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Desafio 5 day budget package vs. DIY

Baltimore, Maryland
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15 posts
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Desafio 5 day budget package vs. DIY

Hi, I'm a recent addition to the TA forum and have been reading the last few months of posts and you guys provide an extremely valuable service.

I have been checking into our various options for CR.

We are coming in on Sunday for the last week of July and was planning on doing the first 4 nights at the Arenal Lodge, one night by Poas and the last two in San Jose (to visit friends.)

Figuring about $100 dollars a night in hotels (because we would want the room with a view) plus 350 for the car rental (once you factor in insurance and gas) and about 100 per day in activities per person.


The 5 day budget package with Desafio at $507 a person (and booking the San Jose stuff separately) we'd come out about $500 bucks ahead and not have any headaches...


thoughts anyone?

(also, would a corolla be enough for that itinerary, even to get up to the lodge etc... during the rainy season?)

thanks a million!

Edited: 28 June 2011, 04:50
Monteverde Costa...
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544 posts
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1. Re: Desafio 5 day budget package vs. DIY

I can say Desafio will treat you right. The hotels they offer in the package are not near the quality of Arenal lodge. Basic hotels nothing fancy.

If money is an issue then this would be a good option.

Nice tours included however my advice would be to skip the Monteverde horseback ride and go to the Cloud Forest reserve with a guide instead that morning. You will learn about the forest.

But that would be up to you.

However you do it have fun.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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2. Re: Desafio 5 day budget package vs. DIY

Desafio is a good outfitter, but you will be sharing vans and following set up itineraries...if you are ok with that is a good deal...but for a few dollars you will be in total control of your vacation!


La Fortuna de San...
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2,002 posts
191 reviews
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3. Re: Desafio 5 day budget package vs. DIY

I think it really depends on what you want in a vacation. I used to plan all of our vacations (and we did some doozies) but I've now gotten to the point that I just don't want all the headaches of trying to get us from point A to point B (especially in a foreign country). It's really a personal choice.

If you want flexibility and to be adventurous (and think of the driving as part of the adventure) then you can do it on your own.

If the thought of having to figure all that stuff out stresses you out, then go with the tour...this is your vacation, stress shouldn't be part of it. You can't go wrong with DesAfio...they are a fantastic & reliable company! Hope this helps!

Wendy, La Fortuna, CR

Baltimore, Maryland
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15 posts
1 review
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4. Re: Desafio 5 day budget package vs. DIY

thanks everyone for all your help! i think in the end we'll do a mixture b/c we are a bit nervous about all the things that can go wrong when driving in CR. so we'll hire a driver but plan our own stuff so we have the independence.

safe travels,


Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
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7,880 posts
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5. Re: Desafio 5 day budget package vs. DIY

Good Plan. Here is a list of private drivers recommended in this forum if you need them.

Juan Carlos and Rubier at tjtransfers@gmail.com

Oscar Chavarria at cuco2228@hotmail.com

Willy at w_opciones@yahoo.com

Wilson at wilson_elsy@yahoo.com.

Carlos Bagarin at encantados@ice.co.cr

Danny Jimenez at crdannytravels@yahoo.com

Diego and Alvaro at odysseytours@gmail.com


6. Re: Desafio 5 day budget package vs. DIY

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