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Which tour company would you use, and why?

N.E. Pa.
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Which tour company would you use, and why?

Hello,

I am excited to say we are planning a trip to Costa Rica for next July.(2013)

I have been researching, and found two company's That sound great.

1) Costa Rica Expeditions

2) Latin Destinations

I just am not sure which I should go with.

If any of you have use either, what are your thoughts on them?... Do you think one is better then the other?

Are there and big pluses or minuses with either of them?...

This is our 40th anniversary trip, Also my birthday, So I really want this vacation to go as smoothly as possible.

Thank you all for any opinions you'd care to share.

Thanks, BetsyV

La Fortuna de San...
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1. Re: Which tour company would you use, and why?

Costa Rica Expeditions is a good company for high end trips. I do not know a lot about Latin Destinations, but have heard of them.

Denver, Colorado
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2. Re: Which tour company would you use, and why?

I would recommend Issy Tours. We did two tours in May 2012 and had a great time on both. We visited the Arnel Vocano on one trip, and the Monte Verde Cloud Forest on the other. You can contact Christian by e-mail and set everything up prior to your departure.

For what you will pay for a crowded big bus tour, they will provide a personal adventure and allow you to personalize the trip. Luis was our tour guide, but any of their guides is sure to be excellent. Denverpost

Grecia, Costa Rica
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for Province of Alajuela
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3. Re: Which tour company would you use, and why?

Of the 2 companies you have listed I am more familiar with Costa Rica Expeditions. As ExplorinCA pointed out they are a high end planner. They own some of their own lodges like Tortuga Lodge and Monteverde Lodge.

I have friends and 1 family member who have used them in the past and the one thing that always comes through when they describe it is service and attention to detail during the trip. They have won many awards and as near as I can tell deserve every one of them.

If higher end trip planning is what you are after, then they would get my vote.

You will get more responses soon but beware, there is at least one user on the forum who does nothing but bad mouth companies and this one in particular. This is a competing company and if they answer should be discarded for what it is.

Whoever you go with make sure you give us a trip report when you get back, travelers would like to hear of the trip.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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4. Re: Which tour company would you use, and why?

Who ever you choose...ALWAYS ask for daily breakdown...in that way you will not pay more for the same...no break down...find somebody else!

roadadvisor

Frederick, Maryland
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5. Re: Which tour company would you use, and why?

I would like to go this Oct.. to Punta Quepos, Parador Resort and Spa .

Has anyone been there how do you get there from the airport? I assume you fly into San Jose and the take some other air to Punta Quepos? Which one?

Never been to CR.

Thanks

La Fortuna de San...
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6. Re: Which tour company would you use, and why?

Some of the larger companies such as Costa Rica Expeditions offer discounted rates for packages. Obviously when the company offers a combined package with discounted pricing you are not going to have an easy time with a price breakdown.

Travel packages of all shapes and sizes have been saving people money for many years, which is why they are so popular. If you go that route you can quickly create a spreadsheet and compare the package price with what you come up with to ensure it is a deal. In my experience in dealing with mid-size to larger agencies, I almost always save while gaining local knowledge. It's also nice to know someone is there for you.

In short, you should not be worried if Costa Rica Expeditions does not offer you a price breakdown. Do your homework and you will know if you have a good deal.

The insistence that "no break down...find somebody else!", is bait on the line.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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7. Re: Which tour company would you use, and why?

Sorry you see that way Explorin...as a bait...I see it as a simple advice...sometimes nice people do not know that asking for a break down...will help them finding if they are being overcharged...but I do respect your opinion...

From SJO to Quepos you can fly by SANSA and or Nature Air..or just drive will be between 2:45 hours to 3 hours...depends on vehicle and how good the driver knows his or her way around!

roadadvisor

La Fortuna de San...
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8. Re: Which tour company would you use, and why?

I respect your opinion as well roadadvisor. The bait statement may be a little hard, but I cannot figure out any other reason that you would be so adamant about something like this where people actually save money the majority of the time, gain peace of mind and an overall great experience.

The thing that gets me is there are a lot of good companies out there that get a bad rap from these posts. It is simple economics to combine elements and offer it at a discounted price. Quite frankly, I am suspicious of anybody that does not offer a combined package price in this country as they are trying to pocket every last penny.

Texas
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for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
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9. Re: Which tour company would you use, and why?

We've used Costa Rica Expeditions and stayed at their Tortuga Lodge, and they were absolutely excellent. Their attention to level of detail and service is impeccable. One thing they did that was so amazing was to surprise us with a picnic on the side of the river when we boated in. We were the only ones on it, and they pulled out linens, wine, beautiful fresh fruit juices. To me that's representative of the kind of service they offer. We asked the server and the boat driver to join us, and we all had a great time eating in that beautiful environment. It's still one of our favorite vacation memories. The food at their lodge was so good and when we commented on something, they gave us the recipe. One thing they let us do that I really liked is to customize our trip to fit us; they offered to fly us out, but we found more affordable airfare on Sansa, and they were happy to let us do that. I would definitely use them again. If their price is higher, it's because of what they offer.

Grecia, Costa Rica
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for Province of Alajuela
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10. Re: Which tour company would you use, and why?

Thanks for chiming in Volcanogirl, useful and constructive advice as always. That was exactly my point, you pay for a superior level of service with a company like that.

From everything I have heard they are one of the best at planning this kind of high end trip and are listed as one of the best in the world by Conde Nast as I recall, I believe in the top 10.