My husband and I are considering a trip to Costa Rica with our 15 yr old. We're not real experienced with international travel (but have traveled independently to Bermuda & Aruba), tend to be a little wary, and know very little Spanish between the 3 of us, so we are looking at the various tour companies.
It's tricky to find the right combination of (reasonable) price, interests, pace, some other peer companionship for our teenage, etc. So, we're looking at the "Best of..." tour offered by Gap Adventures. The price is about $860 pp (since there are 3 of us) for 10 days. It appears to be pretty much of a skeleton plan for transportation and accommodations (which come with breakfast), and just a couple of other things. The rest is for us to choose, arrange and pay for separately. We won't be traveling with a fixed group, but will be "group"ed with others for the transport and in any of the group activities we select.
We like the itinerary, because, without too much schlepping around time, it includes the Atlantic Coast (Tortuguero), the Arenal volcano area, the Pacific Coast (Guanacaste/Beach Area) and San Jose, so we will have a few days at each location to look around and do fun things. The accommodations are supposed to be at Gap's highest of 3 categories ("comfort").
This sounds like a good plan for us and are wondering really basic things like:
1. Is there benefit with going with this sort of plan vs. going it alone, maybe in terms of pricing, a little bit of support and guidance in dealing with the various service offerers (transport & lodging sources), etc.?
2. Is there any obvious or probable drawback to this approach, that may not be apparent to us?