Testimonials & Reviews

We’ve been blessed to plan so many incredible itineraries for Costa Rica vacations and adventure trips, and here’s just a sampling of what our customers have to say after returning.

Jonathan & Kelsey loved the Costa Rica trip that we planned for them, on our Costa Rica Collection Itinerary, so much that they created video to share their experiences. Enjoy!

Kelsey and I want to say thank you for helping out with our Costa Rica trip. We had a blast. I put together a video of our trip, if you want to share it with those who are considering booking with Costa Rica Escapes.

Pura Vida!

Jonathan

The Fallis family planned a Costa Rica family vacation with us, and it was a breeze!

We just wanted to say thank you so much for the work you did in putting together our family vacation! It was seamless and not at all stressful. We appreciated all the info you gave us about what to pack, what to tip, etc. Costa Ricans are truly amazing with tourists–they are friendly and accommodating. They are proud of their country and love telling us the history and about their lives in Costa Rica and where else to visit when we come back. The adventures were amazing–never once did we feel that we didn’t get our moneys worth. The accommodations were stunning–beautiful views, beautiful and clean rooms with friendly staff. The whole trip from planning to the end was easy, and we thank you for that!

The Fallis Family

Valerie’s family took our Rainforest-to-Beach family itinerary and they’re already planning their return trip!

Oh my goodness! We had such a wonderful, amazingly wonderful, time in Costa Rica. Thanks so much for putting such a cool itinerary together with such little lead time. We are already planning a return before too long, and have told our 4 kids that we are moving south in a few years and that they can come visit us there! We’ll see…

I know that our experience would have been great in Costa Rica as the people are lovely, the land gorgeous, and the flora and fauna varied and exciting. I know, too, that it would have been less relaxing and far less wonderful had you not put this trip together for us.

Loved Arenal, loved Manuel Antonio. Planning to see Guanacaste and the Osa Peninsula, etc, etc.

Thanks again for your help and sharing your love of Costa Rica. Pura Vida!

– Valerie (M.Ed., Ed.Doc.)

Chris & Michele booked our Secluded Caribbean itinerary and couldn’t have been happier!

On behalf of my husband and I…THANK YOU! Our trip to Costa Rica earlier this month was fantastic! We couldn’t have been happier with the whole process. You totally nailed the itinerary as far as arranging activities that were spot on for our interests. Every excursion operator was punctual and informative, making for a great time. All of the accommodations were fantastic as well.

I would like to extend an even bigger thank you to our driver (his name is escaping me, he’s from Turrialba) who picked us up at the airport & also drove us from Puerto Viejo all the way to Alajuela! He was courteous, friendly, and so much fun to take those long trips with.

I will continue to recommend Costa Rica Escapes to anyone else looking to head down there. We have also discussed returning with our children some time and would definitely plan that with you!

Thanks again for making this an amazing vacation!

– Chris & Michele

Lyndsy planned a solo vacation with us to Costa Rica and it was life-changing!

Words simply cannot express my gratitude and thanks for the AMAZING job you did in planning my Costa Rica itinerary. Cleary, everything went off without a glitch since I didn’t have to contact you at all. Honestly, it was more than I could have ever expected or dreamed of, and it seriously changed my life in more ways than one. I have so many fun stories and photos and experiences to share. The idea to do a solo trip was a bit scary for me at first, but I am so glad that I landed on CRE’s website that day because had I not found you, my trip would not have been the same. I feel like I owe you more than just this simple “thanks”, because like I said, there are so many life changes coming my way as a result of the trip.

Forever grateful,
~Lyndsy

Rebecca booked a custom itinerary for her family, which combined our Costa Rica Collection and Secluded Caribbean itineraries. She was clearly very pleased!

Wow…I can’t even begin to describe what a dream Costa Rica was. Monteverde was a great introduction to the country – loved Arco Iris hotel and the small town feel of Santa Elena. The Sky Walk and ziplining were so much fun- Tyler and I got a guide to ourselves for the Sky Walk and he was wonderful (perks of not going during high season!).

Arenal Volcano was breathtaking! Nayara was one of the nicest resorts we have ever been to and the service was exceptional. The clouds cleared enough the second day to see the top of the volcano! We enjoyed it from our amazing balcony. Canyoning and waterfall rappelling was so exhilarating and Tyler’s favorite activity of the trip. Relaxing our muscles in the hot springs later that day was perfection.

You were right…I have to say river rafting on the Pacuare and the ecolodge was my absolute favorite! Our room was amazing (thank you!)…falling asleep to the sound of the river and waking up to a delicious breakfast before going swimming in the waterfalls was unbelievable. There were only two other couples there so we got to enjoy a more intimate experience–the guides quickly became good friends and we were very sad to say goodbye.

Ending the trip in Puerto Viejo was great. Shawandha was everything I imagined. We rented bikes and rode down to Manzanillo and stopped at Punta Uva (as you suggested) and it was so fun! We had a beautiful sunny day when we went snorkeling and hiking at Cahuita and saw many species of wildlife.

The whole trip was seamless. Each driver was there to pick us up as you scheduled and we didn’t have any problems with any reservations. The trip was the perfect amount of activity and leisure for an adventurous duo like us! Also, knowing how much to tip each guide, driver, etc. was extremely helpful. Every person we encountered on the trip was extremely deserving and we feel tipping them was the best money we spent. We enjoyed talking to them and hearing their incredible stories and aspirations. Thank you for telling us what to pack and what to wear/bring for each activity–we were always very prepared and it allowed us to enjoy the excursions that much more!

Infinite thanks to you and CRE for planning the best trip we could have ever imagined. It was the trip of a lifetime- if we could leave tonight and do it all over again, we would in a heartbeat. 🙂

– Rebecca

Gail booked our Rainforest Family Escape Itinerary for her family (including grandkids) and is planning for another trip already!

Thank you for all your efforts to make our Costa Rica vacation beyond our expectations. We had so much fun enjoying the many out door activities, our grandson slept well every night. We absolutely love Costa Rica! Every detail was addressed, the itinerary was a constant source of advice. We will return to Costa Rica and will want you to help us arrange our next vacation. I give Costa Rica Escapes a 5 star review.

– Gail

Matt booked the Avid Explorer itinerary for his family and his boys will never forget their trip!

Hey John,

Now that I had time to recover from the trip, I wanted to send you a quick note and say thanks! You set up an incredible adventure vacation that my boys will never forget. I don’t think you missed a detail. Every transfer was on time, and you really maximized our time around the country into numerous, fun and diverse activities. Every day of the trip just kept getting better. The excursion companies were top notch and very professional. The two-day white water rafting trip was top on the favorites list along with the surfing lessons. The guides on those two trips really stood out as they paid extra close attention to my Autistic son and really took him under their wing. I can not thank you enough. It was the greatest family adventure trip we have ever done. Thank you!

– Matt

The Schneider Family planned a custom Costa Rica vacation with CRE and it was everything they hoped it would be!

Back three weeks now, and finally am writing to thank you and Molly for our everything-we-hoped-it-would-be trip to Costa Rica.

The hotels were beautiful, the transfers were well-coordinated, and the activities were everything you promised they would be. The trip was so well conceived, a wonderful balance of adventure and animals and fun and eating and mountains and beach. What a spectacular country, and we feel like we really got to know it… as much as that’s possible in 12 days, mostly being a tourist 🙂

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

– The Schneider Family

Patty booked a couples adventure vacation and had the vacation of a lifetime!

I wanted to take a minute to thank you for arranging the best vacation I have ever had!

From arrival to departure; the best word to use is “seamless”! The accommodations exceeded our expectations, the excursions were a blast, the food was great…everything was great!

I’d like to especially thank you for arraigning a substitute for our day of canonyeering. The hanging bridge tour was perfect!.

I was impressed by the professionalism of the tour/excursion companies you chose for us. These guys were experts, committed to their work, safety and the environment while exuding a sense of fun you couldn’t help but enjoy the whole day. Obviously everyone was well trained, but they seemed to really enjoy themselves too.

I would, without a doubt, recommend your expert services to anyone traveling to Costa Rica.

Sincerely,
Patty

Christine and her family booked a Remote Costa Rica Family Adventure vacation itinerary to remember!

I am writing to let you know what a wonderful trip we had to Costa Rica. It was all that I hoped and more. Your ability to create an itinerary that met our needs was really quite amazing. It was also quite clear that you know the country well and your connections go beyond the norm of a travel agent. We were amazed and grateful for how smooth all our transitions were and we went quickly from cautious to confident about all you had planned for us, and especially who would be waiting to take us on our next adventure. Ronnie who picked us up at the airport was a favorite!

So thank you! I am so glad I took a chance on you and your company…The personal attention we received is hard to come by these days.

Christine

Kim booked a CRE family vacation itinerary for her family’s trip to Costa Rica and her family had so much fun with the activities, they forgot the about the unfortunate rain.

I want you to know that we had a fabulous time. It exceeded our expectations. You did a tremendous job of designing a program that kept our very active family active while ending the 10 days with some lovely downtime. It rained constantly the first 3 days but it was warm and our guides were so much fun that we didn’t even mind. Thank you so much. It was a trip we will cherish for many years to come.

Kim

Scott booked a CRE family vacation itinerary for his family’s trip to Costa Rica and was pleasantly surprised by the accommodations, people, food and adventurous activities.

I wanted to take a moment and THANK YOU for the wonderful trip arrangements you helped make for our families’ trip to Costa Rica. It was AMAZING, and we all thought it was a great success. The pace and activities worked very well for our families. We met great people, ate well, and had an adventure/activity every day. The surprisingly high class accommodations in Manuel Antonio (Pacific Colonial) were a welcome finish (particularly the washer/dryers in-condo). I was telling a partner at work about the trip & activities, and he now wants his family (grown kids & their 2 families) to plan to go.

Thank You,
Scott

Toby was amazed by the diverse wildlife and ease of travel on his river float…

We all enjoyed the river float. Very much. Several species: 16 bird, 3 lizard, 1 croc, 2 monkey, 1 fish. Very active. I’ve never before seen so many wood stork & osprey in one area. Transportation was great. Arrived at Flamingo with time to unpack, swim, etc. No problems. All of your stuff…no problems, on time, very professional. We really appreciate your help. Danny Vega, my bird guide yesterday, is very good. We had a great day. Lots of new birds for me & half doz special ones. I recommend him to others. All in all, thank you.

Best regards, Toby

Mandy traveled with her boyfriend Buck on one of our Costa Rica Itineraries and had an epic vacation!

Hi John,

I just wanted to let you know that our trip to Costa Rica was one that we will never forget. We had the most amazing time. The trip from beginning to end was completely flawless. Buck mentioned that he could not imagine ever being able to ever have a vacation that would ever top that one. I want to thank you for putting together such a great itinerary.

Thanks again! -Mandy

Leana & Brian came away feeling like celebrities after experiencing private pools, morning Tucan visits into their room and hands-on guidance when they needed it.

Thank you so much for your help with the planning of this trip. We loved it. La Paloma was a paradise and a great way to start. The people at the lodge – Jess, Gabby and Michelle especially – we wonderful and really made our stay wonderful.

The highlight of Monteverde was Marcos. With his guidance we were able to see the wonders of that place in a way we never would have on our own. …I can see that one would need to book out very far in advance to stay in one of the special hotels there. That place was packed! We did get to see the elusive Quetzel while there, and that was very cool.

And Villa Caletas was the perfect way to end our Costa Rica adventure. We loved our room – the Toucans flew in and spent every morning with us which was so much fun – and the private pool was a pleasure. We felt like celebrities!

All in all, a truly great trip. Thank you very, very much for your help. Wishing you and your growing family a fabulous 2014!

Leasa & Brian

Ruth was raving about her trip with her husband, which covered everything from snorkeling to horseback riding and monkeys to Toucans!

Hi John,

I realized that I’ve been telling everyone what a fantastic trip I had, and what an amazing itinerary my agent put together – and then it hit me that I haven’t told you that!

It’s been crazy since I returned…

I could hardly believe how smoothly everything went on our trip. I still am shaking my head at the complex logistics that were in place, and everything worked! The boat was there when we finished riding our bikes (in the rain—still fun!) and the car and driver were there at the other end of the lake—right on time! And it all went like that. Every time, every where.

I think Art really appreciated the chance to look around, talk to the drivers instead of doing the driving himself. We spoke a lot of Spanish—the Ticos were really patient with us trying to converse with them. What wonderful people they are.

The free day you had booked for us in Monteverde (at Arco Iris) turned out to be stormy and raining sideways. So we took advantage of the snake museum and the bat research station. Both were good places to be that day which we had our laundry being done at the hostel in town.

We had a magical day snorkeling—saw a mother whale and her baby near la Paloma swimming around us for 35 minutes. And you were right about La Paloma. What a wonderful place! We felt like rich barons staying in that beautiful unit overlooking the jungle and the ocean. Toucans and monkeys right in front of us! It was hard to leave there. The bug lady was a treat too—we saw a red eyed tree snake, which I don’t think is a common sight, plus the weird and wonderful trap door spiders and net casting spiders!

The horseback outing was a day to remember for me. I was given 3 horses to try, and chose the one I preferred. That was my first experience riding a paso fino (sp?). Such a smooth trot I felt like a pro. I had 2 guides and just me that day. It was truly fabulous. I may think about spending a whole week there sometime in the future. (I think even Art would have been comfortable on those horses!) He thought his canyoning and rafting was a red-letter day too. That Desafio company is marvelous. It was good that you suggested we check in the night before, as the timing changed a few times—which allowed a bit of a sleep-in.

We used your suggestions on tips – and did our best to help put food on the guide’s tables! Speaking of food – we ate so much ceviche it will carry us through a few months! We were a bit surprised at the full tourist prices at hotels and most restaurants. The drivers gave us hints of where the locals go and places with great value—they didn’t steer us wrong.

We certainly noticed that we were there just ahead of the busy season—huge restaurants with only a few tables taken—but that meant fabulous service. Same at the hotels – which meant we didn’t have to contend with noise, aside from the early morning monkeys that were so charming. (but then we don’t have to clean up the stuff they toss down onto the lawns!)

We think you put together the perfect two-week holiday. Thank-you for bringing your expertise and creativity to us! I will never fail to give CRE a plug when talking about our trip. Hopefully, we’ll be in touch with you again for a return visit.

Have a wonderful Christmas in the sun.

Kindest Regards,
Ruth & Art

Steve’s family left with incredible memories of Montverde & other adventures:

Just a short note to “Thank You” for making our Costa Rica adventure a “Trip of a Lifetime!”

At each point in our journey the for four of us remarked about what a wonderful job you had done to facilitate our joy.

Of particular note was Marcos, our guide through the cloud forest in Monteverde. You must already appreciate the quality of this young man, but if not, please do. He was extraordinarily kind and helpful. Briefly, the night before, my glass case had slipped out of my pocket in the cab. Through Jill’s language expertise, we knew the cab driver’s name and when we mentioned it to Marcos the following morning, he knew the man well. By 7:30 AM I had my glasses back! What kindness.

If any of us can ever be of assistance…please give us to the opportunity to demonstrate our gratitude to you for making our Costa Rica experience so wonderful!

Thank you again,
Steve

Bernice and her husband took their grandson on a Costa Rica excursion:

John and Molly,

We LOVED our trip! Costa Rica is so beautiful and the people are wonderful. And CRE made it all so easy. THANK YOU! It was all perfect (well, hot water for showers and shaving was a little dicey at Montana de Fuego, but we survived)—the lodging, the activities, the shuttles. We loved Fernando; he was so good with our grandson, he knows so much about Costa Rica and he is a dear man. And how wise you were to suggest we spend our first day with him. We learned so much from him that made the rest of the trip so much richer.

The zip lines were the high point for all of us, I think. That was pretty thrilling. The deep-sea fishing was wonderful, too. In the half-day of fishing our grandson caught four mackerals (sp?), a “jack” (I have no idea what that is; but our “captain” threw it back; “not good,” he said) and a snook (sp?). My husband caught a bunch of sardines that we used for bait and two sea bass. We were leaving Quepos that afternoon, but our “captain” filleted some of the bass and the snook and told us which restaurant in Quepos would prepare it for our lunch. It was very delicious. We loved the Buena Vista hotels (my grandson’s and my favorite lodging) and all the monkeys at Costa Verde. The beach and ocean swimming was great, and we loved all the hikes. AND, we saw a three-toed sloth moving through the forest canopy above us in the National Park near Manuel Antonio!

Now my husband, who is not a traveler, says he wants to go back! Success!

Thank you so much for what my husband called “the trip of a life-time”!

Bernice

Pamela & Brian Freeman traveled Nov. 21 – Dec. 2 for a 50th Birthday Celebration:

Thank you CRE! We really enjoyed Costa Rica, and the trip you helped to devise for us. We think your service was invaluable, especially your guides; they certainly ‘made’ the trip perfect for us. Anyone can book a ready-made tour, this went way beyond that, or at least you made it feel that it did. It felt tailor made to us. Well, except that it was so early in the morning every day. Someone needs to tell birds and wildlife to get up later in the morning. 😉

Elyce & Larry Klein planned their 20th Anniversary Trip from November 16 – 30, 2012 with Costa Rica Escapes:

CRE did an excellent job of setting up our hotels and transfers for our 20th Anniversary celebration trip to Costa Rica. The accommodations were lovely and all of our pick ups were right on time. Everything was clearly spelled out by CRE which made things really easy. John helped us adjust our trip when the airlines forced us to revise our itinerary and lost our bags. It was really helpful to have someone to help out and we barely missed a beat on our trip. Thank you John for a wonderfully planned trip. One of the best I’ve taken.

Claudia took a breather for a month after her Costa Rica Escapes vacation and sent us this note…

We had the craziest month at work, but I wanted to thank you for the incredible vacation you arranged for us. We have so many wonderful memories. Thank you!

– Claudia