Venado Caves
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6 within 10 kms
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

5.0
418 reviews
Excellent
348
Very good
50
Average
15
Poor
1
Terrible
4

Lucia Prieto
4 contributions
Nov 2022 • Family
I'm so glad we were able to do this. We went as a group of 5 with a 4-year-old and I was worried my son wouldn't want to go in the caves or get wet but he probably enjoyed it the most out of all of us and we all enjoyed it very much! We even paid extra for the pictures but it was nice not to have to worry about our phones or cameras getting wet or damaged so I think it was totally worth it. The majority of the caves are large open spaces with a few parts that are thinner gaps. All of those parts are optional as they require a smaller size or more dexterity but the majority of people seem to be able to do it with no problem. You do get wet as you are essentially walking through a river. I recommend wearing water shoes and of course bring a complete change of clothes for after. There are bats, spiders, crickets and other bugs, and even catfish though we didn't see any. You are provided headlamps so you don't need to bring flashlights. Everything felt safe, our guide Wilmer was very knowledgeable about the caves and what are safe conditions in terms of rain and water levels. You are never too far from the entrance to the cave although you do walk quite a bit (1 km I think).
Written 16 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Amy R
3 contributions
Aug 2022 • Couples
Amazing experience. We did the full adventure tour where we climbed through really small places - I don’t think you have to do that. We saw bats, spiders and a waterfall. It was really fun and compared to other activities, good value for what you get. I highly recommend going.
Written 19 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

nateemma
Philadelphia35 contributions
Aug 2022
This was a good tour but it was problematic in the number of people on the tour (12). This could have been our fault as we did not make a reservation beforehand. You should check to see how many people are in your tour group. The issue was getting stuck crouching or kneeling in very tight and wet spaces while waiting for everyone to take pictures. There is bat guano down there and I wish I had worn a mask the whole time because of breathing in the particles. I came home very sick and it was not covid.

That said, our guide went above and beyond to manage the crowd. I don't think he thought we'd be down there that long. It is quite amazing to be in this cave. It is rigorous and you do need to be in decent shape to manage the rocky water, climb the ledges and crawl though very tight spaces.

One request - could we get all the pictures we paid for? We are missing many of the family photos that were taken.
Written 12 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Chris I
Etobicoke, Canada23 contributions
Dec 2021
Cost vs Experience, one of the best tours we’ve ever been on.

Absolutely breathtaking. The caves, stalactites and stalagmites are just stunning. Seeing the bats and scorpion spiders (misnomer: it’s actually an insect, not a spider) was really fascinating and so so cool! Months later, we still talk about this life experience often, and tell the story to our friends.

If you are interested, but a bit nervous or claustrophobic, you do have the option of staying in some larger caves and passages. The entrance cave and first couple big rooms are like almost the size of a small movie theatre / extremely large mansion living room. So you *do not* have to do any tight squeezes if you don’t want to. We would strongly recommend coming, even if you are only comfy in the larger rooms. It’s still so fascinating to see. Book a private tour, and explain you don’t know if you want to do the squeezes, and want a private guide that will work with you. It would be a short tour, but for the cost, we would totally recommend seeing these amazing caves. Contact them early if possible to arrange, but if not possible, just show up with a small group and pay for a private guide yourself, it will be reasonable!! Don't skip it just because you're nervous!! Trust us!! : )

BUT, you should *totally* do the squeezes!! It’s the best part!! All of the full tour is designed for beginners, *not* for serious cavers. So the squeezes are very short in length, and then you pop out and are able to stand up again. Imagine putting a small cardboard box on the floor in your living room. Crouch down, crawl through, stand up again in another room. It’s a tiny room, like a closet, but you can stand, and feel not “trapped in”. You *will* end up with people both in front and behind you. If this causes some anxiety, just talk to the guide before hand, explain you need a bit of room, and for the next person NOT to enter the squeeze until you’re out to the next room.

It was a very deeply impactful experience, both from an excitement / interest perspective, but also emotionally / spiritually. We’re extremely grateful and humbled to have been able to travel these passages, and see these wonderful things.

Our guide was super cool, professional, but also friendly and chill, with a great sense of humour. He made the trip a blast, and kept us relaxed, and zero pressure all the way through. He was very supportive when one on our group had a bit of an anxiety situation, and he quickly was able to get them back relaxed, laughing, and they enjoyed the rest of the tour immensely.

Important: Strongly recommend you book directly with the owners, and drive here yourself. They provide their own, trained, on-site, amazing guides. Additional high fees for outside guides ***are not required***. Only use one if you need their help with transportation to / from, and then, it should only be a cab fare, not a jacked up rate for a “special guided tour” !!!

Tip well!! They deserve it, after that long tour!! : )
Written 30 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Zoe Wessels
Council, ID8 contributions
Mar 2022 • Couples
Venado caves is an ABSOLUTE must-see! 10/10 would recommend. We explored many different routes and crevices among the caves. We saw bats, cave spiders, crickets, catfish, and more! The geological formations are truly breath taking. The only downside was that our tour guide didn’t speak English and couldn’t explain the history, geological formations, or the wildlife within the caves. Luckily, we had a gal in our group that could translate. Otherwise, this tour is a must-see if you are in Costa Rica. Pure magic and awe during canyoneering the Venado caves!
Written 13 March 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

John
4 contributions
Mar 2022 • Family
This was one of the absolute best things we did in the Arenal area and is well worth the drive out from La Fortuna. The caves are beautiful, with stunning formations several million years old. There are plenty of bats and spiders to check out, some great small crevices to shimmy through and a small bit of easy climbing. Our guide was terrific and took wonderful photos. Our two seven year olds both absolutely loved it and wanted to turn right around and go back in. Keep in mind there are no lights or hand rails or anything else. It’s just you, your guide, and some headlamps. There is a good bit of water and you will absolutely get wet and dirty. So if that isn’t for you skip this one. Otherwise definitely give it a go. We also had lunch on site afterwards. It was an absolutely delicious home made meal and a great way to end our visit.
Written 12 March 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Didi
29 contributions
Mar 2022
This was an incredible experience! Mauricio was informative and we were able to enjoy so much more of the caves than planned. We ended up doing a longer version of the tour and despite it being challenging in some areas, it was an experience I won't forget. If you go informed about what to expect in caves, you will not be disappointed. Before the tour began Maurico kept asking if there were any issues with claustrophobia or dark places and sought re-assurance before we began. This was true spelunking. This was a highlight of the trip to Costa Rice for me and I will return.
Written 7 March 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Pamela L
Highlands Ranch, CO59 contributions
Feb 2022
When looking for a fun adventure in Costa Rica, this is a must-do. The cave is beautiful and very cool to spelunk though. The tight passages were surprisingly not claustrophic, as they were fairly short and our guide, Mauricio, would guide us through in very understandable English. In fact, he would often offer a wider passage if we were not comfortable with the more narrow. Beautiful formations. We were able to take our time and enjoy the cave and it's beauty. Wear water shoes, but though one gets wet, it is not muddy.
My husband is scared to death of spiders, but he was having so much fun that Mauricio convinced him to hold a very sweet cave spider. The cost was extremely reasonable and for only $10/person,, Mauricio snapped over 80 professional pictures for us.
This tour would be great for our grandchildren (ages 7 - 12) up to us (ages 61 and 63). Thank you, Mauricio. We will be back next year to do it again. Pura Vida!
Written 15 February 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

_Wheres_Baldo
Copenhagen, Denmark108 contributions
Feb 2022
If you try to book this cave, either do it through a tour guide or contact them through WhatsApp. (Number is on their website). I tried to use their Contact Us function on the site and it didn't work. There are two email addresses listed on the site; I emailed them both with no response. I sent a WhatsApp message and had the tour booked in 30 minutes.

We met Alfonso today at the caves and I dressed as i had for previous cave explorations. His words to me were.."You're gonna get wet." So all electronics went back into the car, along with our backpack. But once we were in the cave, it was amazing. And Alfonso was right... we got wet. We walked through the river, crawled though the river at a few points, climbed over rocks.. it was awesome. It's an amazing experience to see the way the water has carved the caverns over time as well as the different wildlife that lives in the caves. At no point did I ever feel unsafe or overwhelmed. It was a great experience from start to finish.
Written 15 February 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

kostas m
Agia Paraskevi, Greece13 contributions
Jan 2022 • Couples
I will start by saying that only 3/9 people finished the whole tour. And yes we’ve been in caves before. It could be beautiful, but if you don’t like dark, narrow places, don’t do it. We were walking in the water the whole time, we had to climb a slippery rock, watch our heads and try not to fall down , all at the same time. We saw some bats but nothing impressive there, except for a little waterfall.
It was much harder than we thought.
Written 1 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Venado Caves (Arenal Volcano National Park) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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