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Planning Costa Rica trip w/ or w/o travel agent?

Cedar
2 posts
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Planning Costa Rica trip w/ or w/o travel agent?

Is it safe to plan my own trip w/o a travel agent? I am looking at Arenal and Tamarindo. I am a little concerned about not having reservations when I get there. It looks like I can get a better deal online than if I go through a travel agent. Anyone have any advice?

Punta Uva, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
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6,874 posts
10 reviews
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1. Re: Planning Costa Rica trip w/ or w/o travel agent?

You can make reservations for lodging and transport easy on line. CR has a great tourism infrastructure. Ask for help on this forum, you'll get a lot of questions answered.

Uvita, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Uvita, Ojochal
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2,646 posts
45 reviews
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2. Re: Planning Costa Rica trip w/ or w/o travel agent?

Agree you can easly plan your trip yourself without a travel agent, its more fun and you will get exactly what works best, and probably save money. Just ask on the board and you will get all ther help and suggestions you need.

Be cautious of anyone sending you unsolicited PM posing as traveler recomending a Travel Agent, there has been some reports of a Agent doing this.

So ask away!

Minneapolis
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993 posts
78 reviews
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3. Re: Planning Costa Rica trip w/ or w/o travel agent?

It is completely safe to plan your own trip, but you may get more out of it by having an agent who can advise you on personal preferences and knows the areas. It rarely costs more and the advice can make the difference of a good trip to a great one!

If you drive yourself, make sure you have GPS.

PL

San Jose, Costa Rica
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3,528 posts
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4. Re: Planning Costa Rica trip w/ or w/o travel agent?

I agree with pirate lady. It can make the difference. You can also ask questions on your itinerary here and we can help you.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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46,036 posts
32 reviews
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5. Re: Planning Costa Rica trip w/ or w/o travel agent?

You really do not need any middle person...you can deal direct with service providers...

roadadvisor

Takoma Park...
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165 posts
55 reviews
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6. Re: Planning Costa Rica trip w/ or w/o travel agent?

I do a ton of travel planning for our family. (26 weeks of travel in 14 countries in the past 5 years).

Compared to almost any other place we have been, planning your own trip in Costa Rica is easy. You'll find loads of recommendations here on Trip Advisor and any guide book will give you enough information to make a good choice. My impression (we aren't going till April) is that you would have no problems doing it on your own.

But you might not want to. And if you don't want to put in some time (not a lot, but definitely some), then by all means get an agent. You'll be happier and that's the point of vacation.

In my experience the downside is the costs are slightly higher (but often not much) and you will get steered to the most known, popular places. They don't tend to recommend unusual, out of the way spots even if you ask. They like to stick to the things that please the most people. (It makes sense, right? Who can blame them?)

-d

San Jose, Costa Rica
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46,036 posts
32 reviews
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7. Re: Planning Costa Rica trip w/ or w/o travel agent?

If you hire a Travel Agent hopefully somebody with good reputation...and that knows our country...many jokers playing Travel Agent now days...even better if the are certified by ICT...and offer a nice fleet of own vehicles... FERJOVI??

roadadvisor

Cedar
2 posts
1 review
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8. Re: Planning Costa Rica trip w/ or w/o travel agent?

Thanks for the great response. I was looking at the Arenal Manoa (Arenal) and the El Jardin del Eden (Tamarindo). Any advice on either of these hotels?

San Jose, Costa Rica
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3,528 posts
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9. Re: Planning Costa Rica trip w/ or w/o travel agent?

Both are good and nice properties. Also make sure to use cars that have a transportation of Tourism permits on the vehicle (many pirate cars around). Interbus and Greyline offer shared transfers that are not expensive.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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46,036 posts
32 reviews
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10. Re: Planning Costa Rica trip w/ or w/o travel agent?

Jardin del Eden...great hill location...great rooms...good food..nice views...but about 4 minutes walk to the beach...

In Arenal I like better Arenal Nayara...of course all depends on your budget...Arenal Manoa is simpler than NAyara...

Some jokers even with vehicles that are not belong to them in web sites...and they call themselves a TRAVEL GROUP...that is exactly the kind of Group! you may have to avoid...

In our case ALL are OWN fleet offer all the permits...just ask the driver...thank you Mike for bringing such a important point!

roadadisor