I recently thought I was hiring Danny Jimenez to transport my husband and I between three locations (four different drives) on our Costa Rica trip. I had emailed extensively with Danny prior to his picking us up at our first hotel on our second day in Costa Rica. When the driver arrived, I introduced myself assuming I was meeting Danny. I was surprised to learn that it was another driver, which was fine, but Danny had led me to believe that he would be driving us on the trip, and I was taken a little aback as I felt this was something that maybe should have been mentioned in the prior emails.
Our Driver for three of the four trips, Ted, was a friendly, knowledgeable person, with whom we enjoyed talking for the long hours of the drives. He became a familiar face that we looked forward to seeing each time he picked us up. Our driver for the leg of our trip from Monteverde to Arenal, however, was a commissioned driver from another company, and he drove fast and recklessly, seemed angry at times, and almost hit a cow in the middle of the road in his impatience to pass a group of cattle crossing the road.
Maybe I should have been more proactive about this, but as wonderful as Ted was, the drives themselves were indeed more straight transportation, granted in a comfortable and relaxed setting, rather than "tours." The stops that we did have were mostly bathroom break oriented. This would have been fine if it had been what I was expecting, but in Danny's initial emails, he outlined activities, such as stopping at a bridge to see crocodiles, that never happened in the actual drives.
My other comment is that there seems to be a lack of communication between Danny and the other drivers, specifically regarding hotels. Our driver never knew where our hotel was located, and on two occasions, it took a substantial amount of time for him to ask around for correct directions. I felt responsible, thinking that I should have gotten directions from the hotels myself, but then I realized that by hiring a company such as this and paying a hefty amount for their services, it is not my responsibility to make sure I know how to get from point A to point B. Also, there was one instance in which my husband and I were left waiting for an hour outside our hotel because a driver commissioned to take us from Malpais to the Nicoya ferry hadn't realized that the road required a four wheel drive vehicle, and thus he could not drive up the road to get us. My husband and I considered walking with our luggage down the steep and long dirt road to meet him, but again, we are paying for services to take care of transportation precisely because we knew there would be roads like this. We made the decision to hire someone else to deal with issues such as these, and that person clearly had some communication issues that hindered the process. The road to our hotel was in very bad shape, but the driver who dropped us off there, Ted, could have easily relayed that information back to the main office, who could have in turn notified the commissioned driver that would be picking us up from the hotel that he would need a four wheel drive vehicle to get us.
Overall, this company got us where we were going, and our main driver, Ted, was wonderful, but communication breakdowns and an unpleasant and reckless commissioned driver made this experience one I probably would not repeat were I to return to Costa Rica.
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