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“Decent but unorganized”

Costa Rica Best Trips
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Costa Rica Best Trips is a company dedicated to provide the airport transfer, shuttle service and private trips on Costa Rica, we have the licensed company and the insurance which is very important for our customers to feel safe, as we have many years of experience in the business. We always try to provide the best customer service with competitive prices and an experienced team of professionals drivers and tour guides. We are located 6,5 km SW from the Liberia Airport, Daniel Oduber Quiros (LIR) along the highway 21, on Plaza Nacascolo at the Gulf of Papagayo, office of Costa Rica Best Trips.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Decent but unorganized”
Reviewed May 25, 2013

We decided to plan 2 day trips with Costa Rica Best Trips in advance before our arrival. The first was to Arenal w/ hot spings and hanging bridges. Credit Card was offered as a form of payment with an unfortunate 7% up-charge so we paid cash. We got a confirmation by email and phone call in our room around 8pm the night before. There seemed to be some resistance to speaking English when my husband answered the phone so they asked to speak with me (as I speak Spanish).

Alex picked us up on time in the morning (7:30am). Super nice friendly guy. However, immediately the trip felt a little unorganized. He didn't really know what day trip package we wanted and was asking us where we had planned to go. Once we were on route, we had to take a detour so Alex could stop at his house. He went in to get a knife (to cut a pineapple for a snack later) and coffee. This added time to a trip that was already going to be a full day and a lot of driving. Along the way, Alex was very knowledgeable about the area and wildlife. He stopped a few times while we drove around Lake Arenal to point our tropical birds and good vista's for photos. Alex offered to take lots of photos of us which was appreciated. The hanging bridges were fun and Alex pointed out lots of wild life including small little poisonous frogs that would otherwise be hard to see.

Along the way Alex spoke a fair bit of English but often kept reverting to Spanish, turning my me into a translator for a fair portion of the trip which was really annoying. We had lunch after the hanging bridges, which we found a bit late in the day. Maybe it was just me, but he also spent a fair amount of time talking on the phone to his friends throughout the trip.

There seemed to be no plan where we were going for lunch, he asked if we wanted to eat local food or the restaurant that was included in the tour. We said local so the plan was to eat in La Fortuna, so we drove another 25-30 min into town. We got out of the van while Alex went to ask if the other restaurant was available even though we had asked for local. About 10 min later we got back into the bus and said the other place was available so we were going there. We left the town to back track another 15-20 minutes to the hot springs resort (Los Lagos, the one we just drove by) where we finally got to eat (around 2:30pm which we thought was a bit late). By this point it was getting dark and starting to rain but we made the best of it and spent an hour or so in the hot springs. We left at 4 and knew we still had a long drive ahead of us. The trip included dinner in the price, but the dinner location was only an hour away from the hot springs. Since we had just finished eating at 3pm, we decided to skip dinner and at this point just wanted to get back to the resort and eat there instead. We didn't ask for any money back, we just wanted to go back.

All in all we probably wouldn't opt to do this day trip again. We spent a total of 8.5hrs in the van, and about 3.5-4 hours of the day was actually spent doing things outside. The drive home was spent tailgating other cars through the mountains and by the time it was dark and raining on the Pan American Highway, we were passing cars and transport trucks 3 at a time. The only reason to get out of the oncoming lane was headlights! We were high-beamed and honked at more than a few times. As we almost reached the resort, there was another short unscheduled personal stop. Needless to day, we were both happy to get out of the van and get back to the resort (7:20pm). I imagine it would have been another 1.5-2hrs later had we decided to do the dinner.

Alex gave us a choice of rescheduling the trip to combine it with another couple. He told us we would save money if we shared the tour but it was optional. Ariel had given us the choice to cancel without any issues and we found them to be really pushy towards the end. We told him we'd email him with our decision and he kept pushing us to schedule it saying they had already booked it (even though he gave us the choice to reschedule). Unfortunately we decided to cancel the second trip and go another route.

All in all not a bad tour company, just seemingly unorganized. Best piece of advice I could leave is to iron out the plan for the day and find out where and when you will be stopping, ahead of time, and ask the guide to stick to it.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Melissa L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Fabius, New York
1 review
“fun times in costa rica”
Reviewed May 19, 2013

Four of us visited the riu palace Costa Rica from May 1st to the 7th . Before we left I researched zip line tours, atv tours and other attractions. We came up with Bestrips and Ariel. I contacted him on line and we decided to do 3 tours with him. A 5 hour atv tour which took us through the mountains and along the beaches. The 2nd tour was with Crazy Alex as our guide for horse back riding zip lining mud bath the works. WE all had a fantastic time with Alex, not only was he our guide he also taught us about the country customs trees animals there. He even took us to meet his mother and brother. The tour itself will last us a life time,If you have never zip lined before do it. The next day we did the river tour again with Alex, we got up early and were the first ones there we saw all sorts of wild life,even baby crocs, amazing thing to do. After the river tour we went to lunch for a Costa Rican meal it was delicious, We are all eating black beans and rice at home. Over all you can not go wrong with Bestrips, when we return we will definitly book with Ariel and Alex again. Scott Sue Steve Alicia

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank scott f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wonder Lake, Illinois
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Most excitement we've had in our lives! And in Our RETIREMENT! Thanks Costaricabestrips.com”
Reviewed May 9, 2013

My husband and I travelled to Costa Rica this April. We travel often, mostly enjoying beautiful all inclusive resorts, but this time, in my husband's retirement, we decided on an adventurous trip, seeking ziplining, horsebackriding, animals, mudbaths, and more. By recommendation from my son and daughter-in-law who had booked with www.costaricabestrips.com, last year, and had the most special and memorable week of their lives working with them, we wanted to book with them as well.

She contacted Ariel through his company's Facebook page to tell him that her inlaws would like to book a few trips with them during our stay. Ariel's English is great, which made communication easy and quick. Due to health concerns, my husband has restricted physical endurance, so Ariel and I together were able to modify tours ahead of time, such as, riding horseback up mountains, rather than hiking. Because of their accommodations, my husband and I did unthinkable things, like zip line, climb hanging bridges, visit natural steambaths and mudbaths.

Ariel's partner, "Alex" holds a very special place in our hearts. He treked us around Costa Rica, sharing his experiences, his laughter and even his family. He treated us like family, inviting us to his home to serve us traditional black bean soup, with his wife and kids. We have never before travelled like this and were absolutely humbled by this experience, and by his kindness. It's a testament to who these men are. They are hardworking, experienced, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic guides, who welcome you to their gorgeous country as though you are family.
Unlike other people at our hotel, who went on group trips provided by the hotel, we had personal tours, at our own speed, meeting only our personal needs. It was pretty cool to be catered to like that, especially given the modest cost to go on these excursions with costaricabestrips.
To find them, contact them via facebook, or their website (www.costaricabestrips.com)- Make sure when you spell it, there is only one “t” between best and trips- bestrips. My son and daughter in law forst met them on the beach of the RIU in Guanacaste.
Ariel and Alex will always hold a special place in our hearts, and we are proud to know them

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank Joanne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Key Largo, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“This company is fantastic!!”
Reviewed May 3, 2013

We used Costa Rica Best Trips for our recent honeymoon to Guanacaste, Costa Rica. We initially contacted Ariel, for information and were so pleased with his professionalism & prompt responses, we booked a zip-lining tour and transport to and from the airport. While their transport services are a little more expensive than a taxi, they are absolutely worth the money. They are punctual, professional, polite, and have clean, newer model vans. They make your traveling stress-free... Our zip lining tour was with Alex.... he was unbelievable! He took pictures of us the entire time and is a true "gem" here in Costa Rica. He took the time to teach us about the culture, the landscape, the local traditions, etc. His English is excellent and we would highly recommend using this company for all of our travel in the area. We were so pleased with everything, we stayed 2 more nights at our hotel, Ariel rearranged our airport transfer and we subsequently booked an additional ATV tour which was hosted by Alex again. We had such a great time working with Best Trips... Once again, we were highly impressed with their service, professionalism, and attention to detail. This company will truly make your trip something to remember. Big thank you's to Alex and Ariel for a job well done... we can't wait to come back.. Pura Vida!!!!!

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank James F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tusket, Canada
Level Contributor
84 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Excellent transportation and tour company”
Reviewed May 1, 2013

We used Bestrips as a return shuttle service between Liberia and Nosara. They were very puctual for each trip and were helpful and informative. We also used them for the ride from our Liberian hotel to the airport. Again they were puctual and helpful. Ariel's company is one that we hope will grow in time. Alex was a great driver and kept us amused on the long trip.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank MemereLynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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