We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Nature Activities

Which La Fortuna de San Carlos hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Fontana, California
6 posts
Save Topic
Nature Activities

Hello,

I was wondering if anyone has booked activities before visiting Costa Rica. Has anyone seen a price difference just booking them on the spot in Costa Rica?

For some reason I feel it would be less expensive booking them once you get to Costa Rica but not sure. I've heard about price increases for tourist. Is this true?

ON, Canada
Level Contributor
12,592 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Nature Activities

We booked some activities/guided tours before we went and some while we were there. I don't think we were charged any more or less than the stated rate for booking ahead or once there. I guess it doesn't hurt to ask when you're there but from what I saw, most places have fixed rates. Private tour operators might give you a discount for a late booking if they're trying to fill their schedule, but you also run the risk of not getting the tour/activity that you want.

Re tourist and resident rates ... yes, residents do get discounted rates at many places ... it happens everywhere in the world :)

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
8,848 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Nature Activities

Unless you are going between Christmas and New Years or near Easter, I would wait until you arrive to book your tours. The only 2 exceptions I can think of are Eco termales hot springs near Arenal which has limited capacity or if you are arriving at a new destination, say late morning, and want to enjoy an excursion that afternoon.

You can often find better deals once you are here. You can also frequently get discounts if you ask and offer to pay cash or if you book multiple excursions through the same tour office. That will only work once you're on site.

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,655 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Nature Activities

Once you are there, you can walk around La Fortuna and see several kiosks and tour agency offices where you can often get really good deals.

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
Level Contributor
5,266 posts
131 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Nature Activities

I generally recommend booking before you get there, and based on word of mouth or recommendations. The guy you get based on a flier on the street may or may not be a credible or legit guide.

Also, tracking down guides for some activities--especially good wildlife guides--can require some research ahead of time.

We tried the "book when you get there" thing our first trip to Costa Rica, and haven't bothered with that approach since then.

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,655 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Nature Activities

I don't know, Racandee -- I booked a couple of activities for my granddaughter when she visited last summer and it worked out fine. It wasn't a "guy on the street passing out fliers" - it was a kiosk from a reputable company. She did an all-day combo (it made me tired just to hear about it!) that included hiking, rapelling down a waterfall, and something else for $100, including transport (licensed) and snacks and drinks, etc.

However, booking ahead of time makes things easy so if someone is not totally budget conscious, it works well.

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
Level Contributor
5,266 posts
131 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Nature Activities

Well, Hattie, she had a very knowledgeable local resource--you!

I've seen more than one horror story posted here where it began "we met ___ on the beach and he offered surfing lessons . . . ."

Not to say that the person you hire when getting there won't provide great service--most of the time you probably will get good service, but the chances of having a bad experience go up, even if that's not the likely outcome.

Prices may be a bit lower, but how much of your vacation time do you want to spend haggling and price shopping?

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,655 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Nature Activities

I hear you, Racandee! But really, it's not that difficult. It takes about 10 minutes to walk around La Fortuna, as you know, and just stop at a few places to inquire. There are also usually posted "specials." And no, I wouldn't hire just any old guy walking down the beach or someone who approached me in La Fortuna and said, "Hey, psst, lady -- want to buy a tour?" These are permanent kiosks or offices with color brochures, prices, etc.

8. Re: Nature Activities

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 18 May 2015, 07:16