Costa Rica vacation, encompassed

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26 Nov 2017
US $ 1360
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16 Dec 2017
US $ 1428
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30 Dec 2017
US $ 1428
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27 Jan 2018
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10 Feb 2018
US $ 1394
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01 Apr 2018
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21 Apr 2018
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05 May 2018
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09 Jun 2018
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23 Jun 2018
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28 Jul 2018
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18 Aug 2018
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15 Sep 2018
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24 Nov 2018
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22 Dec 2018
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12 Jan 2019
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26 Jan 2019
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09 Feb 2019
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02 Mar 2019
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16 Mar 2019
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30 Mar 2019
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20 Apr 2019
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18 May 2019
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08 Jun 2019
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06 Jul 2019
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27 Jul 2019
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24 Aug 2019
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14 Sep 2019
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12 Oct 2019
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02 Nov 2019
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16 Nov 2019
US $ 1394
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30 Nov 2019
US $ 1394
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21 Dec 2019
US $ 1462
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Vacation type

Small group adventure vacation

Whether you are traveling alone or with friends/family its good value, and a great way to meet new people! While itineraries are pre-planned there is some flexibility and you'll have plenty of privacy. This trip will appeal to travelers of all ages who enjoy meeting new people as well as seeing new places.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Costa Rica vacation, encompassed

Environment

This Costa Rica vacation utilises local transport in order to give passengers a unique cultural experience and to put profits directly back into the local community. Traveling on local transport also ensures no additional vehicles are used so no additional pollution is brought about by our group.

We keep our groups small (max 16) so that the overall socio-environmental effect of our tours is kept as low as possible. We employ local guides to organise all of our optional excursions and activities in order to give profits back to the local community.

During visits to the Monteverde Cloud Forest and several National Parks passengers can learn about the endangered species in the region and spot the native wildlife. This teaches them about the local environment and encourages them to respect their surrounds. Our tour leaders encourage passengers to behave in an eco-friendly manner at all times by ensuring no waste is deposited and advocating the ‘take only photos and leave only footprints’ philosophy at all times.

We recognise that it is not only on-location staff who have environmental responsibilities but also our administration staff in our offices around the world. All our offices endeavour to be environmentally sound through practising energy conservation, implementing recycling plans and being responsible for the surrounding physical environment. We believe in leading through example and operate in this manner to encourage other businesses and individuals to be considerate of the environment and conserve the natural beauty we currently share.

Community

We stay at 100% locally-operated hotels (as opposed to international hotel chains) to ensure that we continue to support the local community. An example of this is when we stay in Tortuguero as we stay overnight in All Rankin's Lodge. The Rankin family were some of the first settlers in Tortuguero. The lodge is still owned locally and the owners are the ones that take the groups around the national park and into the village. They are very involved with the community and this is a properly family experience for the groups.

We encourage our passengers to join in on responsible optional excursions that benefit the community. For instance from Cahuita they can visit the Jaguar Rescue Centre which is a great example of sustainability through tourism. Passengers have the chance to donate to the local wildlife that has been rescued and nursed back to health. They can also visit the Lava Lounge, Dog Rescue centre, walking the dogs and taking care for them. Eating at these establishments also puts money back into the centre’s much needed funds.

4 Reviews of Costa Rica vacation, encompassed

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 27 Aug 2017 by

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.

Reviewed on 25 Mar 2008 by

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


The most exciting part of the Costa Rica encompassed trip was zip lining above the trees in Monteverde Cloud Forest and abseiling down the waterfalls on a canyoneering trip outside La Fortuna. The most memorable parts of the trip were the stunning nature reserves with an incredible abundance of wildlife.

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


It is only worth one full day exploring San Jose as there is not much to do in the city however the National Museum with a secret garden of butterflies is very well done and a trip to the National Theatre is very worthwhile. As this is an Adventure trip, although the first few travel days are with private transport later parts are with public buses so if you want a very lazy trip perhaps go with the Discovery trips. Going by public bus is interesting though and less like being a cosseted tourist but you have to be up for waiting for buses, possibly missing buses, and some standing on buses.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


I felt that we got to meet some local people by going on some local buses but not a lot of other Costa Ricans if you didn't make much of an effort. A lot of the restaurants we went to were family run but only one of the hotels. I believed that the money on entering the national parks was going towards helping them being preserved but there are a lot of tourists in the country and going into the reserves sometimes feels very crowded. Costa Rica is a environmentally aware country on the whole but you will still see a lot of things that don't fit in with this and a lot of rubbish and pollution in San Jose. There was an option to go to an animal sanctuary and so do something to directly support the environment. On the whole though Costa Rica is very commercial compared to a lot of other Central American countries.

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


I would rate the vacation as good. The vacation was very enjoyable but I felt it was two vacations that tried to be encompassed into one and therefore we missed one day by traveling and picking up new people. Also the first and last official day of the tour was in San Jose where it could have allowed more time in the place before. Therefore I felt the itinerary could have been altered slightly to make it even better.

Reviewed on 12 Aug 2007 by

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


Definitely white water rafting on the way from Cahuita to San Jose. A great day out, the river was perfect. Lots of adrenaline and lovely refreshing water. An amazing lunch was laid on for us as well by the side of the river.

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


Be prepared for it to be touristy. Mostly we stayed in towns so don't go expecting to stay in the middle of nowhere.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Didn’t really benefit local people.

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


Saw a good range of animals, lots of beaches, and some rather touristy national parks. A good vacation if you want to meet new people and have a good time.

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Elaine, thank you for your feedback. We are surprised with your comment that our tours do not benefit the local people, as all accommodation is in small locally owned hotels, the transport is on local buses and we use local operators for all excursions - all things that benefit the local people and the local economy.

Reviewed on 25 Mar 2006 by

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


The most memorable part was going into the beautiful clear, turquoise and remarkably warm water of the Pacific ocean, for a swim just as the sun was setting - an amazing way to start the vacation. The diversity of the trip made many parts of it memorable though, we went from surfing in Pacific with 35degC temperatures to looking at amazing wildlife in the much cooler cloud forest, to staying in a small village on the Caribbean coast only accessible by boat or plane to sight seeing in the city in San Jose (and so much more as well).

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


The part I really liked about this trip was that you go to so many different places and see all of the country, the downside to this though is that you don't get to spend a lot of time in each place. Another thing I think made this trip good for me was that few meals and activities are included in the cost of the trip so you really can do and spend as little or as much as you want you're not restricted to what the rest of the group want. Make sure you budget for this though as it can add up after 3 weeks - they give all the info on prices for activities etc beforehand. Check the climate for the time of year you're going - going in the rainy season will make the trip considerably different also turtle watching is only available certain times of the year so check if this is something you really want to do.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes. The country is very conscious about responsible tourism - they teach it as a subject in schools - and so much of the country is protected as National Park areas. Our accommodation was small and locally run and we used local guides and companies for activities in each place.

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