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“Terrible experience”

Ivantours Costa Rica and Panama Day Tours
Ranked #41 of 115 Tours in San Jose Metro
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: We provide the most exciting and fun day tours in Costa Rica and Panama. Taking advantage of all our locations, close to spectacular sites of natural beauty as well has having both coasts at only at two hours drive away. In both countries in one day you could visit volcanoes, tropical rainforest, national parks or remote islands and if a real adrenaline is what you seek don´t miss our Whitewater Rafting, Canopy Tours or Horseback Riding. All these government regulated activities adhere to the strictest safety requirements, and where needed, you will be instructed by experienced multi-lingual guides who will be also provide you with all the necessary gear, ensuring the most enjoyable adventure. The majorities of our tours are All-Inclusive style providing round trip transportation, entrance fees, guides, breakfast, lunch, refreshments and in some cases even dinner, all for one price.
Monrovia, California
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Terrible experience”
Reviewed June 21, 2012

On May 16, 2012 I booked "Monteverde Cloud Forest" tour from Ivan Tours, and paid $300 with credit card on May 16,2012.In his reply e-mail Ivan Espinoza informed me that he will send the vouchers "next Friday"
which would be May 18 or May 25 (latest). Unfortunately I had to write 2 e-mails and call him from the US twice to get my voucher. Finally on June 12 I was able to get my voucher just day before our flight.

The trip was on June 19, at 6:30. My husband and I were picked from a lobby as promised and they drove us to Monteverde. During trip we were not been informed that the company who picked us up from our hotel was Marbella tours.
When we arrived to Monteverde we were taken to "Natural Wonders Tour" instead of Skywalk which was advertised in Ivan tours webpage. During the tram ride our guide told us that we have not paid their company and I have to give my credit card number.

We refused and told him that "you already saw the voucher and it was paid a month ago". He insisted that they were not paid, and then we learned during the conversation that Ivan arranged their company (without informing us) to take us to Monteverde. Tour Guide informed his boss Wally Sibaja ( Marbella tours) about our response. This argument lasted about 6-8 minutes. Then he put the phone on speaker and Mr Sibaja was yelling at
us for not paying them, and ordered the tour guide to leave us there and turn to San Jose immediately. Then tour guide told him something in Spanish and he hung up. After this episode tour guide informed us that
Ivan Espinose (Ivan tours) did not pay them the tour charge of $120.00 per person, and his boss was upset. By the time the tour ended we learned that Ivan Espinosa paid their $120.00 per person.
We were harassed and threatened during the hour ride and they did not even apologized for their behavior, also Ivan did not refund extra $30.00 per person charge($60 for both of us).
We never had to endure anything like that from other companies in other countries. Stay away from both Ivan tours and Marbella tours.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
5 Thank Kadriye_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ivancr, Owner at Ivantours Costa Rica and Panama Day Tours, responded to this review, April 6, 2013
Dear Kadriye. Sorry for the bad moment you spent in Monteverde. Even if you had a bad time at the end I hope you enjoyed Monteverde. I researched about what happened that day: A person in operations put you on another tour and sent to your Hotmail, voucher for a tour to Tortuga Island. You sent us and email on June 18, 2012, where you are asking us to change the tour to Monteverde by Tortuga Island Tour. I copy what you sent to the reservations department.

"

Question about changing destination 06/18/12 11:13 AM
"kadriye kanik" <kadriyekanik@hotmail.com>
To: "ivantours@mail.com" <ivantours@mail.com>
Cc: kadriyekanik@hotmail.com

Hi Ivan,
We have a trip scheduled for Monteverde cloud forest, but we changed our mind after staying 3 days in cloud forest. Is it possible to change the tour for the island tour ?
Thank you
Kadriye Kanik
Sent from my iPad
"

However, the reservations department also erred because they did not cancel Monteverde. First, you were picked up for the tour to Monteverde and minutes later Tortuga Island. Another mistake was giving this tour operation to an external provider that did not handle the situation, but in the end everything worked out and you could do the tour. I'm sorry this confusion. We take reasonable steps to ensure that does not happen again. We have over 10 years as tourism professionals and never had a negative comment so far.

When you return to Costa Rica or Panama where we also have operations you will have a free day tour for two people and a free shuttle from the airport.

After the confusion I sent you email requesting the appropriate apologies and offering you these free services when you come to Costa Rica or visit Panama.

Thank you and sorry again.

Carlos Iván Espinosa
Manager.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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41 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    33
    7
    0
    0
    1
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Boston
Level Contributor
107 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Highly recommend”
Reviewed April 28, 2012

We highly recommend Ivantours. The hotels, tours, and transportation Ivan arranged were all excellent, and a great value. The entire trip went very smoothly with no problems.
We toured Costa Rica for 7 days in mid April 2012, which is the tail end of the dry season, and is a little less busy. Ivan was able to get us free upgrades at several hotels - such as a "full ocean view" suite at the La Mariposa Hotel in Quepos which was just breathtaking. We thoroughly enjoyed the flowers, pools and springs at the Arenal Springs Resort in Fortuna (Ivan booked us into the highest room on the property with the best view of the volcano); the hospitality at Cala Lodge in Monteverde; the pools and view at the La Mariposa in Quepos. The food was quite good everywhere we went, and breakfast was included at all the hotels.
We opted not to rent a car, and the transportation vans that Ivan arranged were all comfortable, air conditioned, and driven by courteous and competent drivers. All of our transportation was on time (i.e. +/- 10 minutes of the arranged pickup times). We were originally greeted at the San Jose airport by a friendly driver even though our plane arrived two hours late at 9PM on a Sunday.
The tours were all very interesting. The Arenal park volcano tour hike was quite informative, as was the "Arenal Natura Ecological Park" poison dart frog exhibit 300 meters before the Arenal Springs Resort. The "Monteverde Coffee" farm tour was excellent - Joyce, our tour guide, took us to her father's farm and house. The Monteverde "Sky Trek Adventures" cloud forest canopy bridges tour was fascinating. The Manuel Antonio National Park tour was enlightening - we saw monkeys, sloths, tree frogs, and a toucan; and the beaches there are gorgeous. We were quite lucky - the sunset on the "Sunset Sail Tours" cruise was magnificent, and the fresh fish dinner was very good.
We were pleasantly surprised at the lack of insects in April, (or else Ivan booked us into insect free areas). After reading about all the mosquito precautions, I think we only saw a total of 3 mosquitoes (at the Arenal park volcano) during the entire trip, and rarely saw insects around any of the hotel lights at night.
We were impressed that Ivan called us several times during the trip to make sure we were well satisfied, and he even called us on the hotel phones rather than our $2/minute roaming fee cell phone. We only called him once during the trip to re-schedule a delayed return flight, and he picked up the call late in the evening and changed our pick-up time. I would definitely recommend Ivantours and will use them again on our next trip.

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank BostonEngineer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Budapest, Hungary
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Unforgatable Honeymoon”
Reviewed January 24, 2012

We have spent 1 week Honeymoon in the beutiful Costa Rica organized by Ivantours. It was our best Holiday ever. The tour was very well organized, we got a luxury service included transfers and hotels. Ivan was very helpful and flexible, when we wanted to change something in the program he immidately modified the schedule. We also got many upgrades. Everything was perfect and Excellent! I recommend Ivantours to everybody, who want to travel with a very professional, and friendly travel agency! Thank you Ivan for this unforgatable trip!

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Kata K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Barbara, California
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Excellent!”
Reviewed December 8, 2011

My husband and I went to Costa Rica for the first time on our honeymoon. We came across Ivantours online, and contacted Ivan. We had a limited budget, but wanted to be out experiencing the country. We told him the length we wanted to stay, our budget, and our expectations. We asked if he could help. He put together an amazing itinerary, and we were able to visit Arenal, Monteverde and Manuel Antonio during one week. He took care of EVERYTHING. We were met at the airport, and taken to our first hotel. We had all transfers between places taken care of, tours, hotels, and most meals were all included. He even went above and beyond, and somehow on our budget, booked us a penthouse suite for one of our hotels - just because it was our honeymoon! When we can go back to Costa Rica, we will definitely be using Ivan. Excellent communication throughout the whole process as well.

Visited August 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank kj317
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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