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To dispell the most common travel agency rumor: travel agencies do not make their money by overcharging you, the client. Almost all travel agencies are highly integrated into the tourism industry in a country and make their money from commission contracts with the hotels and tour agencies they book. Think of them as marketing firms for tourism in Costa Rica, the individual companies pay them, not the customer!
With that in mind, travel agencies are a huge benefit to you because the travel consultant you work with should have a thorough and up-to-date understanding of all the hotels, tours and destinations in the country. They can tell you if trying to fit 3 destinations into a 7-day itinerary can work, and the best way to travel between the destinations to save you time and money.
The best way to use a travel agency to your advantage is to go into your conversation with an open attitude and remember you are in no way obligated to buy for inquiring! Then if you like what you hear, remember that you aren't going to be charged extra if you let them do the hard work and coordinate payments to all hotels and tours that you choose. Taking advice from more than one source is always recommendable (that's what trip advisor is for!) so research and then see what a resource of the human form can do for you. It's worth the [TOLL-FREE] call!
As a quick Google search will prove, the web is saturated with Online travel agencies looking to grab your attention. The top two things to look for are 1. if the company is physically located in the country (thus they will have more informed agents) and 2. for safety reasons, make sure they are registered with the ICT (Costa Rican Government Tourism Board) you can find the latest list on the ICT website: http://www.visitcostarica.com . or Canatur (the Costa Rican National Chamber of Tourism) you can find the latest list on the Canatur website http://www.canatur.org/default-eng.html. Here are some of the referenced travel agencies discussed in Trip Advisor and their specialties (consider the most important aspect of vacationing for you, and choose a company that mirrors your values as they specialize in anything from budget travel, luxury vacations, eco-friendly travel and adventure tourism). Let's keep this list growing, if you've had a good experience with a travel agency, vouch for it below or add it to the list.
Costa Rican Vacations
start date: 1999 phone: 1-800-606-1860 e-mail: email@example.com website: http://www.vacationscostarica.com/ affiliations: CANATUR, ICT niche: Luxury travel comments: located in Costa Rica, personalized itineraries, 100% satisfaction guarantee, 24/7 in-country assistance. Costa Rican Vacations provides full vacation package, including: airport 'Meet & Greet' service, ground transfers with English speaking drivers, accommodations, tours and meals as per individual itinerary.
Tachiz Travel Costa Rica
Start date: 2002. CLICK HERE for a quote. Phones: 24/7: NY (646) 736-7661, FL (305)
851-3673, CA (415) 830-3724, UK: (020) 3239-4850, Costa Rica (506) 2560-0954 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Special groups: email@example.com Website: www.tachiztravel.com
Affiliations: ICT (Costa Rican Tourist Board), Canatur, Acoprot, Friends of
National Parks. Niche: Mid-range to high-end
discerning: nature, adventure, romantic, ornithological, family, special
interest group & general Vacations to Costa Rica. Comments: Since 1986, the Costa
Rican owners have been dedicated to preserving nature & social peace with memorable
tailor-made vacations to Costa Rica. Based in Costa Rica with reliable 24/7
in-country support. (They also offer the Panama & Nicaragua experiences).
comments: Expediciones Tropicales is a consolidated tour operator, incoming travel agency and transportation company with more than 23 years of experience providing high quality services to clients that want to visit Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua. As a Tour Operator it works with most of the incoming travel agencies in Costa Rica, in particular with their FIT services, likewise with large groups, ensuring that travelers consistently have a unique and unforgettable experience.
Costa Rica Tour and Travel
CLICK HERE for customize your trip website: www.costaricatour.com Phone: USA & Canada : 1(786) 398 8653 CR: 001 (506) 2213 5961 Facebook: crtt costa rica tours Twitter: @CRTAT E-mails: firstname.lastname@example.org Groups: email@example.com
Specialist: luxury travel, students groups, corporative groups.
Costa Rica Trip Guide
Start date: 2009 Phone: 1-888-324-9326 Toll Free USA and Canada E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.costaricatripguide.com Niche: Eco-Travel Affiliations: CANATUR Comments: Costa Rica Trip Guide is a costarican owned company offering sustainable tourism.
niche: Nature and adventure travel comments: Costa Rica expert, owned by locals focused on ecologicaly friendly tours
Travel in Paradise Group Tours
start date: April 2004 toll free phone: 1.800.901.0114
email: email@example.com website: http://www.travelinparadisecr.com affiliations: CANATUR see:http://www.canatur.org niche: adventure travel, family group tours, student trips comments: owned by Costa Ricans accommodating to your needs, dedicated professionals to personalized tours, families, student trips and hiking tours.
Start date: 1997 Phone: +(786) 600 1567 USA E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.costaricaearth.com Affiliations: ICT, BBBNiche: Customize Costa Rica Vacation for Family Vacations, Honeymoons, Student Groups, Volunteer Work Groups, Airline Emploees, Travel Agents, Seniors, individuals
Costa Rican Trails start date: 1989 phone: 1-888-803-3344 e-mail: email@example.com website: http://www.costaricantrails.com/ affiliations: CANATUR, Better Business Bureau, ICT, ASTA, IGLTA niche: Nature travel comments: located in Costa Rica, focus on ecologicaly friendly tours and hotels
Costa Rica Sun Tours start date: 1988 phone: (506) 2296-7757 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org website: http://www.crsuntours.com/ affiliations: CANATUR, ICT, Certificate of Sustainable Tourism niche: Nature travel comments: has local affiliates in the U.S., Canada and Australia, main agency located in Costa Rica
Vacation City start date: ? phone: 1-877-656-2465 e-mail: Web contact form website: http://www.vacationcity.com/ affiliations: ? niche: Travel discounts, rental cars comments: Costa Rica based, broad offerings, lots of last minute specials
Costa Rica Holiday UK start date: 2003 phone: 0207-193-3930 e-mail: email@example.com website: http://www.costaricaholiday.co.uk affiliations: CANATUR niche: Luxury travel comments: the only all-Costa Rica travel agency targeting UK and European clients, located in Costa Rica, specializes in personalized packages
Continente Ivantours - Costa Rica + Panama
start date: 2004 phone: USA and Canada (011506) 2256-5800. Rest of the world: (00506)2256-5800 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org website: http://www.ivantours.com. affiliations: CANATUR, ACOPROT, ICT niche: One Day Tours, Vacation Packages.
comments: Specializing in vacation packages and day tours in Costa Rica and Panama. Personalized vacation packages, combination packages Costa Rica-Panama. Location: Panama City and San José, Costa Rica.
Nature Vacations Start date: 2007 Phone: 1-888-280-9734 Website: Costa Rica Nature Vacationwww.naturevacations.com Affiliations: CANATUR, ICT Niche: Unique travel experiences, off the beaten path destinations Comments: The travel agency arranges custom packages to 17 remote destinations throughout the country, always emphasizing the romance in travel.
Best Adventures Travel (found them registered with Canatur.org)
LatinExplore Costa Rica Start date: 2007 Phone: 1-888-340-4943 website: www.latinexplore.com A U.S. Corporation with Service Providers in local countries Niche: Latinexplore is a Travel Agency that offers online customization of packages.
Start Date: 2002 Toll Free USA / Canada: (888) 928-3688 Local Office in San Jose: ++ 506-2248-0048 Websites: www.MemorableCostaRica.com Email: email@example.com Niches: honeymoons, family vacations, destinations weddings, golf vacations, small groups, adventure travel, luxury vacations. Customized itineraries, home offices in Washington DC Metro Area, New York City, San Jose, Costa Rica.
Tucan Limo Services. Start date: 1928 as Chinchilla Enterprises Phone: ( 506) 8883-9115 Costa Rica, (305) 320-5372 East Coast...(925) 289-2925 West Coast E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.tucanlimoservices.com Niche: Itineray designers, great for families, couples, etc. Since 1928, founders of Costa Rica public transportation.
MuchaCostaRica - Affordable Custom Planned Costa Rica Vacations Expertly custom planned vacations to Costa Rica with attention to detail! Started in 2008 Phone: from the USA 757-644-5611 / IN Costa Rica: 506-8915-8547 Email: email@example.com Website: www.muchacostarica.com
Niche: Affordable custom planned vacations and tours for couples and families for ALL of Costa Rica, but especially the Osa Peninsula. ALSO now operating Sierpe Outfitters with custom and private tours to Corcovado, Caño Island and the Sierpe Mangroves.
For: Families, Groups, Singles, Students,....packages including Hotels, Tours and Transportation.
Gecko Trail Adventures
Website: www.GeckoTrail.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone +506 2756 8412 or from the USA/Canada call 1 415 230-0298 Gecko Trail Adventures is full service travel agency based in Puerto Viejo, on Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast.
Affiliations: ICT, CANATUR, Better Business Bureau, CANAECO, ASTA, TIDS
Pacific Trade Winds is an ICT certified travel service located in Nuevo Arenal, Costa Rica. The company specializes in prompt personalized service with acute attention to detail for day trips and multi-day vacations including accommodations, tours and transportation.
Costa Rica Dream World Start date: 2008 Phone: 888-584-9960 E-mail: email@example.com Website: http://www.costaricadw.com/ Niche: Vacation Planning - Group Travel - Tour Packages
Osa Travel Day Tours Costa Rica
Started in 2002 Phone: IN Costa Rica: 506 - 50 14 18 18 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com
Eco daily tours to the rainforest, from Drake Bay, Puerto Jimenez, Carate Beach, Osa, Corcovado.
Anywhere Costa Rica
Anywhere Costa Rica has been helping visitors experience Costa Rica since 2006. Open 7 days a week year round.
Web Site: www.costaricacustomtrips.com e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 970-306-6112 (in the U.S.) Phone: 2282-4973 (in Costa Rica)
About: Founded and run by Eliot Greenspan, the author of Frommer's Costa Rica and numerous other guide books, podcasts and other articles about Costa Rica.
Your Costa Rica Travel up to your wishes. Adventure, Wild life and Nature with comfortable loding.
Horse Trek Monteverde
start date: 2002 phone: 506-2645-6673 or 2645-5874 e-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.costaricahorsebackridingva... niche: horseback riding specialists, horseback riding vacations and horse riding holidays, short horseback tours or multiday horse riding tours, Monteverde and other areas.comments: Owned and operated by a Costa Rican horse specialist who breeds and trains own horses and operates own tours.
Specializing in customized itineraries for groups, couples, families and friends. Take the fear and confusion out of your vacation and leave the work to our team. Adventure travel or relaxation we listen to your budget, wants and needs.
Costa Rica CRTTE designing Family Vacations, Honeymoons Adventures, Educational Eco Tours and Adventure travel programs since 2005. This website offers general information about Costa Rica, sample travel itineraries to Costa Rica and about the company, Costa Rica Tours is the Eco Nature Leading tour Operator in Costa Rica.
Phone 506-6092-4449 24/7 or 506-2232-6403
Tour Operator since 2005. Founded under the interest of educate all visitors to Costa Rica and their theme is Learning and Discovery.
Rico Tours offers creative and innovative ideas to make your trip to Costa Rica exciting and memorable. Experienced professionals who provide personalized service, taking care of every detail. The word “Rico” means “Rich” in Spanish. We believe that your travel experience should enrich your life.
Specializing in Costa Rica since 1984. Rico Tours President, Leigh Ann Cloutier, was listed as the Conde Nast top travel specialist for Costa Rica for over a decade.
Services include: hotel reservations, transfers, air tickets, tours, car rentals, logisitcal support and various special requirements.
Costa Rica Travel Excellence Start Date: 1996 Phone: 1-800-253-6591 E-mail: email@example.com Website: http://www.travelexcellence.com/ Affiliations: CANATUR, ICT, FUTUROPA, PROIMAGEN, ACOT Niches: eco-tourism trips, wellness breaks, honeymoons, cultural tours and tailored itineraries. Comments: Thanks to the commitment to excellence, the company is ISO 9001-2008 certified, Sustainable Tourism CST and C-Neutral certified; and Rainforest Alliance verified, which make the company the most trustworthy receptive operator in the country.
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