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First Choice/Thomson Excursions

suffolk, england
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37 posts
13 reviews
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First Choice/Thomson Excursions

We are staying at Flamingo Beach Resort the first 2 weeks of February, looking through the list of excursions they do, they all sound really good. However, I know sometimes it is better to 'book locally'. Has anyone done any of the excursions First Choice offer? Good/Bad? Any local recommendations? In fact any info much appreciated!

manchester
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2,518 posts
38 reviews
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1. Re: First Choice/Thomson Excursions

I've done the arenal and monteverde overnight and also the Borinquein day both with Thomson. Remember that Thomson do not run the excursion, they use a local company called destination services. I had a good experience with both and wouldn't hesitate to book again. We found them to be cheaper than other companies because other companies tend to run private tours which are very expensive when there's only 2 of you. For arenal/monteverde there were 10 of us and for Borenquein there were 6 of us so hardly the mass numbers that people associate with non-private tours. Personally I would say get the prices from other operators and compare and go from there. But please remember it isn't Thomson running the trips (this is often implied on here but isn't true) so the money is going to a local company. Prices are about 10% cheaper on Thomsons website so best to book online which you can still do when your in the resort too.

suffolk, england
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37 posts
13 reviews
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2. Re: First Choice/Thomson Excursions

Thanks Emma for the info. We've done pre booked ones before and then found cheaper/better ones when we got there, and vice versa, with waiting until we get there and then not getting what we want, or the ones through the holiday company being booked.

We want to do a couple of the forest ones, though not overnight ones. My other half wants to do all of the zip lining, canopy walk type stuff, whereas I am terrified of heights and would happily do stuff on the ground whilst he's up in the trees!

The trips through thomson to monteverde, etc seem to be set activities, are they flexible if I only want to do some of the ones they list?

Also, did you do any boat trips? If so who with? Worth it?

Sorry for all the questions!! We love making the most of our time when visiting somewhere, but the guidebooks I have got seem to have little about the area we are staying.

manchester
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2,518 posts
38 reviews
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3. Re: First Choice/Thomson Excursions

Sorry I didn't do any boat trips as I'm incredibly sea sick so they are always off the cards.

In terms of activities, of course you can sit out any of the activities that you want to. That said, it might not be much fun waiting for your other half. The hanging bridges at monteverde for example take a couple of hours and there's not a great deal else there except a reptile exhibition. There's lots of zip lining places around, your husband could quite easily do that without you. Or you could combine it with a trip to Rincon De La Vieja where you can also swim in hot springs from the volcano and go horse riding. Check out Borenquien, Hacienda Guachipelin and buena vista for these.

Remember that hanging bridges at monteverde and the rain forests of arenal are a 4 hour each way journey (hence why we did the overnight).

There's also palo verde river trip and sensoria rain forest that are within a couple of hours drive which are firmly ground activities.

I would email a couple of companies for their trip price list. We did this to compare prices and in all honesty there really wasn't much else that they had that thomson didn't. You can also cancel your thomson excursions 48 hours before and get a full refund so if you got there and found something better you can still do that and cancel your booked trip. If you booked it online you can only get a refund when you get home (although I'm sure you can start the process going whilst there but they won't refund you from the rep as it wasn't booked with them) so bare this in mind if you do decide to book and then cancel.

Hope this has helped.

Edited: 1:52 pm, January 05, 2017
San Jose, Costa Rica
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50,307 posts
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4. Re: First Choice/Thomson Excursions

The best shop around once yu are here…avoid middle people…you will be paying a lot more for the same…middle people make up to 20% commission and even some of them will mark the tours up…no way Jose!

roadadvisor

PA
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125 posts
478 reviews
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5. Re: First Choice/Thomson Excursions

You might want to check out Black Stallion Saloon and Cafe in Tamarindo. From reading the reviews, I believe they will pick you up if you don't have a car. Zip lining and horseback riding and a BBQ, if interested. Tamarindo is 30 minutes or so from Flamingo.

6. Re: First Choice/Thomson Excursions

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