In December 2016 we took 2 tours with Expediciones Tropicales -- 1) Irazu Volcano, Orosi Valley and Lankester Gardens (day tour), 2) Poas Volcano and Doka Estates (half-day tour). Our guides were Jorge and Martin respectively.
The guides are very friendly and competent, overall both tours were worthwhile to us -- we did see the scheduled main attractions. However, I do have a bit of reservations about these tours: first, and this is the biggest problem, they should go to the volcanoes the very first thing and allow ample time for people to explore. On both tours, we made stops before heading to the volcanoes (on the Irazu tour at a cafe/restaurant; on the Poas tour at Doka Estate). But as we know, the volcanoes are usually more clear in the morning and covered by clouds as the day progresses. Also, as we arrived at the parks late in the morning, the line waiting to enter became longer. Thus, precious time was wasted. This is more so on the Poas tour when the visit to Doka Estate took longer as people walked around and bought coffee, etc. It is much better to move this visit to after the volcano visit. As such, when we arrived at the crater, clouds were rapidly moving in, whereas earlier, we could see that it was much more clear.
In addition, the Irazu tour only allows 40 minutes to explore the volcanoes, this is not sufficient (the Poas tours allows more time). The Irazu tour in general is very rushed, I think it is much better to move the Lankaster Garden visit to after lunch, and allow us at least 1 or 1.5 hours to explore the volcano.
Another problem is that these groups tend to be bigger than the ones we joined -- at least 12 or more people. Thus, as the tour bus stopped at various hotels to pick up people, more time is spent.
None of this is the guides' fault per se (although they probably could provide input to their company to optimize these tours). I suggest that the tour company take these into consideration and optimize the tours to make them more enjoyable for tourists.
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