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“Disappointing experience” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Costa Rica Descents

Costa Rica Descents
On the Corner of Highway 142 and Calle 472 | Across the Street From the Church in the Central Park of la Fortuna, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
+506 2479 9419
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Owner description: Costa Rica Descents is an adventure outfitter specializing in whitewater rafting. On our customized excursions you will literally plunge headfirst into the breathtaking beauty of Costa Rica. Imagine the excitement of whitewater rafting combined with the picturesque environment of Costa Rica's tropical rain forests. With safety as our number one priority, we hand-pick only highly trained and personable guides, whose primary concern is the quality of your experience.We also offer a chance for you to observe our exotic and colorful tropical birds with a qualified ecology expert. With us you can soak away your stress in natural hot springs, explore the country on horseback or a mountain bike and come face to face with the rainforest canopy. We make sure you take full advantage of everything this country s natural beauty has to offer.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Disappointing experience”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

A friend who had previously been rafting/kayaking with Costa Rica Descents highly recommended this trip. His whole family had received great service a couple of years ago, they raved about their guides by name. The day before our trip we met one of the owners at the office and he took the time to go over the trip with us and was very helpful - excellent customer service. He discussed our ability and the type of rapids so that we felt confident in our choice.

I have worked as a raft guide for 8 full time seasons, am a confident grade 3 kayaker (which is usually equivalent to grade 4 rafting) and have worked in the adventure tourism industry for over 10 years. This was my experience:

Johnny the photographer started the trip by rather aggressively and loudly addressing the minibus of customers, there were some younger children (maybe 10-12yrs) and I got the feeling he was trying to intimidate them and encourage them not to do the upper section. When we arrived at the put-in he turned his attention to the 3 of us who were kayaking. He talked/yelled at me in a very aggressive manner saying that the rapids were too hard and I should raft. I tried to ask questions to ascertain why conditions would have changed and I guess anything other then complete confidence in my own ability to kayak any level of river was taken as a sign of incompetence. He would not answer any questions but instead said that I would be too much trouble. He said that only the first 3-4 rapids were large and after that we would pick up the kayaks and I could kayak the majority of the trip.

At the put in the staff broke up a group of 4 & 6 into 2 groups of 5, the photographer again yelled and threatened us (saying 6 in a boat was unsafe - which was not correct in my opinion) with until a couple split up. The safety briefing was thorough and after adequate paddling practice we started the trip. The guides ran the river safely covering each raft well - a customer fell out at the largest rapid and took a particularly bad swim. The guides addressed the situation very quickly and professionally; and continued to care for the upset woman to a high level.

However, the level of attention given to my 2 friends who were kayaking was minimal at best. One of them is a very good kayaker so perhaps this is the reason; although from the way Johnny spoke I would think that the company would have run tighter with them. I ended up rafting the majority of the trip in the raft as the point to switch to my kayak was almost at the end of the trip. When I switched Johnny came back to yell at me one last time, calling me 'kayaker! kayaker!' instead of my name. He tried to talk me out of kayaking the last part (the first section was well within my ability-so I ignored him as best I could). He said that I couldn't hold up his raft trip etc - as a customer i felt belittled and as a whitewater professional a red flag went off in my head. Then the staff kayakers left - strange after the life or death speech I had just been given.

After the trip we had a beautiful lunch at an eco farm and a very informative and unexpected tour - probably the best part of the whole trip. The photographer then charged my friend $50 for the $30 photo cd. We filled out a feedback form and I have not been contacted by the company (I left my email & stayed beside their office for 3 more days) to address my experience.

The river was low and the guides seemed burnt out. I was constantly passed over for information, staff didn't even bother t introduce themselves. The customer service was terrible, the worst I have received for a long time.I would not recommend this company.

Visited March 2013
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New York City, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Must do !”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

We joined Costa Rica with a group of 5 friends to do the Class V of the upper uppper balsa. Staff is Professional, rafting was intense and we all had a lot of fun ! A must do and would do it again when i go back to la fortuna.

Visited November 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
crdescents, Owner at Costa Rica Descents, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
Thank you for choosing Costa Rica Descents and our class V section it was a pleasure to have you here and we hope to have you back again soon.
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New Hampshire
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Rafting trip was fun - farm was fantastic!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

I'm not really into rafting, but the trip was great. Our guide Alberto was knowledgeable and very friendly and guided us over rapids and through beautiful, calm stretches. The farm tour and lunch is not to be missed. Definitely go with Costa Rica Descents - their service is wonderful and the rafting tour was great.

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
crdescents, Owner at Costa Rica Descents, responded to this review, March 20, 2013
Thank you for your recommendation, we are glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay here!
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MINNEAPOLIS
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“White Water Rafting”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

We had an AMAZING time white water rafting!! They picked us up on time at our hotel and then drove to the river. Upon arrival we were given extensive instructions and equipment. Our guide Carlo was super knowledgeable and we felt like we were in good hands. He pointed out a variety of animals along the river, sloths, iguanas, different birds, and frogs. The river was moving quite fast as it had been raining a lot, but none of us fell out. At the end of the journey we were greeted with fresh cut pineapple and watermelon.
We then boarded our van and rode to the farm where we had the MOST delicious lunch. The amazing thing is that everything we ate is actually grown on the farm. We toured the grounds and even had a demonstration on how they squeezed the sugar cane. We felt that the guides were very knowledgeable and really LOVED what they do. They answered many questions and were eager to share about their country. We would recommend this trip!!

Visited March 2013
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crdescents, Owner at Costa Rica Descents, responded to this review, March 20, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write such a positive review. We are pleased to read that you enjoyed your stay here in Costa Rica and that our guides and staff could accommodate and provide you with great service. We will await your return to La Fortuna for another excellent vacation!
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2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Outstanding!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013

Costa Rica Descents had arranged our entire itinerary and it was not a moment short of amazing. Every day was an adventure--beginning our escape with Class III/IV whitewater rafting (my personal favorite), followed with a delicious meal prepared on their private organic farm. We were also given a tour of the grounds and learned interesting facts about the agriculture. As an added bonus we were lucky enough to spot a toucan sitting in a tree along the way!

From there on our adventure continued throughout the week with the zip line canopy tour, Arenal volcano trek, visits to the hot springs, horseback riding to the beautiful La Fortuna waterfall and ending at the beach in Manuel Antonio.

The entire staff was professional, knowledgeable and incredibly accommodating. Throughout our stay there was always someone readily available for our every need. This really made me feel secure and comfortable beyond my expectations. I couldn't ask for more.

It's obvious they love their culture and want nothing more than to share its glory with all who visit. Immediately I fell in love with Costa Rica and I have Costa Rica Descents to thank for making this experience so wonderful.

I can't wait to visit again!

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
crdescents, Owner at Costa Rica Descents, responded to this review, March 20, 2013
We can't wait to have you again! Pleasure is ours, always! Thank you for choosing our company, see you again soon!
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