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“Costa Rica Expeditions - Excellent +”

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: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Lockers / storage
Reviewed August 2, 2015

Costa Rica Expeditions -- Fantastic! Organized! Informative! Friendly! My family of 8 just returned from a wonderful vacation in Costa Rica. It all started with the SUPERB PLANNING and GUIDING that Costa Rica Expeditions provided! This was our second family vacation to Costa Rica. Both times, we used Costa Rica Expeditions (CRE) to plan our trip. We started planning the trip by visiting the CRE web site. It was easy to use and provided many options. Quickly I was in touch with a planner. He guided me through the process of selecting locations to visit, adventures to take, hotels to book. I can't say enough about the personalized guidance that CRE provided. The trip was tailored to my family's interests. Then, once all locations, adventures & hotels were selected, the planner took care of all the booking details - the hotels, the adventures, the transfers, the guides, tours, EVERYTHING. The planner was always attentive to my questions and concerns. Incredible service & planning!

I'm sure CRE has many excellent planners, but our planner was Luis Cubero. Luis was on top of all the details. He stayed in touch with me throughout the planning process and the trip itself. He was responsive through e-mail, phone calls and all planning matters. Our family of 8 ranged in ages from 19 to 77. Between us, there were multiple skill levels and interests. Luis was able to plan adventures that appealed to each of us. At times my family went in different directions, but the planning was so well orchestrated so that we always met up together after the adventures. It was great that all interests/skills levels were accommodated.

Planning the trip was step one. Then, the actual vacation. From the time we stepped off the plane till the time we returned to the airport, CRE provided excellent service. Our guides on both trips were perfect. They were well informed about our personalized trip. CRE matched our family with guides that connected well with our family. Details were managed behind the scene - all we had to do was enjoy our trip. On our July 2015 trip, our guide was Andrew. As a naturalist guide, he informed us about the country - animals, plants, geography, culture. But his presence was much more than that. He was the connected to the office which organized our adventures and transfers. He suggested local restaurants (which we loved!) He was the bi-lingual translator for our English speaking family. He participated in our adventures. And best yet, his personality fit right in with our family - he became part of the family during our vacation. We couldn't have been happier.

The hotels/lodges were wonderful & clean. The adventures that CRE booked were safe. Between our two vacations to Costa Rica, we visited Arenal, Monteverde, Turtuguero, and the Osa Peninsula. Each location had a unique appeal. CRE organized every activity including Hiking, Waterfall Rappelling, Zip Lining, White Water rafting, Hot Springs, Nature walks etc...

The planning and guiding were beyond all expectations. We highly recommend this tour company!!!!

Thank you, CRE!

Date of experience: July 2015
Thank DebbieBittner
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 August 6, 2015

Dear DebbieBittner,

Wow! What a great review. I am really glad that Luis and the rest of our staff were able to help plan your private day tours and assist in ensuring that your family, with its wide variety of ages and interests, were able to enjoy your time in Costa Rica.

I think guests can get a good sense of planning with Costa Rica Expeditions through your review. I am also glad to see that you were able to enjoy the services of guide Andrew on your trip. He has been guiding our private day tours since 2004, brings a wide variety of experience to bear on his work, and is consistently beloved by our guests. We sure do love having him.

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.
Write a ReviewReviews (654)
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465 - 469 of 654 reviews

Reviewed July 13, 2015

Facing a year to celebrate many wonderful occasions I put a lot of time into selecting the exact right experience to share with my children and my 5 grandchildren. There are many different kinds of vacations to consider when you're hosting other adults and 5 children ranging in age from 9 through 13. I didn't want to go to a famous capital, country (or countries) and drag them to museums, parks, restaurants, etc. as I didn't thank that would deliver the kind of experience I had in mind. I also ruled out "Disney Boat, World, etc. as that too was not consistent with my plan. This trip was meant to make memories and to do that I needed to implant experiences that challenged them and got their hearts beating fast. A long review of countries and services brought me to Costa Rica Expeditions...and I'm so glad it did.

My experience in planning the 6 night trip was enhanced immeasurably by the work of Elena Monge, one of their senior travel counselors. Perhaps they're all as good as Elena and I hope so for your/their sake. The personal contact via phone and e-mail was direct and personal and gave me the opportunity to express my wishes in a very supportive and informative manner.

My goal was to expose everyone (adults included) to new things that challenged them and took them out of their comfort zone. To do that we included zip lining (both terrifying and exhilarating), white water rafting (ditto), turtle egg hunting on distant beaches at night that required walking 4-5 miles in wet sand and mud and through twisting jungle paths and flying 12 people on 2 different charter flights with a single engine aircraft (pretty scary if you've never had the "pleasure").

Every day was choreographed to be a full and complete experience with the children and the adults exhausted but looking forward to what I had planned the next day. Every day all the travelers were challenged to do something very different and more than a bit scary. We started and ended our trip at the Hotel Grano de Oro in San Jose; a first class, 5 star hotel with wonderful rooms and a beautiful dining area (including a private room for our "farewell champagne dinner." Our next hotel was the Arenal Manoa in the volcanic area north of San Jose. A very nice hotel with food that really left a lot to be desired. There are options available that I would recommend specifically the hotel (name escapes me) where we enjoyed thermal baths after a day of zip lining. Staying at this hotel would have removed the only criticism I had of the entire journey. Our hotel had lovely people, very nice rooms but the food was just not good. Enough about that.

We flew from there after whitewater rafting to Tortugueros, the rain forest area, where we stayed at The Tortuga Lodge, owned by Costa Rica Expeditions. Very nice, no a/c (not essential and consistent with the outdoor/natural feeling), nice restaurant, beautiful infinity pool, great, accommodating people once again running the hotel and all the supporting attractions such as boat rides, turtle egg hunting, etc. Our trip ended with another charter flight back to San Jose in the morning and time for a little local visiting.

I got exactly what I wanted and the stream of comments from both children and grandchildren on a regular basis assured me that everyone was truly enjoying the experience and creating memories. Maybe lifelong, we'll see.

Date of experience: July 2015
1  Thank stevenwalsey
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 July 27, 2015

Dear stevewalsey,

WOW! Thank you for this great review. We’re glad that you enjoyed your time in Costa Rica, and that Costa Rica Expeditions was able to help you customize your private day tours throughout your stay. Helping you and your family create memories we hope will last a lifetime.

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 July 3, 2015

Costa Rica Expeditions (CRE) is the perfect choice for first-time travelers, especially English-speaking travelers who want to practice Spanish. The process of planning the trip was handled with attentiveness and accommodation of our requests for modifications of the itinerary. The in-country staff of guides and drivers was terrific. It was a delight to enjoy our trip without having to worry about how to get around the country using air and ground transportation. The arrangements provided by CRE allowed us to experience both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Costa Rica in the limited time that we had available. Hotel recommendations were all high-quality. Guides and transfer agents were knowledgeable and friendly. They knew their country and all of them are the best ambassadors for Costa Rica. The professionalism and expert care that CRE employees gave to us speaks highly of the kind of company CRE is.

Date of experience: June 2015
Thank AniJoh
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 July 6, 2015

Dear AniJoh,

It’s great to read that working with CRE allowed you to experience so much of Costa Rica in a stress free fashion. Getting to see both coasts in one trip is part of what makes this such an exciting country to visit, and I’m glad Costa Rica Expeditions was able to help set up your exclusive private day tours along the way

I’m thrilled to read that CRE was able to help provide a great first trip to Costa Rica – we hope it won’t be your last.

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 July 2, 2015

As the "family travel agent" I started planning our trip earlier this year and quickly realized I needed assistance in planning all the activities we wanted to do in Costa Rica. After some researching I found Costa Rica Expeditions. From our initial communication to the end of our trip - all who helped us throughout our journey were fabulous !! Our trip coordinator, Nadya Shaw did a spectacular job in planning our itinerary. We described the experience we wanted and she arranged every detail perfectly. Her response time to any inquiry and attention to deal is exceptional! I would recommend her to do 100% of the trip arrangements. I doubt any personal research can beat her experience or knowledge of Costa Rica, excursion companies or hotels in the country. We took her recommendation on everything except for our final hotel stay and I must say, I wish we would have gone with her recommendation.
With Nadya's help, our trip was completely stress free! We were met at the airport by a private naturalist guide, Jonathan and driver Mauricio. We spotted them right away and the car was waiting to drive us to our first destination. Wonderful to not have to worry about getting transportation! Jonathan served as our naturalist guide until we reached our 2nd destination. He is an absolutely wonderful person and knowledgeable guide. Mauricio did a fantastic job navigating the roads and we felt completely safe in all our transports. (Subsequently, we requested Mauricio for all our transports during our trip.) We spent our first 4 days with Jonathan and Mauricio and their company was splendid! It was so nice to have them with us as we were getting acquainted to the country. We visited 3 cities (Arenal, Tortuguero, and Manuel Antonio). Our excursions included zip lining, waterfall repelling, bike tour, volcano walk, white water rafting, a river cruise through Tortuguero National Park and a coffee plantation tour. Each excursion company was truly first class. COSTA RICA EXPEDITION is TOP NOTCH IN THE BUSINESS OF TOURS AND HOSPITALITY . This was shown by each representative of their company who helped us and all of the excursion companies they contracted for our different activities. From our experience, request Nadya as your travel coordinator , Jonathan as your naturalist guide and Mauricio as your driver .
TRUST YOUR TRAVEL PLANNING TO COSTA RICA EXPEDITION, once you contact them, you won't have to think about anything other than what a great vacation you will have.
THANK YOU CRE! You did a spectacular job !!! All tour companies should use your business model.

Date of experience: June 2015
1  Thank Dhruv 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 July 3, 2015

Dear Dhruv B,

Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed review about your stay in Costa Rica. Nadya has been working with Costa Rica Expeditions since 1991, and her responsiveness and warmth towards our guests is as impressive as her deep knowledge of the country and what it has to offer travelers. All that makes her a great person to help plan out your private day tours.

Thank you again for your review. We are really pleased to read that all the representatives of Costa Rica Expeditions you encountered was able to impress with their service and availability. We’re proud of Nadya and the rest of our team.

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.
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Reviewed July 1, 2015

We travelled as a couple.Every detail for the trip was taken care starting from day 1 to the last day in CRE.The people that represented CR expedition were very caring to make sure that the trip was going well .They planned our trip with every detail that we had requested.Had a great time and would recomend CR Expedition to anyone wanting to visit CR.

Date of experience: June 2015
1  Thank Sheni01
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 July 2, 2015

Dear Sheni01,

Thank you for taking the time to write us a review. I’m glad that you enjoyed all the people you met on your Costa Rica Expeditions private day tours, and felt that they were taking good care of you. We do everything we can so that our guests recognize early and often that they can relax and leave the details of their vacation to us.

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.

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