Home Page

TRAVEL PLANNERS
priscilla jimenez
Senior Travel Planner
pjimenez@costaricaexpeditions.com
Priscilla started working for us in Nov. 1997, when she first came to CRE as an intern from a local university. We were so impressed with her ability to learn quickly, her dedication to Legendary Service and Unforgettable Memories, as well as her ability to get things done, that we offered her a position as sales assistant. In 1998 she became a Travel Planner. Today Priscilla is a Senior Travel Planner handling the most upscale of our clientele.

She has come to specialize in designing natural history and special interest and affinity group trips. She also plans honeymoons, anniversaries, and other vacations featuring celebrations.

Tortuguero is her favorite place to visitfor the wildlife, the people and the townand she loves to share the wonders of that wilderness with her sons Randy and Santiago. Born on Oct. 31, 1976, Priscilla loves dancing and music. She has recently ventured into the world of theater and claims there is no better way to forget the hustle and bustle of the office than to show up for rehearsal.



TESTIMONIALS:

For the Latest Feedback Click Here

Mar 2, 2011.- "...we have traveled extensively for work and pleasure (my husband and I are journalists so when I say extensively that includes many, many remote and exotic locations) and I honestly cannot think of a better travel experience..."
Hi Priscila,

I am writing to let you know that our trip last week to Costa Rica was wonderful!!! You should know that we have traveled extensively for work and pleasure (my husband and I are journalists so when I say extensively that includes many, many remote and exotic locations) and I honestly cannot think of a better travel experience than the one you organized for us. All hotels were perfect, all transportation was 100% punctual - and fun (the kids LOVED the little planes), the guides were friendly, helpful and professional... and your country was beautiful and charming.

I filled out the on-line survey at Travel and Leisure giving Costa Rica Expeditions an excellent rating and I look forward to recommending you to friends and family in the future.

Sincerest thanks from our whole family-Julie, Ron, Anthony & Ella
-

Feb 25, 2011.- The only change I would have made was to end the trip with William because we went into William-withdrawal for the rest of the trip!
The most amazing vacation - I will not urge people to use you when they go to Costa Rica but insist upon it. William is a gift. The only change I would have made was to end the trip with William because we went into William-withdrawal for the rest of the trip! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU
Felice
-

Jan 26, 2011.- Our anniversary dinner was beyond imagination, illuminated path to our private riverside table under a lantern lit tree!!!

Priscilla, I cannot thank you enough for the fabulous trip you planned! 
We just got home and are readjusting, it is in the 30's here. 
Our vacation was wonderful. The accommodations were  beyond our expectations; especially the volcano view from our room at Monoa, and the superlative service and luxurious room at Tortuga Lodge. The special attention to detail at Tortuga was incredible; welcome beverage upon arrival and candles litin our room after dinner. Our anniversary dinner was beyond imagination, illuminated path to our private riverside table under a lantern lit tree!!! 
Everyone from CRE was so professional, and every meal so wonderful ( amazing lunch halfway down the Pacuare). The relief from concern or planning was invaluable.
The activities we did were great. Thank you for including the waterfall rappelling, a rare thrill, and the ecothermales, perfection afterwards. Special thanks to rearranging our zipline day to enable us to raft, that was incredible!!! 
We will be spreading the word on your service, and wishing for someone like you/CRE for our future excursions (hoping for South Africa for my 50th).
All the best
Sandy Marcus
November 2010

-Sandy Marcus

Jan 26, 2011.- .. our very positive experience with Priscila Jimenez who helped us so much during the planning phase.

Dear Natalie,
Thank you so much for your very specific responses to our comments regarding our recent trip. It occurred to me when I read it that I forget to mention our very positive experience with Priscila Jimenez who helped us so much during the planning phase. She answered all our questions promptly and made us very comfortable with the whole experience. It was the first tour either of us had taken and my first time out of the country, so we probably needed a little bit of extra attention.
Jim and Ellen Thompson
October 2010

-

Jan 26, 2011.- Each email interaction I had with Priscilla was prompt and left me feeling I could fully rely on what I was being told was happening.

I'd like to recognise both our guide Mariela, and Edgar our driver for making our tour of Costa Rica an absolute pleasure.  Both were extremely helpful, informative and entertaining.  Edgar kept us laughing with his stories and Mariela went out of her way to ensure we had the best opportunity to see as much of Costa Rica's bird and animal life as possible. 
But I have taken my children on a number of such holidays and what stood out most for me was the 'sales process'.  Organising a holiday from the other side of the world is a challenge, knowing I can't front up at the office to ask for personal assistance or wait online for someone to answer the phone.  I was very impressed with the quality and frequency of communication with your business; the automated response to my initial request acknowledged what I had asked for but also, informed me as to what would happen next.  And it did. Each email interaction I had with Priscilla was prompt and left me feeling I could fully rely on what I was being told was happening.  This is what I have been most impressed with.  What could have been an 'anonymous' interaction felt to me to be very personal.  I'd like to thank Priscilla more than anyone for her help in arranging a wonderful trip for us.  I have told of my experience to a number of people and I will continue to do so.  I can not over estimate the importance of personal engagement in a web channel and my experience with CR Expeditions has set a very high standard indeed.
Thanks again,
Dave
January 2011

-

Jan 26, 2011.- Everyone knew it was our anniversary and gave us well wishes.

Priscila,
My husband has been busy giving fabulous on line ratings to Costa Rica Expeditions and the various hotels we stayed at, but I wanted to thank you personally for all you did to make this a wonderful trip.  Everyone knew it was our anniversary and gave us well wishes.  All the tour guides were great and really knew their stuff.  The accommodations were wonderful, especially Nayara Arenal.  We were treated like royalty!

I would definitely recommend your company and we hope to visit again.  We heard that you are building up on your Pacific coast property.  Keep us up to date on the progress as we'd love to visit the coast on our next trip.

Thanks again!
Beth Harling
January 2010

-

Jan 19, 2011.- And I scrutinized their pricing and found it very fair.
Hi, there.  Sorry not to give you the feedback you requested earlier, but I did just fill out the survey referred to below, and I want you to know how happy I was with your service and that I did rate it excellent in every category.  (Priscilla Jiminez was the person who helped us.)  Here was my comment:

When I contacted Costa Rica Expeditions, I'd already done a lot of research and had in mind an extremely ambitious itinerary with multiple destinations and activities, and in some locations, I'd already found good hotels at budget rates. But I knew I needed help, esp. with the many transfers by car, boat, and small plane. CRE did not have a relationship with some of the more modest hotels I was interested in and could not book them for me. I had no problem with that, and they had no problem helping me with the parts I wanted them to handle. They gave me knowledgeable, helpful advice about choices to be made, and did everything possible to coordinate with me so we were able to maximize our trip experience with no slip-ups, including coordinating betw. portions of the trip that I booked and portions they booked. And I scrutinized their pricing and found it very fair. I would gladly use them again and recommend them highly.
I do hope we will be able to return to Costa Rica some day.
Best regards,
Carolyn Sortor Reviewed January 2011 Traveled April 2010

-

Sep 1, 2009.- Costa Rica Expeditions was simply amazing. They respond very quickly and offer the most personalized and friendly service!
I have been meaning to write a note expressing my utmost appreciation for a most wonderfully arranged trip and an amazing experience that has exceeded my expectations completely!!
I am/will enthusiastically recommend Costa Rica Expeditions (and Costa Rica for that matter!) to all my friends and family! The level of customized/personal service provided by Costa Rica Expeditions was just great; I would like to thank Priscilla Jimenez especially for communicating in such a timely basis and for her fantastic service in helping my friend and I plan and develop a trip itinerary customized for us!
See below for my feedback. I am already looking forward to my next trip to Costa Rica. Please continue with your unparalleled excellence in helping others create wonderful memories in Costa Rica!

Q. What happened that fascinated, delighted, inspired, amazed or enlightened -- something that might become a lifetime memory? The people of Costa Rica! They are so generous, open, nice, and genuine! Really a service-oriented country. People went out of their way to make sure we had a good time; very flexible and accommodating. The food was amazing! The service at Monterverde Lodge was simply fantastic!! We were provided such customized and personal service, it is unforgettable. The food was delicious and the package provided by CR expeditions was just great. All our tour guides (monterverde cloud forest, ecological sanctuary at Monterverde, float boat in arenal) were fantastic!! Arenal was beautiful and we were extremely lucky to see the volcano erupt!! Arranged separately, zip lining was absolutely amazing and unforgettable!! And, most of all, the highlight was a boat cruise we took in Tamarindo (lazy lizard). We saw humpback whales, dolphins, turtles, went snorkeling and "petted" puffer fish, porcupine fish, starfish, octopus. And, watched a beautiful sunset on the waters of playa flamingo. All the transportation/transfers were smooth and as scheduled; drivers very friendly and courteous.

Q. What surprised you by going beyond the hopes you had based on our site or what you read and heard before hand? The people of costa rica were truly amazing. We heard about it beforehand, but to experience it was unbelievable. The website was actually a bit complicated, especially with the myriad of packages offered. Working with Priscilla was so easy and fast - it was wonderful. The questionnaire on the website was really great - with this, Priscilla was able to develop a personalized vacation for us in no time.

Q. What fell short of your expectations? I was surprised that ziplining could not be arranged. We went with Sky Trek, which was fantastic! We understand the safety issues (many of the "canopy tours" indeed are precarious looking), but an organization as established as Sky Trek should have some relationship with Costa Rica Expeditions. Capitan Suizo was a great hotel, but not as great as we were expecting. The Arenal Nayara was the best hotel on our trip and we would have stayed there an extra night. It would be great to hear even more feedback from CR Expeditions on our proposed choices. For example, we were extremely grateful to Priscilla for letting us know ahead of time that Cala Luna was not on the beach.

Q. Did the trip change your feelings about those you traveled with? Went with my best friend; this was our best trip yet!

Q. What issue beforehand almost decided you to not travel with us? Response time; we planned later than usual for the trip, so were anxious to keep the communication flowing very rapidly and book as soon as possible.

Q. What were the few most important things that decided you to go with us? The pricing (which was accomodated to our budget), the itinerary, high level of customization and service provided in developing our itinerary.

Q. What Costa Rica Expeditions people exceeded or fell short of your expectations, and in what ways? Priscilla responded right away and offered whatever means (such as calling) to help plan our trip in a timely manner. She was extremely courteous and friendly and easy to communicate with. The itinerary was simply fantastic. Her caveat on Cala Luna not having a beach was very appreciated! I would wish to work with her again on future bookings. The only recommendation I would make is provide a list/proposal of other activities that we could do - for example, provide a range of choices for us to choose from. Also, further feedback on hotels chosen would also be helpful for travelers (and help confirm for them whether their choices are good or not). As mentioned above, Monteverde Lodge absolutely exceeded our expectations! In particular, Diego Hernandez and Frederico (who was covering for the regular manager) provided the most amazing personalized service. All the tour guides (Charlie/Eco Sanctuary, Samuel/Cloud Forest, Haime/Float boat) were simply superb. All the drivers were great, especially on our way to Tamarindo, the driver made a lunch spot at a fantastic place - la choza de laurel (?) in Liberia.

Q. What would you say to a friend if you wanted to persuade them to choose us when they come to Costa Rica? Costa Rica Expeditions was simply amazing. They respond to you very quickly and offer the most personalized and friendly service! They arranged all our transportation, and concocted a customized itinerary that was simply fantastic! You should definitely use them if you wish to travel to more than one place in Costa Rica, as they make sure the transfers are smooth and the trip filled with fun activities - to your preferences.
-Sandra Chang

Aug 5, 2009.- ''By using your service we could truly feel like we were on vacation and let the experts take care of the details. It was wonderful! Worth every penny!''
Q: What happened that fascinated, delighted, inspired, amazed or enlightened -- something that might become a lifetime memory? Definitely the rainforest hikes and the strange critters we saw there that we didn't expect - butterflies with transparent wings and basilisk lizards that walk on water, for instance.

Q: What surprised you by going beyond the hopes you had based on our site or what you read and heard before hand? How smoothly everything went. We felt completely cared for so that we could lay back and enjoy the wonderful sights, tastes and experiences of CR.

Q: And what fell short of your expectations? The only experience that disappointed was the snorkeling tour. It wasn't private, which we weren't clear on given the rest of our tours. That wouldn't have been such an issue but the water was apparently rough that day and not a good day to snorkel. Our itinerary description said that they would be going to more than one site, though with the poor conditions the operator did not offer an alternative site nor did they offer to reschedule. Had it been private, John would have asked them to return to shore. No sense wasting a morning... but it wasn't private and the other people along had never been snorkeling before so the tour operator did not offer to return early. John would not recommend using them again. One tiny request: it would have been nice to have a message at our hotel each night before an excursion knowing what time we were going to be picked up. We were sometimes guessing.

Q: Did the trip change your feelings about those you traveled with? No. We had a blast together. The kids were great travel companions.

Q: What issue beforehand almost decided you to not travel with us? The outdated conditions of Monteverde Lodge. I would still contend the rooms and main lodge need updating, especially given all the new and nicer resorts going into your beautiful country. But we stayed there knowing what it would be like and the staff went a long way to making the stay more enjoyable. The garden was lovely and the hiking paths were fun. Your staff should promote those more!

Q: What were the few most important things that decided you to go with us? Priscilla Jimenez's ability to capture all of our needs in one vacation pretty close to right off the bat. With a bit of fine tuning we had an itinerary that included all we wanted to do. The whole process was so easy. It was so nice to be able to rely on a trusted expert who had a feel for what we were looking for. We felt cared for every step of the way. We knew drivers were arranged for each activity so we didn't even have to think of that. Even as mundane as knowing my kids were prone to motion sickness so I was concerned about the drives into and out of Monteverde, Priscilla had arranged stops and clearly Alberto and William knew our situation so they and their drivers did an amazing job planning enough breaks so that the drives never got to be too much. As an aside, John met another guest at Monteverde Lodge who said he got his friend's Costa Rica Expeditions itinerary from the year before and just followed that. He was implying that he saved himself a bunch of money by booking it all himself. John and I felt like he missed the point - that meant this other guest had to do all the calling and arranging, had to deal onsite with all the coordination activities. By using your service we could truly feel like we were on vacation and let the experts take care of the details. It was wonderful! Worth every penny! Finally, I really appreciated the fact that you check out the companies and tour operators you work with, particularly the canopy tour operator, to ensure all safety procedures are being followed. It gave me peace of mind to know we could relax and enjoy because someone had already done the checking out of the various operators. To know that out of 200 canopy tour operators in CR you have only approved 6 so far to work with made me feel that much more safe with the one you chose.

Q: What Costa Rica Expeditions people exceeded or fell short of your expectations, and in what ways? None fell short. Priscilla Jimenez, our travel planner, was an enthusiastic ambassador of your country. She was responsive, attentive to detail and was quickly able to assess our needs and wants and address them. She did an amazing job. Our travel guides into and out of Monteverde, Alberto and William, and their drivers, were terrific as well. They were friendly and knowledgeable, sharing interesting facts about CR and interesting sights along the way. They were responsive to our needs for breaks. William was a trooper - my son Liam was not feeling well the morning of our drive to Manuel Antonio. (I think he petted too many stray dogs without washing his hands...) He ended up getting sick a couple of times on the way down, but we were able to get him out of the car and to a safe spot on the side of the road both times, thanks to William and his driver. William even thought to stop for some Gatorade for electrolytes and crackers for Liam.

Our nature guides in both parks - Carlos in Monteverde and Millie in Manuel Antonio - were wonderful as well. They clearly showed their expertise. There is no way we would have seen any of the things we did without them. They were knowledgeable and willing to share the sights and sounds the rainforest had to offer. They were generous with their expertise and their passion for what they did came through in their efforts with us.

Q: What would you say to a friend if you wanted to persuade them to choose us when they come to Costa Rica? With CRE you know all the details will be taken care of so the adventures you enjoy are the ones you're suppose to enjoy - like canopy tours, rainforest hikes, and white water rafting - instead of travel hassles you don't enjoy - like having to arrange transportation, figuring out how to get between destinations, checking out operators and hotels from hundreds of choices. With CRE you always have someone to call should you need help.
-Kathy McDonald

Aug 3, 2009.- It felt like a second honeymoon for us.
Q. What happened that fascinated, delighted, inspired, amazed or enlightened -- something that might become a lifetime memory? First impression upon arrival: We arrived at Liberia Airport Hilton hotel at night. From our window, you could not see anything at all, so we didn't even know if it was the sea, or the forest, or a field, or some buildings. When we woke up the next morning, we opened the curtains and saw such a beautiful dense forest as far as the eyes could see. That was amazing.

Q. What surprised you by going beyond the hopes you had based on our site or what you read and heard before hand? Waterfalls in Arenal: After the horse ride, we walked down to the bottom of the waterfall. It was raining really heavily, the water was deep, so we didn't want to cross the water, but our guide took our camera and walked across the waist deep water just to take some closer photos of the waterfall for us. We hadn't asked him to do such a thing, he just went anyway and returned 100% soaked obviously. This is an example of a person going beyond expectations.

Hotel Borinquen Mountain Resort was beyond expectations too. From the photos and from what I've read, I could not have imagined what a beautiful and tranquil place it would be. We had 2 days there, and one of the days was completely at leisure. So, we spent the whole day relaxing on the hammock on the balcony admiring the view, listening to the birds, reading a book. It was the most relaxing day of our lives. The staff, even though there was no room service, didn't mind bringing us food from the restaurant for lunch. Again, going beyond expectations.

Q. What fell short of your expectations? Nothing. Believe me, I find very easy excuses to complain about things if I am not satisfied with something. My own job is very demanding and you cannot afford to make any mistakes. So I expect the same from everyone. No complaints about anything in Costa Rica. The only thing I could mention is that most of the hotels do not have a clock on the wall in the reception area. I found that unusual. I think out of the 5 hotels we stayed in, only Monteverde Lodge had a clock.

Q. Did the trip change your feelings about those you traveled with? I was with my wife, we left our little daughter with the grandparents and took our first holiday as a couple since her birth 2 years ago. So in that sense, it felt like a second honeymoon for us. It would have been very difficult to do the same trip with a 2 year old, almost impossible, and we would not have been able to do some of the activities at all.

Q. What issue beforehand almost decided you to not travel with us? Nothing really. I contacted Priscilla and at the same time one of your competitors working for a US company. After a few emails, it was apparent that you were more professional, even though you were more expensive, so I decided to go with you.

Q. What were the few most important things that decided you to go with us? Professionalism. Priscilla Jimenez was always very clear, she could answer all my questions, never giving me ambiguous answers. This way, we didnt have any bad surprises.

Q. What Costa Rica Expeditions people exceeded or fell short of your expectations, and in what ways? Everyone seems to enjoy their jobs. Michael, please pay them well, they deserve it!

Q. What would you say to a friend if you wanted to persuade them to choose us when they come to Costa Rica? This is a very good company, they put together an itinerary based around what you want to see in Costa Rica and how intense you want to experience different activities. They're very professional, the email communications are always very clear and, when you arrive in CR, they give you a vouchers booklet, very neatly printed, so you know exactly what's going on each day. They always call or fax you the day before about your upcoming activities and who will meet you at what time and where. You feel like they're taking care of you. You feel like you get personal attention. However, of course this all comes at a price. They are not cheap. I would use them if I were planning a trip with many stops, many activities, many transfers, because they arrange everything for you, you pay a lot of money, but you get a wonderful service.
-Baris Akcali

May 30, 2008.- We were very, very impressed with CRE's level of organization and punctuality.
Dear Priscilla (and Michael and Natalie): Ann and I want to thank everyone at Costa Rica Expeditions for a simply wonderful trip. We had only two regrets - that we didn't get to Costa Rica sooner and that we didn't stay longer. I've already recommended Costa Rica Expeditions to several friends who are considering a vacation there. I just can't say enough about how pleased we were with your operation. Here are a few random thoughts I thought you would like to hear.

1. We were very, very impressed with CRE's level of organization and punctuality. Every time we were told a driver would pick us up at a given time, it happened right on time. From the moment we arrived at the airport to the moment we were dropped back off there a week later, everything on the trip went without a hitch. Every tour guide was at the right place on time and expecting us. Every hotel booking was made perfectly. I don't think I've ever had a vacation go so smoothly.

I really want to commend you, Priscilla, on one point. I had a moment of panic on the plane down when I realized that I had never specifically asked about the size of the tours and told you what I wanted. Ann and I both HATE being in large crowds or being herded onto buses to go from one place to the next in a group. Turns out I didn't have to worry at all. Everything you arranged for us was essentially just for the two of us. Thank you for that. Perfect!

2. A very special thanks to Miguel and Vincent! It was great to have Miguel along to identify so many birds and animals we saw along our drives. He's very knowledgeable and sharp-eyed. Vincent gave Ann a great surprise toward the end of the week with a side trip to see some macaws and monkeys. He's also a very careful driver. Even though we both take New York City taxicabs daily, Ann is very sensitive to drivers who sometimes go too fast and make her feel unsafe, but that NEVER happened with Vincent at the wheel. They were both great guys.

3. The Arenal Nayara Hotel and Gardens is simply lovely. We both were very pleasantly surprised at the level of luxury and service. We weren't expecting so much. That was a nice treat. We even got to see the entire volcano a few times when the clouds lifted. We didn't see much at the Hanging Bridges (even our guide was disappointed), but it was a beautiful walk on a beautiful morning. Unfortunately, it was pouring rain the entire time we were at Ecotermales, but we still had a good time. There is one thing I would recommend you change here, though: We were dropped off about 5:30 p.m., and the driver told us he was scheduled to return at 9 p.m. That's just too much time. There's no way you can spend that long at Ecotermales, even with dinner and drinks. Luckily, the young man at the front desk there was able to call Sunset Tours and have a driver return at 7:30 p.m. That was perfect.

4. Loved the boat trip across Arenal Lake. Even though the boat driver (Wilson?) said he didn't speak much English, we talked about how much we love bird-watching, and he took us to several spots along the lake where we some some exotic birds. Much fun for about half an hour.

5. Monteverde was special. Our guide in the cloud forest-Eliamar Rojas Cespedes-was informative and knowledgeable and a nice guy. On his tour we even saw five(!!) Quetzals. I had always assumed the Quetzal was a legend that Costa Ricans told to tourists to keep them coming. Then we saw two females and three males. Boy was I wrong! On a sad note, we were very distressed to see that shopping mall being built in Santa Elena across from the Monteverde Lodge. I know that tourism spurs development, but that just seems unfortunate. One other note about Monteverde: the one part if our itinerary that I wasn't really looking forward to was the El Trapiche tour. It just didn't sound that interesting, and to top it off it was raining like I've never seen rain that afternoon. Just a torrential downpour. Well, I was wrong and you were right. We found the tour very, very interesting and quite fun, even though we spent some hours walking around in the pouring rain. Diego is even something of a comedian. When we got back to the Monteverde Lodge, Ann and I blurted out at the same moment how much we enjoyed El Trapiche. So thanks for a pleasant surprise!

6. Here's one last thought you might consider. The pre-trip information you sent was very helpful, including the little treatise on tipping. One thing I really, really wished I had done before the trip was to go to a U.S. bank and get a lot of money in small bills ($1s or $5s) for tips. We arrived in Costa Rica with a lot of $20 bills and nothing else. No one at any hotel or in several shops those first days was ever able to make change, either in dollars or colones. It wasn't until our third day that I was able to get to a bank to get a bunch of $1000 colone notes. It's not a big deal, but you might want to recommend that people arrive with denominations of money smaller than $20 bills.

Finally, Costa Rica wins hands down over the Caribbean on two other fronts. Everyone we met was friendly and helpful. Costa Ricans seem genuinely and justifiably proud of their country, and glad to show it off to tourists. Second, the food was universally terrific. We didn't have a bad meal there. So fresh! So thanks again for a wonderful trip. You can be sure we'll recommend Costa Rica Expeditions to our friends.
-Jackson & Ann Dykman

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 dont 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 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 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.
-Sharon Fahrney

Nov 28, 2007.- The guides were great, the follow up and attention to detail was much appreciated.
Priscilla: I heard from my client today following his return from their Costa Rica Expeditions experience and subsequent cruise. He raved about your services, and was so happy that we recommended CRE. The guides were great, the follow up and attention to detail was much appreciated. And my thanks to you, personally, for making it easy to make these arrangements for our happy clients. Hopefully, we'll have a chance to refer more people to you in 2008. Felicidades!
-Connie Dix, Kelly Cruises

Aug 6, 2007.- Thank you for doing such a great job coordinating our trip.
To Priscilla Jimenez: Just wanted to thank you for doing such a great job coordinating our trip. Everything ran so smoothly, and everyone was so welcoming and accommodating. We didn't have to worry about anything. Also I wanted to thank you for getting my cell phone back to me. That must have required a lot of effort and I really appreciate it! Rachel and I had a great time. I will definitely recommend Costa Rica Expeditions to anyone I know who will travel there in the future, and I hope to go back myself again some day!
-Julia Mallon

Jun 25, 2007.- The guides we encountered were professional, knowledgeable, gracious and attentive.
Hi Priscilla: We have returned form your beautiful country and the beautiful vacation you so kindly planned for us. We spent a lovely time exploring the many regions that we were so fortunate to visit. I think it's fair to say that we enjoyed the "untouched" Osa peninsula the most - so pristine and pure in every sense.

The Lapa Rios Ecoresort is a destination that, time permitting, we would return to again and again. It is really an extraordinary resort and destination. All of the travel arrangements were perfectly executed by your firm and colleagues throughout our eight-day adventure. The guides we encountered were professional, knowledgeable, gracious and attentive at every step of the way. The accommodations and cuisine throughout our travels were superb and exceeded our expectations, as did the beautiful and unique wildlife and activities.

Although I write this note to you, I know that Bob echoes all of the same sentiment and accolades - he was genuinely impressed with your firm. Thank you for your advice and assistance planning this great trip - it was truly wonderful from start to finish. I hope you are proud to be a Costa Rican, you should be!
-Rita Whitney

Aug 22, 2006.- Accolade to Priscilla, Travel Planner.
I want to take the time to thank you for the wonderful services provided to me, for my clients, by your travel consultant Priscilla. She was untiring in her efforts to create a trip for my travelers and was patient beyond patient with the many changes and questions. As a Virtuoso agent, we expect our on-sites to help us but she has done such a super job, I had to let you know. I have worked with her before, and with no complaints, but sometimes it is very important to give an accolade to a super super job.
-Anita Becker, CTC, McCabe Bremer Travel, McLean, VA

Jul 11, 2006.- ''Having traveled with CRE on several trips, this was the best yet. Service throughout was a 10.''
I've attached an evaluation form. My apologies again for getting it to you so late:

At the Airport: Promptly met at the airport by the transfer guide who provided all tour information. Upon arrival at the Don Carlos there was a problem with not having the single rooms as needed, but after some discussion that was resolved with the two single men getting separate rooms. A grateful thank you to CR Exp. for picking up my co-leader at the airport later in the evening upon his arrival from San Salvador. (having been delayed due to stolen passport!)
Vehicles: Cleanliness and comfort 10, good equipment in good condition is much appreciated.
Arrangements: punctuality - 10, flexibility 10
Office/Sales Operation: Priscilla Jimenez; Accessibility, Problem Solving, Flexibility 10, I received excellent advice and suggestions.
Itinerary: Pace - Not too fast, we prefer full and active days. Variety of Sites 9/10, sites were selected by me with assistance of travel planner, Landscape at Sites 10, Wildlife at Sites 10, Activity vs. travel time 10, effort was made to reduce long distances by vehicle.
Accommodations: Hotel Don Carlos 7, good choice for a downtown hotel with walking access to historic center city museums and restaurants, historic nature of hotel provides some cultural experience, great courtyard for breakfast.
Selva Verde Lodge 7, rooms and food are quite adequate, walkways and trails provide excellent birding and wildlife viewing, new patio area at restaurant is very nice.
Arenal Observatory Lodge - 9 for very nice 'Smithsonian' rooms; the view if not cloudy, would have been spectacular. Breakfast and service 7.
Monteverde Lodge and Gardens 10 for rooms, meals, and all services.
Hotel Villa Lapas 6 for rooms, (but perhaps some other rooms are better), 7 for service, 8 for meals. Birding opportunities were very good. (I had previously stayed at Villas Caletas and there is no comparison! Something between the two, in the vicinity of Carara, would be welcome.)
Service Personnel: Guide: Miguel Marin - 10. Knowledge of Birds 8, Overall natural history/ecology 9, History/Culture 10, Accessibility 10, Problem Solving 10, Delivery of Info 10. Miguel was a terrific traveling companion, catering to our every request and finding new locations for birds we may not have seen. All of us enjoyed his company and the stories shared of Costa Rican people and culture.
Driver: Max 10 on all criteria, he was our best driver ever; we especially appreciated his always cheerful and helpful attitude.
Expectations - 10: Having traveled with CR Exp. on several trips, this was the best yet. Service throughout was a 10. Your pre-trip booklet provides some of the best and most thorough traveler information I have seen. It is very important to provide the messages contained as well as the helpful maps and facts. Of utmost concern to me as a trip leader, is safety. I believe you are doing the maximum and appreciate that only the safest experiences are offered. Good lodging and healthy food are next in importance. The natural history experiences are provided by your country in abundance. My role is to assist travelers in engaging in these experiences in a comfortable manner where they are unaware of the details and logistics in getting them there. I am always looking for the CR Exp-like company operating in other countries we visit!
-Linda Ingram, Ceiba Nature Tours

Apr 24, 2006.- It is hard to find a vacation spot that pleases everyone, and Costa Rica was definitely it.
I wanted to take the time to thank you all for putting a wonderful trip together for my family. My husband, three children, ages 9, 13 and 15, and my sister all were very happy with our trip. It is hard to find a vacation spot that pleases everyone, and Costa Rica was definitely it. We all hated to leave and can't wait to return. The best part of our trip was our guide, Sonia Sanchez and our driver Alex. I was not sure if my children would enjoy having a guide with us, but they loved it. We missed them after they dropped us off in Manuel Antonio!! They were great. Sonia made us feel comfortable right away and taught us so many things about this beautiful country. We have traveled many places, but this is the first time my kids have begged to go back again. I also want to thank Priscilla for helping to put our itinerary together. It really helped to make our trip so easy and fun. I have already recommended CRE to friends, family, and strangers we met during our travels. Thank you so much for a very memorable vacation.
-Susan Pillsbury and family

Apr 10, 2006.- I would highly recommend your services.
We had a GREAT trip. All the arrangements were well chosen and described accurately. The logistics were very smooth. We appreciate the efforts particularly of Priscilla Jimenez who coordinated the trip and Fernando (Lopez?) who was our guide in Arenal/Fortuna. I would highly recommend your services and have made several recommendations to friends already. Thank you and we will be back!
-Drew Smith

Feb 22, 2006.- ''Jorge Jara Ayub is a top-notch guide and our experience was infinitely richer because of him.''
Dear Priscilla: I want to thank you for organizing an absolutely fabulous trip for my family last week. You put together a great itinerary with a good pace and fun activities for all of us -- ages 4 yrs to 70. From the minute our plane touched down in San Jose and there was a Costa Rica Expeditions guide to meet us at the airport, it was clear that we were in very good hands.

The Hotel Bougainvillea was fine, and we were appreciative that our guide had ordered breakfasts for all of us for our early start on Saturday morning.

Max, our driver, could not have been more helpful -- arriving early and handling luggage, establishing a friendly tone with the children, getting us safely where we were going at all times, pointing out wildlife along the way, and even entertaining the children when they had had enough of Quetzal watching in Monteverde. I don't know if it is standard practice to have a driver return again and again to pick up the same family, but for us, it was always great to see his smiling face when he arrived to take us off on some new adventure.

We enjoyed every place we stayed: Punta Islita, Monteverde Lodge, Tortuga Lodge -- if I could change anything it might be to spend more time in Tortuguero -- but we will come back in turtle season some day and take another hike.

Finally, absolutely the BEST part of the trip was our guide, Jorge Jara Ayub. He is a top-notch guide and our experience was infinitely richer because of him. He was warm and friendly and informative without overloading us with information. His love for the environment, the wildlife, and the people of Costa Rica came through in everything he did. He was extremely sensitive to our needs and constantly evaluating our plans to make them work. I am sure there were occasional glitches, but they never felt that way -- they felt like opportunities to learn more and experience more. I know he spent lots of time and energy checking to be sure that the next phase of our journey was ready to go, but he did it unobtrusively and positively. His timing is excellent -- if we were in slow traffic we had a chance to learn about coffee farming; a wait for a boat was a chance to use the facilities and watch for birds. He was very supportive of our interests, doubling back to look at birds, doing research about unlikely warblers, arranging for kid-friendly meals, setting up telescopes, bringing us back to Monteverde at 6:00 am to find the elusive Quetzals.

Our forays into Tortuguero's canals yielded incredibly diverse wildlife, and Jorge was able to provide informative facts about them and describe field signs in such a way that all of us, especially the kids, were hooked. He seems to have an encyclopedic knowledge of natural and cultural history -- I don't think there was a question we asked that he didn't have a ready answer for. He is very good with kids; enthusiastic and respectful without talking down to them. As we neared the end of our portion of the trip with him, the children were sad and even sulky that he wouldn't be going on to Punta Islita with us.

He made our experience really special. We really appreciate all that you, and Jorge, and Max, and the transfer guides did to make our visit a memorable one. We'll be back -- and we will recommend Costa Rica Expeditions to our friends.
-Judy Drew Fairchild

Dec 9, 2005.- "You guys were great!"
You guys were great! Priscilla Jimenez was so helpful before and during our trip that I would recommend your company to anyone interested in visiting Costa Rica! Thank you so much again!
-Gidon & Elise

Mar 23, 2003.- I will always be grateful to you for making our trip as stress-free and enjoyable as possible.
Dear Priscilla: Thanks for making our travel arrangements for us. Our trip was outstanding and I will always be grateful to you for making our trip as stress-free and enjoyable as possible. I am SOOO glad I did not do my own driving! Your staff was so kind and concerned. And ALWAYS ON TIME.

Please pass on to Michael Kaye that Joe and I also appreciate his sponsorship of the Whiffenpoofs. Hearing them in Monteverde was quite a memorable experience.
-Debbie Karp

Close
MY FAVORITE TRIPS

Keep a list of favorite trips by clicking the link, "Add to My Favorites" found on all itineraries.

Close
Creating a My favoriteS LIST

As you search for your ideal trip in the custom itineraries section of our web site, you may wish to create a list of favorite trips. To do so, click on the link above each itinerary, Add to My Favorites. Each itinerary you chose will be added to a personalized list of trips. You can add as many trips as you want to your list and refer back to them by clicking on the link, "See My Favorites," which will appearin the right column once you have selected a favorite.

Your list of favorites will follow you as you surf the site, allowing you to refer back to selected itineraries at any time. On your next visit to our web site, the list will reappear by clicking the link, See My Favorites.

FIND YOUR IDEAL VACATION

Search our database of customized trips.

JOIN A GROUP TRIP

Quest for Pura Vida
9D/8N From $2,700 p/p.

Costa Rica River & Rainforest
9D/8N From $1,738 p/p dbl occ.

GET A FEEL FOR TRAVEL WITH US

Meet our team of Travel Planners.

Request a DVD.

Read what Trip Advisor says about us.

Read what the guide books say.

Read guest letters.

Visit a site by two guests about their trip.

Read about CRE lodges in Travel & Leisure's 30th anniversary issue.

Read more articles about us.

TRAVEL TIPS

Get expert advice on how to get the most out of your experience.

Plan a perfect trip.

Find out what to bring.

What to bring for kids.

Vacation time is precious Follow Me on Pinterest