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“What an adventure!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Charlie's Adventure Tours

Charlie's Adventure Tours
Costa Rica
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Type: Tours, Adventure
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Attraction details
Owner description: Charlie’s Adventures is the Premier Tour Company in the Papagayo Gulf with over 14 years of experience. We have multilingual tour guides, our own equipment and fully insured boats. We know that next time you think of Costa Rica, and especially Papagayo Gulf – Guanacaste, you’ll think of Charlie’s Adventure and the days you had the best moments of your life!
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“What an adventure!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2011

We stayed at the Allegro Papagayo in which Charlie's Adventure Tours office is located within the resort. We took the ATV and ziplining tour. To say the least, the ATV tour was an adventure beyond my expectations. First off, my wife and I are novice ATV drivers so we were more inclined to be a little nervous and scary whereby experienced drivers were not. Altogether there was the guide and five of us drivers me, my wife, younger daughter and older daughter, and her husband. Their two daughters rode separately with a parent. The younger one being 8 years old and ridden before with parent so no problem. This ride was by no means a ride around the park. This ride had thrills, chills, adventure, jungle, streams you name it! You get your money's worth and your adrenaline flowing on this tour. We only took one break on this tour that was the main drawback so no pics of this exciting adventure. But hey! My son-in-law an experienced rider told me this was the best ATV tour he has ever been on compared to the others that he tried on different vacations.
After the ATV ride, we were taken to a resort where we went ziplining. This was a first for all of us. Another thrill but we had a great time. The guides were extremely good and practiced safety to the hilt. They made it so much fun! I guess that is how we all were relaxed to do all the platforms including my granddaughters. All in all this was one combination tour I would highly recommend. If you plan to do this then be sure to dress accordingly.

Visited June 2011
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43 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chatham, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Awsome Tour Company”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2011

You can not go wrong booking some adventure tours with this company, our trip was the best ever. Kendra and Leo were great, always smiling and laughing. Leo was my dive guide to so very good dive sights. He did under water video and pictures of my dives. We say lots of fish, sharks, eels, star fish, octopus, giant rays and much more. I just wish I could have done more.
Kendra booked my wife and I on the sunset cruise, our pctures of the sun going down over the ocean say it all. We also got to see dolphines swimming by the boat.
We were leary obout booking adventures after our trip to the Dominican, but these people took all the worries we had away. I can not say enough good thing about them they were all great, THANKS guys we had a great time see yous again soon.

Visited January 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“A great way to spnd your day!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2010

I did the all day multiple activity tour. I was picked up at my hotel at 7:45am. Got on the double-decker boat at 8 and out on the water to pick up 12 other people soon after at Playa Panama. It was great. We went out snorkeling to two different locations. There was rum and punch or coke and wine being served the whole trip. Before eating lunch we did some bottom fishing which was very fun. The food and snacks were delicious. The cook went out to shore on a very nice private beach and set up tables and chairs then cooked a wonderful lunch. There were caves in the water to walk through and take pictures. After that we set out to find some dolphins which were not to hard to find. Then headed back to our resort. It was a wonderful trip and the staff was amazing.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
122 helpful votes 122 helpful votes
“Absolute Worst Tour Company Ever”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2010

This is the exclusive tour company for both Occidental properties. The hotels post signs such as, "Do not use tour guides that you meet on the beach because we cannot guarantee their service", but I think two guys with a broken canoe would be more honest and organized than Charlie's Adventures.

First - if you ignore my recommendation - at least check your credit card statement when you get home. Apparently, Charlie's thinks it's okay to "inflate" the currency exchange rate by 5% (their favor, of course). How many people do they have to rip off before someone does something about this? We got the difference back from our credit card company, but not until we spent two days proving we were right. I'm a finance guy by trade and I did foreign exchange analysis for a living - this was absolute, willful fraud by Charlie's Adventures, but because the amount is small - $10 - it falls under everyone's radar. Meanwhile, this company probably makes an extra $150-$300 a day.

After overbooking our snorkel trip, we were offered up a freshly used snorkel mask AND used snorkel tube (literally, straight out of another passenger's mouth). The tube was swished out with Listerine right in front of our eyes, and we were told, "This is how we clean them on the boat. It's okay to use."

When we asked for a discount (not even an entire refund, just a discount!) back at the hotel tour booking booth, we were told, "You were offered all the activities on that tour, so there will be no discount."

This is absolutely the worst tour company I've ever encountered. I've taken adventure tours from locals who speak no English that are more honest than this group.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oregon, USA
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great horseback riding, Scary Dangerous scuba diving”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2010

My mother in law and I went horse back riding, which was great. The horses were in good condition and were calm and fine for beginners. The trail had lots of steep sections, may be not be for everyone, but the views from the hill tops were beautiful. The guide was friendly. I would give four stars for the horse back riding, but because the diving was so dangerous, I have to give Charlie's a terrible review.
On the same day, my husband and farther in law went scuba diving through Charlie's Adventure Tours. There was only one master diver for six people (three of which were brand new students), the boat was an overcrowded fishing boat, not a dive boat. Everything was completely unorganized and unprofessional. On the first dive, my husband was given an empty air tank. The air tanks had no tags, no certification reports, etc. During the dive, there was a problem with one of the students (who freaked out), so the master diver had my husband take care of it while he stayed with everyone else--luckily my husband and the student didn't get the bends (decompression sickness), but under different conditions, the actions of the dive master and student could have gotten my husband killed. So...lesson learned--don't book scuba diving tours out of shacks on the beach! Find somewhere that is obviously PADI certified and has knowledgable master divers--don't let a language barrier stop you from getting the information you need to keep you safe. Charlie's Adventure Tours had unsafe, enethical, unprofessional diving practices--don't scuba dive with them!

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