3 independent reviews for Costa Rica vacation, tailor made

Reviews for Costa Rica vacation, tailor made

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review 12 Jan 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The wildlife watching was truly exceptional. In every location, we saw wonderful things, plants, invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, birds (!!!!) and mammals. It was easy and rewarding to see a great variety of species.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Bring binoculars. You will see even more that way. Bring dollars to use within the Costa Rica tourist circuit. We brought local currency and often ended up paying higher prices (!) due to variable exchange rates.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes the vacation did seem to benefit local people and support conservation, particularly in Tortugero and Monteverde, much less so in Manuel Antonio. Personally, I wouldn't include the latter in a trip of this sort (although the beaches were truly lovely). Reducing environmental impact was perhaps less consistent, as, apparently, the desire to meet a wide range of tourist expectations somewhat conflicts with that aim. I do think that more of the hotels/lodges could achieve more in this area, and perhaps there are ways that we, as tourists, and you as a tour promoter, could do more to let them know that we genuinely care about this. As an example, when they say leave the towels on the rails if you don't want them replaced, we really are happy not to have new ones; it is confusing that we nonetheless sometimes got replacement towels. (I am going to make a note to leave in hotels in future, asking them NOT to replace used towels.) Recycling was sometimes but not always possible. I guess more could be done to conserve/reuse water on a large scale in commercial premises. And always-on refrigerators (which we did not once use) and air conditioning is wasteful. I appreciate that it is particularly difficult when there is a lot of tourism to know whether people will care more for 'luxury/comfort' than environmental care, but I do wish it were possible to let the tourist industry and its providers know that many(?) of us really do care more for the latter than the former.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Exceeded expectations (which were high to start with!).

Read the operator's response here:

We were delighted to read you had such a wonderful trip and the vacation exceeded expectations. Thank you also for your suggestions on improvements to reduce the environmental impact for visitors. I have passed these on to our product manager for Costa Rica and our Sustainable Travel steering group. We take considerable pride in offering sustainable vacations with minimal impact on the environment (as well as maximum support for community development) and will be reiterating our expectations in this regard as well as discussing these simple yet important measures with the respective hotel management. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

review 16 Mar 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The sheer variety, wonderful scenery, plants, birds and people. Enjoyed Nicaragua hugely, people just so friendly. Some luxury at 2 / 3 places, but all were absolutely fine, and one of the more modest places in El Castillo was just so friendly, and very clean. A very well organised tour.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Don't miss out on Nicaragua. We were a little nervous but without justification. A little Spanish helped us get more out of the experience, but that's always the case with travel in our view. We were glad we had drivers rather than self-drive as many of our locations were remote and some were accessible only by water. Also we learned so much by chatting to the drivers and guides and that way you do put more into the local economy rather than multinational car rental firms!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes. Conservation is fairly embedded in Costa Rica but tourism of this sort can really help in Nicaragua.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Hard to fault. We had a fabulous time. I would not say it was on a shoestring though! The tour operator and Lina were excellent.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback. We’re delighted you feel that your vacation met your expectations regarding responsible travel and that you had such a wonderful time in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, two very contrasting but equally delightful destinations.

review 23 Apr 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

We were paticularly impressed with the quality of the hotels we had chosen. A favourite was the Arenal Observatory Lodge with it's wonderful location. The Hotel Bougainvillea in San Jose was also excellent with fantastic gardens. My husband's main reason for choosing Costa Rica was for the bird watching and he was more than happy.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Be sure that the hotel you choose is in the best location for your activities. Also make sure that you have a good vacation company.The company who ran our trips reliability and organisation were second to none.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

On the whole, yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

This vacation was extremely enjoyable. I would not say it was the best vacation I have been on as it was primarily a bird watching vacation for my husband, but it was certainly up there with the best.

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