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Costa Rica Focus

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San Jose, Costa Rica
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Costa Rica Focus
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Michael R wrote a review Dec 2020
1 contribution
This was a wonderful trip -- well organized, and perfectly tailored to our interest in getting out every day and discovering the beautiful countryside and birds/animals of Costa Rica. Our guides were terrific, and the drivers in the transfers across the country were also keen to share details about Costa Rica. We got full-service support all the way through the trip, whenever we needed it.
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Date of experience: December 2020
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JAMES THORPE wrote a review Dec 2020
12 contributions
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Every day of our 17 day vacation was an adventure. Joan and Wanda at CRF were excellent at planning and supporting our journey. All excursions, hotels, drivers, and guides were top quality. We will definitely use CRF for future treks! I highly recommend CRF for your travel needs.
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Date of experience: November 2020
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Bonnie B wrote a review Mar 2020
1 contribution1 helpful vote
From the start of our enquiry, Costa Rica Focus extensively worked with us in real time to arrange our bird watching tour to maximize the variety of habitats and species we encountered and provided first class accommodations in Costa Rica. At a time when flights to the States were beginning to be cancelled due to the corona virus pandemic, our company contact, Joan, rebooked flights and provided other logistical support. Her extensive organizational skills and attention to detail were outstanding. Our guide Minor was fantastic in his recall of bird calls and spotting species. I very highly recommend Costa Rica Focus to one and all.
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Date of experience: March 2020
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Response from Costa Rica F, Owner at Costa Rica Focus
Responded Mar 31, 2020
Thank you so much for choosing to travel with us. We know there are many choices out there, and we appreciate you trusting us to plan a great trip for you. I think you were some of the last tourists to leave Costa Rica. That list of species was well worth the juggling of a few details. Truly, thank you from all of us at CRF and we look forward to helping you plan more birding adventures in the future. Take good care.
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Graham G wrote a review Mar 2020
Nashville, Tennessee3 contributions1 helpful vote
Short review: This company will provide world class birding and full service support while you are there. You will not be disappointed. I have used half a dozen birding operations from the tropics to Eastern Europe, and Costa Rica Focus has my highest recommendation. Long Review: Two friends and I scouted several operations for a birding trip to Costa Rica. It was somewhat last-minute, planning in January for a high season trip in March. It was difficult to even get responses from some tour groups. We were trying to cut costs, and Costa Rica Focus was not the cheapest option, but the level of interaction with Joan and the office staff blew everyone else out of the water. They readily customized the itinerary at our numerous requests, and replied to emails usually in minutes. When we suggested a less expensive option for our first night (Hotel Bougainvillea), Joan assured us that we did not want to cut that night to save cash, and she was absolutely right. It was critical to our bird list. Many of the other operations we had contacted were essentially one-man shows, with guides acting as administrators and planners - and getting back to you when they can. In the field, I have no doubt that we would have been left monitoring the news and unfolding situations (more below) on our own. What you get with Costa Rica Focus is a dedicated office staff to handle the logistics and provide constant customer support. The level of attention was enough to win us over - and it ended up being incredibly important. We've just returned from this trip - on March 25, 2020. #Coronapocalypse. We departed two weeks prior just as Coronavirus madness was beginning to sweep the globe. It was a challenging time to be traveling: a couple of lodges closed and had to be rebooked, as did all the national parks towards the end of our trip. Many restaurants closed. Airlines started canceling flights, and our families back home were fearful. Again, what we got with Joan and Wanda was constant attention. They had set up a WhatsApp group and we were in regular contact. They monitored all of our flights and State Dept. announcements - and they rebooked hotels for us seamlessly, and leaving our guide to focus on our immediate needs - the birds. Ultimately, family pressure back home proved too much for one of our companions, and he told Joan he needed to leave early. She changed his flights for him, arranged a car to pick him up and bring him to the airport, and got him home 2 days early. When my other companion's airline (American) canceled flights, Joan rebooked him onto my flight (Delta) which was still flying. In short - they took complete care of us. If you want a tour company in this region to have your back while you are having your adventure, Costa Rica Focus should be at the top of your list. But what about the birding? It was crushing! Our guide, Minor Hidalgo is an exceptional birder and guide. He knows every area of the country - and even got us access to a couple of places which were already closed to the public, resulting in us getting some of our TOP target species, like Snowcap. Minor is also an incredible photographer and is not only patient with those of us (myself) who wanted photos, but knows how to get them. Oh, and he's a great guy and (thankfully) very laid back. He did not let any of our stress about the global situation affect his demeanor. On our last day, literally as we drove to the airport, Minor even got us the Costa Rica endemic Mangrove Hummingbird in a totally obscure location, when we had dipped on it in the most expected spots. It was epic. We also saw multiple great non-avian species, including THREE Eyelash Vipers, two species of monkey, American Crocodiles, Sloth, Agouti, Poison Dart Frogs and more. I never expected the trip to crush my Colombia list from several years ago, but it did. We netted 446 species and got at least decent ID photos of almost all of them. While it was hard not to worry about the crisis back home, the office staff looked after the situation and had our backs, regularly assuring us that they had it under control, and they did. If you want to go on the cheap - find a freelance guide and just wing it. If you want to be sure you've got good, safe places to stay, with excellent birding opportunities; and if you want a lifeline at every step along the way... Costa Rica Focus will provide it. I'd put them up against any of the much large industry leaders any day.
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Date of experience: March 2020
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Response from Costa Rica F, Owner at Costa Rica Focus
Responded May 10, 2020
Hi Graham. I thought my response to your review was published, but I must not have hit submit, as I looked today and see that there was no response. I apologize for that. Revisiting your review of Costa Rica Focus, I want you to know that we were all touched and extraordinarly proud after reading all all your comments. Knowing we helped you have such an amazing experience, well, that's why we are all in the business of custom birding tours. Sharing our passion for nature with our guests, and knowing your trip was great, it's so rewarding for us. Thank you so much for all your kind words. I will be sure Minor sees them too. We look forward to hosting you, Michael, and Frank in the future either back here in Costa Rica or perhaps to Panama, Ecuador or Belize. Take care.
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BIrder wrote a review Mar 2020
1 contribution1 helpful vote
Joan, Rudy, Wanda and the staff at Costa Rica Focus were first class! They organized and led the Birding Trip of a Lifetime to the Panama Darien Jungle in search of Neotropical Migrants and the Harpy Eagle. Rudy is a naturalist with 30+ years of experience. His zeal, wonder, and enthusiasm for all things natural rubbed off of the tour group and made the experience extraordinary!
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Date of experience: March 2020
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Response from Costa Rica F, Owner at Costa Rica Focus
Responded Mar 20, 2020
Thank you so much for your kind words. That trip to the Darien is a really special experience. We're so glad you enjoyed it. From all of us at Costa Rica Focus, THANK YOU, and we hope to have you traveling with us again soon.
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