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“Riverboat Francesca”

Riverboat Francesca
Certificate of Excellence
Montreal, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Riverboat Francesca”
Reviewed February 26, 2013

My wife and I stopped in Puerto Limon for a day recently while on a cruise. Overall, there then taking one of the cruise excursions. We checked trip advisor for a private guide. We wanted to see the Tortuguera Canal, and found some excellent reviews for Riverboat Francesca. It was an excellent decision. We took a taxi [arranged by them] to the starting point where Modesto was waiting. The 2 of us got into his boat. [Which could have held 10 to 12 people] and started up the canal. We passed a number of other boats loaded with up to 30 or 40 people. After about 30 min. we reached the point where most of these other boats turned back. We continued northward for almost 2 more hours. Modesto was an excellent guide, pointing out fauna and flora; and telling us much about the history of the area. My wife pointed out to me that Modesto's eyes never stopped searching the banks for something interesting to show us. At a few places the canal opened to the sea; and at one of these locations, we saw a number of small boats with people fishing. What Modesto told us is that these were workers from the banana plantations who were catching their food for the week. As it was a Sunday plantations were closed. After about 2 hours we stopped and fished for a short while with some rods that Modesto had in the boat. He then talk us for a wonderful lunch at a small restaurant [included in the price]. We then returned and on the way back stopped at a place where he knew we could take pictures of a waiting crocodile. Because we were only 2 people we paid a little more than if we had joined one of the other fully loaded boats; it was well worth it. I cannot imagine that anyone on one of those boats could have had the personal experience that we did.

Visited February 2013
2 Thank Stan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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81 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Durham, North Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“you are really overlooking this experience”
Reviewed December 26, 2012

my wife and i spent the day with modesto in his boat with another couple. i enjoyed myself immensely. we were on the canals for almost 6 hours. i felt at the beginning that 6 hours would be intolerable but i was so wrong. this day trip was the highlight of the cruise. we saw many birds, monkeys and crocodiles that i might have seen before but the trip was so relaxing and modesto is so cool. in fact the other couple didnt even show up with the correct money. modesto response, its ok ,just send it to me when you get home. we went 4o kms to a restaraunt in the middle of nowhere for a lunch of baked whole fish,rice and beans , salad, and drinks . all included in the total price of 75pp. i am rarely satisfied with anything, which i am not relly bragging about, but this trip i would rcommend in a second. i would keep the number of people below 8 because i think the small boat added to the trip 6 people would be perfect. it cost 10 dollars for a cab from the boat to moin [ about 15 mins max] witout a doubt if you want a canal trip this is the tour. look at his website for more info -- riverboat francesca. my wife kept talking to him almost nonstop and he was so accomdating to her- never a sign of i had enough.you have really made a mistake if you overlook this tour. good luck.

Visited December 2012
2 Thank fred f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Outstanding Guides”
Reviewed September 19, 2012

Riverboat Francesca was one of the highlights of our Costa Rica trip! We took the 3 day 2 night package and stayed at Laguna Lodge, which we really enjoyed. Fran and Modesto were very flexible in accomodating our travel plans. Fran communicated with us by email to finalize trip details and changed their schedule so our dates would work. She also gave us good information about what to bring and where to stay. They are both very knowledgeable about Costa Rica and Tortuguero National Park. They picked us up at the Holiday Inn in San Jose and we drove to Port Limon to get on the boat. We stopped half way to get a wonderful Costa Rican breakfast and enjoyed conversation about Costa Rica with Fran and Modesto. Fran found a blue jeans frog at breakfast to show our son. It was approximately a 3 and a half hour boat ride to Tortuguero. Modesto is an outstanding tour guide. He has an eagle eye for finding crocodiles, caimans, iguanas, monkeys, bats, and various types of birds, plants, and trees. The second day we went on morning and late afternoon canal boat rides inside Tortuguero Park and saw picturesque scenery. Modesto set us up with an evening tour guide to view green sea turle nesting. This guide did a fantastic job finding us a turtle laying eggs. This was very fun and unique experience. We highly recommend Riverboat Francesca! Fran and Modesto do everything possible to make sure you have a great trip. Modesto even gave us a boat ride to the airport on our last day.

Visited August 2012
3 Thank Nancy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Great company!”
Reviewed September 16, 2012

Fran and Modesto made it so easy to go to Tortuguero! We were driving ourselves so we met up with the group by the boat (the driving instructions we got from Fran were great and it was very easy to find). The parking is pretty secure (although I would't leave anything in the car overnight). I would listen to Fran's advice and pack in small overnight bags if possible. We went for the 2 days/1 night package.

The ride from Moin to the hotel in Tortuguero (we stayed at Laguna Lodge) takes about 4 hours and there is a restroom stop on the way (where a DJ played really good music and you could buy soft drinks etc).

Lunch was served at the hotel when we arrived and in the afternoon Modesto took us to Tortuguero village (not much to see I have to say...).

In the evening there was an option to go see the sea turtle lay their eggs.

The next morning there was a tour of the canals which we skipped (due to massive amounts of rain we chose to sleep in instead) but the people who went said it was great.

On the way back to Moin we stopped and had delicious lunch.

Modesto, our captain, must have the eye sight of an eagle as he can spot the smallest lizard/bird/sloth/bat while driving the boat. We saw more animals then I could have imagined and some of the crocodiles were almost too big and too close...

This was indeed a great trip and Fran and Modesto are so organized and friendly! The only downside was that the hotel set up the tables according to boat so you kind of had to eat with the people you came with. Our group was unfortunately a little "socially challenging" and conversation was like pulling teeth...

Visited August 2012
Thank martiniq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 10, 2012

I highly recommend taking a Tortuguero tour with Riverboat Francesca!!! Fran and Modesto were extremely helpful in planning the timing and the travel arrangements. They really work with you to customize your trip to what you need -- they are very accommodating and very reachable by email to help you plan ahead of time. And the tours themselves were AWESOME -- Modesto is so knowledgeable and so funny. We saw so many animals that I hardly believed would be possible... I also recommend staying at Casa Marbella in the town of Tortuguero, for those of you that don't feel the need for a resort experience -- it is an interesting town to explore and a lovely little hotel, right on the canal. Go eat at Wild Ginger's -- I can't tell you how wonderful the food was!
At any rate, be sure to use Riverboat Francesca to visit Tortuguero!!!!!

Visited June 2012
1 Thank Wendy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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