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TRAVEL PLANNERS
nadya shaw
Senior Travel Planner
nshaw@costaricaexpeditions.com
Born Aug. 21, 1963, Nadya first started working for Costa Rica Expeditions as a bilingual secretary in 1991. In 1994 we reluctantly let her go due to a restructuring. Nadya was quickly hired by one of our competitors. Hoping to get her back, we kept an eye on her and in Aug. 2003, were able to offer her a position in the trip planning department. We haven't been sorry. Today Nadya handles some of our most upscale trips as well as family, honeymoon and other special occasions vacations. Her five children, Kevin, Jason, Ruji, Alexsha and Jared, more than take up her free time.



TESTIMONIALS:

For the Latest Feedback Click Here

Apr 4, 2011.- My wife and I had a fabulous time.
Dear Nadya- I just wanted to take a moment to tell you that our vacation in Costa Rica was wonderful. Myy wife and I had a fabulous time. Thanks for making all of the arrangements and for doing so much to make our trip as successful as it was. We hope to visit Costa Rica again and will certainly be in touch with you before we do so. Don Scherzer
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Mar 16, 2011.- ? each was so patient with me as I reached my limits of endurance and agility?at 78, I had broken his record as the oldest person he has ever guided.
Nadya, You are wonderful! Your scheduling of my visit to Costa Rico last week was perfection. The timing and logistics were the smoothest of any tour I can remember. The hotels were excellent. Each of the four tour guides I had were the best I have ever had! They each had an extensive breadth of knowledge which they so interestingly shared with me, and their deep love of Costa Rica and its ecology was palpable. And each was so patient with me as I reached my limits of endurance and agility. The hanging bridge guide said that at 78, I had broken his record as the oldest person he has ever guided. Nadya, you made my trip an exciting experience that has generated great memories of each of the things I wanted to see plus some wonderful unexpected surprises. Thank you so much. By the way, I love to share my enthusiasms. On my flight back to the US, I gave the details of my tour to a friend who is building a manufacturing facility there. He was particularly interested in the Zip Line. I expect that he will be contacting you in the not too distant future. Today and tomorrow, I will be describing my wonderful Costa Rica Explorations experience to two fellow residents of our senior citizen facility who have near term interests in visiting Costa Rica. Robert Ely
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Feb 25, 2011.- Great trip!
Nadya,
Thank you for the expert professionalism we experienced on this wonderful adventure in Costa Rica. Everything went off with clock work precision. The choice of properties was outstanding. The accommodations, the environment, the food, the people all made our Costa Rica experience a memorable delight. We are experienced travelers and this vacation ranks up there with the very best.
Fred, Joyce, & Ben
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Jan 26, 2011.- without a doubt this was one of the smoothest, easiest trips we have ever taken

Nadya,
I can't begin to thank you for our wonderful vacation in Costa Rica.  We travel a lot but without a doubt this was one of the smoothest, easies trips we have ever taken.  Your attention to the details was the key.  
I have passed your name on to several co-workers that say they are interested in visiting and my husband and I are looking at our finances to see if we can fit another trip in for the same time frame next year.  I will stay in touch.
Thank you again for everything and Merry Christmas!  
Andria Tolerton
November 2010

-Andria Tolerton

Jan 26, 2011.- .doing business with a local agency, which we had never done before, and on the internet !! people thought I was crazy

Dear Michael,
we loved our trip,and especially the people, from Nadya who made me feel so secure about doing business with a local agency, which we had never done before, and on the internet !! people thought I was crazy, but I crossed my fingers and hope for the best. She didnt let me down. Take care of Nadya, she is a great asset to your company !! , to Jos and William our wonderful drivers, who in many situations ( other than driving)  were looking out for us, they are very dear to our hearts, to our wonderful guide Larry, who did his job wonderfully, but added so much more, so many little attentions, we feel very lucky to have had him as our guide.
Food and lodging was good, etc... but I know what you want to know is what is it that we didnt like......not much, mother nature was not cooperating, but that is not your fault, she completely made the volcano invisible, but that was not your fault, she also caused our biggest dissapointement, because of her, we could not do the rafting on the Pacuare River and the alternative was very disapointing. Here in Quebec, Weve done some rafting that was  much more exciting, and we didnt get the riverbank lunch setting that we were looking forward to,mind you the lunch was fine, but the setting was not what I had hoped for... and we were rushed to eat cause we had a plane to catch, but I guess everybodys kindness made up for it, I guess...
And yes, I would recommend your company to a friend. You have wonderful people working for you, that is your biggest quality.
Thank you for a great vacation.
Line Villemaire
P.S. Michael, english is not my first language, so I hope this is comprehensive to you.
December 2010

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Jan 13, 2011.- When we left, it felt like we were saying good-bye to family.

Dear Nadya,
Thank you so much for planning our spectacular visit to Costa Rica. The Pacuare Jungle Lodge is incredible due to its staff, their activities  and the location. Our Linda Vista Suites were beyond imagination.
The biggest bonus was our visit to Monte Azul. I had no idea what was in store for us, but it was fantastic. The owners, the food, the accommodations and the activities were all so much fun. I highly encourage you to send more guests to Monte Azul. When we left, it felt like we were saying good-bye to family.
Ramon, our  transfer driver, was an excellent, careful driver on difficult terrain, and he did an excellent job in keeping us safe.
Thank you for all your efforts in planning our trip.
Warmly,
Linda Sands and Family
December 2010

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Jan 12, 2011.- Thank you for helping to make it all possible

Dear  Nadya,
We had a wonderful vacation in Costa Rica.  Thank you for helping to make it all possible.  All transfers went smoothly.  Lapa Rios was an exceptional resort and the weather perfect.  We got  lots and lots of rain in Tortuguero, but we did go on one boat trip and thoroughly enjoyed the meals there.  All in all a great experience!
Best wishes for the New Year!
Beth, Charlie, and Richard Cuthbert 
December 2010

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Jan 12, 2011.- FROM THE MINUTE MY FEET LANDED ON THE GROUND IN COSTA RICA, CRE WAS THERE HANDLING EVER DETAIL;
As you think about how we planned and fulfilled your Costa Rica vacation... What happened that fascinated, delighted, inspired, amazed or enlightened -- something that might become a lifetime memory? ---  What surprised you by going beyond the hopes you had, based on our site or what you read and heard before hand?  THE ENTIRE TRIP WAS FABULOUS. IT WAS THE FIRST TRIP THAT I DID NOT HAVE TO THINK OF A THING CRE HAD ALREADY DONE THAT FOR ME. I DID NOT REALIZE HOW RELAXED I WAS GOING TO BE (EXCEPT FOR WHITE WATER RAFTING WHICH WAS THE PERFECT BLEND OF EXCITEMENT AND PICTURESQUE LOCATIONS) ...and what fell short of your expectations? I AM SORRY TO SAY, THE ARENAL MANOA.  THE FRONT DESK STAFF WAS AWFUL, WHILE WAITING FOR A PICK-UP I WATCHED AND LISTENED TO THE FRONT DESK STAFF COMPLETELY DISREGARD (REFUSED TO HELP WITH TELEPHONE NUMBERS ETC..) AN ELDERLY COUPLE (CRE GUESTS) TRY TO BOOK A TOUR ON THEIR OWN, FINALLY I ASSISTED BY GIVING THE COUPLE YOUR OPERATIONS NUMBER WHICH THEY CALLED AND WERE ASSISTED BY A  CRE STAFF MEMBER. SHORTLY THEREAFTER I NEEDED TO CALL OPERATIONS BECAUSE OUR PICK-UP DID NOT SHOW (AND HAD GIVEN YOUR NUMBER TO THE COUPLE) THE FRONT DESK GIRLS TOLD ME THEY DID NOT HAVE CRE CONTACT INFORMATION; I STARTED TO GET ANGRY AND WITHIN TWO MINUTES (I KID YOU NOT) THEY MIRACULOUSLY FOUND YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION.  I DO NOT LIKE TO COMPLAIN AND I WOULD NOT HAVE SAID ANYTHING BUT FOR HOW THEY TREATED THE  ELDERLY COUPLE WHO WERE CLEARLY STRUGGLING.  THE LODGING WAS FINE AND THE FOOD WAS GOOD BUT THE FRONT DESK STAFF REALLY NEEDS TO GET CUSTOMER SERVICE TRAINING FROM CRE. Did the trip change your feelings about those you traveled with? I DO NOT UNDERSTAND YOUR QUESTION. What issue beforehand almost decided you to not travel with us? NOT A THING. YOU CAME HIGHLY RECOMMENDED BY A CLOSE FRIEND. What were the few most important things that decided you to go with us?  --- What Costa Rica Expeditions people exceeded or fell short of your expectations, and in what ways?  YOUR STAFF WAS FABULOUS, MANY WERE WITH US FOR SUCH A SHORT OR NON-INTERACTIVE TIME. I CANNOT REMEMBER ALL THE NAMES. RICARDO, EDUARDO, CARLOS WERE GREAT.  YOUR SUB-CONTRACTOR IN ARENAL  (SUNRISE? BUSINESS CARD IS AT HOME)  CAME TO OUR HOTEL TO TAKE US TO THE HOT SPRINGS BECAUSE HIS FOLKS FORGOT TO PICK US UP FOR HORSEBACK RIDING AND WE WERE RUNNING LATE FOR THE HOT SPRINGS.  HE CAME WITH HIS WIFE AND A FRUIT BASKET THINGS HAPPEN AND HIS EXTRA EFFORT WAS APPRECIATED. What would you say to a friend if you wanted to persuade them to choose us when they come to Costa Rica? I ALREADY HAVE! AS STATED ABOVE, THIS WAS THE FIRST TRIP THAT I DID NOT HAVE TO BE PLANNING OUR NEXT EXCURSION.  FROM THE MINUTE MY FEET LANDED ON THE GROUND IN COSTA RICA, CRE WAS THERE HANDLING EVER DETAIL; THE LODGING, FOOD AND EXCURSIONS MET AND EXCEEDED MY EXPECTATIONS. THE CRE STAFF WAS PROFESSIONAL,  KNOWLEDGEABLE AND MORE IMPORTANTLY GENUINELY CARED ABOUT OUR EXPERIENCES. Thanks again for your feedback! Elenor Taft
December 2010



Our Response

I want to thank you for alerting us to the customer service problems with the hotel Arenal Manoa. We ran a report to see who the elderly couple might have been and are narrowing it down. I will be writing a couple of people today to see if they were the ones that experienced such awful service. Thank you for coming to their rescue! You may be the first case that I have read about of one of our guests actually stepping in and helping another guest in a difficult situation. We really appreciate your concern and action. Our product department is in the process of taking up the issue with Arenal Manoa. We have 2-3 cases that report exactly the same kind of behavior so we know that its a consistent pattern. It made me smile to read that the people from Sunset took you a fruit basket due to the botched transfer for horseback riding. Glad to know that they are going the extra mile and showing their concern for our guests. Natalie Ewing Chief Marketing & Guest Satisfaction Officer Costa Rica Expeditions & Nicaragua Expeditions
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Jan 12, 2011.- We just returned from our week in Costa Rica with 18 family members ranging from age 4 - 72. All 18 had an amazing time.
Dear Nadya. We just returned from our week in Costa Rica with 18 family members ranging from age 4 - 72.  All 18 had an amazing time. The country and people are beautiful. The activities, accommodations, food and transportation were all superb. We loved our guide Alex. He was so patient and fun with the kids. And Marco was a terrific driver. We had to change our route to get to Tortuguero because the road was floaded but all went off without a hitch. We can't wait to go back and have recommended Costa Rica Expeditions to all of our friends. Amy Lettes December 2010
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Jun 29, 2009.- Every day was a great adventure.
Our trip was fantastic. The two places selected (La Paloma and Lapa Rios) were wonderful and every day was a great adventure. The organization was superb; everyone was where they were supposed to be and on time. The guides, pilots and drivers were all great. Clearly, Nadya Shaw did a great job. I will definitely recommend you to any friends considering a trip to Costa Rica.
-Jeffrey Thomas

Apr 10, 2009.- The two nights we had at Tortuguero were absolutely fascinating.
Dear Nadya: We have just returned from our holiday and I wanted to tell you that our week in Costa Rica couldn't have gone better. I did fill in the questionnaire but then promptly lost it in the packing! Everyone who collected us, drove us and guided us were so nice and informative. They were always on time and couldn't have done more for us.

The two nights we had at Tortuguero were absolutely fascinating and we loved the drive up there as we could see so much of the country and "Con 1," the guide, was full of information. Then the boat trips were so exciting. Tortuga Lodge was perfect. Lapa Rios was excellent - a real opposite to Tortuguero and equally as fascinating - very good to do both areas. Also the flights were interesting as we could see what the country looked like from the air. What a wonderful country you live in and everyone was so friendly - we couldn't have enjoyed it more. Thank you so much for organising it so well.
-Rozzie Buxton, UK

Mar 31, 2009.- Wedding arrangements: One of the most special days of our lives.
Hi Nadya: We just got home last night...and I just don't know where to start! The entire day was like a fairy tale! Every person we met, every place they took us, everything we did was wonderful! Jonathan Sequeira was wonderful, a personable and knowledgeable guide who made the whole day just one fabulous surprise after another. He truly made us feel welcome in your country and I couldn't have dreamed of a better person to share our day with.

The rainforest was spectacular and the guide we had there was great as well. They made us feel so welcome and helped make this one of the most special days of our lives. Every person we meet at the park had a smile on their face and added so much joy to our trip. I just can't express how happy everyone there made us! Our only regret was how short a time we had in your country. We are planning to come back there and visit again, and next time to stay for at least a week if possible to truly be able to explore Costa Rica. We decided anything less just wouldn't do your country justice.

Everything you did Nadya was wonderful. It was so much more than I dreamed of and I just want to tell you how much I appreciate every thoughtful detail, from the flowers to the cans you put on the back of the van. (That was the funniest thing ever! We laughed the whole ride back as everyone stopped and stared at us...it was just great!) I don't know how to thank everyone there for making this such a fairy tale day for us. The lunch that we had, releasing the butterflies, the guided tour through the preserve, the aerial tram ride, the wedding, and tour through your countryside...it still brings tears to my eyes thinking about everything everyone did for us to make it such a special day.

I will be posting all our photos online in the next couple of days. As soon as I have them up I will send you the address so you can see them all. Please give Jonathan my thanks yet again for everything he did. (and tell him next time to bring his wife! lol!) And to our driver as well (I'm sorry, I can't remember what his name was now), he did a wonderful job and the smile he had on his face when we saw the flowers in the van was priceless! Again...thank you so much!!!! And don't worry, when we come back we'll call you to plan it for us! I have absolute faith in anything you decide we need to do there! LOL!
-Lisa Orban

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

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

Dec 31, 2007.- I don't know what magic you use to get everything put together so perfectly.
Dear Nadya: We had a wonderful trip with Costa Rica Expeditions and will use your company again next time. Everything went very well, and I don't know what magic you use to get everything put together so perfectly, but it works like clockwork. The people that work for you are very polite, helpful and knowledgeable. Tortuguero was fabulous - the food wonderful. All the people work SO HARD to make everyone happy - I wish American folks did half so well.

It appears that your company is very well managed and I cannot say enough well about all of you. Marcia at Zoo Ave was so perfect in every way... the perfect guide to show and tell us about it. Thanks, Nadya - it was all great!
-Pat & Bob Moss

Aug 28, 2007.- All of the staff we met were very courteous, friendly and helpful.
Michael and Natalie: It was a complete pleasure for us to visit Costa Rica. We had had several friends who visited and recommended it. Also, I got the name of your company from a traveler who had been to Costa Rica several times and recommended that I use your services. I especially want to thank Nadya Shaw, who was able to move us to the Paridisius on fairly short notice. Also, all of the staff we met were very courteous, friendly and helpful.

I was a little worried that my wife, who is more accustomed to Americanized, all-inclusive resorts, would be uncomfortable in the rainforest at Arenal, so we only spent two days there, with the next five days in Guanacaste. It turned out that she actually liked the rainforest more than the resort. We both enjoyed the rainforest pace of life, where the reliable afternoon shower set the pace, not a clock. But of course, life is always easier when you are on vacation, than when you are working.

I think we came to Costa Rica thinking of a third world country, and left with the knowledge that Costa Rica is a fastly developing country. All of the Costa Ricans that I met were proud of their country, and I think recognized the value of keeping the country sustainable, so that they can keep the tourist industry growing. I just hope you all can keep Costa Rica from becoming too Americanized, with tourists like us, as has happened in most of Mexico. No offense, but I have heard that Panama is also very nice, and I am having some thoughts about purchasing a home for retirement someplace down that way. I plan to visit Panama next March or April to check it out. Lastly, we have some very nice pictures to share with you, happy to do so. I am just now editing and organizing them. I will send them to you within the next few weeks.
-Douglas Karafa

Jul 8, 2007.- Our guides and drivers were terrific.
Hi Nadya: We just returned from Costa Rica late last night. I wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know how much we enjoyed the trip. Everything ran very smoothly from start to finish and we loved Costa Rica! Our guides and drivers were terrific - especially Diego. We loved the stop at the local market in Orotina and Diego did a great job of educating us about Costa Rica.

The stop at the farm while on the Peas Blancas float trip was another highlight. We especially enjoyed the Costa Rican people - everyone was so friendly and welcoming that it really made our trip enjoyable. We were amazed at the beautiful flowers and lush vegetation in Costa Rica as we don't see that in Chicago with our brutally cold winters. Nadya, you did a terrific job of planning our vacation and we really appreciate it.
-Anne Patton

Jun 25, 2007.- Your staff is outstanding, and I felt like they helped to make our trip so wonderful.
My friend and I had a FABULOUS visit again. Your staff is outstanding, and I felt like they helped to make our trip so wonderful, regardless of the fantastic scenery and experiences. Thank you for establishing CR Expeditions. I have recommended your company as the way to see Costa Rica, and will use them again for my next trip. While I am at it, I wanted to mention some of your employees who were outstanding:

Luis, and Priscilla were outstanding on our ride to Tortugero. Fernando Estrada was an excellent guide, and he spotted so much wildlife for us. Miguel Prendas Taylor, who drove the boat back and forth to Tortugero village was so polite, and so well groomed - I was amazed how white his socks were in that climate!!! He went out of his way to show us a baby boa that was hanging around, and was very helpful in identifying bats. I remember these folks from my first trip, and they were just as fine. Also, a young bartender who works 3 weeks, then has a week home with his wife in San Jose - can't recall his name, but he was so sincere, and really touched our hearts.

At Monteverde, a young woman who greeted us, and worked at the front desk, was so helpful and friendly, and our guide in the cloud forest was top notch. We saw the quetzal, a pit viper, among other creatures. Also, the waiter - a young man, was wonderful, and another young man who is married to a young lady who is quaker. As you can see, one of the highlights was visiting with your employees, and we really enjoyed getting to know them. The food was incredible. EVERY meal was wonderful.

My only disappointment was at Tortugero when we were informed that our flight back to San Jose left at 6:15 a.m. We had to be up so early, and eat breakfast at 5:30, so we really were not at Tortugero for even 48 hours. I know you would want to know any negatives - and that was it. Thanks again for a wonderful time.

P.S. Nadya Shaw was so prompt and helpful, too. She helped us design a trip that could fit our budget, and still be first rate.
-Su Suits

May 23, 2007.- The Damas Island boat tour was wonderful.
We have filled out your form as well as we could, but we had so much more to communicate that we are adding this letter. We visited Costa Rica last year, and had such a good experience with CRE that we booked the trip through you again this year (Mar 30-Apr 15). Our experience this year was very good, also, and we want particularly to let you know how much we appreciated the help of Nadya Shaw, who organized the tour for us and was available to help us with small crises as the trip passed. Even when we had to correct the misinformation we gave her about our daughters and grandsons arrival time only days before the tour began, she responded graciously, quickly and efficiently. I have sent her a letter thanking her and also letting her know some of our observations about the trip. More specific notes are:

-San Jose: Fernando Perez was our guide last year, and again this year, and he was wonderful. He related particularly well with our 10-yr-old grandson, as did the driver, who gave him Spanish lessons when he got bored. -Tortuguero: Norton was our guide on both tours and he was knowledgeable and great fun. We felt the food was fine, but not great. There was a delay in being picked up by plane. There were some Americans there who were extremely dissatisfied and quite vocal in voicing their unhappiness to your staff. The others of us there felt their reactions were totally unjustified and rude and we think you should not take their criticisms seriously. -Manuel Antonio: We stayed at Buena Vista Villas, where we had stayed last year and were very happy there. As we have communicated to Nadya, we feel the catamaran tour could have been better, even if it hadnt been rained out. There were a lot of people on board and it is difficult to see how we could all have snorkeled and had dinner easily. We think a smaller boat might have worked better. -The Damas Island boat tour was wonderful, as it was last year. We especially appreciated the knowledge of the guide, Mili, who had also been our guide last year. She is excellent. We also had a good guide and driver for the tour in Manuel Antonio Park.
-William Jackson

Apr 24, 2007.- All drivers, managers, planners, and facilitators were top notch.
Hi Nadya: We had a great trip, largely thanks to you and the great CR team. As you remember, we had a vacation planned at a resort that fell through (on their end). In short order, you put together a great itinerary for us and we were on our way. Suffice to say, we loved everything: the variety and diversity of the Costa Rican countryside - from the rainforest to the Caribbean Coast to volcano regions to the cloud forest. The hotels were great, luxurious enough, beautiful, clean, flowers, and with a fun "down home" beat as well. But more the professionalism and knowledgeable "upbeat attitude" of all CR drivers, tour guides, hotel managers, etc. was phenominal. I have never been to such a happy place. I wish I had written everyone's name down to commend them individually. All our drivers were great: friendly, funny, eager to communicate, and very nice. Miquel, who transported us to Tortuguero, put on a wonderful picnic and told great stories. They all made us feel at home and welcome.

Also, as you may know, our trip was not without its challenges. A few days in, our daughter developed an ear infection, which we could not even diagnose correctly. We were in a remote place, worried - but CR came through with flying colors. In no time at all, we were scheduled for a doctor's appt in a hospital in San Jose. We saw a great doctor who spoke excellent English. We had the necessary drops and antibiotics in a half hour, and we were on our way to our next destination - not even a real break in schedule! Again, to a person, all drivers, managers, planners, and facilitators were top notch. Best we have ever come across. We had a GREAT GREAT time, and we couldn't have done it without all of you.
-The Borzilleri family

Apr 14, 2007.- Our U.S. workers should take a course in Customer Service from your staff.
Costa Rica Expeditions was fabulous! You have some real gems working for you. Our U.S. workers should take a course in Customer Service from your staff.

1. Nadya Shaw spent countless hours arranging our trip and then due to family illness, we postponed and she arranged it all over again!

2. Luis Chinchilla was a wealth of info, very friendly and upbeat, and spent his afternoon at a soccer game with us, which was thoroughly enjoyable!

3. Monteverde Lodge: The manager and staff went out in the dark, took off our flat tire and put on the spare. We got the flat at dinner time and thought we would have to wait until morning. But within 5 mins of us talking to the manager, they came out to do the work! In the US we would have had to wait 4 hours the next day for a tow truck, and since it was Sunday, we might have had to waste the whole day and wait until Monday. But these guys got us back on the road in no time.

4. Customer Service was exceptional at all hotels - Hotel Grano de Oro, Monteverde Lodge, Arenal, Torteguero Lodge, Corcovado Lodge. Food at Hotel Grano de Oro was marvellous - especially the pie!!!

5. Arenal was a bit short-staffed, we often had to wait a while to talk with staff, even though they worked extremely hard and were always courteous. They just need to hire a few more people. Also, the Arenal food was not as good as the other locations.

6. Tortuguero was very nice to not charge us for our kayaking disaster we fell out of the boat! Ricardo was an excellent guide on the inner canal trip.

7. Corcovado - Julian was excellent, as was "Fillo" (Rufilio).

8. We could not get Rios Tropicales to schedule our rafting trip to fit our itinerary, even after multiple long distance calls and emails. We went with Aguas Bravas and they were fantastic. We got lost driving to Sarapiqui and were 2 hours late so they let us go on a private rafting trip that afternoon, even though it was pouring rain. CRE should definitely recommend Aguas Bravas to your clients. Altogether a wonderful trip.
-Terri & Steve

Feb 18, 2007.- River & Rainforest Adventure: Everything was a 10.
Please consider this letter my "evaluation" of our River and Rainforest Adventure 1/6-1/14/07. I traveled with my two youngest daughters, Jen & Sarah, and my friend, their Tio Tomas. Start to finish we had a wonderful trip. Our "planner" was Nadya Shaw, who did an excellent job. We were fortunate to be joined by an eclectic group of travel companions with whom to share the adventure.

As far as the evaluation form, from my perspective, everything was a 10. What I want to do in this note is to take a few minutes to express my appreciation to our naturalist guide, Alvaro Farias, and our driver, Moncho (sp). I have had the opportunity to experience many "adventure" trips in many venues with many guides. I have stayed in contact with many of my guides over the years and hope to stay in contact with Natu. I have never had a guide whom I did not enjoy and appreciate, but Natu is the best.

The reason I say Natu is the best is that he not only excelled at all the things a traveler expects a guide to do well -- be informative, cheerful, accommodating, etc... but he also had to coordinate a variety of logistical arrangements with many different constituencies, all on Tico time, while adroitly speaking both English and Spanish. Another great benefit of his leadership was the knowledge imparted about Costa Rica and its people. On most trips, the guide has one mission. Natu had many, not the least of which was as a teacher to a bunch of foreign students.

In fact, as I think back on our adventure, perhaps the "best" part of the trip for me was to watch the interactions between our guide and the many other people who provided service to us, whether in travel, adventure, or lodging. Close behind was stopping on a busy highway to rescue a sloth. I do not speak much Spanish, but one does not need to speak a language to observe the genuine affection people show for each other. Natu has a way of making everyone feel special, and that is a rare gift. I left your country with a warm feeling not only for my fellow travelers, our guides and Costa Rica Expeditions, but also for all the friendly and helpful people with whom we interacted along the way. And I applaud Natu for guiding us on this amazing journey!

Everyone loved our driver, Moncho. He enjoyed helping my daughter, Jen, with her Spanish. Our river guides, Alejendro, Eduardo and Sieno (sorry about misspellings) were pure delights! I sincerely hope the Pacuare River remains open for rafting trips! It would be a shame if the government dams it!

So, in closing, I thank you for an excellent trip and sincerely hope you understand what a unique and talented employee you have in Alvaro Farias.
-Dale Shughart

Feb 16, 2007.- The itinerary you put together was excellent and the service first class.
Michael and Natalie: I want to let you know we had an outstanding time on our tour in your country. The itinerary you put together was excellent and the service first class.
All of the accommodations met the standards we expected. The transfers and guides were very informative and accommodating. The food, when provided, was excellent. The only issue that I had during the trip was at Tulemar. We didn't have access to the AT&T in country toll free number from our Buena Vista Villa. This was an inconvenience; since, we had to go to a pay phone on the highway to make calls back to the States.
I also want to thank Nadya for her help in arrangements for the trip. Her service was great and she was a pleasure to work with.
-George Siler

Feb 7, 2007.- The guides were great. The accommodations were very good.
Hello Michael: My wife and I had a fantastic trip to Costa Rica!! You may not know that this trip was our fifth time in Costa Rica. We loved the nature and the weather there so much on past trips that we wanted a trip targeted toward seeing much more of the nature in Costa Rica. Costa Rica Expeditions did not let us down! The guides were great. The accommodations were very good.

For your information, I will pass on a couple of area that I felt could be improved on. We booked in at Don Carlos Hotel in San Jose in Room 12. The room had a very old and squeaky bed that made our first night in Costa Rica (after 12 hours of traveling) a restless one. Which made my wife and I worried about the rest of the accommodations to come. Gladly, the rest of the accommodations were good.

At Corovado I found (like most others) that after a day of hiking, a period of relaxation is appreciated. But, I found the plastic and wooden chairs and loungers uncomfortable for a siesta. The nylon hammocks, with no head or foot cross bars, are not comfortable either.

We especially enjoyed the accommodations at Monteverde Lodge. As typical for Costa Rica, the people that serviced us were great!! They really do make a difference.

I do want to give a special thank you to Nadya Shaw. I felt Nadya went out of her way to ensure that our trip was a pleasant one. Thanks so much Nadya! (I did receive my jacket I left at Tortuga Lodge). I will not hesitate in recommending Costa Rica Expeditions to people I know that are going to visit our country.
-Ron and Janet Shillington

Feb 5, 2007.- You did a great job of organizing our trip.
Dear Nadya: A short e-mail to tell you what a great job your personnel did for us. Your people were very knowledgeable, anticipated our every need and were always helpful. As I'm sure you already know, you did a great job of organizing our trip and everything went as scheduled. Our only problem, which was not under your control, was the weather, i.e. we had heavy rains during our river tour. Thanks again for your help and services. I would/will highly recommend you and your company.
-Larry Goldberg

Sep 3, 2006.- ''Our favorite places to stay were: Lapa Rios, Monteverde Lodge and Finca Rosa Blanca.''
On behalf of our whole family I would like to say a big "thank you" to Costa Rica Expeditions. In particular to Nadya Shaw who arranged the most wonderful holiday, perfectly in line with what we were looking for. Her judgment and organization were impeccable: she was a joy to speak with. Our favorite places to stay were: Lapa Rios, Monteverde Lodge and Finca Rosa Blanca, which was a lovely retreat before and after our flights.

We would definitely recommend your company to anyone visiting the country. Your skill and long-term experience and contacts throughout the country are clearly of immense value. Every single driver and guide and all the staff at the above hotels were totally friendly and helpful and all contributed to a very memorable experience.
-Clare Duggan and family

May 17, 2006.- Our excursion was flawless.
We were referred to Nadya Shaw and your company by our friends, who booked a tour with you a few months back. We were so intrigued by their itinerary that we opted for the same one. Nadya provided excellent service and was always timely with her responses. We could not have asked for a better trip. Everything went as planned; all the drivers were on time, courteous, and drove safely; the accommodations were very nice...our excursion was flawless and we will definitely recommend your company to anyone traveling to Costa Rica. We have to give a special mention about Daniel Carballo Conejo, who drove us from Playa Conchal to Monteverde. Daniel is such a nice man and he made the drive so enjoyable. He said his English wasn't that good, but we don't know Spanish and yet we managed to converse the entire trip. The drive up the dirt road to Monteverde was very treacherous in places--you look out the window and you could just drop off into a valley--and Daniel was very careful and went slow...definitely not in a hurry to get us to the Monteverde Lodge so he could get home. We told other people we met traveling with CRE that we hoped they had the good fortune to have Daniel as their driver as they went to other destinations. We will always remember Costa Rica with fond memories and are so glad we added a few extra days to our trip so we could experience Monteverde and Arenal. Thank you for making our trip so enjoyable!
-Philipp and Cherie Albrecht

Apr 9, 2006.- The Pacuare River was the best adventure of the trip.
Our family had a fantastic trip to Costa Rica. I'd especially like to acknowledge the help and patience of Nadya Shaw in making arrangements. And while my shoulder surgery kept me off the Pacquare, my daughters (one of whom has rowed the Grand Canyon, and the other the Middle Fork Salmon) felt it was the best adventure of the trip, and Alejandro easily the best guide. He managed to make the long bus ride great fun. (And in the airport we met a man who had done your 2-day Paquare. He had nothing but rave reviews.)
-Steve Samuelson

Apr 4, 2006.- We appreciate all of Costa Rica Expeditions assistance.
We had a great time on our trip. We appreciate all of Costa Rica Expeditions assistance in our travels. A big thanks to Nadya Shaw who did all the logistics. We will most definitely be using your services in future school trips to Costa Rica. We will send pictures once we get them organized and edited. Thank you for all of your help, we'll be in touch.
-Chad Carlson

Feb 11, 2006.- ''An awesomely excellent expedition to Tortuguero and Corcovado.''
Greetings from cold Champaign, Illinois! We want to commend your organization for an awesomely excellent expedition to Tortuguero (staying at Tortuga Lodge) and Corcovado (staying at the tent camp) and on to Arenal. Starting with Nadya Shaw, every single encounter with Costa Rica Expeditions went precisely as planned - unfortunately, not always our experience with others such as Montezuma Expeditions (who only had to pick us up at our hotel and never showed!).

The people who picked us up, took care of us, and who guided us through the rainforests were ALL excellent folks we would be glad to have as friends. I would name the best, but they would all make the list. The facilities were also wonderful and the service primo. One suggestion would be slightly better food, especially at the Corcovado tent camp. Maybe it was simply eating the same type of menu at Tortuga Lodge and then Corcovado? I was disappointed not to be able to hike the primary forest at Corcovado. I understand what an undertaking this is, but suggest you offer a trip to fly into Silena and then do a 3-day hike to the tent camp. (Our guide, Fillo, suggested this but we didn't have time in our itinerary to arrange it this trip.) I will send some photos when we get them uploaded, but wanted to make sure I responded with our great appreciation for a job extremely well done.
-Diann & Arturo Thoma

Jan 13, 2006.- ''We are pleased from A to Z!''
The trip was terrific! Thank you for all you did! We are pleased from A to Z!!! Please send me an email to remind me to send you pictures, it will be my pleasure! Also please send my best regards and tremendous thank you's to Nadya for all her help!
-Vanessa, NYC.

Jan 3, 2006.- ''A vacation our family will remember for the rest of our lives.''
Thank you for your email--I was planning to write you this week about the fantastic vacation we spent in Costa Rica, not least due to the careful and patient planning of Nadya Shaw, and your wonderful guides and staff we met along the way. Nadya did a tremendous job pulling together--at a very busy time of year--a trip based on a few suggestions from us about what we'd like to do. The result was a vacation our family will remember for the rest of our lives--and a keen desire by all of us to return as soon as possible to Costa Rica.

Especially impressive were all the connections, buses, guides, drivers, etc. who made what could have been a daunting itinerary very easy. We were traveling with a four-year-old, and I especially was nervous about all the places we were going to pack in during out 10-day-stay. As it turned out, it all went smoothly--and Nadya and her team anticipated all our concerns and needs, such as confirming our return flights, ensuring we got to places on time, etc.

Our guide in the cloud forest--Olman--enchanted us with his good manners and vast knowledge. The places we stayed were breathtaking, and when some problems did arise at our rainforest house (such as the hot water heater breaking), Nadya responded quickly and everything was resolved fairly and in a friendly manner. We also appreciated her willingness and ability to secure some of our party a last-minute hotel room at the Marriott when we decided the cloud forest leg of our journey was going to be too much for our smallest traveler.

I will recommend your company to my friends who, after hearing of our adventures, are now keen to visit Costa Rica themselves. My father, who is a Canadian journalist, will also be writing a (positive!) column about our trip, and I'll be sure to forward it when it is published. His only disappointment was not being able to go on a zip-line--we were all less disappointed, as he is 78.
-Danielle Frum

Aug 18, 2005.- ''Those personal moments set your lodges apart from other places we visited.''
We want to say thank you to you and Nadya Shaw for a wonderful vacation. Just about everything worked out very well for us and we appreciate the effort Nadya put into it.

We absolutely loved Monteverde Lodge and Corcovado Lodge for their reverence for nature, their personal service and beautiful surroundings. Stellar at Corcovado are the peaceful setting, the family-style approach and the enthusiasm for nature shown by guides like Daniel. I enjoyed the home cooking and speaking with the staff, one of whom was kind enough to write me down a recipe for their delicious platanos con queso!

Those personal moments set your lodges apart from other places we visited and made our trip even more meaningful. We thank you and the staff for fostering this friendly and hospitable atmosphere.
-A. Boulton, CA

Jun 14, 2005.- "We had a really great time."
We had a really great time. Everything went according to plan and was so smooth. We never had any problems anywhere and would recommend you to all our friends. Many thanks again to everyone who helped us, from Nadya Shaw to the drivers and guides.
-Nadia

Sep 13, 2004.- It was truly the greatest trip we've ever taken.
Michael, we had the trip of a lifetime! I can't say enough great things about your company, and your employees. Everyone we dealt with, from Nadya in the office, to every single guide, driver and waiter and concierge in your hotels was so helpful and friendly. We couldn't believe how punctual everyone was, as well. It was truly the greatest trip we've ever taken. We only wish we could have stayed longer, but we'll be back! We're recommending you to all of our friends.
-

Jul 27, 2004.- ''The staff at Monteverde Lodge was wonderful.''
Dear Michael & Natalie: I wanted to let you know that my family (ages 7 - 70) had a wonderful time in Costa Rica thanks to Nadya Shaw who helped us plan our trip and took care of every detail in advance. It is always interesting traveling through a new place and relying on people you haven't even met. We put our faith in Nadya and your staff that our drivers/transfers would always show up as promised and that our hotel reservations were accurate. And everything was perfect! It made our journey flawless.

More importantly, the drivers were not just drivers, they became our new friends. Although our Spanish wasn't very good and their English wasn't very good, we had a lot of fun with them over the hours we spent together. I would like to mention that Daniel, who took us from Monteverde to Los Suenos, was great. Also, the staff at Monteverde Lodge was wonderful. They were very helpful in many ways - from planning our daily adventures, to handling our laundry, to retrieving my son's binoculars that were left in a taxi. The restaurant staff was also great and the food was delicious.

Of course, the wildlife that we came to see was awesome. We even saw a three-wattled bellbird form our room at the Monteverde Lodge. My 12-year-old son also saw the Quetzal, which was a highlight of his vacation. I truly felt that I made new friends and will surely return to see them.
-Jennifer Sucher

May 11, 2004.- ''The Corcovado Tent Camp is a great place.''
Hello Michael: Thank you for your e-mail. Not many companies follow up with a thank you, but it is a testament to the great organization you have assembled. Although I only used CRE for part of my trip everything was thoroughly professional with great follow through. It started with Nadya Shaw who answered by preliminary e-mail within a couple of hours, while other inquiries took days. That gave Nadya the opportunity to sell more services to me. I had originally inquired only about the Corcovado Lodge. She expanded my inquiry to include airport pickup, an overnight in San Jose, flight arrangements and a week's rental car after the Corcovado experience. She is a great credit to your company.

The Corcovado Lodge Tent Camp is a great place. Aaron, your manager there, runs a good ship under difficult conditions. He interacts well with the guests. His staff are very attentive and sensitive to client's needs. The food was excellent. I can't say enough about the cook staff who prepare excellent meals. The guides, Mitch and Rufilio Nuez (Fillo), are knowledgeable and go the extra mile for customer satisfaction. I would highly recommend your company to anyone visiting Costa Rica.
-Pete Van Kuran

May 8, 2004.- "The hotels were spectacular and the service brilliant."
Hello Nadya: Finally a chance to thank you for organising our trip to Costa Rica. We had a fantastic time in your amazing country and everything you had organised was perfect. Your staff were great, they were never, never late - and we were looked after perfectly. All of the hotels were spectacular and the service brilliant. Thank you so much.
-Peter Willasey and Sophie Jolly

Dec 20, 2003.- We haven't stopped raving about C.R. or your company.
Hi Mike: You run a tremendous outfit and I was just emailing a friend who wants to visit CR to write Nadya Shaw. She was exceptional, putting together our trip in an hour and following thr' all the time. The arrangements went exactly as planned, your people waiting ahead of confirmed e.d.t.

We haven't stopped raving about C.R. or your company. We want to return within the year, maybe over thanksgiving. maybe earlier Seriously wondering about business prospects there, any rationale to visit more often. Incidentally, my boss is coming with 20 or so people next week, Ed Atkins, and thinks you are arranging his tour.

The Tabacon lodge was borderline o.k. The reception staff were obviously less than enthralled to repeat the same info to successive waves of guests. The room was pleasant but the toilet unflushed and the Jacuzzi cooler than the pool with defunct water jets. The sides of the Jacuzzi needed cleaning. I killed some flying insects in our room but left the ants alone as they were hurting no one. There were no evaluation forms at Arenal. The only place without.

Our other hotels always exceeded our expectations, especially Xandari Plantation but the people were the best part of the vacation. I have such a respect for those whom we met, their attitudes, their philosophy and ability to put things in prospective. They are horrified that in America people go hungry, are homeless and sometimes illiterate. Thank you for facilitating our vacation. Please thank Nadya.
-Alison and William Pearson

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