Costa Rica Expeditions is THE way to plan your trip to Costa Rica. They are local and understand the country and want to ensure you have a great experience. Our travel planner helped us arrange a trip that was perfect for our interests AND our budget. Every detail of our trip was looked after. They are also stick with you throughout the trip. My son fell ill on the trip and they helped to connect us to a top notch doctor to make sure he got the appropriate care. Can't say enough about how great they are!
This was the first time we used a travel company to plan our vacation and after doing a lot of research we decided it was best to use CRE since this was our first time to Costa Rica. From completing the survey 8 months ago and working with Elena through every step of our family vacation I knew this was going to be a special vacation for all of us.
Elena covered every detail, from the tours to transportation to all of the logistics in between and always was attentive, courteous and helpful. Once we got there, we were greeted at the airport with a smiling face and a big sign with our name on it, whisked away in an air conditioned shuttle to our first stop at Arenal. We stayed at Arenal Manoa, which was a perfect choice for our family. Our tours included Danaus Eco-center (one of our favorites), hiking Rio Celeste, doing the hike and sky tram at Sky Park and a beautiful sunset cruise around Arenal volcano.
Our next stop was Manuel Antonio and although it was a long trip, our driver stopped twice along the way to make sure we could get a snack, and use the bathrooms. The Hotel Parador was paradise. Again, another great choice for our family. Here, our tours included a night hike through the jungle and horseback riding with Don Gilberto and his daughter. We loved them both.
Every guide throughout the trip was on time, welcoming and extremely well educated about the history, bio diversity, plant and wildlife and surrounding area. They all gave us great tips and make us feel pampered. I got email updates every day about the next day's tours, what to bring, what to wear and when to meet. We also got paper copies of the itineraries at our hotel room each day.
A huge thank you to Elena, and the entire CRE team for providing us with an unforgettable family vacation filled with great memories. Costa Rica is a very special place and we are so glad we got to experience the beauty of the country. I wouldn't hesitate for a second to book with them again or refer them to a friend.
My trip with Costa Rica Expeditions (CRE) included the following elements:
CRE was very easy to work with and the contact was courteous and professional. I received several suggestions for my itinerary and after consideration and changes, I accepted the final solution. The booking process was easy. I received complete travel documents including all vouchers for hotels and trips, pickup times, and additional information such as included meals.
The trip took place as planned and all pickups were on time. I even received addtional reminders for excursions and pickups via email and printouts in the hotels. The hotels chosen for me were very nice, comfortable, and well located. They offered good service and great food. The trips and excursions had both informative and exciting elements. The companies running these excursions made a professional impression and everything ran smoothly.
I also had a lot of additional recommendations and suggestions which I used to fill my days at several places.
We discovered Costa Rica Expeditions in 2015 and stayed at both Tortuga Lodge and Monteverde Lodge before striking out on our own. This year we decided to explore more of the country and asked CRE to plan an itinerary for us to the Osa Peninsula and Manuel Antonio. When I emailed the company, I received a quick response from the same person we dealt with last time - Luz Alpizar! She welcomed us back and set about tailoring a trip to meet our needs, desires and budgets. All of her recommendations were spot on. Luna Lodge and La Paloma were both outstanding. All transportation worked perfectly, from Sansa Airlines to all of our drivers, especially Denis from Puerto Jimenez!! Along the way we received updates about our next steps and check-ins to make sure that everything was going well. I cannot say enough about the outstanding service that CRE provides. I would recommend them to anyone planning a vacation in Costa Rica.
We wanted to explore Costa Rica experiencing the different landscapes and nature that this unique country has to offer. Costa Rica Expeditions made these dreams become a reality. We had a completely stress free holiday from start to finish thanks to this company and their wonderful staff. All the guides and drivers were well informed, friendly, proud of their beautiful country and happy to share this with us. We travelled to five locations with 3 nights in each area. 1. Poas Volcano and cloud forest, staying at the lovely Poas Volcano Lodge. We were extremely lucky to see the crater and lake on a cloud free day. We also visited the La Paz Waterfall Gardens in this area. 2. Arenal Volcano National Park where we hiked, experienced hot springs and had a day trip to Cano Negro area with a Rio Frio boat trip, bird watching and seeing monkeys. We stayed at El Silencio del Campo. 3. We then travelled back to Bosque de Pax in the remote and peaceful Bajos del Toro Valley, beautiful forest, birds & wildlife, including hummingbirds, guans, coatis etc, walking trails by mountain streams to a waterfall and around the nature reserve. 4. Then to San Jose for a small plane flight to Drake Bay, on the Osa Peninsula to stay at the wonderful Aguila de Osa Inn. We went snorkelling at Cano Island and hiked in the Corcovado National Park, both highly recommended. 5. Then via a boat trip up the river we continued by road to Manual Antonio National Park area, staying at the Si Como No Hotel. We went on our final guided hike in the park, where, although busy with tourists and locals, we saw many monkeys, sloths, and birds and had a swim. As you can see we had a very busy time, but enjoyed every day filled with new experiences! (Please see more information in the individual hotels reviews.) Thanks very much to this company for making this one of our best holidays. We do hope to come back to Costa Rica.
We wanted to visit Costa Rica with grown children and limited time (1 week). I researched and decided I would let Costa Rica Expeditions make our arrangements. From the initial survey, filled out while we were together at Thanksgiving, I knew I had chosen well. Elena, our agent, was able to rework our itinerary until we we found the right balance between different experiences and maximizing relaxation time by flying between locations. When I say EVERY DETAIL was thought of, and every request met, I mean it. Every vehicle had a cooler for water (as requested), every hotel was aware of food sensitivities (Tortuga Lodge made gluten free bread just for us, and Punta Islita's menus were marked GF, vegan, and vegetarian, and GF pasta was available!) Our transfer and tour guides were helpful in addition to being knowledgeable. It was great that we had the same guide (Ligia), in and around San Jose on 2 separate days. She also called ahead to Tortuga Lodge and made sure we were well taken care of there. We enjoyed getting to know her. She even arranged for us to stop at a grocery store before flying to our final destination so that we could stock up on drinks and snacks for our amazing villa at Punta Islita. All of the drivers, guides, pilots and hotels they lined up provided top-notch customer service. All 4 of us had an amazing time!
Costa Rica Expeditions set up a fabulous bird watching tour for me and my mother. All travel, hotels, meals were planned down to the last detail by the wonderful staff. I didn't have to do a thing. We went with a wonderful naturalist guide, Charlie, who knew every last bird call in the forest. It really was a trip of a life time. I would book with Costa Rica Expedition again in a heartbeat.
Recently my husband and I visited Costa Rica. We're in our mid 60's and do not speak Spanish. Have travelled far and wide but had never used services of a tour company until now. So happy that we chose Costa Rica Expeditions! Our itinerary included the Monteverde Cloud Forest and the Arenal Volcano. Priscilla, my travel planner at Costa Rica Expeditions was absolutely wonderful in understanding my needs.
Every detail was so well executed. Starting from being met at the airport by a welcoming guide and a driver to right at the end our trip by being dropped off at the airport ensuring we returned home well. Stephanie, our guide from San Jose to Monteverde has left an indelible fond memory. So personable & knowledgeable. Young but so wise. Lot of the tips from her came in very handy. Manuel, the driver with her was incredible at spotting wildlife. Our language barrier with him totally disappeared when we shared the same sense of humor.
Loved visiting the 'Sodas' for taste of local food. Enjoyed the fabulous food and the fresh juices, especially the passion fruit.
Every guide & driver was wonderful in the true spirit of 'Pura Vida'! Thank you to the team at Costa Rica Expeditions.
My husband and I recently returned from an 8-day trip to Costa Rica planned out by Costa Rica Expeditions. Never having used a travel agency or tour company, I was skeptical of the whole idea. But Elena inspired much confidence from the beginning of our email correspondence a year ago-up until a week before the actual trip. Everything ran like a well-oiled machine-from the representative greeting us at the airport to the tour guides picking us up at 5:30 a.m. for a spectacular bird watching excursion. My husband misplaced a jacket somewhere along the 8-day adventure, and Costa Rica Expeditions tracked it down and had it waiting for us at the San Jose airport as we departed for home! Professionalism, consistent communication, honesty and integrity describe every aspect of this tour agency. They alleviated any worry or concerns we had during the trip- and in doing so had a totally stress free vacation that allowed us to enjoy a beautiful country.
Our recent trip to Costa Rica with Costa Rica Expeditions was our best vacation ever. Normally we don't use a travel service, but Costa Rica expeditions provided us with all of the adventure requested but more relaxation, VIP service, and ease of travel than we ever expected. From the moment we began communications, they learned what we wanted and worked within our price point. If we wanted to modify something, this was no problem. We booked almost a year in advance since we would be traveling during peak season, and they endure communication and updates on what we should be doing throughout the months leading up to the trip. We had staff waiting for us at the airport to transport us to our first destination -and I highly recommend you request Carlos Ramirez as your tour guide/driver for any transits during your stay. We had several hours of driving after our arrival in San Jose (headed to Arenal) and he made the trip very enjoyable answering all of our questions, pointing out sites along the way, and even taking us to a local Soda where he helped us order one of most authentic and enjoyable meals of the entire trip-because it was shared with someone we came to call a friend. Arenal was wonderful and lush with some amazing tours with some exceptional guides (Walter (a commonly used name) had been giving tours for about 20 years and really introduced us well to the volcano destroyed reforested area while we saw lots of monkeys, birds, and snakes on the old forest canopy tour). The only suggestions I would have is to not book 2 tours in one day and to investigate the night hike before choosing it to ensure it will meet your expectations. White water rafting was very enjoyable and I think we were fortunate to have the most fun-loving guide (Sivi). Again, we got a wonderful authentic meal. The last half of our trip was spent in Punta Islita, and I honestly don't have words for the service and beauty. The staff was incredible-often seeing the same restaurant staff again helped build that feeling of welcome and family. Randy from the hotel was so friendly and patiently spoke exclusively in Spanish to my oldest daughter so that she could practice her Spanish...he would also find us on the beach and ensure that we had everything we needed even if the family had split up and called all of us by name. The rooms were spectacular with macaus, parakeets, and howler monkeys greeting us every morning with a rare guest appearance by a baby howler monkey estimates as just a few days old. The beach was spectacular and we experienced a peace that have convinced us that we will return to Costa Rica many more time. Thank you Costa Rica Expeditions for the memories that will be with us forever.
This was our first experience with a vacation planned by a third party and I was worried about what to expect but decided to go ahead because I was just getting confused by all of the options in Costa Rica. So glad I did. Every part of the trip was first class from the private charter flight to Tortugero, the lodge itself, the most amazing white water raft adventure and the perfect choice of lodgings for a family of 4 which included two finicky teenagers who demanded privacy. Most amazing everything was planned within our budget and there were simply no surprises (except nice ones like finding out meals were included with certain stays). While, in Costa Rica the company was still responsive to our needs and gladly assisted with a few last minute changes and I will be forever grateful for their incredible response when we had to return home on an emergency basis due to a death in the family, Plans were changed on a dime and we were met with wonderful kindness. Highly recommended all around.
They arranged our recent trip to Costa Rica after we completed a questionnaire with our 'likes/dislikes/wish list/and budget'. Everything was set up by them and it was great! All transportation was handled without flaw; everything went as scheduled; greeters/drivers/all assistance was handled flawlessly and with a very friendly attitude that made you feel like they wanted to really please you as a customer.
Accommodations, tours (private and group) all worked out well with very capable guides who had the same 'service-oriented' attitudes. No complaints at all. I highly recommend them.
We valued very much the professionalism and courtesy of Nadya Shaw (our planner), the quality of information on your websites, and your willingness to plan the trip specifically for us. What you wound up arranging was just perfect, with sufficient free time as well as valuable planned activities. Everything worked as planned and scheduled: not a dropped stitch! We were very happy with our trip.
We contacted CRE with a vague idea of what we wanted to see, where we wanted to go and our budget. Our tour was completely planned for us so all we had to do was pack, and enjoy the day. Every day we got a reminder email to tell us what to put in our day pack for the day's activity plus what time to be ready. During the trip we had a minor question that was answered promptly. We felt totally cared for. All our drivers and transfers were professional, friendly and on time. The activities we did such as river rafting and zip lining were very safety conscious. We also enjoyed the accommodations and meals arranged for us. We had a terrific time and I would highly recommend this company to anyone.
I was looking to schedule a week trip during school vacation in February and a colleague recommended Costa Rica. I found CRE via trip advisor, completed the survey and then worked with Elena to plan a fantastic vacation. We were picked up daily for our excursions always on time, it was great that everything was already taken care of. We just went to the lobby each day for our pickup time and away we went! I have a 12 and 15 yr old, we went zip lining in the rain forest, white water rafting, took a small charter plane rather than a 5 hr drive (definitely recommend), and 4 wheeling (note kids couldn't drive solo). The weather in Manuel Antonio was humid and hot. Though the weather app said a risk of rain daily, it didn't rain at all. The Ac is great in the hotel rooms, so we did a bit of room service. We live in the states and brought usd - a bunch of small bills for tips and it worked fine, never needed to exchange money. I would definitely recommend CRE so that when you get there, you don't need to think about anything except for what to eat off the dinner menu. Can't wait to go back!!
A “flawless trip” to Costa Rica, planned by Costa Rica Expeditions (CRE)!
Our travel planner, Gustavo, worked with us to schedule our “must see and do” activities into a flawless 5-day trip. He attended to all our minor questions (email & phone) prior to our trip. Gustavo, also was one of our very informative and enthusiastic Naturalist Guides. With so many activities, I was amazed how everything flowed – from airport, to hotels, to guides, to transfer drivers, to receptions, etc – there was never any down-time waiting for someone – in fact our contact was always looking for us. Our selected hotel and activities were top-notched. On a side-note, I misplaced my camera, and with one call to CRE and within one hour, they were able to locate and retrieve my camera, with the camera waiting for me at our next hotel. Our thanks to CRE for this outstanding and memorable visit to a truly beautiful Costa Rica and its people – Pura Vida!
We just returned from a 3-week vacation in Costa Rica, orchestrated by Costa Rica Expeditions. From our first contact with our agent, Elena Monge, through the entire trip, we received seamless, attentive service, so that we could just go and enjoy the country without worrying about logistics. We traveled within the country by various means including car, boat, private charter plan and commercial flight. The drivers were always on time, friendly and helpful, and the guides were very knowledgeable, friendly and enthusiastic. The hotels were all great, each one reflecting the special character of its region. We are grateful to Costa Rica Expeditions for planning and executing this wonderful trip.
Costa Rica Expeditions is an excellent and trustworthy vacation agency. The people were outstanding. Our guide and chauffeur were excellent! Our guide Jonathan Ramirez is a fine man and we never felt so secure as with the chauffeur we had....he told us that once, years ago, he had driven a truck all the way from California to Costa Rica!
The rafting, for the first time in my life, was fantastic! I didn't plan to do this activity but was convinced when I saw how everything was well planned and thus secure. The walking in the rain- and cloud forests was unforgettable and the discovery of birds and plants unique. Jonathan took the pictures and gave them to us. We could simply admire, enjoy every minute, and didn't have to bother with camera and lenses! A lasting memory of an inspiring vacation.
Costa Rica Expeditions and my contact, Elena Monge, patiently and repeatedly tweaked my itinerary until it exactly met my needs. Then, after a snow storm resulted in my flight being cancelled and rescheduled for a week later, they rearranged all my Costa Rica reservations within 24 hours. The new itinerary clearly detailed the cost changes which were small. The private drivers who took us from location to location were on-time and careful drivers and always ready to stop for photo ops. The lodgings were first rate. We hope to return to Costa Rica and use Costa Rica Expeditions to arrange visits to different locations.
Costa Rica Expeditions did a 1st Class job in planning and executing our first trip to Costa Rica. Their attention to detail, expert scheduling, friendly/experienced staff and first quality facilities made our trip more than enjoyable. It was wonderful. We have traveled all over the world and this was one of our more memorable and relaxing trips. Costa Rica is a very welcoming country with friendly people. A place you will be had put to not enjoy. We highly recommend using Costa Rica Expeditions. George and Kay Dorr/ Fairport, New York.
Costa Rica Expeditions arranged everything for us based on what we wanted to see in Costa Rica. Everything was perfectly planned and no surprises. The hotels were excellent. The pre-aranged tours happened on-time, and were all excellent. The service we received everywhere was excellent.
First off, I have recommended Costa Rica Expeditions to all of my friends that asked how our trip to Costa Rica was. We had an awesome trip and have to credit CRE for planning our adventure. Gustavo was great, he asked what we wanted to do and put together several ideas that we looked over, sent back for changes until we came up with what we thought sounded like a great trip. I have to say all the adventures, tours, guided hikes, transfers, hotels etc that he set up for us were perfect.
We could never have coordinated everything we did, in the time we had, by ourselves. Not to mention it would have been hit or miss for us selecting the right hotels, tour operators, transportation etc. The guides/transfers were always on time, friendly and knowledgeable. I can't say enough good things about how much Costa Rica Expeditions made our trip a very memorable experience.
Based on the positive reviews we could read at the homepage of Trip Advisor we selected Costa Rica Expeditions to be our local tour operator. We had really high expectations when arriving to San Jose but our expectations were actually surpassed during our 10 days of touring. Every transport was in time, the guides were well trained and informative and the hotels selected were just great.
We spent 10+ days in Costa Rica visiting Corcovado, Monteverde and Arenal. We selected the places to visit and Costa Rica Expeditions took care of everything else, such as for instance booking the transports, activities and hotels.
We are very happy that we found Costa Rica Expeditions as our tour operator. They made our trip to Costa Rica to be a trip with positive memories and we do recommend this tour operator to everyone planning a trip to this country. Trying to find a better one is just not worth the effort!
Greta & Jan
We arranged part of a trip to Costa Rica with Costa Rica Expeditions seven years ago. We were so impressed that this year when we planned to return, there was no question - we let them do it all. We even had the same travel planner assigned to us - Priscilla Jimenez. She did an excellent job, making a number of changes to the first draft plans to accommodate our needs. My husband's health requires lots of rest in between travel days, and she did a great job of organizing that, while still ensuring we could see a variety of places. The hotels she recommended were all terrific, with one exception (a cloud forest area that was much colder than we expected from our last trip, and we were not well prepared with appropriate clothing). The variety of locations - from the southwest coast to the Caribbean side, and several places in between - provided good variety. Our favorite places were the Tortuga Lodge near Tortuguero and Arenas del Mar near Manuel Antonio. The tours she recommended were all high quality.
We particularly appreciated the transportation - we chose not to do any driving ourselves. We always received an email and a notice to our hotel the day before advising of the pickup time, the drivers were all prompt, and often early, very courteous and excellent drivers. The vans were comfortable, air conditioned, and with one exception, we had them all to ourselves. My husband repeatedly noted that he really enjoyed simply being able to enjoy the ride and let someone else do the driving! We particularly enjoyed Giovanni, with whom we had two 5 hour rides. An added bonus was that he helped me with a lot of Spanish, which I've been trying to learn.
The transfer guides were also very helpful and friendly, and provided good information about the areas we were visiting. Overall, we would highly recommend this company to arrange your trip. From start to finish, they ensured hassle-free travel.
Never thought I would enjoy using a 'tour' company to plan and execute my travels. I was wrong. This company provided us with best experience and people to truly enjoy the country over 11 days. Before anything is done, they email you an extensive questionnaire asking about your all your travel preferences, in order to build a personal profile. From this data, they construct a plan including hotels, venues, sites, transfers, meals, and prices for you to examine. When you sign off on the trip, they take a 50% deposit and the balance due 30 days prior to departure. All you need do is book your air travel. Your trip will be the perfect fit for your budget; with no surprises. All drivers showed up on time or a bit early, spoke English, and knew the best Costa Rican sites. Most importantly, any questions prior to departure, just email and you will get a quick, polite response.
We utilized Costa Rica Expeditions (CSE) for our first trip to Costa Rica
Two nights in San Jose
Four nights in Osa peninsula (Drake Bay)
Four nights in Monteverde
Four nights in Arenal
We are experienced travelers, and usually do our own planning and booking.
Here is what we paid for in using CSE services (and it was worth every penny):
Friendly faces that met us at every transfer point.
Knowledgeable coordinators in the transfer vans who educated us and shared local information and Costa Rican culture.
Clean, modern vans (always on time!) with only a few people (I think we only had one van where there was another couple with us).
Drivers were courteous and very safe (if you have been on the roads to Monteverde or over to Arenal you understand why this is important!)
Accommodations that were top notch - as advertised and great quality for people, place and rooms.
Activities with Guides who were uniformly professional and friendly.
Most importantly, we had a stress free vacation and could just relax and enjoy our immersion in Costa Rica.
No worries if a taxi would make it, no wrong directions or missed connections, no activities with large groups of people tramping about.
When you get to price, ask yourself what you are paying for. In our case, we completed our fourteen-night trip with NO hiccups, mishaps or mis-communications.
Every activity well worth the time and expense, every contingency planned for and covered.
An outstanding company of motivated, friendly professionals with your positive vacation experience in Costa Rica as their goal. Highly recommended.
We used Costa Rica Expeditions (CRE) to organize our week long trip over the holidays. Gustavo was an amazing travel planner, he was able to take into consideration all of the desires of our family (with teens) to enjoy the Arenal area but also a really nice trip to the southern coast of Uvita. We had a great balance of group tours but also a few (really amazing) personal tours.
Everything was taken care of and well organized.
We encountered a delay in returning to our hotel from our Canopy tour and we ended up missing our pick-up for our next evening tour to the Hot Springs. Our driver worked with CRE and everything was re-organized to accommodate a later time.
It was such a relief to have an organization that can make all the arrangements for our family, using reputable vendors and allow us to spend our time in Costa Rica enjoying our adventure!
We found Costa Rica Expeditions on the internet, reviewing comments from other travelers. After filling out the initial survey, we were contacted by email from our travel planner Gustavo Mendez. He was very responsive to our wishes and questions. Working with Gustavo in planning the trip was fun, and his suggestions very well thought-out. The arrangements he made were all perfect, the interior travel was seamless, and the CRE employees were universally pleasant and engaging. CRE planned our entire trip, and worked with partner hotels and guides to supplement their own. Everything they did was first class. The guides provided by CRE were excellent. For example, Gustavo Camacho, our guide in San Jose for two days, was so great. He tried to make sure we had the best possible experience wherever we went. He was fun to be with, spoke wonderful English, but allowed us to practice our Spanish as much as we wanted. We also had wonderful guides in Tortuguero where CRE has their own lodge. We cannot say enough good things about Costa Rica Expeditions, and are already planning ahead to our next trip!
We used CRE to plan our recent trip to CR and they did a great job. Elena Monge was our agent and she planned a great trip to their Tortuga Lodge in the NE, to Casa Corcovado in the SW and to their Monteverde Lodge in the cloud forest. We had many transfers and flights and every single one was done exactly as scheduled with friendly drivers and transfer guides. On one occasion, our flight from Palmar del Sur was cancelled (plane trouble in San Jose, nothing to do with CRE) and they managed to seamlessly switch us to another airline that landed at the smaller of the two airports in Sand Jose. Even though we should have landed at the main airport on the other airline, our driver was right there waiting for us as we got off the plane. Excellent service. I recommend this travel agency highly.
When researching online and with tour books like Frommer's, I saw CRE pop up over and over again as a top notch travel agency to use for a trip to Costa Rica. I liked that they were based in Costa Rica as opposed to the US. I normally plan my own travel, but because I had never been to Costa Rica and we were bringing our three girls (16, 13,10) for a family trip, I wanted the most logistically hassle-free, safest adventure we could have. From the moment I began working with our agent Priscilla until our return home, it was exactly that- hassle-free, safe, and truly, a dream trip realized. Because every detail was handled by CRE, we concentrated on having fun together. Very quickly into the trip we realized that we were in for something truly unusual and special.
At the outset, we knew we wanted as much variety as we could pack into 11 days. We wanted to do this keeping in mind that our two youngest children are quite prone to motion sickness. After filling out the initial survey, we worked with Priscilla who was a great listener and seemed to understand exactly what might be best for us.
Our intinerary included 2 nights in Tortuguero at Tortuga Lodge, 3 nights at Arenal at the Lost Iguana, and 4 nights in Manuel Antonio at Los Altos. Our adventures included a small airplane ride into Tortuguero, kayaking, boat ride on the canals, hikes in the rain in the rainforest, hanging bridges, ecotermales hot springs, canyoning with Pure Trek, zip lining with Midworld on the side of the mountain/rainforest near Manuel Antonio, surfing in Dominicalito, horseback riding on the beach, naturalist guided walks in Manuel Antonio national park and at La Paz waterfall, and eating at many wonderful sodas along way.
In my opinion, CR is not a trip that you want to wing- at least in high season. All of our excursions were perfectly planned by CRE before we left and as the trip went along we were very well communicated with so we always knew what to expect. Every driver and naturalist guide was friendly and interesting. WE felt somewhat bad that we took our kids out of school for two extra days to make this a longer trip, but when I realized how much we were all learning about nature, Spanish, Costa Rican culture and its wonderful people, there was no question that we felt anything but blessed.
How many times do you come home from a trip and say that there is nothing you would change? Given the number of outings, lodges, airplane and car rides, I can't even believe that we all said that there is nothing we would do differently. We did come back with our next trip to Costa Rica in mind- someday, hopefully!
A couple of things that we didn't know would be so great for us but CRE did-1) finishing up at Manuel Antonio in the sun and surf. WE loved exploring jungles and the warm rain didn't bother us when it did rain, but it was nice to end up the vacation with four straight days of sun! Our last day in CR of surfing with really fun instructors, eating at the local soda and then cooling off in a beautiful waterfall will be something we always remember.2) flying into Tortuguero as opposed to driving and taking the long boat ride- the 25-minute flight over the canals and river and Caribbean ocean was thrilling and breathtaking. WE had plenty of boat time once we got to Tortuga Lodge. 3) The Words Adventure program- started by founder of CRE, an amazing afternoon for us. We loved reading with the kids and helping them with their English and seeing the town of San Francisco. What a great way to use tourists for something helpful. 4) The beauty of having naturalist guides and drivers. Without guides, you miss so much. Without drivers, you gain so much stress.
I would also like to add that the customized nature of our trip allowed for our own family bonding. We would meet others when we would join with a group for some of the different excursions. It was the perfect mix. I never had the sense of being herded like cattle or spending too much time on a bus or in a car. That is the main reason I didn't want to join a big group trip like a Tauk tour. Also, I didn't want the trip to be about the other tourists I was meeting. I wanted to concentrate on my own family and Costa Rica. I say all that as someone who geniunely enjoys other people, but I am so very happy that a customized trip is the direction we went.
Our next trip to Costa Rica will be planned with CRE and will likely include Corcovado, Monteverde, and more Manuel Antonio with probably some white water rafting thrown in there. Yes, the country the size of West Virginia can produce more than one, two or three trips of a lifetime! Thank you, thank you Costa Rica Expeditions.
We booked our family trip 6 months in advance. CRE was excellent in fulfilling our expectations. They listened closely to our wishes for activities and interests and guided us to design the perfect vacation with numerous activities and time for leisure. Every transfer or transportation was excellent and timely. We were in Costa Rica 8 days and had a very educational, active and pleasurable trip. Elena Monge was great to work with in planning our trip and we would highly recommend CRE as a travel agency.
All went smoothly from the planning stage to the last transfer to the airport.
Communication from home by email and phone was easy and timely. Suggestions for the itinerary were responsive to our requests. All reservations, transfers, and trips were smooth, except for one where there was a wait for others picked up in the van. Generally, we went on day trips each morning (zip lining, horseback riding, guided tour in Manual Antonio park, boat trips), and then back to the hotel in afternoon. Parador Hotel was fabulous, and we could have stayed there longer than our 5 days and done more day trips from there.
Costa Rica Expeditions took the time to find out what we wanted to do and how much we could afford and put it all together into a fabulous vacation. The guides were top notch and the accommodations never disappointing. We would never have been able to put this together on our own.
Costa Rica Expeditions planned and executed a fantastic trip to various parts of Costa Rica. Their attention to detail, responsiveness, choice of hotel, selection of guides, pace of trip and places to visit was all perfectly thought out with our needs and interests in mind. Without hesitation I would recommend using Costa Rica Expeditions for a wonderful trip to Costa Rica. The Nayara Hotel Spa and Garden was gorgeous as was the Monteverde Lodge, and the Villa Caletas. We have traveled all over the world on private tours with different travel companies, and I can say without hesitation this was one of the best! Thank you Nadya and the whole team at Costa Rica Expeditions.
What can I say? This is my second time using Costa Rica Expeditions for my travel plans in Costa Rica. They provide the most amazing service, the best attention to detail and flawless trip coordination. From the booking process, to helpful suggestions, and people who are a joy to work with, you will not go wrong with this company.
This time, we had the opportunity of staying at Tortuga Lodge, an atmospheric and dreamlike setting on a lagoon chock-full of wildlife. We will never forget seeing the howler monkeys and sloth in the trees, the tropical river otter paddling by in the water, and the lizard that walks on water swimming by under a canopy of thick Jurassic Park vines. The food, staff, and accommodations were simply exceptional.
If you want a trouble-free and unforgettable experience in Costa Rica, use Costa Rica Expeditions. And if you are a nature lover, go to Tortuga Lodge!
Thank you for an amazing trip!
Andrea and Joe