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“Absolutely exhilarating” 5 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 21001, Costa Rica
+506 2479 9419
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
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.
Rimbey, Canada
Level Contributor
79 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Absolutely exhilarating”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

We took the Class 3 section of the Rio Balsa with this rafting company. All of the guides are very professional and before you ever step foot in the raft they make sure that you understand all the safety proceedures. The equipment is top notch. The river is absolutely awesome and the majority of it keeps you busy. One great feature was that one of the guides took photo's of our group as we went down the river. At the end of the run we were picked up by minibus and transported to a lunch location to change into dry clothes. Lunch was buffet style and really good. A CD of our over 200 photo's was available for $30.00 USD. Expensive but worth it as the photo's are really good. Discovered if you view them as a slideshow and hold the forward button it becomes a movie. I would highly recommend this rafting company to anyone wishing to do this kind of activity. I can not comment on the cost of this tour as it was included in our vacation package. You don't have to be young to do this just young at heart.

Visited March 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, April 8, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review our company. It was a pleasure to have you here and we truly hope to see you back here again soon to provide you with another exhilarating experience!
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Austin
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Costa Rica Descents”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

My wife and I took 3 tours in two days with Costa Rica Descents,at the recommendation of a friend who had used their services previously. All three tours were very affordable, and extremely well put together. The driver picked us up on time at our hotel, and introduced us to a tour guide. I don't know if it is always the case, but all three tours were private (no large groups). It was just us and the guide. This led to a laid back pace and I think we got to see more. We took the Arenal Volcano hike, the hanging bridges hike, and the horseback riding to Fortuna Falls. The guides were well knowledged on flora, and fauna and very friendly, going out of their way to make sure we had a good time. I will recommend this company to anyone.

Visited March 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, April 8, 2013
It was excellent to hear that you had such a positive experience while here in Costa Rica. Thank you for taking the time to write a review and recommend our company !
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Los Angeles, California, United States
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Great white water rafting experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

This was my first time white water rafting. I'm not a swimmer so I was quite nervous. The staff was knowledgeable and made me feel at ease. This was a high quality tour as it included the rafting down a beautiful location, delicious fruit, lunch at an organic farm (best meal we had in CR) around gorgeous surroundings, sugar cane demonstration and education about preserving the environment. Antonio was our guide and Alberto was our guide during the rafting part of the trip. Very enjoyable and I highly recommend it to everyone

Visited March 2013
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crdescents, Owner at Costa Rica Descents, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
We are pleased to read you had such an enjoyable experience. We hope that we will welcome you back to Costa Rica one day again soon.
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Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
27 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Excellent White Water Rafting”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2013

I've always wanted to go white water rafting, and that's just what we did in the La Fortuna area. Costa Rica Descents took us to the Balsa River for the Class II-III rapids (with a couple class IV's too). They did a safety demonstration prior to getting into the raft. Each raft had an expert and professional guide to make sure we worked as a team and enjoyed the river safely. The guide's instructions were easy to follow, even if you've never rafted before. Half way through, we stopped at a waterfall for some fresh pineapple and watermelon. On a hot day, the river and fruit were refreshing. After rafting, we went to an organic farm closer to La Fortuna, where we had a delicious typical Costa Rican lunch. After which, we had a walking tour of the farm. Everyone was very friendly and willing to answer all our questions. I'd definitely recommend this trip to anyone thinking about going rafting! :)

Visited February 2013
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crdescents, Owner at Costa Rica Descents, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
Thank you for your recommendation and review. We hope to see you back in Costa Rica again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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