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Costa Rica - To book a tour online or book at the hotel?

Calgary, Canada
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Costa Rica - To book a tour online or book at the hotel?

Hi all,

I am wondering if anyone can give me feedback as to whether it is cheaper to book tours for Costa Rica online ahead of time or should I save until I get there to book? Which is cheaper? When I went to Mexico, I learned that I could have save quite a bit of money had I book it with the locals and the hotels. So I am not sure if that works the same as Costa Rica? I'll be in Monteverde, Manual Antonio, Arenal and SJ.

I understand that it may be better off to hold and book with the hotel because there might be thunderstorm the date of my tour and I will not be able to get the money back. So perhaps it is better to book when I am there? Please advise. Much thanks!

La Fortuna de San...
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1. Re: Costa Rica - To book a tour online or book at the hotel?

It depends on when you go. If you're coming during the holidays (December/January) you will need to book ahead. But for the most part, you can book everything when you're here and you can save some money. The only thing that I can think of that you MUST make a reservation for ahead of time is EcoTermales Hot Springs...if that's on your list for La Fortuna then you'll want to reserve asap as they're getting booked up several weeks ahead of time now!

Wendy, La Fortuna, CR

Calgary, Canada
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2. Re: Costa Rica - To book a tour online or book at the hotel?

Thanks Wendy. So typically there is a discount booking tours directly when I am there?

San Jose, Costa Rica
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3. Re: Costa Rica - To book a tour online or book at the hotel?

Just shop around once you are here ...almost any tour will have space...and you can ask for cash discounts..you do not need any middle person...

roadadvisor.

Calgary, Canada
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4. Re: Costa Rica - To book a tour online or book at the hotel?

Do you happen to know if typically how much is the cash discount? (i.e: average $5, $10 or $20 per tour, etc). Do they also give discount for group? I find that most of the rack rates are the same. If I save $10/person/tour by booking over there, I would rather do that. It will add up quickly.

Sunny California
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5. Re: Costa Rica - To book a tour online or book at the hotel?

I found that most places charge about the same... we booked with Desafio ahead of time, just so that we somewhat knew what activities we wanted to do.

Walnut Creek...
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6. Re: Costa Rica - To book a tour online or book at the hotel?

We were just there, and waited to book our tours based on weather and what the locals/hotels recommended. We were in Monteverde and stayed at the Rainbow Valley Lodge and the owner Rolf, recommended the Selvatura Canopy Tour, he called, made all the arragements, and got us a discount to boot! Well worth the money, and no stress on our part. Hotel transfers and everything were set up at hotel on the day before tour! Have fun!

Costa Rica
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7. Re: Costa Rica - To book a tour online or book at the hotel?

Yes, it really does depend on who is selling the tour. We have had reservations made with us from hotels and have found out later that the clients were actually charged $45 MORE than what we charge to do our tour. That is why I post our rates on our brochures and flyers and website.

That was only concierge service though and I know they don't all do that. But if the tour you want to do does not list their prices, ask around. Ask them and ask the hotel or the tour booth. They might have deals worked out already to provide discounts.

San Lorenzo, Costa...
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8. Re: Costa Rica - To book a tour online or book at the hotel?

Like everyone says . it depends where you .

some tour operators sale the tours in advance with a great discount and refune you if you don't do the tour . and some take extra charge and are hard to catch when you need them .

but it is always good to shop around .

Atlanta
Destination Expert
for Jaco, Bocas Town
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9. Re: Costa Rica - To book a tour online or book at the hotel?

Book when you arrive. Often you can get a good price thru someone or with a coupon or advert.

TN
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10. Re: Costa Rica - To book a tour online or book at the hotel?

What is the best way to book a guided tour in the Cloud Forest once we arrive? Where would we go to do this we have a car?