa Hermosa (South of Jaco Beach) where we encountered more beauty and spectacular birding. Berny then treated us to a Late Lunch where we saw many buses from the Cruise Ships. We returned to port in plenty of time to catch our ship. This was undoubtedly one of the best experiences (tours) I have ever had in my life. Berny was absolutely fantastic. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider:
We wanted to see a rain-forest and boy did we get one.
Sail Date: January 2013
We wanted to see a rain-forest and boy did we get one. My daughter and I couldn't believe how massive the forest was. The gondola ride was well worth the money. We saw toucans, crocodiles and iguanas. The bus driver guide and the ... Read More
We wanted to see a rain-forest and boy did we get one. My daughter and I couldn't believe how massive the forest was. The gondola ride was well worth the money. We saw toucans, crocodiles and iguanas. The bus driver guide and the rain-forest gondola guide were both extremely knowledgeable and had great personalities. We were served lunch and it was really good. There was also a gift shop that had lots of fun items and chocolate covered coffee beans and fruit jellies. Yummy!!! Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Princess Cruises
Guide Minor greeted us.
Sail Date: October 2012
Guide Minor greeted us. Van was new, clean, Toyota diesel. Seated about 18; 2 seats on driver's side, aisle, 1 seat on passenger side. About 1 1/2 hr drive to Rain Forest. Good 2 lane roadways. Drive wasn't always best parts ... Read More
Guide Minor greeted us. Van was new, clean, Toyota diesel. Seated about 18; 2 seats on driver's side, aisle, 1 seat on passenger side. About 1 1/2 hr drive to Rain Forest. Good 2 lane roadways. Drive wasn't always best parts of town. Homeless looking people, skinny mangy cur dogs in poor shape. Odd contrast of abandoned block buildings/homes, construction. Hike was downhill, across multiple suspension bridges. Really nice. Wasn't afraid of heights in least. Hiking was moderate, some steep or slippery, loose rolling rocks, or easy stone steps. Minor was great guide, explained all the fauna. Flowers and critters look lovely, but so many bugs and poisonous things that it made you keep hands to yourself. Bus was waiting at bottom of hike. Drove us to Pura Vida Gardens for buffet lunch. Private reserve run by US couple. Have terrace w picnic tables and chairs. Several groups converge for the lunch. Buffet set up in trays includes pasta salad, plantain, steamed local veggies, rice, boneless chicken in sauce, fish (tilapia?) in sauce. Beverages of local coffee, mango juice, raspberry/papaya juice, or water. I dished up very conservative. Food was so good wish I'd dished more. Wandered grounds for photos, including pet toucan in tree, till guide gathered us for a walk, 1st downhill around a creek, then uphill to lookout of waterfall. Drove back to 1st bathroom stop but walked beyond the entrance, thru cantina to garden terrace area with small river, foot bridge, to courtyard surrounded by buildings including working church, another cantina serving ice tea and fresh fruit. Lots of leaf cutter ants carrying not only green pieces, but colorful pink flower petals. At the bridge, a large Jesus Christ lizard was on a rock. Driver Eric climbed down on rocks to shoo him into river. Guess he didn't want to walk on water; he ran over rocks into crevice w lightening speed. On the drive home, driver pulled over for some howler monkeys in the trees along hiway. Guide got out and whooped to them and they whooped back. That was frightening. Best tour ever! Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Princess Cruises
Excellent guide on this excursion into the rain forest via an aerial tram.
Sail Date: October 2012
Excellent guide on this excursion into the rain forest via an aerial tram. Delicious lunch at the nature center after a short walk through the preserve. The boat ride down the river was exceptionally educational- many birds, crocodiles and ... Read More
Excellent guide on this excursion into the rain forest via an aerial tram. Delicious lunch at the nature center after a short walk through the preserve. The boat ride down the river was exceptionally educational- many birds, crocodiles and monkeys. Read Less
Shore Excursion Provider: Princess Cruises