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“Great guide” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pasion Costa Rica Day Tours

Pasion Costa Rica Day Tours
150m norte del Cementerio, Santa Elena 5655, Costa Rica
+506 8304 7161
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Ranked #1 of 14 Attractions in Santa Elena
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Owner description: Not your run-of-the-mill tours! Private and group tours in all of the cloud forest trails in the Monteverde area. Exclusive sightseeing tours, transfer/farm/lunch tour, and private coffee tours also available. Guiding is not just a job; it is a commitment and a lifestyle!
London, Canada
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Great guide”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2014

We had three tours with Marcos, two day tours and a night tour. We really enjoyed being with Marcos as he made our tours joyful and we learned a lot about the animals and forest. We had fun and spotted a wide range of birds and animals. I would definitely recommended Marcos when in Monteverde for his great personality and care.

Visited February 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pasión C, Owner at Pasion Costa Rica Day Tours, responded to this review, June 13, 2014
Thank you for your recommendation!
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63 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Lafayette, Colorado
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“excellent comprehensive Costa Rica travel service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2014

This review is for both Marcos and his wife, Susu, co-owners of Pasion Costa Rica. Pasion Costa Rica is based in Monteverde, and Marcos is a naturalist tour guide there, with 15+ years experience. Susu arranges transport (private and group shuttle vans), hotels, and tour bookings throughout Costa Rica.

SUSU

This was our first trip to Costa Rica, with my husband, parents, and 2-year-old (5 people total). We decided to work with a travel agent (Susu) because (1) she was highly recommended by a good friend we trust and (2) we’d never been to Costa Rica and I was totally overwhelmed trying to figure out which towns to visit and how to get around.

Working with Susu turned out to be a GREAT DECISION.

First, as someone who doesn’t travel frequently, I had a ton of questions (about vaccines, where to buy diapers, drinking water, which towns to visit, which tours to book, etc.). Susu and Marcos have a small operation, and Susu gave me tons of attention. She was extremely responsive and thoughtful in her replies to my 30+ emails in getting ready for this trip. Also, Susu is American, and she worked for a travel agency here in the U.S., so she’s a total professional and great communicator. Speaks flawless English.

Second, Costa Rica has some terrible roads and very poorly marked streets that angle off sharply from the main road. Susu recommended and arranged our transport services (which included a car seat for our little guy). If we had tried to rent a car, we would have paid just as much, and we would never have found our destinations. Our drivers were very nice, and they drove responsibly, and since most drivers in Costa Rica drive like they’re playing a game of chicken, it would have been extremely stressful to drive ourselves. Also, my parents had different flights and dates/times of arrival/departure, so trying to work it out without Susu would have been really complicated.

Third, Susu did not charge us anything. All of her payment comes from a percentage that the hotels and tours and transports pay to her for the bookings. We did not overpay for anything, as rate signage was clearly posted at hotels and tour operations. So basically, Susu planned our itinerary, and our trip went very smoothly, and we were not out any additional money beyond what we would have spent anyhow.

As part of her service, Susu provided us with a very detailed itinerary, which included our tours, transports, and hotels for each day of our trip and the cost for each. We wired the total to an account Susu specified, and she confirmed all of the bookings. When we got to Costa Rica, everything was seamless.

MARCOS

Marcos, a native Costa Rican, took us on a guided tour of the Santa Elena Reserve, which he had helped “trail build” as a high school student. Marcos was a very personable, easy to like, mature tour guide. He also speaks flawless English. He is an avid birder, carried a scope around with him and imitated calls. We very much enjoyed our tour with him and thought the information was fantastic.

(Note: The local high school is responsible for upkeep of the Santa Elena Reserve. By most accounts, the Santa Elena Reserve is comparable to the Monteverde Reserve but less crowded. As it was peak season, we chose to see the Santa Elena Reserve, but Marcos offers tours of ALL of the reserves and trails in the area.)

CONCLUSION/GENERAL NOTES:

We traveled to Monteverde and Samara, flying into the San Jose airport. Susu arranged a tour for us in San Jose, transport (San Jose to Monteverde, Monteverde to Samara, Samara to San Jose). She booked tours in Monteverde, and hotels in all three places. Found her service to be fantastic and very comprehensive. My husband, parents, and I all recommend working with Susu! It would have been overwhelming to try to plan the trip without her. She was terrific!

Visited January 2014
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Pasión C, Owner at Pasion Costa Rica Day Tours, responded to this review, June 13, 2014
Thank you so, so very much for your review of our services! We are both a tour operator (Marcos' naturalist tours) and a travel agency, as you have so generously outlined. We are happy things went smoothly and look forward to having you back in Costa Rica again! Wonder if our kids would remember the hanging out behind Stella's Bakery...
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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
141 reviews 141 reviews
38 attraction reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
178 helpful votes 178 helpful votes
“Can't recommend Marcos enough”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2014

We had nine days in Monteverde, and we could have spent all of them with Marcos! As it was we did four trips with him: the Night Walk and three day walks in the Monteverde, Santa Elena and Curi Cancha reserves. Marcos exudes knowledge and confidence, he didn't stop explaining things to us, both about the birds and animals he was locating for us, and also about Costa Rica in general. His incredible passion and enthusiasm, both for the flora and fauna but also about preservation of the environment and how best to educate people about this, is infectious. We came back fired up and determined, not only to revisit Costa Rica and spend more time with Marcos, but also to do what we can to help him achieve his aims.
Marcos is not only enthusiastic about his subject, he is also a lovely guy and very good at wildlife spotting. How he sees some of the things I have no idea. Because of Marcos we were lucky enough to see both the female quetzal and the male, in two different reserves. We also saw many other birds and animals and learnt so much from Marcos, not just about these but also about the various plants, trees and ecosystems that were all around us.
We can't recommend Marcos enough - when you go to Costa Rica, give him a ring and book him up as much as possible (unless we're there, in which case we want him!).

Visited January 2014
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Pasión C, Owner at Pasion Costa Rica Day Tours, responded to this review, June 13, 2014
We'll be here when you come back!! See you hopefully soon!!
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Raleigh, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“You must book a tour w Marcos!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

My wife and I took a tour of the biological preserve with Marcos during our honeymoon back in Nov. 2013. Our tour was booked through our B&B Casa Batsu (also highly recommend). Marcos was very friendly and informative throughout our tour. He made sure we got the most from our experience, he even found a Quetzal! It is well worth your money to hire a private guide and I doubt there is one better than Marcos!

Visited November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pasión C, Owner at Pasion Costa Rica Day Tours, responded to this review, June 13, 2014
Thank you for coming on a private tour with us!! Your review is highly appreciated.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great Cloudforest tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2013

My family and I did a tour with Marcus that was booked through desafio. He was very friendly and accommodating. As has been written before, he is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. We were very pleased with the day and would highly recommend.

Visited December 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pasión C, Owner at Pasion Costa Rica Day Tours, responded to this review, June 13, 2014
We are pleased you found us through Desafio! Thank you kindly for the review.
Susu and Marcos
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