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“A HUGE Honeymoon thank you to Jose!!!”

Costa Rica Best Tours
Ranked #6 of 17 things to do in Sardinal
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Costa Rica best tours is a family company offering the best of our land, with friendly service.
Madison, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A HUGE Honeymoon thank you to Jose!!!”
Reviewed February 12, 2014

Jose treated my new husband and I like family! We could not be more pleased with the experiences and adventures Jose provided for us! He went above and beyond to make our trip the kind of trip we are going to tell our children. Jose provided us with adventures that no other tour guide offered! We had a private tour with Jose and he was amazing! He took us to his home town, to local food markets, and drove us around anywhere we wanted to go and answered every question we had! There is no other tour guide service I would recommend when you're visiting the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica!

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Meghan J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • English first
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English first
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Costa Rica Best Tours - The name says it all”
Reviewed February 2, 2014

My family and I just returned from a vacation in Costa Rica. We stayed in the Riu Guanacaste and booked some excursions through the hotelbeds.com group that operate in the hotel. They were recommended by our tour operator and we were cautioned to avoid the guys selling tours on the beach. Fortunately we met Jose and Erik on the beach and discovered that not only did they offer the same excursions as the other guys, but they were much more flexible and accommodating. We had planned an all day excursion to Buena Vista park with the other guys, but cancelled it and booked with Jose instead. For a lower price, we got the same trip but as a private tour and with a great guide (Julio). A $20 dollar deposit and a handshake was all that was required. We met Jose on the beach the morning of our tour and we left in a clean spacious, air conditioned Toyota van. As a private group we did not waste any time going from hotel to hotel to pick up other people. Our time was our own and Julio was very accommodating. His knowledge of the area as well as the history, geography and government of Costa Rica made for great conversation throughout the trip. As a bonus, he made a stop at a private farm along the way where we saw sugar cane being ground and processed into solid sugar blocks using oxen and an open fire pit in the traditional way. All beverages, water, snacks and meals for the day were provided. We had an amazing time zip lining, water sliding, horseback riding, canopy touring, hiking to a waterfall and then winding down with mud baths and hot springs. The lunch provided was excellent and there was no pressure to stay on schedule or keep up with a group. We got back to our hotel about 6:30 after an amazing day.
We can not say enough about how well Jose, Erik and Julio treated us. We were very glad they found us and we highly recommend them.

Pura Vida!

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
7 Thank Dftroy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Potomac, Maryland
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Go for it!”
Reviewed January 14, 2014

If you're looking to take an excursion or two while in Costa Rica, I'd highly recommend using this company. Eric and Jose are kind, friendly, trustworthy, and incredibly knowledgeable. They customize any tour to fit your family's special needs. Our family did the river float tour where we saw lots of monkeys, birds, iguanas, and a couple crocs, followed by an authentic Costa Rican lunch (YUM!), followed by swimming at a waterfall, followed by relaxing at the hot springs after covering our bodies in mud. Our favorite parts were swimming at the waterfall and eating the delicious lunch. We also took an ATV tour that was really fun. We saw some monkeys there too!

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank Saved by G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Best tours at the Best Price”
Reviewed January 14, 2014

Met Erick on the beach at the Hotel Riu Guanacaste. Very friendly. Has the same tours that you can sign up for in the hotel at a good discount. Plus he has other tours he can arrange. We went on the zip lines that were about 15 minutes from the hotel. It was really fun. He also arranged for Chico Tours to take us to the National Park - about one and a half hours away. Chico was great. He got monkeys to come on our boat. We also saw alligators up close and personal. It was worth the ride.

If you want to go on some really good tours, see Erick on the beach.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank magicdds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
38 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Go With Pink Shirts on the beach”
Reviewed January 13, 2014

BELIEVE THE REVIEWS - and book on the beach, go with Jose & Eric or someone they recommend.

My wife and I just returned (Jan 2014) after a week at the Riu, we booked 3 trips through the guys in hotel lobby (hotelbeds) and after the 2nd we were left feeling VERY DISAPPOINTED in the excursions and Costa Rica nature/wild life. It was our own fault for not following the reviews & research we did before leaving but three quarters of the way through our vacation the excursion experience was a real sour feeling on an otherwise good vacation, so we did something about it and started talking with Eric in the pink shirt.

Booking with Jose & Eric completely changed our experience and perception of Costa Rica. Both Jose & Eric are professional and courteous, making recommendations about their tours and sincerely recommended other operators.

If you are booking with them and there are less than 4 people (in your group or total on the tour) be prepared to pay a premium equal to an additional person (ie 2 people pay for 3, 3 people pay for 4). I was disappointed in this at first but we were looking to go to Arenal and the base per person price was very reasonable, fortunately Jose & Eric found another couple and together we figured out a modified tour that suited our needs without being charged a premium. The excursion was so good that in hindsight I would happily pay the premium if I didn't have enough people just to ensure I got the experience; its worth it and they deliver!

Jose & Eric were really recommending a predefined package, their concern was managing our cost and the amount of time it would take to do what we were asking. With some discussion, we changed a waterfall stop, swapped suspension bridges for zip lining, fit a wild life walk in, and finished at the hot springs. We also promised to be aware of time and met at 5:30am (at our request, I think Jose really was hopping we'd be okay with 6am) and didn't make it home until 11pm.

Based on our experience I would recommend any of their predefined tours or customizing - just be sure to take time to explain what you are hoping for and to understand the challenges if your are going far from the hotel (ie changing the water falls and an early departure with a direct drive to Arenal only stopping for a quick breakfast so we would arrive when things opened).

Jose's guide, Julio (contracted guide) was phenomenal (I've done a lot of guided adventure trips & excursions and he was top notch), taking a lot of time to understand what we were looking for and to ensure we were satisfied, and his knowledge base was remarkable (I'd fail an end of excursion test if they exist). The driver was a great sport an had large comfortable transportation. These guys spent nearly 18 hours with us, Julio was constantly chatting about Cost Rica history, culture, and current developments. We budgeted a good tip in case the excursion was a success but I wish I had more (being the end of our vacation we tipped everything we had left and would have happily tipped more).

Lastly, if you want to see wildlife and real rainforests do the 3 to 4 hour drive, don't settle on an hour or two option because you won't really get out of the Guanacaste province climate - get to Arenal, Monteverde, or south to see Sloths, Toucans, tree frogs, Parrots, Macaw (need to go deep into Palo Verde not just the standard 1/2 day river cruise). Guanacaste Province is good for "transitional Rain forest" (its nothing like real rain forests), monkeys and the occasional bird - yet most tour operators will promise the potential to see more (even seeing sloths in Guanacaste takes a guide with connections to locate on of the few in the region).

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank YYZ_Voyager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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