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Best Tour Company - Hotel/Lodging/Activities

Winnipeg, MB Canada
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201 posts
135 reviews
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Best Tour Company - Hotel/Lodging/Activities

Hi - looking for any advice on the best tour companies to book a two-week vacation throughout Costa Rica with?

I have travelled before using Contiki, Insight, Globus, etc. None of these companies go to Costa Rica, so looking for some help!

Thanks,

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
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7,925 posts
43 reviews
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1. Re: Best Tour Company - Hotel/Lodging/Activities

Plenty of good companies here in CR. Here is my list of companies I like.

Horizontes – http://www.horizontes.com/eng/ - Very green company, offers packages, involved with community programs, good company & good folks

Crreferals – http://www.crreferrals.com/ - Good for custom planning, has packages, involved with animal rescue, good company & good folks

Actuar - www.actuarcostarica.com/app/cms/www/index.php Off the beaten path rural tourism, involved with community programs, good company, good folks.

Caravan – http://www.caravan.com/ - Best for larger group tours up to 30. Excellent reputation and well respected. Awesome at what they do.

Costa Rica Expeditions – www.costaricaexpeditions.com/wl3/index.php - High end trip planner, owns some of there own lodges, has won many awards, great reviews in the forum.

Other companies from TA forum - tripadvisor.com/Travel-g291982-c117989/Costa…

San Jose, Costa Rica
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46,257 posts
35 reviews
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2. Re: Best Tour Company - Hotel/Lodging/Activities

CARAVAN TOURS...good option!!

If posible ask for a total beak down of your itinerary..day by day...some companies will charge a lot more for the same...reason...?? Nobody knows...

A company that is not willing to give you a break down...is hidding somenthing...for your own good find somebody else!!

Now days you can do a lot better if you deal direct with travel providers...! DIY...

roadadvisor

La Fortuna de San...
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1,200 posts
7 reviews
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3. Re: Best Tour Company - Hotel/Lodging/Activities

A lot of good companies listed above by Incabod. We all know that Caravan is not going to give a price breakdown. Their product is a complete vacation, which is actually an excellent deal.

Similar to many other larger travel companies, they undoubtedly work out deals with hotels, tour operators and transportation companies to provide the best combined packaged rate possible. Obviously it is not in the best interest of the providers for a travel company/tour operator to display rates lower than their own. This system is as old as the travel industry and works out pretty well for millions of travelers every year.

If you have any doubts, a few minutes researching rates on the internet and a spreadsheet will give you your answer if it is a good deal or not.

We all have our own personal opinions on whether to use a tour operator or not. I work many hours and therefore prefer to go with a local tour operator. The last thing I want to do is spend my vacation running around looking for the best deal. IMHO, it is also an insurance that things will run smoothly. If not, it's their reputation on the line and therefore in their best interest to provide accurate information and solid recommendations. I usually reserve the things that are most important in advance and leave a little downtime to add in whatever looks like fun on the spot.

When looking for a tour operator, check for certifications that are relevant to their business. In Costa Rica, ICT certification is a must. Canatur and Better Business Bureau are good signs as well. Once you have limited it down to a few companies, check for reviews here on TA. A Google search should provide plenty of results for any reputable company as well.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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46,257 posts
35 reviews
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4. Re: Best Tour Company - Hotel/Lodging/Activities

Anybody that can call around and mail...travel providers...will find out that they can do better than any so call tour operators...GUARANTEE...most hotels and tour companies give at least 20% commision for any booking...some people will even add some FEE as a booking fee???

Of course Caravan is not going to give you a break down...most of the time any way they offer good prices...but any want to be a travel agent or tour operator DO NOT like to provide break downs...for a simple reason...they try to hide the huge money they overcharge for almost anything...theya re not happy with the 20% and up commision they get from travel providers....

I have had been working in this industry for way to many years to be exact 45 years ...and I know exactly how they ripp off people...sorry that is the only word...and a good way to avoid a scam..!!! .Ask for a break down...no daily break down...or hidding fees...find somebody else..

Agreed with Explorin...but some companies or people they can care less for there own reputation...they do not have a good one or just do not care...or others that for unknown reasons they think they just can overcharge ...some people have more ego than anything else...but once you ask for a brake down they will even get mad at you...and some will even try to charge for planning a vacation...stay away from big egos and big scams!!

roadadvisor

Edited: 16 September 2013, 23:41
Winnipeg, MB Canada
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201 posts
135 reviews
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5. Re: Best Tour Company - Hotel/Lodging/Activities

Thanks everyone! :)

6. Re: Best Tour Company - Hotel/Lodging/Activities

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