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“Most unforgettable trip to Costa Rica”

Costa Rica Expeditions
Ranked #2 of 132 Tours in San Jose
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Costa Rica Expeditions, unique travel experiences since 1978.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Lockers / storage, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed January 14, 2015

A friend recommended Costa Rica Expeditions so my family including 2 teenagers booked an exciting full filled adventure for 10 days through them. We have travelled alot but this has become our best trip ever. They provided excellent ideas, suggestions of what activities would be worthwhile and expertly squeezed in the adventures we wanted to experience (white water rafting, hiking, zip-lining, horse back riding, hot springs, sun-tanning, 4 different hotels in various regions in Costa Rica) and still able to organize it in such a way that we never felt tired or too busy. Their emails were always prompt, and provided up date reminders to prepare for our trip as we got closer to the date. The taxi drivers and guides were always on time, seem to know who we were and provided excellent unforgettable service. The company emailed and faxed to the hotel our itinerary for the next day. What completely made us appreciate their value..we forgot my husband's luggage at the airport but only realized this after driving to the hotel 4 hrs away!! With 2 phone calls..they found our luggage, managed to get it out of customs without us there and promptly delivered it to our next hotel 3 days later without any fuss, no extra charge and with a smile...amazing!

Date of experience: December 2014
Thank Joan B
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 15, 2015

Best trip ever! WOW!

We are delighted to hear that you had a great experience during the planning process which created your best trip ever!

By relying on us, you'll have all your private day tours planned by our Travel Planner who lives here, and has local connections. Our Planners are backed by over 100 person-years of experience with things Costa Rican. They all speak English and Spanish.

In fact, you rely on our Planners, Guides, Drivers, Hotel staff - and the whole team of unsung heroes behind the scenes who you'll never meet. They insure that you see the “hidden Costa Rica,” because they all live here, study it, know it so well, and are totally dedicated to your vacation of a lifetime.

We go to extraordinary lengths to make your private day tours are as safe and as seamless as humanly possible. As with so many things in life the perception is almost as important as the reality. It is not enough for your vacation to be safe and hassle free, it also has to be worry free.

Vacation Time is Precious!

Natalie Ewing
Director Marketing & Guest Satisfaction

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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526 - 530 of 654 reviews

Reviewed January 13, 2015

I decided I needed a vacation and called Costa Rica Expeditions. In less than 24 hours, my week-long trip was booked and I found myself in Costa Rica just one week later! Costa Rica Expeditions took away all of my stress and delivered a high-quality trip that ensured all of my objectives were met, including seeing the famous Quetzel bird! A+! I give them my highest recommendation.

Date of experience: December 2014
Thank Kimberly R
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, 2015

Dear Kimberly R,

I’m delighted to hear that we took away all the stress of planning your Costa Rica experiences. That is one of the things that we strive to deliver.

We also set our sights high for your experiences while in country, the mission that we train of our staff with is, Legendary Service….Unforgettable Memories. We are honored to see that we earned your A+ and recommendation.

Vacation Time is Precious!

Natalie Ewing
Director Marketing & Guest Satisfaction

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2015

Luis at CRE helped planned our two week vacation. The different people I interacted at CRE are all extremely professional and courteous, and every question is answered promptly. You do pay extra for their services but if you are looking for a hassle-free, worry-free, top quality personalized vacation experience, go with CRE and you will be well taken care of.

I also want to point out the Monteverde Lodge which is owned by CRE is outstanding. The staff at the restaurant is especially marvelous, always smiling and upbeat. We also had the pleasure of having Carlos as our naturalist guide and took us on a private night time tour and a day time tour at the Monteverde Reserve. He is extremely knowledgable and my 10 year old daughter was so fascinated with the birds that she wanted and got the same bird reference book that Carlos was carrying. Carlos helped her find the pages on the book of the different birds we see. It was a surprise and delightful to see her discover a new interest.

All the rest of the hotels, transportations, and activities we used are just as wonderful. Thanks to Luis and the staff at the CRE for a well planned and executed vacation.

Date of experience: December 2014
Thank blazyrun
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, 2015

Dear qtipwwc,

Fantastic to hear how much you enjoyed working with Luis to plan your private day tours. Beyond that, I was delighted to hear that you bought your daughter a bird book and that your Monteverde Naturalist Guide, Carlos, inspired her to learn about birds. You know that the next thing she’s going to need is a pair of binoculars!

For people reading this and considering our services, we are often asked if we’re right for them. Like qtipwwc points out, you do pay extra for our private day tours and services but if you are looking for a hassle-free, worry-free, top quality personalized vacation experience, you will be well taken care of.

The traveler that is better off having us do the planning of these private day tours is traveler that values peace of mind a stress free experience and eliminating risks and hassles.

Vacation Time is Precious!

Natalie Ewing
Director Marketing & Guest Satisfaction

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2015

With the help of Costa Rica Expeditions, my family of 6 spent 8 nights in Costa Rica, returning home on January 3rd. Every detail of our trip was perfectly executed by the Costa Rica Expeditions staff - from pick-up at the San Jose airport on Day 1 to pick up in Manuel Antonio on our final day. Our naturalist guide, Katia, was so knowledgable - we learned so much about the country, its history, and also about the wildlife. We enjoyed many local meals and participated in many activities - rafting, canyoning, zip lining and hiking. All of the guides were first rate - and safety was top notch. We were so impressed by everyone we encountered. We will definitely return!

Date of experience: December 2014
Thank mbh2015
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 13, 2015

Dear mbh2015,

WOW, you included rafting, canyoning, zip lining and hikes in your itinerary! What a great action packed combination!

I'm glad to hear that you noticed the top notch standards of safety. This is something that is often overlooked and in our view, crucial to doing any of the activities you participated in.

For readers considering a vacation in Costa Rica, as a general rule of thumb, when traveling anywhere in the world and doing adventure activities, don't assume that they're safe, unfortunately a lot of them aren't.

Just to give you an idea, Costa Rica only uses 6 out of an estimated 100 canopy experiences in Costa Rica. We haven’t inspected them all, but we’ve inspected a lot and only 6 have passed our inspection.

If you don’t have a company like us to do this for you, make an effort to find out the level of security at activities in which you are thinking of participating. If you have a doubt pass. As an example, here are a few guidelines for canopy experiences and rides:

1- Helmets: If there are people up high and down low, the people down low should wear hard hats at all times. At 100 feet an object as small as a falling coin can cause a serious head injury. This is such a basic safety precaution for activities involving people in high places that you can assume general sloppiness if it is not religiously adhered to.

2- Crowd control: This particularly applies to canopy platform and walkway attractions. There needs to be consistently effective efforts to keep people out of harm’s way and to make sure that the load limits are obeyed. Signs indicating prohibited areas and loads limits are not enough, especially when the appearance of sought after animals might tempt people to overload platforms or walkways. There needs to be trained personnel committed to making sure there is never overloading.

3- Redundancy: This means that there are at least two independent systems that insure participant’s safety so that if one fails the other system (s) prevents an accident. There can be no common elements. If two ropes are tied to the same anchor, the accident will happen when the anchor fails.

4- Consistency and written safety rules & protocols: This is the most important of all and the hardest to detect. Unless there are written safety rules and protocols backed by continuous training and safety surveys, personnel will break rules and allow rules to be broken and the possibility of tragic accidents will be unacceptably high. Ask to see the rules.

Don't miss out on activities like rafting, canyoning, zip lining and serious hiking, go the extra mile and make sure that you’re booking with a company that cares as much about your safety as you do.

Safe Travels!

Natalie Ewing
Director Marketing & Guest Satisfaction

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 11, 2015

This tour company was a great choice for our 1-week family vacation in Costa Rica. We spent the first 3 nights at the beach in Tamarindo, at Capitan Suizo--a fine (pacific) beachside resort with howler monkeys providing entertainment from the tree over the pool. Nearby horseback-riding arranged by Costa Rica Expeditions was lovely. On to Tortuguero via two puddle-jumpers (terrific pilots!), for a 2-night stay at the Tortuga Lodge (owned and operated by Costa Rica Expeditions)--perfect base for exploring the rain forest on the Eastern/Caribbean coast of the country. Guided boat tour and kayaking tour both provided ample opportunities to spot the omnipresent wildlife: sloths, monkeys, toucans, porcupines, basilisks, turtles, caimans and then some. One more puddle-jumper to San Jose (again, great pilot) to board the van for a 4-hr drive over rough road, until we reached the Monteverde Lodge (also a property of Costa Rica Expeditions). Great spot for touring the cloud forest/Curi Cancha reserve (coati, agouti, hummingbirds, etc.) on foot and visiting a coffee plantation (El Cafetal Coffee Tour, the real deal!). Wish we had another day here. Prompt ride back to airport. Food was delicious and healthful throughout, lodging lived up to high expectations, transfers/drivers/guided tours were terrific. Company was extremely responsive and more than fair after minor glitch. Do it! Pura Vida!!

Date of experience: December 2014
Thank jen10583
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 12, 2015

Dear jen10583,

Thank you for mentioning the “puddle jumpers” you and your family used.

For people trying to decide what to do and where to go in Costa Rica, a lot of guests hesitate to use the “puddle jumpers”, but Costa Rica is a country where I highly recommend flights. Including one or two strategic flights will save you a lot of time on transportation and give you the opportunity to do more private day tours or just enjoy your surroundings.

To give you an example, to get to Tortuguero where jen10583 and her family went, it’s a 30 minute flight from San Jose and a 2 minute ride across a river by boat to be seated at a restaurant on the bank of the Tortuguero River with Toucans calling in the neighboring forest. To get to the same place by bus and boat you have to drive 3.5 hours then go by boat 1.5 hours.

We all have so little vacation time, that it is truly precious! Flights get you where you’re going and having fun faster.

We hope you will visit Costa Rica again!

Natalie Ewing
Director Marketing & Guest Satisfaction

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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