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“Amazing Outdoor Adventure with Wonderful Costa Rican Guides”

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, Bathroom facilities, Lockers / storage
Reviewed August 8, 2015 via mobile

Yes, our trip included amazing activities including white water rafting on the world renowned Pacuare River, green sea turtle experience, wild life motorboat adventures, many hikes through the rain forest and Costa Rican food galore. Yes, our trip included a variety of terrific accommodations including Rios Tropicales and Tortuga Lodge. But the thing that made this trip outstanding was the warmth, care and professional delivery of services provided by the wonderful guides who were native Costa Ricans. Our week long guide, Jonathan, was friendly, informative, funny, caring, and put service above self.

Our group included 8 college friends who were all 60 years old +. We get together often but this trip allowed us to be adventurous, test ourselves and at the same time afforded more laughing with our many guides then I thought was possible.

Luis, Alex, Sulan, were all perfect guides and hosts. I sprained my knee on day 2 of the trip and the care and sensitivity of Alex and Luis was beyond the call of duty. Alex wrapped my knee very professionally, secured a walking stick and checked on my knee often- even massaging the fluid out of my knee. Luis - the Captain of the supply raft, on this trip, made room for me his raft on day 3 of the trip and navigated the class 3 and 4 rapids ensuring I was safe and he was very engaging. My knee went from stiff and swollen to very functional in less than 30 hours.

In addition, these young man were authentic, sincere and made us feel as though we were part of their daily excitement. They were a great combination of "take charge" and helpful at the same time. They made us all feel very young. A 69 year lady on our trip was in good shape but needed assistance often- they were very helpful and took great care of her. They accommodated all of our needs and requests with smiles and enthusiasm.

Best trip ever. Best care ever. Best guides ever.

Date of experience: August 2015
1  Thank DCP09
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 11, 2015

Dear DCP09,

Wow! What a review. We are thrilled to see feedback like this. It sounds like you really had a wide range of Costa Rica Expeditions exclusive private day tours on your travels, and got a little of everything the country has to offer.

Like you, we believe that it is the guides that truly make the difference on a trip. Like you, we also think this is especially important given the parameters of your trip - a group of college friends who are all 60 + and exploring a unique country (how incredibly fun by the way). Rest assured that we will pass your complements on to the guides you interacted with, and we’re really proud to have Alex and Louis on our team, after reading about the care they gave to your hurt knee.

Whether people should include a naturalist guide for all or part of your vacation depends. It depends on you and it depends on the guide.

For many travelers, without question, the right guide can be the single most important element of a successful trip.

Walking through the forest with a great naturalist guide is akin to experiencing a dramatic work of art---even if you don't see one single beast. The guide conjures up humor, tragedy suspense and you are at center stage. Some people even cry. Everybody laughs; Everybody learns; Everybody’s lifetime memories are enhanced.

Guides take the hassle out of travel. They provide education, insight into the host culture and often simple friendship.

I’m glad to see that in this case you and your various guides seem to have really connected.

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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458 - 462 of 649 reviews

Reviewed August 6, 2015

Our family just returned from a very memorable vacation to Costa Rica that was organized by Costa Rica Expeditions. I have to say, it was the smoothest and most organized vacation I think we've ever been on thanks to the professionalism and well organized planning by them. Everything was planned to the detail, and the coordination between them and the local tour companies they work with was amazing. All we had to do was show up and they took care of everything! ALL of the people that worked for them or with them were the epitome of professionalism and courtesy. I would not hesitate in the least to recommend them to anyone traveling to Costa Rica. Very impressive!

Date of experience: July 2015
Thank Marvee622
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 11, 2015

Dear Marvee662,

Thanks for the great review. “All we had to do was show up and they took care of everything,” is exactly the impression we want to leave with our guests. We’re thrilled that you enjoyed your exclusive private day tours with Costa Rica Expeditions, and honored to have your recommendation.

We hope to see you in Costa Rica again someday.

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 August 2, 2015 via mobile

Exceeded our expectations! Fantastic job planning our trip! We loved Costa Rica and could have never had an experience like we did without Costa Rica Expeditions!! Fantastic!!
Gustavo planned our trip, listened to what we wanted, and delivered our best vacation ever! All of the staff at Tortuga Lodge and our waiter Jonathan... awesome!! Samuel in Monteverde....the most knowledgable guide. He is the chief of guides!!!!! Goose, our driver from Monteverde to Guancaste (JW Marriott) was AWESOME!!!!

Date of experience: June 2015
Thank jbhough
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 jbhough,

Thank you for the review. We are so pleased to read you had such a great trip, planned by Gustavo.

He is a very experienced travel planner, and is happy to help you and your family set up private day tours during your stay in Costa Rica. I’m equally pleased to read that you enjoyed the service of all the various CRE employees you met over the course of your time here!

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 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

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 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.

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