Apr. 21, 2008 “Every single reservation you made for a driver, hotel, or tour was perfect.”
Hello Luis and the rest of you at Costa Rica Expiditons: I wanted to thank you all for all the hard work you put into making us the perfect vacation. We returned home Wednesday the 16th and still cannot believe that only a few days ago we were rafting down the Pacure River. We had been referred to Costa Rica Expeditions from a friend who traveled with you about a year ago. It was a leap of faith putting all of our travel plans into the hands of someone else, but you far exceeded our expectations and we would recommend you to anyone we know traveling to Costa Rica.
From the moment we landed we were greeted by one of your representatives who directed us through the airport to where the driver met us holding a sign with our names. That was such a reassuring moment for us that everything was going to be alright and we could just relax and enjoy our vacation. The drivers throughout the trip were so nice and accommodating and we never once got lost or had any car trouble which was very surprising considering the conditions of the dirt roads and the lack of any road signs.
We were so impressed that throughout our 10-day trip traveling through many cities and hotels, every single reservation you made for a driver, hotel, or tour group was perfect. We never once had a problem with any reservation and everyone was always on time to pick us up. The voucher book made payment so easy. We never worried if we were being overcharged or worried about traveling with lots of money on us. Having the vouchers allowed us to just enjoy the experience and not worry about the cost.
The itinerary Luis put together was absolutely perfect for us. We really liked having full days at the beginning. A tour in the morning and then one in the afternoon made us feel like we got to see a lot more and did not waste any time. After hearing from other tourists about some of the very long car rides they took between Monteverde and Arenal, and from Arenal to Manuel Antonio, we were very happy Luis had instead reserved the boat ferry across Arenal Lake and the private flight to Manuel Antonio - which for me was one the highlights of the trip.
There was not one tour or activity that we did that I would not suggest to someone else - everything was great. What I would suggest, is you push the overnight trip on the Pacure River. The rafting part was lots of fun and the guides were great, but the best part was the family lodge where we stayed overnight. What a surprise! After rafting hours down the river, stopping to swim in waterfalls, we pulled our boat ashore at what turned out to be a heavenly paradise in the middle of the forest. The rooms were so beautiful, the family was so nice, it was our favorite part of our trip and a perfect way to end a wonderful trip.
Adam & Jessica Blatt
Apr. 6, 2008 “This was the first time we used a vacation planner, and it was a wonderful experience.”
Lily Ulate and all at CRE: Thanks for a wonderful vacation. As I told Lily when we spoke during the visit, all of your arrangements were first-rate, well organized, timely and fun. We are especially appreciative of the well-informed guides, and courteous and helpful drivers. I filled out the questionnaires for CRE, Tortuga Lodge and Monteverde Lodge, and noted our appreciation there as well.
Lily, your choices were all wonderful. This was the first time we used a vacation planner, and it was a wonderful experience. We are recommending you and CRE to all of our friends. I look forward to our next visit to Costa Rica and will certainly contact you.
Jeff & Jan
Apr. 6, 2008 “Our accommodations were wonderful at each location.”
Jose Huertas: We just got back home last night from our week-long trip to your beautiful country. We had a wonderful time, all due to the expert guidance we received from Costa Rica Expeditions. From beginning to end, every step of our trip was thoroughly taken care of. Our transfers were always punctual, and our guides were all very knowledgeable and friendly. Our accommodations were wonderful at each location, but we especially enjoyed the luxurious El Parador and its "million dollar" view. We really felt like we went out with a bang! With all of this said, however, the best money we spent the whole week was the money we spent to fly from Quepos to SJO. The flight was only 20 minutes from runway to runway, saved us a 5 hour drive, and also was a great way to see a big overview of Costa Rica. Thank you Jose for suggesting that!
Our teenage son is a big birder, and he came home with 120 new birds for his life list. We can begin to thank you enough for your help in planning such a great trip. Also, please pass this along to our wonderful guides, Alberto, Miguel and Roy. They were awesome!
Apr. 4, 2008 “You are nothing less than a first class operation.”
My wife and I just returned from Costa Rica yesterday...You are nothing less than a first class operation. Every one of your staff was courteous, knowledgeable and squeaky clean. One of our guides, Federico Alban, stood out as a star. We had him one day in San Jose, visiting a coffee plantation and La Paz Waterfalls. We were delighted when we met up with him again for three days on our Arenal Volcano tour. His driver, Melvin, was excellent, too. Rest assured that we will use Costa Rica Expeditions again. Because of our delightful experience, we are considering a repeat trip next year.
Jim & Eileen Thompson
Mar. 25, 2008 Ultimate Costa Rica Adventure: “My expectations were exceeded in every possible way.”
Dear Michael: As a Human Resource Manager I know how often we hear negative things as opposed to positive ones so I felt compelled to write about the trip I just returned from with your company. I found out about CRE through an article last fall in the National Geographic Adventure Magazine in which is mentioned this trip (Ultimate Costa Rica Adventure) as one of the 10 best for 2007. I had never really thought much about visiting Costa Rica until then and was very intrigued by the agenda of the trip. I was not disappointed in the least; in fact my expectations were exceeded in every possible way. The accommodations were at some of the most scenic and least crowded places I have ever visited, the food fresh and delicious and all of our activities had every little detail taken care of. From being furnished with biking gloves for our rides to the wonderful lunch prepared by our river guides, it was truly amazing. I was particularly impressed with the eco consciousness of the company, from the oxi-degradable water bottles we received to all the places we visited, it is really inspiring and refreshing to see, especially when we are struggling here in the US just to get people to care in the smallest ways.
However, as we both know I am sure, all the best preparations can be quickly discounted if the guides are poor and that is the purpose of my letter. I have traveled on many organized trips round the world and have never come across better guides than I had on this trip. Roger Gomez was a fantastic driver who always made us feel safe, was always there for us on time, and always had a smile to share. Ricardo Jimenez was a pleasure to be around, always willing to help out and answer any questions we may have but by far the most important part of our trip was Alvaro Farias ("Natu"). Words cannot come close to fully expressing how much he meant to our whole group. His enthusiasm and love for nature, life and his country was truly contagious. I learned so much about Costa Rica in that one week from him that I ever could have from any book. He took such good care of us and anticipated our needs even before we knew of them. He was not only concerned for our safety but in making sure we had the most memorable trip of our lives, which I most certainly did. Coordination of all logistics and any little glitches in the plans, he handled with ease. His sense of humor, wonderful English skills, genuine love of people and nature has left me with something special, and a reminder of how amazing it is to feel so connected with people you just met in such a short time. He has a way of making people feel special with genuine sincerity, which is a rare gift in today’s world, and he touched all of us deeply. You are very lucky to have him as an employee; he is a huge asset to your company. We are already planning another trip for next year and will be requesting him since I cannot even imagine any other way of visiting Costa Rica than with him as our guide.
Carol Murin, IL
Mar. 24, 2008 “I will surely be visiting again next year!”
Hello Luis: I just wanted to thank you for all your help in setting up my trip, it was a wonderful, fantastic time and I will surely be visiting again next year! I would like to send a letter to Michael Kaye, what would be the best address to mail it to so that it will reach him? I also need to send a letter to Natu, and it will have a check enclosed as I was unable to properly tip him at the end of our trip. I want to make sure that he gets it. He gave us his address…Thank you so much for your help and I look forward to working with you again very soon!
Mar. 24, 2008 “Everything went off without a glitch!”
Just wanted to let you know that we had a great trip - and everything went off without a glitch!! All your drivers were great - on time, good English, great with kids, great tour guides! Will definitely recommend CRE to anyone - thanks for all your help!!
Mar. 24, 2008 “I can't think of one thing that went wrong the entire time.”
Dear Michael and Natalie: We just returned from a week-long trip (Monteverde, Arenal and Nosara) organized by Costa Rica Expeditions (Jose Huertas / Lily Ulate). My daughter and I had an excellent time. The hotels were excellent. The drivers to each place were on time, friendly and very helpful. The tours you arranged were excellent. I can't think of one thing that went wrong the entire time. When we go back to Costa Rica, I will definitely ask that you arrange the trip. It's a beautiful place. Costa Ricans are (and should be) very proud of their country.
Ricky & Lexi Takai
Mar. 20, 2008 “Thank You for helping me plan the most unbelievable trip!”
Hi Jeff: I just want to let you know that we had the most AMAZING trip! Your company is just absolutely fantastic – people are amazingly friendly, helpful, and alwayson time. We never thought twice about where we were going or how we were going to get there! And the places you picked for us were just incredible. Thank You Thank You Thank You for helping me plan the most unbelievable trip! We fell in love with Costa Rica!
Mar. 20, 2008 "You made our dream vacation a reality!"
Hi, Luis: I just wanted to send you a quick email to thank you so very much for the wonderful job you and Costa Rica Expeditions did for us on our vacation. Everything CRE did was flawless. Even when our flight to San Jose arrived four hours late, CRE was there, smiling and friendly, to take us to our hotel at 1:00 a.m. Every pick-up was right on time, every CRE person we dealt with was professional and friendly, every place we stayed was top-notch. We were kept informed of our schedule in a timely and professional fashion, and didn’t have to worry about or plan getting from one place to another – just show up, relax, and enjoy the ride. We had hoped for a wonderful vacation but expected to need to exercise a lot of patience. Instead, we had a fabulous vacation where, instead, the CRE personnel showed infinite patience with us! I will tell anyone I know who wants to go to Costa Rica that they MUST do it through CRE. You made our dream vacation a reality!
Mar. 19, 2008 “The hotels and the tours/activities you scheduled for us were fabulous!”
Jeffrey: My family and I returned last night from our wonderful visit to Costa Rica thanks to Cost Rica Expeditions. We want to thank everyone at CRE for arranging for and ensuring that we had a safe, enjoyable and educational time in Costa Rica. The country is beautiful and the people are extremely friendly and gracious. The hotels and the tours/activities you scheduled for us were fabulous!
We unfortunately were delayed in our arrival by one day (due to our airline) and Alejandro at Costa Rica Expeditions was so accommodating and assuring in how he rescheduled our pickup time and a tour we were to have taken our first day. From our drivers, Julio and Leslie, as well as other drivers (whose names I wish I could recall), and all of our guides (including Jairo from Sunset Tours) everyone was extremely polite and helpful. Thanks, Jeffrey for arranging such a wonderful time for us!
Melanie J. Waldron
Mar. 9, 2008 “Our favorite place was Tortuguero: the lodge just super, nature in our room!”
The trip was wonderful! Luis Torres was great. A perfect guide. As birdwatchers we would have been lost without him. He finds them all, he knows them all! The driver, Ramon, great! A keen birdwatcher as well. He showed us many wonderful things. We saw them all: Potoo's, Mot mots, Kingfishers, Quetzals!
Our fellow travelers were all nice people. And of course there is Nadya: kind, helpful, prompt - she was the perfect planner. Our favorite place was Tortuguero: the lodge just super, nature in our room! The Howler Monkey! No cars! A free lunar eclipse (see pictures). Who arranged that? Nadya?
Roger & Jeannine
Mar. 4, 2008 “Costa Rica Expeditions did a fine job with our trip to Tortuguero.”
We had a lovely time in Costa Rica and certainly Costa Rica Expeditions did a fine job with our trip to Tortuguero. Guides were great, accommodations very comfortable, transport arranged perfectly and on time. We haven't had time to put our photos on our computer but if we have any fabulous ones, we'll be glad to send them along.
Mar. 4, 2008 “Mark, and I had a wonderful honeymoon in your beautiful county.”
Greetings from Friendship, Wisconsin! My husband, Mark, and I had a wonderful honeymoon in your beautiful county. We took many more pictures, but I wanted to share a few with you that other travelers would not have! I have many of the beach and many, many of Florblanca! What a beautiful place! Thanks so much for your contribution to our fabulous honeymoon/vacation. We will be back!
Mark & Patty Bula
Feb. 29, 2008 “I just wanted to tell you how pleased we were with your hotels and guides.”
We have just returned from a one-week Costa Rica Expeditions’ trip to Monteverde and Corcovado and I just wanted to tell you how pleased we were with your hotels and guides. They looked after us from the minute we stepped off the plane until we left. During the Monteverde portion of the trip, we were with Luis Chinchilla, who provided thoughtful and intelligent insights, and Ricardo, our driver who carefully navigated the often very difficult roads and always made us feel safe. They were interesting and fun dinner companions as well!
In Corcovado, Erick Gomez went above and beyond to get us up-close pictures of wildlife including taking our camera and sneaking down into the forest so that he could get a shot of a puma! We loved all his plant descriptions complete with medicinal recipes! And, finally, Rufilio Nuñez (Fillo) was a true nature lover, endlessly enthusiastic and knowledgeable. His bird walk was great! Please thank them, and also Priscilla Jimenez who did a wonderful job organizing the trip in the first place.
Amy & Pete Stevens
Feb. 27, 2008 "You made our first trip to Costa Rica smooth as silk."
Thank you very much for the fantastic trip. You and your staff are extremely competent, professional and friendly. You made our first trip to Costa Rica smooth as silk and extremely enjoyable. Thanks for an excellent vacation.
Brian & Donna Folk
Feb. 25, 2008 “The entire staff at Tortuga Lodge was outstanding.”
Our trip to Costa Rica was wonderful. My daughter and I were celebrating our birthdays and wanted to do something memorable. To start, the planning with your travel expert was easy and flexible. We were greeted at the airport and felt well taken care of. Our first afternoon/night was in San Jose... honestly, it was worth skipping. The hotel was lovely bit we had nothing to do all afternoon and actually did feel a little abandoned. The restaurant was beautiful and the wait staff very kind. The hotel staff was okay, no rave reviews!
In the morning we were picked up by CR Expeditions and had a great journey to the boat to Tortuguero. Our guide and driver of the boat, Gerardo Aguilar, aka "Cola," was THE BEST! He really made the trip that much more pleasant, loved his picnic lunch. He was also our guide at Tortuga Lodge and we can't say enough good things about him... he even arranged with the staff to bring me a birthday cake! The entire staff at Tortuga Lodge was outstanding. I would recommend the lodge to anyone visiting CR we just loved it!! Okay, charter flight back to San Jose - exciting and fun and really beautiful.
Long drive to Arenal but certainly interesting. However, again, when we arrived at the hotel we felt "abandoned." The hotel staff was not too warm, just minimum. We felt the same about the restaurant there as well. Eventually we made our own plans and got to hike and see the volcano up close. The next day had been planned by CR Expeditions and was great. Hanging bridges was awesome, enjoyed the tour. The evening ended at the Hidalgo Hot Springs, a great way to end our trip. Wonderful place and yummy dinner. Thanks for everything. Hope my summary is informative. I will send some pictures in the next couple of emails.
Feb. 16, 2008 “Your company is a good, professional outfit.”
Michael & Natalie: Thanks for your follow up. Actually, second follow up. So, brownie points for persistence. We enjoyed our trip to Costa Rica very much. We also think that your company is a good, professional outfit and would recommend to others. In fact, we took this trip with you because of a recommendation from my sister-in-law. So, you have our vote of confidence.
A brief travelogue on my trip to Costa Rica follow below.
The good wife said that the tracks on the beach that we came upon at 7 AM were made by a man walking a dog. If you value peace, then you already know that it is easier to accept such assertions than to argue. Besides, I have been excited many times with tracks only to be informed by the guide that they were made by non-exotic animals. The tracks went on for as far as I could see with my naked eyes. So, while the explanation was plausible, the pug marks were large and didn't look like a dog's to me. I took a picture of it
We went on with our plan to go and take pictures of macaws before catching our plane out of Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica. When we got to the makeshift airport, we found out that early that morning a puma had tracked a tapir along the beach and successfully hunted it and dragged the body off into the jungle!! It was exciting to hear this even if no one actually saw the puma or the tapir but just the fresh tracks. After a lot of animated chit-chat, it dawned on me that I had been walking in the middle of the night, without fear, to the restroom some 100 meters from our tent camp. Had we chanced upon these tracks on the first night we were there, I doubt either of us would have ventured alone after sunset even to the restroom.
The pilot was a pleasant man and he escorted us to the small airplane to fly us to Tortuguero National Park. It all seemed cozy - just my wife and I and the pilot - until a student popped into the co-pilot's chair!! It was a bit discomforting but I rationalized that if the pilot is teaching someone else, then he must be good. My thoughts were interrupted when I noticed that the pilot's window was open, air gushing in and the plane was rolling on to the runway. I felt that the air-turbulence would get us in trouble with an airplane that was really the size of my car with wings attached. I felt that it would be rude for me to tell the pilot to close the window as all those wrinkles on his face surely were backed by experience and wisdom. As the plane was racing on to take off, the pilot finally shut the window and with it the plane was a bit quieter along with my mind!
I spent about four hours trying to get decent shots of poison dart frogs. I also endured many mosquito bites, despite putting on insect repellant generously. Since it was raining, and I was reminded many times that it is the rainforest after all, my helpful wife offered to hold an umbrella up to shield my camera from rain. The kind woman also slapped me a few times!! Well, she was trying to kill mosquitoes while I was trying to compose a shot!! It was challenging. By the time I adjusted the tripod, the frog would move! There was not enough light for the camera as the canopy was thick and it was raining. In the end, the better composed shots were those that were shot handheld.
We took a boat into a canal and spotted a caiman basking in the sun. Sighting a caiman was exciting enough but what made a stronger impression was the fact that the previous day, at exactly the same spot where it was lying, my wife and I were taking pictures of a kingfisher!! I cannot say that this was too close for comfort, but it was discomforting nevertheless. But then, why else would you go on a vacation into the jungle?
Feb. 14, 2008 ''All of your staff were so helpful.''
I had a wonderful time on my trip to Corcovado. All of your staff were so helpful. I would especially like to commend Nils who escorted me back to my hotel after the tour was over. He waited until I confirmed my hotel registration and my airport shuttle arrangements before he left me. That was very thoughtful. My only complaint was that I was not made aware of the difficulty of the hike to the canopy platform before I signed-up to do it. I might have opted-out if I had known. I would recommend Costa Rica Expeditions to others. If I ever return to Costa Rica I will use your services again. Attached are some photos.
Feb. 13, 2008 “You were so efficient in making our plans run so smoothly that all we had to do was sit back and enjoy ourselves.”
We want to thank you for helping to make our trip to Costa Rica one that we will never forget. You and your staff were so efficient in making our plans run so smoothly that all we had to do was sit back and enjoy ourselves. Each one of our guides was a pleasure to be with and talk to. Once I review all my 220 pictures, I would be glad to share any with you.
I do have three suggestions however. One is to include a list of suggested clothing for the different areas being visited, as the climate and activities vary so much. The second is that the activity for the day should be explained in better detail so as to know what to expect. We didn't mind the surprises but if we were told in more detail some of the situations we could have prepared ourselves better. The last suggestion is to have a way to confirm receipt of the itinerary for the next day’s schedule. Some of time it was left at our door or with a personal phone call. Other times we had to ask for it and once we had to call the office. Despite some of these very minor details, we couldn't have asked for a better tour company to plan our vacation.
Barbara & Scott Mitaly
Feb. 13, 2008 “We had some excellent service and a very comfortable stay.”
Dear Mike and Natalie: Thank you for your message. Here are some quick notes about our trip: First of all, let us thank Priscilla Jimenez, who was extremely precise, quick and helpful in planning our trip. We've had some wonderful times in CR. We've seen everything we wanted to see and even more. Our guide Sofia Cordero was absolutely wonderful. She's very skilled, knowledgeable, caring, explains a lot of interesting facts about CR showing that hint of enthusiasm that makes her so delightful to be with. Our driver Ramon, as well as all the other drivers we've had, was very skilled, prudent and respectful of traffic laws.
Hotels were wonderful. Grano de Oro is something to be seen... Arenal Manoa has huge rooms and a view that is worth the trip. Jardin del Eden is absolutely perfect with friendly people and a very good restaurant. We've only been a little disappointed by the town of Tamarindo. Inside of the hotels everything is like paradise. Outside, the town is dirty, the roads are unpaved, there's no water draining so pools of mud are everywhere, at night nobody's around and that makes you feel a little unsafe. Our opinion is that Tamarindo has been through a 'Reverse development' process... hotels first, infrastructures after... but infrastructures are more important that hotels, only they don’t give revenue in the short run... To summarize, a wonderful vacation. It was expensive, that's true. But we had some excellent service and a very comfortable stay. Thanks to all at CRE!
Paolo & Silvia Rossi, Italy
Feb. 10, 2008 “The trip excursions and sightseeing were exceptional.”
Below are our comments concerning our trip and your service. All the staff, including drivers, at Costa Rica Expeditions were courteous, knowledgeable and friendly. The trip excursions and sightseeing were exceptional. Everyday we marveled as to how lucky we were to have chosen Costa Rica as the spot to spend our "belated" honeymoon.
There were two slip-ups regarding our tours. At the hanging bridges in Arenal, there was no guide waiting to take us for our scheduled hike in the afternoon. They had us scheduled for an 8 am nature walk. My husband and I asked Johnny, who was at the reception desk, if he was experienced and free to take us on our tour. He was. Johnny was a great guide and we had a great afternoon with him.
In Manuel Antonio, we were scheduled for a canoe/kayak tour. In the morning when we found out we had to paddle ourselves, we had to cancel the tour. My husband had surgery last year on his neck and shoulder, and this would have been too strenuous for him.
Regarding the hotels: The Bougainvillea Hotel was great in every way. We were supposed to stay at the Arenal Manoa, but were told upon arrival the hotel was overbooked. We were moved to the Mountain Paradise Hotel. Although this was an upgrade, we were not happy with the rooms - the walls were "paper thin" and we could hear everything in the room next to us. We asked to be transferred to a different room. Lighting was poor and very dim. The shower waterfall soaked the entire bathroom. The food was not very good either. The staff, however, was friendly and accommodating. We would not recommend this hotel.
The Monteverde Lodge was our favorite hotel. The grounds were beautiful, the accommodations very comfortable and the staff was very friendly. The food was delicious. For $330 per night (3 nights), we were very disappointed with the rooms at the Gaia Hotel. There was a catwalk outside our entry door, so when the curtains were open, we had no privacy. The modern room design was not optimal. The bathroom (toilet, sink and shower) was behind sliding doors IN THE ROOM. To be blunt, there was no privacy when we had to use the bathroom. The bed was ok. The last night of our stay, the air conditioner broke and we were moved to another room. Dining and spa services, however, were excellent. We would not recommend this hotel.
Overall, we were very happy with our trip and would gladly recommend Costa Rica Expeditions to our friends and family. Thank you for taking the time to follow up with us.
Beth & Michael Stebel
Feb. 9, 2008 “We had a spectacular time - so much to see and do.”
Hi Nadya: We have been home a week now. It is currently minus 44 degrees Celsius and we yearn for Costa Rica. We had a spectacular time - so much to see and do. The people of Costa Rica are wonderful. Your service staff is excellent - great ambassadors for your country. We were truly amazed at the coordination of your team. We really enjoyed all of the places we stayed at. The FOUR SEASONS was amazing. We want to thank you Nadya for organizing a great vacation for us and we will certainly recommend your company to our friends.
Jackie & Gary Albright
Feb. 9, 2008 "I am glad Costa Rica is in my life."
Thank you for contacting me about my recent trip. I appreciated all of the reservations and connections your firm my for us. Everything went as planned, and I would definitely recommend your firm to my other friends when they visit your fine country. I am glad Costa Rica is in my life.
Dr. Gary Hutter
Feb. 7, 2008 “We were given excellent treatment and service and loved every minute of our experience.”
I am sending photos of our group when we went on the Ultimate Costa Rica Adventure, Jan 19-26th. We had an awesome guide in Federico Alban and a great driver in Wilson "Shampoo." We know that we were given excellent treatment and service and loved every minute of our experience. I would not do Costa Rica any other way. In fact, we are talking about our next rip through Costa Rica Expeditions probably next January. So, get ready!
By the way, I sent a check to Federico for his tip and Shampoo's also. I hope he has received it by now, but if he has not, please let me know. I also emailed him, but have had no response. I got his email off of your website and hope that that has reached him also. You definitely have a fabulous guide in Federico - he is truly special and we all bonded with him.
We want you to know that our trip was truly unforgettable and we are so glad that we took our first trip to Costa Rica through you. We will be back. Our only critique of the whole thing I'm sure you will find on our exit surveys. There were a couple of things that could have been better, but for the most part, it was spectacular. Thanks for the memories.
Mike & Maureen Whitehead
Feb. 7, 2008 "We had an excellent time."
We had an excellent time. We worked with Luis Cubero, who was fantastic. Thanks again!
Feb. 5, 2008 “We will use your services again next year, and each year we visit the country.”
We were extremely pleased with the services Costa Rica Expeditions provided. We were sent a fax the night before any scheduled trip with the time that we were going to be picked up from our hotel and a representative was there at the prescribed time. But then they went above the call of duty: On our flights the representative waited until we were on our way before they left. They made sure that all connections were made and someone was waiting for us at the destination. I would highly recommend Costa Rica Expeditions to anyone visiting Costa Rica not only for the first time, but any subsequent visits as well. We will use your services again next year, and each year we visit the country. Thanks again for being there.
Patrick & Mayda Taylor, CA
Feb. 2, 2008 “Congratulations on running such a wonderful company with such warm, friendly, customer service oriented employees.”
We had a truly wonderful trip and wanted to specially recognize Paula for the excellent and personalized service she provided. I know that this is not the exception at your company but the norm because my dealings with Priscilla Jimenez and your manager of operations were of the same high quality. When we had a glitch because of one of your subcontractors, Sun Tours in Arenal, your operations folks went out of the way to make it right and more than made up for any inconvenience we were caused. Again, congratulations on running such a wonderful company with such warm, friendly, customer service oriented employees. We are confident that when we return to see parts of Costa Rica we missed on this trip especially the Manuel Antonio Park area, we will choose Costa Rica Expeditions!
Vandana & Rahul Samant
Jan. 28, 2008 “Thank you for arranging our trip so well.”
We would like to thank Luis Cubero for arranging our trip so well. The hotel was an excellent choice. The staff was very pleasant and helpful and went out of their way to make us feel comfortable. The tours were very well-planned and we learned a lot from our guides, Olivier, Hernan and Michael, and with the expert drivers. It was a big relief to be met by Andres and Jonathan, when I arrived at midnight. I hope to recommend your tours to my friends if they plan a trip to Costa Rica, which is a beautiful country, indeed!
Meena & Saroja Bhuvaneswar
Jan. 28, 2008 “Your level of professionalism has not diminished.”
We had a great time. Alejandro Contreras is a nature tour guide. He was great to us and so very knowledgeable on many subjects and enjoyed sharing with us. Villa Florencia was a great place for us to stay and the managers were friendly and spent time with us. I really enjoyed the white water of Paso Marcos. Ten years ago my wife and I came to Coast Rica with you all, I am pleased to say that your level of professionalism has not diminished. Pura Vida!
Jan. 27, 2008 “My husband and I truly had a wonderful time on our trip.”
I just want to let you know that my husband and I truly had a wonderful time on our trip. Miguel Prendas Taylor, our guide, was delightful and extremely informative, and I think everyone else on our tour felt the same way. Ramon, even though he doesn't speak English and we don't speak Spanish, was tremendously friendly and enjoyable. My personal favorite parts of the trip were going to the hot springs and walking across the hanging bridges in Arenal and taking the boat rides through the park in Tortuguero. I've attached some pictures that may or may not be nice for your web site.
Jan. 20, 2008 “YOU DID GOOD!!”
What a great trip! Our trip to Costa Rica was our first family trip and all 10 of us had a wonderful time. Everyone wants to know where our next trip is going to be. Your choice of memorable points of interest, comfortable accommodations, and caring guides was incredible. Every one of our guides loved their jobs. And we loved them. Especially Alex Lopez. It was so emotional saying goodbye to him. We all wanted to take him home. Such a patient, informative, gentle man. His parents must be very proud of him. We can't stop talking about our trip. YOU DID GOOD!!
The McDonald family
Jan. 16, 2008 “Everything was fabulous!“
Everything was fabulous! I would not change a thing. Alberto Martinez was incredible; great guide, very attentive to ALL of our needs; very responsive; creative; superb communication; setting expectations and always exceeding them.
Jan. 16, 2008 “The perfect vacation for two teenaged sons and their somewhat adventuresome dad.”
Thank you, We had a fantastic time! It is the perfect vacation for two teenaged sons and their somewhat adventuresome dad. Some of the highlights include, jumping off a cliff into a pool at a secluded waterfall on the Pacuare River, going over a waterfall with just a helmet and life vest, surfing and actually getting up and riding a wave, riding level four rapids as a family, landing in a four-seat prop plane after seeing the beautiful countryside, only to find the airport in the middle of a cow field. As you can see the list is endless.
Having had a son go off to college for the first time, it was a wonderful way to reconnect our family. It just so happens that both kids’ ipods broke two days before we left (I had nothing to do with it) and you booked us into a resort with no T.V. The non-mechanical vacation was another highlight not to be missed. A lot of talking and interaction that was just icing on the cake. Thank you again for arranging our trip on somewhat short notice, everyone connected with your company which was excellent and helpful.
Douglas, Warren & Graham Dill, NY
Jan. 15, 2008 “Your whole team responded time and again to unexpected situations and handled them with such grace and professionalism.”
I want you to know how grateful my daughter and I are to your entire staff. We have never had the opportunity to travel internationally together before and this father-daughter adventure was very important to us. We ran into a serious problem when snow storms in the US prevented us from making our connections to the flight leaving for San Jose. There was not a single seat available for days into San Jose because of the holidays. Our hearts sank. There were, however, 4 seats on a flight to Liberia, Costa Rica almost 5 hours away near Nicaragua. I called your team and within thirty minutes they had made all the arrangements to pick us up at that airport charging what I thought was a very reasonable transportation price under the circumstances. We switched our flights with the help of the airlines and this saved our vacation which otherwise would have ended before it began. We arrived and joined the group on time for the local flight to Corcovado. This was just one example of how the office personnel and your whole team responded time and again to unexpected situations and handled them with such grace and professionalism far beyond our expectations.
Here are some additional examples:
Our guide Luis Torres provided outstanding hospitality and knowledge of the wildlife. He, too, excelled at solving problems and responding with expertise. I will share just two examples. We were hiking in the Corcovado National Park and one of the group members slipped and hit her head hard on a low branch near the trail. Luis treated her cut swiftly, with compassion and was clearly well trained in first aid. Being a professional camp and retreat center director myself, I am aware of the proper procedures and their importance. I was very impressed by him.
The River and Rainforest trip we went on was logistically complicated but Luis and the other Costa Rica Expedition staff handled it very smoothly, even when there were hitches. When we went white water rafting, a communication mix up resulted in the river guides not being at the location we thought they would be. Quickly Luis went to the top of a high ridge to communicate by cell phone then made his way to another put-in for rafts where the guides were and brought them to us by riding with them on the river to our location. Now, that is going the extra mile to make our trip the best it can be. By the way, the safety instruction given by the raft guide to our group was the best safety presentation that I have ever experienced bar none, and I have often rafted in Oregon and Colorado as part of camp and retreat programs and own a white water raft myself. The rafting guide for our boat was Jorge. Excellent. I want to also mention Juan Carlos, the bus driver. He did an incredible job driving us safely and efficiently throughout the country, even on some difficult back roads which are part of any adventure trip.
I wish I could name all the persons we met and give them the accolades they deserve, but let me just say that in each of the three main destinations of our trip we encountered friendly, caring staff. The food exceeded what I had imagined for a trip like this - Wow. The wilderness experience during the white water trip was no exception. The food cooked was plentiful and delicious. The lodging in each leg of the trip met our needs nicely. Even in the jungle on the Pacuare River, the tents were on platforms and sheltered from rain and bad weather and there was a very nice group gathering shelter.
We wanted an active vacation where we could see things we had never seen before balanced with times of rest and renewal. The rigors of hiking and rafting were exhilarating and still we had moments to ourselves to reflect and relax. Thank you to everyone for providing a very special time that we will remember all our lives. Costa Rica is such a special country and the natural environment a sacred gift. We appreciated the care given to protect the environment and to help keep the human impact to a minimum in a variety of intentional ways.
Kevin Witt, OR
Jan. 15, 2008 “We had a fabulous trip in Costa Rica thanks to your excellent staff.”
We had a fabulous trip in Costa Rica thanks to your excellent staff. I especially would like to thank your travel planner Priscilla Jimenez, our fabulous guide Larry, and our superb driver Ramon. They took care of everything. The hotels were excellent and Larry took care of all the details once he became our guide. He and Ramon made our trip better than we ever imagined. They were not only knowledgeable and informative but kind and fun to be with. I cannot say enough good things about them and you are fortunate to have them work for you.
I have no reservations about referring your company to all my friends and business associates. That is how we heard about your company in the first place. You should be very proud of your staff and I look forward to returning someday and seeing more of your beautiful country. The staff that provided us transportation services was also excellent. We did not get to know them as well but they were kind and informative as well. I will forward pictures of our trip once I get settled.
Jan. 15, 2008 ”It rained an awful lot more than I ever expected, but I felt that the trip was a real adventure.”
We just finished a great tour to Tortuguero and Corcovado. Marcia Carranza was our guide and we all just adored her, the kids, too! She was just great. I have to admit, it rained an awful lot more than I ever expected, but felt that the trip was a real adventure. And most importantly, we believed that CR Expeditions wanted us safe! We had some issues on a flight to Corcovado where we got up in the air, weather was bad, and came back down (I was personally relieved, it was a bit scary for me; my 9-year old son thought it was great!).
One comment is that I think you guys could do a better job in preparing us for the trip. All of our clothes were just wet the whole time (didn't help that the very first day the tarp we used leaked all over our stuff). However, I would have brought far more plastic bags and it wasn't very clear exactly when the 25 pound luggage limit was needed. My friends said they went on an African safari and had luggage weight restrictions and the tour operators were much more specific about what was needed. For what it's worth.
It seemingly rains a ton in Tortuguero and I just didn't realize that - everything I read said we weren't going for the rainy season. It's obviously false and wish I would have brought much more rain gear. I can understand that if you talk up the rain too much, no one would want to go, but I tossed in my coat as a last minute item at the last minute of packing - had no idea! It didn't even have a hood! Anyway, we had a great time and would recommend CR Expeditions to everyone.
Jan. 15, 2008 “My sister and I had a wonderful trip to your lovely country.”
My sister and I had a wonderful trip to your lovely country. Our tour guide, Alberto Martinez, and bus driver, Pablo, could not have done more to make this an enjoyable adventure. They encountered closed restaurants (New Years Day), road closures, and less than ideal weather, and they never failed to come up with a great solution. We will recommend your tour group to anyone who is considering a trip to your country.
Jan. 14, 2008 “We definitely will use Costa Rica Expeditions again.”
Hi Michael: We had good times in Arenal; unfortunately the weather did not cooperate. I just want to let you know, Douglas Espinosa is wonderful to work with. Our tour guy, Alex Lopez, is very informative and helpful; so is our driver. We definitely will use Costa Rica Expeditions again for any travel in Costa Rica or Nicaragua.
Jan. 14, 2008 Pacuare Connoisseur Rafting: “We had an absolutely incredible time.”
My husband and I white water rafted with your company this past November. We had an absolutely incredible time and I wanted to take the time to thank you and your employees who we owe the experience. We purchased the Pacuare Connoisseur Rafting Package and were treated like royalty - it was well worth the money! Our rafting guide was Jose ("Macha") who made sure we had smiles on our faces the entire time - and we did! All of the guides were so hospitable, friendly, and knowledgeable. Besides the exhilarating experience on the river (and the great gourmet food), Jose told us so much about Costa Rican history, culture, wildlife - we learned more in that one day than we had in our entire week vacation. Not to mention, the CD of pictures from the day were dropped off at our hotel room a few hours after we returned. We will gladly recommend your company to everyone!
Brittany Reese, New Orleans