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“Best travel company!! But still... :))”

Desafio Adventure Company
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Canyoning in the Lost Canyon
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Desafio Adventure Company is considered the pioneering tour outfitter in Costa Rica's Epicenter of Adventure near the Arenal Volcano since 1992. Desafio offers high-quality rafting, canyoning, biking, hiking, birdwatching, kayaking, stand up paddling, unique cultural experiences, transfer with tour services, incentive programs, volunteer opportunities and much more. We only have two rules: 1) Be Safe! and 2) Have Serious Fun! Look for Desafio in Downtown La Fortuna near the Arenal Volcano or take the Desafio Adventure Connections to the Monteverde, Guanacaste, San Jose, Manuel Antonio, Playa Samara and now Leon, Nicaragua! Desafio is family-owned and operated and your "one-stop-shop" for adventure travel in Costa Rica and beyond!
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Lockers / storage, Activities for young children, Food available for purchase, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Reviewed May 1, 2013

We stayed at Costa Rica for almost 2 weeks! Bad that la fortuna was the last destination :( la fortuna is damn amazing and desafio is awesome! But as the last reviewer said, some guides are interested in young ladies that they forget men :))). So desafio why not put up some female guides so that they'll guide guys,lol...:)
I went rappelling, mountain cycling, paddling and rafting. Superb experience...rafting in particular. Bad that I arranged trips with another provider too and I had all those cancelled after looking at what these people offer.
I'm also happy to see that an indian runs the company ( I'm an indian ) which is the #1 rated tourist company in la fortuna. Really nice...

Costa Rica is the best! Nothing else comes close to Costa Rica.

Thank thewandererr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DesafioAdventures, Owner at Desafio Adventure Company, responded to this reviewResponded May 4, 2013

Hola Purushh -

Thank you for your kind comments on TripAdvisor. Indian clients are some of our most-adventurous travelers these days and we're happy to have you here doing so many things with us!

Your comment is true - we need more female guides in Costa Rica and are always looking to train and hire females.

We love this comment: "Costa Rica is the best! Nothing else comes close to Costa Rica." And that's saying a lot coming from an Indian (who also hales from a pretty amazing country!) We agree - Costa Rica is truly amazing and we are fortunate to be Ticos!

Please come back so we can do some of our new adventures! Thank you again for your comments!

Pura vida,
Suresh and Christine Krishnan

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Reviewed April 30, 2013

Our experience with this company when from great to average. Things started out great. I booked our transfers last minute. Darlene was great and she worked hard to get everything set up. We needed transfers from the airport to La Fortuna, La Fortuna to Puerto Viejo and then Puerto Viejo to the airport. When we arrived at the airport in San Jose we could not find our driver. We asked someone and we were pointed to the driver. Our name was not on their board and we were told our driver was late so we were going with this driver. That was fine with us and we loaded into their comfortable van. Our driver pulled out a map and showed us where we would be going, how long it would take and that if we needed to stop to just tell him. As we drove he told us a few things about the country and some nice facts about towns we were going to see on our way. We stopped at local supermarket to get snacks and use the bathroom. I bought a soccer shirt for the local team and the driver approved! It was his team. Later I would find that this shirt upset others who hated the team. We stopped one more time at a "soda" to buy coffee and use the rest room. The driver stopped to show us a sloth in tree and then a water buffalo. At first I thought it was something mechanical until the buffalo actually came out of the water. It was very cool to see that. Our driver was nice, courteous and made good time. It is a long five hours.

Our trip to Puerto Viejo started off with a stop at the office in La Fortuna. The driver told us his boss had called and we had to stop there on our way. We did not mind and I went next door to the Waves Coffee house and ordered breakfast to go. Again, our driver was very nice and took out the map to show us our route and how long it would take. It was going to take around 6 hours. While we drove our driver pointed out local farms and produce, He showed us areas that the company uses for different tour such as white water rafting. My husband and I were anxious to get to where we are going so we did not stop for lunch. The driver had great instructions and phone numbers on how to get to where we were staying. We asked to stop at the supermarket that the owners of the house we were renting had suggested. I think they knew that it caters to tourists and would have what we needed. Since we rented a house we would have a full kitchen and be able to cook some of our meals at home to save money. Our driver instead stopped at a "locals" supermarket. We wasted so much time in there because no one spoke english and my spanish it not wonderful. We could not find basics such as spaghetti sauce or peanut butter. We bought some snacks and left. Once back in the van we told him again that we wanted to stop at the other market. When we arrived at the second market I sent my husband in. He was out in no time with exactly what we were looking for. Now, Like I said before. we had direction to the house (step by step) and two phone numbers to call with any issues. We drove by the street on the first pass. Instead of calling our driver pulled over and asked some locals. We were instructed to turn around and go back. We found our way to the right street. Blocking the road was the biggest tree trunk I have ever seen. It had rained and this tree had decided after 100 years to fall directly across the road. I suggested that we call the owners and asked them what we should do. Instead of that the driver again asked the locals what to do. They told him that he could go miles out of his way and come in from the other direction. He started driving away from the road with the tree. The house was only a mile up the road from where the tree went down. We were directly across from the ocean too. We started driving and driving. He pulled over and asked again. Some locals who could not pronounce the house we were staying at told him to follow them and they would show him where to turn to get to the road that would lead us in to the house by the other direction. Well, they were very wrong. We started driving way away from the ocean and into the mountains. We were in an area where the indigenous people of Costa Rica live. There is no electricity or cars. We saw one person and he was on horse back. Finally after about 45 minutes our driver found an area with cell phone service. He pulled over and called. The owner of the house told him to come back to where we started and that they would come and get us. We would have to climb over the tree but once on the otherside they would take us in their car. We started driving again. We drove all through the areas that we had already driven through. We drove right through the town of Puerto Viejo for a second time. It took us another 25 minutes to get back to where we had started, at the tree. The owners met us at the tree and our driver did help us carry our bags over the tree and to the car on the other side. If he had just called when we had asked and ran into trouble we would have gotten there an hour or more sooner. I would be writing a totally different review. The driver was a very nice guy, and up until that point, he was great.

Now, our trip from Puerto Viejo to the airport. We found out quickly that our transfer had been sub to another company. The first two drivers that actually worked for this company were more like tour guides. This guy stopped for his lunch and delivered lunch to someone else on our dime. He did pick us up on time and deliver us early enough. So, I would say with the problems we had made me give this company an average rating. Would I use them again, yes, definitely

Thank jenandike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DesafioAdventures, Owner at Desafio Adventure Company, responded to this reviewResponded May 4, 2013

Hola jenandike -

Thank you so much for your thorough explanation of your experiences with us. I'm glad to hear Darlene was able to get you all set-up on your visit to Costa Rica and it is nice to know that you would book with us again. And it was a pleasure having you with us!

Just to clarify a couple things. Your flight actually arrived in Costa Rica earlier than scheduled and you made it through customs fast - your driver was not actually late - Geraldo (a.k.a. "Tomate"), one of our other drivers was at the airport waiting for clients whose flight was delayed so we decided to switch drivers to accommodate you better.

As far as your trip with Pablo to Puerto Viejo, Pablo stopped at the first supermarket, because he thought you wanted to stop sooner. He wasn't aware you wanted to stop at the specific, recommended supermarket.

And upon arrival to Puerto Viejo, as you are probably aware, Costa Rica does not have any street signs and we are accustomed to always stopping and asking locals for directions - it's the Tico way, because it is very difficult to navigate here. That's probably one of the reasons we are voted the "Happiest Nation in the World" because we are pretty much forced to ask for directions and talk to people on the street every where we go!

Pablo was not purposely trying to delay your drive - he was trying hard to get to the address you gave him as fast as possible. Pablo is the leader of our transportation department, speaks English and is known to be a very professional and competent driver. He made the decision to choose a path around the tree thinking it would be faster than calling the owners of the rental home and having them drive down to pick you up. We are sorry that he made the wrong decision not to call right away. His only intention was to be helpful and efficient. But it sounds like you got to see more of Costa Rica and had quite an adventure along the way! We always say "Make the Journey Your Adventure!"

Now in terms of your transport back to the San José airport, since we do not have an office in the Puerto Viejo area, it's true, we work with another responsible transport provider. Costa Ricans often regard their lunches as sacred so when you told the driver you didn't want to stop for any food along the way, he stopped quickly to grab a Costa Rican fast food "encuyado" for himself. Turns out he didn't like it very much and when he saw someone on the street, he decided to give it to them. He didn't mean to upset you by this.

Again, thank you for booking your transport with us - we do have excellent drivers who work hard to share their Costa Rica with clients. We hope you come back to try some of our tours, too!

Your friends,
Suresh and Christine Krishnan, owners

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Reviewed April 29, 2013

We booked several excursions over six days with Desafio including rappelling, floating safari, ziplining, white water rafting and horseback riding. All were excellent! The guides were knowledgeable, friendly and funny - true professionals. We will be back to Costa Rica and we will definitely be planning our activities through Desafio.

Thank shawn v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2013

While filming a series in Costa Rica we needed a professional, yet engaging company with the highest safety levels due to the nature of our filming. Desafio was recommended to us and I cannot recommend them highly enough. The owners, Suresh and Christine put together a package for us and went out of there way to make sure that this was a trip to remember. Their professionalism, incredible safety procedures and generosity were just a few of the perks with choosing this outfit. The staff are friendly, humorous, and extremely hard working, with safety always at the forefront. A truly unique experience for us all and I can't wait to come back. Great value for money as well.

Thank Moisey65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DesafioAdventures, Owner at Desafio Adventure Company, responded to this reviewResponded May 4, 2013

Hey "Moisey65!"

How are you? Thank you for your kind remarks on TripAdvisor! You are a hoot! We had a blast with you and your crew here and can't wait 'til the show comes out! The kids were so inspiring for all of us. You all certainly changed our guides' lives and the children from the school you volunteered at are still raving about the gifts you brought!

Thank you again for choosing us for your project and saying such nice things about us - we can't wait for you to come back on your own this time so we can really show you around!

Big hugs from afar,
Suresh and Christine Krishnan
Your friends in Costa Rica!

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Reviewed April 28, 2013

The folks at Desafio did a great job of creating an adventure that I won't forget. We rafted on the Sarapiqui which has a 3-4 rating. We were on the river for about 2- 2 1/2 hours (including a break midway). The rapids never seemed to end but I was able to enjoy the scenery along the way as well. Our raftsman, Jose, did an excellent job of balancing adrenaline and safety. You will get drenched and love every minute of it.
I rafted on a 2-3 rated river a couple of years ago, also in Costa Rica, but it was nothing like this. A young couple on our raft who love these type of activities said that it was great by their standards too.
The Desafio crew includes a kayak riding cameraman. You can buy a DVD with pictures of your adventure for $30. I know this sounds like it could be cheesy but it really is worth it. There is no way that you can take any pictures on this trip. The cameraman did an excellent job. Our DVD has over 170 high quality pictures of just our raft, as well as some wild-life shots to round out the purchase. I start laughing every time I start looking at the pictures.

Thank TB5of6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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