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Reviewed January 2, 2014

My wife and I used Costa Rica Expeditions to arrange a private trip to Tortuga Lodge and to use a private guide in Monteverde. I have never dealt with a better company. Their naturalist guides combined an almost supernatural ability to find wildlife with an extensive knowledge base; they were also extremely personable. All aspects of the trip that they arranged, including complex coordination of schedules between them and another company (that we later joined as part of a group tour), were done seamlessly. Services were always provided ahead of schedule and frequently included unexpected extras. Tortuga Lodge (in Tortuguero) is a model for sustainable (as well as interesting and exciting) eco-tourism. Their sterling reputation is richly deserved. I have not posted photos here, but will have photos posted by about January 6th at:
justinkphotos.com

Date of experience: December 2013
Thank PhiladelphiaDrumdoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Natalie E, Guest Relations Manager at Costa Rica Expeditions, responded to this reviewResponded January 14, 2014

Dear PhiladelphiaDrumdoc,

We were very proud to hear that you have never dealt with a better company. I was glad to see that all of your schedules were well arranged, and that you found your naturalist guides to be both knowledgeable and personable.

Those good guiding attributes come from one great and reliable source: experience. All of our guides bring extensive and varied experience to the profession. In Monteverde and Tortuguero this includes an intimate knowledge of the natural world that makes up their backyard. In Tortuguero for example, all of our guides grew up exploring the canals and the coastal rainforests. Many of them worked in this environment in different capacities, before they became guides.

Our guide Fernando for example, spent twelve years helping the Caribbean Conservation Corporation with their efforts to establish the conservation of the sea turtles that now bring so many visitors to Tortuguero. He became a guide for us in 1989.

Norton, another guide at Tortuga Lodge, also had a past career in the rainforests, but in some of the pre tourism trades like fishing for lobster, peeling coconuts and felling trees for the lumber companies. His work in these fields gave him a unique perspective for viewing the forests, and his wildlife sightings are legendary. He became a guide with us in 2005.

Of his work before guiding he says: “I'm sometimes ashamed to admit that I contributed to destroying the forests and worked at a plywood factory, but at least I learned and am now dedicated to conservation. There are people that still hunt and cut down forests in this region today. They have still not understood the damage that is caused.”

Thanks again for the review. I hope you can come back and visit us again.

And by the way, your photo albums are great! Thanks for sharing, and I hope any readers will check them out for an interesting look at Costa Rica.

Sincerely,

Natalie Ewing
Chief Marketing & Guest Satisfaction Officer

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Reviewed December 30, 2013

We have been twice to Costa Rica with Costa Rica Expeditions. They are the best. William is the most patient, knowledgable guide around. He goes out of his way to make your trip top notch.When we arrived nearly two days late (thanks American Airlines) Costa Rica Expeditions were still there to meet us. We also love the Tortuga Lodge in Tortuguero! Use this company if you can.

Date of experience: December 2013
Thank MrsMcCool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Natalie E, Guest Relations Manager at Costa Rica Expeditions, responded to this reviewResponded December 31, 2013

Dear MrsMcCool,

Love your name! Thank you for taking the time to write a review for Costa Rica Expeditions, I am glad you enjoyed your stay with us, and touring with guide William Granados. We agree with you, he is one of the best guides available. His patience and knowledge are skills he has picked up over a long career, both from guiding all over Costa Rica and University studies in Agricultural Engineering, Natural History and Vulcanology (the study of volcanoes).

We were very sorry that your flight was delayed and you had to lose some of your precious vacation time, but you’re right, we will be there waiting, however late your plane gets in. It’s part of our commitment to our guests.

I hope you can come back and visit us a third time, I know William would be thrilled to guide you again.

Feliz Año Nuevo!

Natalie Ewing
Chief Marketing & Guest Satisfaction Officer

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Reviewed December 29, 2013

Costa Rica Expeditions helped me planned the trip of a lifetime. I just spent two weeks in Costa Rica and Costa Rica Expeditions' input into this vacation made it everything i had hoped it would be: Luis Cubero our agent, helped me plan a wonderful trip with great hotels and amazing expeditions, exactly what I was looking for. The guides, transfer agents and drivers were always on time, professional and so knowledgeable. Costa Rica expeditions really thought of everything, from the package we received at our arrival that contained a map of Costa Rica and information on the wildlife to the great guides that accompanied us throughout our trip.
I'm just sorry Costa Rice Expeditions doesn't operate in all the countries i would like to visit.

Date of experience: December 2013
Thank BreeOttawaCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Natalie E, Guest Relations Manager at Costa Rica Expeditions, responded to this reviewResponded December 31, 2013

Dear BreeOttawaCanada,

Knowing we helped you plan “the trip of a lifetime” is the highest praise we can receive! Thank you so much for sharing. I am glad that you enjoyed working with Luis Cubero to plan your trip; his background as a Costa Rican geographer makes him a great travel planner for people who want an in-depth view of the country, or a vacation that goes into more remote places.

We are very pleased that you found all your guides and drivers to be on time, professional and knowledgeable, it’s what we strive for.

I hope you can come back and visit us again sometime, but in the meantime, happy holidays to you and your family!

Sincerely,
Natalie Ewing
Chief Marketing & Guest Satisfaction Officer

By the way, we wish we operated in all the countries you want to visit too!

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Reviewed December 26, 2013

I recently booked a 1 week vacation with Costa Rica Expeditions. It was a very last minute decision to do the trip, so timing was critical. It was planned for the week before Christmas and we didn't start until 10 days prior to departure. Working with agent Douglas Espinoza, we did several iterations of discussion about our likes and desires. He came up with an itinerary, we reviewed and made changes and I gave approval to book. All of this happened in a single day that started in the morning and ended well after midnight for Douglas. He went above and beyond what was expected as far as working hours.

While there, we thought that we'd been robbed. Without hesitation, CR Expeditions made plans to transfer us cash to enable us to enjoy the rest of our vacation. It got there within 12 hours, to a different part of the country, no questions asked. This is perhaps the kind of service one expects in the US, but it was not what we saw in many parts of Costa Rica.

Every part of our trip went like clock work. All tour arrangements, pick ups, drop offs, hotels went smoothly and were top notch. If you are going to Costa Rica and need help setting it up, you won't find better than Costa Rica Expeditions. Ask for Douglas! (although they were all great, quite honestly).

Date of experience: December 2013
Thank cajunview
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Natalie E, Guest Relations Manager at Costa Rica Expeditions, responded to this reviewResponded December 27, 2013

Dear cajunview,

I was delighted to read your review and your insights on your trip.

I’m glad you enjoyed the planning process with Douglas; one of the great things of planning a vacation through Costa Rica Expeditions is that we specialize in customizing itineraries and are happy to work with you until they are just right for you.

There are a lot of benefits to planning your vacation with Costa Rica Expeditions, some are before arrival; and others are once you are in Costa Rica.

When you arrive we provide you with the assurance that you will have us watching over your vacation, making sure that everything goes perfectly, and, in the unlikely event that something were to go wrong, guests have us to coordinate.

In your case, it was the transfer of cash, but we will take care of most anything that needs taking care of, medical emergencies, communication with loved ones back home, lost items, alternate transportation, you name it…we’ve done it.

We realize that you must have a long list of places to visit around the world, but we would love it if you ever return to Costa Rica!

Feliz Año Nuevo,

Natalie Ewing
Chief Marketing & Guest Satisfaction Officer

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Reviewed November 10, 2013

This is our 2nd trip to CR using CR Expeditions. Everything went flawlessly on the first trip. Two days ago we had just arrived on our 2nd trip and blew a tire in the dark in the middle of nowhere (CR Expeditions rented the car for us and took full coverage out for us - left to us we might have gone for less insurance coverage). Of course our rental car agreement excluded flat tires. I called Nadya, our planner on her cell phone (note: she gave it to me just in case). We were hours away from their offices but they found someone local to change the tire. Turns out the car was still not drivable (more damage than we thought) so we called back and they arranged for the closest rental car agency they used to come out. They showed up, had the car towed and the guy from the rental agency drove us the rest of the way to our hotel! In the meantime CR had been on the phone with our lodge telling them that we would be coming in very late and to have someone waiting for us. Finally got there,next morning went to breakfast and Ricardo from CR Expeditions called to make sure that we were okay. Because of Costa Rica Expeditions we felt safe! Plus, they are great at matching up locations and lodging to what you ask for.

Date of experience: November 2013
1  Thank wendyvank
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Natalie E, Guest Relations Manager at Costa Rica Expeditions, responded to this reviewResponded November 11, 2013

Dear Wendyvank,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience, I was so glad to read that Nadya and our operations staff were able to help when you blew a tire, and that you did not have to lose any of your precious vacation time.

We do everything to run our guests’ vacations flawlessly and with no problems. However, perhaps more importantly, when things go wrong we want our guests to be able to say, like you do, that “because of Costa Rica Expeditions we felt safe!”

Knowing we were there for our guests is some of the highest praise we can receive, so thank you for sharing.

Even when vacations are going great, over the years we have found that one thing travelers value above all is peace of mind. That is why we have developed a policy of being “always in touch.”

Our operations department is staffed from 5:30 am – 8:00 pm, 365 days a year (yes, that includes Christmas morning, New Years Eve, and EVERY other day of the year). After 8:00 pm, a member of the operations staff is on call via a cell phone. To back that up, we also offer the home and cell phone numbers for our CEO and the rest of our management team. All of these numbers are provided in an easy to hold on to card when you arrive in the country, along with being on our website.

We are confident that whatever the situation, problem or desire, we can find a solution for our guests. I’m glad you found that to be true as well.

Sincerely,

Natalie Ewing
Chief Marketing & Guest Satisfaction

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