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“Best Tours! Diego is a Superstar Tour Guide!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Issys Tours Costa Rica - Private Tours

Issys Tours Costa Rica - Private Tours
Sardinal 50503, Costa Rica
+506 8821 8572
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Owner description: Our tours cover all the Papagayo Gulf area plus many other zones of interest in Guanacaste province, such as Arenal Volcano and Monte Verde Cloud Forest. Our tours are designed to see more sights in less time, we use small luxury vans. Excellent tour guides, air conditioned vans and personalized service avoiding annoying crowds is what you will get. We never miss the chance for a photo-opportunity! You'll listen to entertaining and insightful information from our well educated tour guides, feel free to question your guide on history, wildlife, animals or lifestyle of the Costarican people. Come and enjoy the zip lining, volcanoes, hot spring, horseback riding, rafting, wild nature tours, sport fishing, snorkeling, sunset trips and much more!
Seattle, Washington
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Best Tours! Diego is a Superstar Tour Guide!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2013

I went on two tours with Issys Tours during my trip to Costa Rica and both were outstanding. The company and our tour guide, Diego, went above and beyond any expectation I had.

Palo Verde National Park - Diego picked us up at our hotel (Hilton Papagayo) and drove us 1.5 hrs to the Tempisque River in Palo Verde National Park. During the car ride Diego spoke to us about Costa Rica's culture, landscape, economy, education system, etc. He was very knowledgable and had answers to all of our questions. He was very friendly, sweet, and had a great sense of humor. During the river tour, we were guided the opposite way from the rest of the other boats which made our trip less "touristy" and gave us more opportunity to get closer with all the river had to offer. We saw tons of unique birds, iguanas, white face monkeys, howler monkeys, bats and even got up close and personal with a crocodile. It is a trip I will never forget! After the tour, we were driven to a lunch spot which was owned by the same brothers who own the tour company. There we had THE BEST local Costa Rican food and the service was so personal and friendly. I felt like we were at a family friend's house. Finally, on our way back to our hotel Diego stopped per our request in a village where we got a demonstration from a local boy who showed us how he hand-made pottery on a wheel. It was at his family's house and this was a trade he had learned from his father. They owned a small store where we could purchase his hand-made creations afterwards. I regret that I didn't bring any extra cash with me because I definitely would've purchased something from them knowing it was real local hand-made work. Diego also took us into town where we could go to the local grocery store for suntan lotion (one bottle costs $30 at the hotel!) and whatever other goods we wanted to pick up while we were outside of the resort. All in all, it was one of the best tours I've ever taken and Diego was truly a superstar tour guide. I called the company back the next day and booked the Borinquen Adventure for later that week and requested Diego be our guide again.

Boringuen Tour -
The river tour was outstanding, this tour was even better. Diego picked us up again at our hotel, this time it was just me and my husband. This tour involved a 1.5 hr drive up to a resort near Rincon de la Vieja Volcano. We started with horseback riding which took us on a beautiful scenic tour with views that went on for miles. At the end of the ride, we went zip lining - 10 lines - which was absolutely amazing. Diego also took us on a hike to the active volcano where we could see the hot mud coming up from the ground. A delicious lunch was served at the resort and then after lunch we ended with a mud bath and hot springs. We went inside a natural sauna - a wooden structure built on top of the active volcano so the steam that was coming up from the floor heating the sauna was actually the volcano. Then we took a mud bath and took a dip in three of the hot spring tubs. We were not only the only two people on Diego's tour but we happened to be the only tour group at the location that day so we literally had the entire tour/resort/day to ourselves. It was incredible and hanging out with Diego was so great, he made the whole tour a lot of fun for us and became our new friend. In fact, he even took our camera and took around 150 pictures of us throughout the entire day. I have the coolest pictures of our adventures thanks to him!

To sum it up - Issys Tours is awesome. Diego is awesome. Highly recommend!!

We were the only two people who had signed up for the tour that day and Diego took our camera and became our photographer for the day.

Visited April 2013
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Morenci, Arizona
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great Experience!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

We used Issys for the mega combo tour, fishing, and transfers from the airport to the hotel. We had a great experience with everything. I would highly recommend them.

Visited April 2013
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Christian M, Public Relations Manager at Issys Tours Costa Rica - Private Tours, responded to this review, July 22, 2013
Thanks for recommending our company, we love to help and put an smile in every individual!
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Saint Louis, Missouri
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
45 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
“ISSYS was accommodating and a good tour to Arenal”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

We were in Costa Rica from April 19 to 26, 2013 and we took an ISSYS Tour on Monday, April 21 to the Arenal Volcano. ISSYS was very accommodating in setting up the tour. I wanted to see Arenal Volcano, see a coffee plantation and to take a tour with zip lining. ISSYS put all of these together for us. They moved up our pickup time to 6:30 am to take it all in. I tried to schedule a separate tour with them but, because my wife did not want to go zip lining and they would not take a tour with only 1 person, they added zip lining for me to the Arenal tour. In addition, I asked them about a coffee plantation tour and they added that to the Arenal tour as well.
OUR GUIDE was Edwin and he was very pleasant and accommodating. He was 10 or 15 minutes late getting to our hotel because his motor scooter broke down on his way to the ISSYS office. He apologized but it didn't bother us very much. Our tour was personal, just my wife and I and our guide. It was in an air conditioned SUV and Edwin was an excellent driver, careful, thoughtful, attentive to the traffic and patient. The trip from our hotel to Arenal was about 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Edwin was most informative, answered our many, many questions and he was most personable. About 2 1/2 hours into the drive, we stopped in a local Costa Rican restaurant in a very small town near Lake Arenal for breakfast. It was fun and the coffee was delicious.
After breakfast we proceeded along a twisty, winding, bending, dipping road that followed along Lake Arenal for over an hour toward our destination, the Arenal Volcano. Edwin handled it marvelously. We stopped to see some howler monkeys climbing in a tree along side the road at one point.
COFFEE PLANTATION: The coffee plantation we stopped at was a bit disappointing. They did have a souvenir stand but it was not much of a plantation. They did have some old, but unused, equipment that stripped the skin off the coffee bean and then roasted the bean. It appeared that it had not been used in a long time. The section were they had more modern equipment for stripping and roasting was closed off and we didn't see it. They did have about 10 or 12 coffee bushes next to the souvenir building that had some coffee beans on them. It was the only time I have seen coffee bean plants and that was interesting.
NATURE PRESERVE: We next stopped at a small (2 or 3 acres) nature preserve that was really interesting. They had their own guides and Edwin rested while we toured the place. They had lots of interesting and beautiful tropical plants with beautiful and exotic flowers. We saw several sloths, one a mother hanging in a tree with a baby sleeping on her stomach. There were a couple of baby alligators on a log in a pond but we didn't see the mother. We saw the poisonous blue jean frog, a frog about the size of a thumb with a bright red body and bright blue legs. It could make you sick if you touched it and then touched your eyes or mouth. They also had a butterfly area with thousands of beautifully colored butterflies.
ARENAL VOLCANO: We arrived near the Arenal Volcano but the top was clouded in mist. Even during the dry season, the area around Lake Arenal has a misty rain and the region is a lush tropical green area. We stopped at the town of Fortuna for the nature conservatory and then went to a resort (Los ?). They had a zip line company by the resort and Edwin arranged for my zip lining and then took my wife to the hot springs at the resort. The Zip Lining was high up on the mountain right next to the Arenal Volcano with twelve different zip lines that went from platform to platform winding down over and through the trees down the mountain. There were three or four guides helping the four of us go down the lines and using our cameras to take pictures of us on the lines. They attached the straps to two areas of our bodies and gave us excellent instructions on braking and how to zip line. They were very safety conscious and made me feel much more secure. It was a lot of fun and even if you were afraid of heights ( I am not) it would be great fun. Edwin and my wife were waiting a the zip line company office when I finished. We then had delicious lunch at the resort.
After lunch we began our trek back to the hotel. Edwin must have been exhausted after driving up and back on the winding roads but he never complained and actually seemed to enjoy it. We stopped at a grocery store in Liberia because I asked Edwin if we could stop at a grocery store to get some coffee. I bought about 8 or 9 pounds of coffee for about $45 and then we stopped at a local open air restaurant for dinner. We got back to the hotel about 8 or 8:30 pm. It was a long but memorable day.
ISSYS Tours and Edwin were wonderful The total cost, even with the extras was $480 and it was worth it.

Visited April 2013
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Christian M, Public Relations Manager at Issys Tours Costa Rica - Private Tours, responded to this review, July 22, 2013
We like your feedback a lot!! Thanks for taking the time to tell every single detail of your memorable experience with us! We felt happy to have taken part of your vacations.
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Albertville, Minnesota
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Issy's was a great choice”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

My famiy and I were in Costa Rica April 11-18th and booked a few tours with Issy's tour company after researching them and others online. The tours were competitively priced and I received very good communications from Christian at Issy's before we left on the trip. Our favorite tour was the Rincon combo tour with Diago as our tour guide. Diago was awesome and was very informational on all questions we had. He was also like having a professional photographer on staff as he took many pictures of my family's experiences riding horses, zip lining, wild-life and mud baths. I would highly recommend that you ask for Diago for your adventure guide as we will be asking for him when we return!

Visited April 2013
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Seattle, Washington
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Issys hit the mark, check out Palo Verde National Park for sure”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

We went to Palo Verde National Park via Issys, and the experience was great. Our tour guide, Ariel was really terrific. It's a 90 minute drive from Papagayo to the park (admittedly a bit bumpy for a good portion of the drive), and along the way Ariel pointed out things of interest and answered all our questions. He's a really laid back guy and very knowledgeable, it was more like a conversation with a friend than the usual tour guide spilling random facts along the way. The park is incredible, really brings the Costa Rican experience into focus. The resorts and beaches are fine but the country's interior really is remarkable. At the park, you take a two hour river ride - monkeys, crocodiles, and more birds than you can count. Stuff you just don't see on almost any other vacation. The boat is covered for shade which was nice.

After the boat ride, lunch at a little joint in a small 'town' nearby was great. I only say town because it's pretty spread out near the park and this place was sort of in the middle of nowhere, but really cool. Very tasty and a fun experience. Full on authentic local food and very nice people there to serve you.

We mentioned we liked the coffee in Costa Rica, so Ariel took us on a little side journey to a coffee roasting shop and we got to do a little tasting of some really good coffee, and buy a few bags for the trip home.

Overall, great trip and a very good, fun guide made the whole thing the highlight of our week. You would do well to ask for Ariel in particular, he's a fun guy.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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