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travel company itinerary

cleveland ohio
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travel company itinerary

my husband and I are thinking about a costa rican vacation, end of april, first of may. someone here suggested we go to a travel planning website or two, answer their questionarre and then come back here. we did, but now i have even more questions. I went to costarica expeditions and explore costa rica. they came up with pretty much the exact same plans, however one took us from san jose to tortuguero by air and the other by van, and CR expeditions is twice as expensive even though the air is only 254$ more. so... first of all I am guessing these places (tortugueral, arena and manuel antonio) must be pretty crowded if all the tour companies direct you the same way with even the same tours suggested by each, and why would one be $1000.00 more than the other? I realize their questions to determine my interests would lead them to some similar places, but all i said is that we wanted mostly some hiking, photography, wildlife and a little beach time and I am guessing there are more than those few places to do that? any feedback on this? I am also wondering if 2 days in each of three places in enough to explore with the travel time involved, or if we shouldnt just pick two places to concentrate on ( we will have 7 or 8 days)? thanks so much

Costa Rica
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1. Re: travel company itinerary

1. For 7-8 days, pick two locations. Depending on your flight times, you may need to spend your first/last night somewhere near the airport.

2. Most people choose a beach location and a mountain location to get a bit of variety. Arenal and Tortuguero would be a good choice. But if photography and wildlife are your interests, then maybe Sarapiqui and Tortuguero.

3. You can travel to Tortuguero independently. You don't need to fly or have a package deal. Take a look here: www.tortuguerovillage.com One of my most pleasant memories of Tortuguero is using a canoe and just paddling leisurely around the various canals. This gives you an incredible photo opportunity.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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2. Re: travel company itinerary

For unknown reasons ...some tour companies charge a lot more for the same thing...my first advice....you do not need any middle company to book anything...some tour companies own some lodges...and they almost force people to book at the lodges they run...do not worry ...plenty nice places to stay and even cheaper...

Once you contact places hou may like to stay...you will see that you are beinv charge a LOT for the same.

For Tortuguero...also some tour companies will try to sell you a package by air...but once again you can book the air section directlly with private air taxis or regular domestic air service like SANSA ot NATURE AIR...

About guides at destination also some tour companies run by want to be Indiana Jones...will try to sell you the idea...that they are the best....IMO amonkey is and looks the same if you pay $ 50.00 or $ 1000.00 monkey is just a monkey..

Once again deal direct with travel providers....like in your case you will be surprised how much you can save..

You will really like to know bow much you are paying....ask for a daily brake down....some funny tour operators will no give you brake down...WONDER WHY???

No brake down...find somebody else...

Roadadvisor

Edited: 16 September 2013, 02:45
Slovenia
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for Costa Rica
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3. Re: travel company itinerary

As said above, you could do it yourself. And you can also very easily check their prices as most of the accommodations have their rates posted online. Two locations should be OK. For wildlife sightings, I second the advice of Sarapiqui and Tortuguero. For hiking and nature in general, Arenal and Monteverde. If you need some time on the beach, Sarapiqui and Puerto Viejo or Arenal and Manuel Antonio.

Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: travel company itinerary

Could also be the hotels they have chosen for you. Each company would choose their preferred and then charging a per person fee makes a difference when there are two of you in a room. I once did the same as you and found a big difference in two companies (not yours mentioned). As mentioned you don't really need a company to book. Many hotels to choose from. I quite enjoy researching my own hotels here on tripadvisor - especially viewing the travellers photos which will give you a better idea of the place instead of the professional photos on websites (most of the time are really different)

Tortuguero packages that include round trip transportation all tours and lodging to me makes sense as the travelling just makes life simpler if you don't want to do it yourself. Anywhere else you can do it your self.

I found Gecko Adventure to be the most reasonable when I did once refer to a few companies to see what they had to offer.

Manitoba, Canada
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5. Re: travel company itinerary

I'll share my experience with you regarding the trip we have already planned for January 2014. I have used Gecko Trail Adventures to arrange for private transportation from San Jose to Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean side and then arrange a combination of shuttle and private transportation from there to Tortuguero and then on to Sarapiqui before returning to San Jose. Gecko also made accomodation arrangements for us in Tortuguero and Sarapiqui based on where we wanted to stay. Before I finalized arrangements through Gecko, I had contacted the Lodges and transportation companies directly and it would have been more expensive to make the reservations on my own. I think Gecko charged me $50 for all their services. Also, when I had to make some significant changes to our itinerary, I found it very convenient to contact Gecko and have them make all the changes instead of me contacting each provider separately.

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
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23 reviews
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6. Re: travel company itinerary

I am a big believer in using a Costa Rica based tour operator in planning your 1st trip. Yes you can do it all yourself but an informed tour operator can offer useful advice and connections, particularly if things don't go as planned. Two nearly identical itineraries could easily differ by a substantial sum if one uses private drivers for all transfers while another relies on shared shuttles and one uses top-end hotels while another uses modest properties. Doesn't mean you wouldn't enjoy either option.

Costa Rica Expeditions is a high-end Costa Rica based agency that has won a lot of international travel awards. Highly respected but probably not the best choice if you are looking for a low-cost introduction to Costa Rica.

One concern with all packages is how much of the trip will be spent in transit from destination to destination.

The 20 minute flight to or from Tortuguero (plus airport time) compares to a 4 hour bus/boat transfer from San Jose to Tortuguero. If for example you flew from Tortugeuro back to San Jose and then flew on to Manuel Antonio you could cross the country in less than 1/2 day and allow you to squeeze in a 3rd destination. To do it with ground transfers would take a full day easily but save dollars. All depends on your priorities.

Edited: 16 September 2013, 14:34
Atlanta, GA
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7. Re: travel company itinerary

In addition to what others have said, pricing differentials can come not only from the specific hotels used on an itinerary, but also the room categories, food and beverage inclusions, tour types and other experiences included on the tour, plus if this is an escorted tour, there are costs for the guides and expedition leader which if you're doing an individual program, you wouldn't incur. So review proposed itineraries carefully and when you're comparing pricing make sure you look at all the inclusions on the package.

cleveland ohio
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149 posts
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8. Re: travel company itinerary

thanks everybody, I have a lot of work to do, dont need the high end trip but thinking about doing it on our own vs using a travel company for some of it. once i have time to try to narrow it down you will be hearing more from me.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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9. Re: travel company itinerary

Good choice...you will save money guarantee...DIY...

roadadvisor

10. Re: travel company itinerary

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