2 independent reviews for Costa Rica vacation, encompassed

Reviews for Costa Rica vacation, encompassed

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review 14 Aug 2019

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

Watching a large green turtle lay her eggs on the beach in Tortuguero under the stars, with lightening flashing over the ocean in the distance.

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

If you like wildlife, being outdoors in nature and being active then you'll love this trip. Lots of water-related activities (rafting, snorkeling etc.) and traveling via boat so you should ideally be comfortable with water. You should take advantage of the optional activities and expect to spend money. Take both US dollars and local currency, but you can also pay by card in some places. Take a bag that you can carry/lift, but you can use the wheels most of the time. Take a waterproof, cool clothes, walking boots, sun cream and insect repellent. Wifi is widely available.

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

Yes, yes and yes. No global hotel or restaurant chains, used public transport and local drivers, gave money to national parks and the people who work there, recycling bins available. Obviously all tourism has environmental impacts but restricting numbers will reduce the impacts.

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

Excellent! Lived up to my expectations and more. I want to go back to that beautiful country.

review 27 Aug 2017

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

Seeing wildlife in its natural habitat

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

Don't take a rucksack unless you really want to- a bag on wheels is fine. This time of year is really humid, so very lightweight clothing is important. Expect to get wet! Take your own hairdryer. Some of the hotels are very basic.

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

Yes: if local people can make money from tourism, they have a financial incentive to maintain and protect the environment. E.g. In Tortugero, people who once killed turtles and ate their eggs are now keen to conserve their heritage and have other means of income. We used small scale tour operators, used local cafes and restaurants and paid local wildlife guides.

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

In most respects it was a great trip, and one which I couldn't have done on my own. I was with a great group of people, we had very good guide and I enjoyed all the places we visited and trips I went on. The only negative was that some of the hotels were really bad. The tour operator were very non specific about the accommodation for a long time, which I found worrying, but of course you can't tell just by looking at a website. For the amount of money I paid, I expected better. "Simple " accommodation doesn't have to mean dirty, dilapidated and badly maintained.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for your feedback. Our tours are designed to limit our environmental impact and give as much back to local communities as possible. The hotels we use are quite basic and they do vary from place to place. We avoid large western chains, using locally owned hotels. However, we are trying to source new hotels in some parts of Costa Rica currently. This is proving quite tricky as hotels need to be safe, reliable, centrally located and able to take large groups. We do now list all of the hotels we use on our website so that you are able to research the accommodation used in advance. We always recommend a rucksack on our tours as they are more versatile and easier to use than suitcases on wheels which can often get damaged and dirty on uneven and sandy roads. However, it is just a recommendation and you are free to bring any type of luggage as long as you can carry it over some distances and up flights of stairs when lifts aren't available. Thank you again for your feedback and we hope to see you on another tour soon.

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