Here is what our customers have to say about us!

20 Mar 2012

Hola Ray,

We just had a wonderful time on our trip. Machu Picchu was amazing. Buenos Aires was the most beautiful city that we have ever seen. We had a blast!!!

Your Argentinean and Peruvian tour companies were great too. They were professional, on time, very organized and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend them. Jamie and I are already planning our next trip J. We would love to go to Colombia.

I have attached a few photos. Thank you again for setting this all up. It was worth it.

Jill and Jamie

14 Mar 2012

HI Ray,

I just wanted to thank you for arranging the wonderful trip for us to Costa Rica. We had a wonderful time in all the arranged places. The hotels were good too. We really liked the Hacienda La Isla and The Parador hotel in Manuel Antonio. I will definetly recommend you to my friends in future.

Jenny M.

19 Apr 2012


I wanted to send my feedback on Misa. He is the best tour guide we have ever seen. The entire team on our tour bus for the Rainforest tour on 4/14 had a great time with him. He has excellent knowledge, good communication skills, good sense of humor and an amazing attitude.

I wanted to make sure that we share this feedback so that he gets the credit that he deserves. I would be happy to refer your company and him to any of my friends as a tour guide.


Arvind P.

January 6, 2012

Thank you Ray for all of your help in arranging our tours.

Everything you arranged was so fun and interesting. The people and accommodations were wonderful and you did a great job putting together a memorable and exciting time for us!

Thank you!


We are all one in spirit, regardless of our form

November 2011


We made it back safely.... I cannot thank you enough for planning such a great trip for us... I will be sure to give your name to any friends up here who are interested in going to Costa Rica...

The only thing that we were not happy with was the Hotel Mango the last night.... Our room was dark and dingy...and the restaurant was only open for breakfast due to remodeling... Maybe after the remodeling is complete, it will be better, but for now, perhaps you should check it out before placing clients there...The staff was great, but the place was not on the same level as the other places we stayed...

Thanks again for all you did to make our trip such fun.

Laura D

November 2011

Hi Ray!

Thanks for your help with arranging the tours in Costa Rica. Everyone in our party really enjoyed them! I would definitely use your services again in the future.




dear ray,

my daughter and i very much enjoyed our trip to costa rica (la pura vida) the tours you got for us were very interesting and the hotels centrally located with decent facilities. at all times the scheduled pickup and drive to times were timely.


d. l.


Hi Ray,

We have returned home from a really amazing adventure vacation! Thank you so much for all your help and for taking the time to help us customize and book all those activities for us... White river rafting on the Pacuare and Jet Skiing at Manuel Antonio were both experiences that we will never forget!

Also, the hotels you RSVP'd for us were excellent. Arenal Paraiso was our favorite. We didn't know what to expect when we got to Costa Rica but all your pre-planning was very well executed. All transportation was on time and we felt very taken care of and very welcomed by the generous hospitality of the locals.

Thank you again and PURA VIDA!!!

-Frances F.


Dear Ray, and Travel Store Team,

Kim and I want to thank you strongly for your creative choices for where we would stay, and for how long and in which order. This made our vacation incredibly peaceful and exciting at the same time! Casa Corcovado is a naturalist's dream and so laid back. We had a fairly small group there at the time, and made friends, and got to go into the jungle three times, and do a snorkle trip, and a kayak trip. Their food was the best we had in the country!

We finished up with the Arenal and Poas regions over two days and really enjoyed the Sky Trek, Tabacon hot springs, hiking on Arenal, and the The waterfall and peace lodge experience. We enjoyed seeing the locals on the drives, and the drivers were very nice to us. Thanks again, Ray and Team for a job well done. Dan M. and Kim T.


Dear Ray and staff,

I know this is a couple weeks late, but I just wanted to tell you what an AMAZING time we had during our trip to Costa Rica! Everything went smooth and everywhere we stayed was wonderful and so were the people. You have such a beautiful country, and we were not ready to leave! My mom was so jealous after looking at all of our pictures that we will hopefully be back once I have a break from school. I have already told all of my friends what an incredible travel agent we had, so expect more customers soon!

Thanks so much again for everything!


Katie J.


Hi Ray,

I just wanted to let you know we had such a wonderful time in your beautiful country. All the day trips went perfectly, every driver and activity host and hostess were so kind and gracious and happy to show us Costa Rica - they were the best anyone could ever ask for. We learned so much, ate some wonderful food, and made some great photos. If it would help for future referals, I would be happy to leave a comment on your website if you would like me to.

Thank you again!



Dear Ray, We just got back from our trip yesterday. A real success, it went well and smoothly. Thank you for your assistance. The Doka-Poaz-Waterfall tour, Costa Verde Hotel in Manuel Antonio and Drake's Bay Wilderness Resort were all excellent choices. I wouldn't have changed anything, except that the drive from Manuel Antonio to Sierpe left too early and left us waiting around in Sierpe for a number of hours. Recognizing that travel is rarely perfect, I only note this for purposes of providing you with feedback. Overall, we are quite positive about the trip. Best regards, Ted


Hi Ray/Jaime,

We had a really good time in Costa Rica. Its a beautiful country, far beyond our expectations. Thanks for you organization, everything went smoothly. It was great that you could fix the mis-communication and keep the plan for Monteverde tour. My kids loved the canopy tour. We were impressed by the tour operators, very punctual and efficient in conducting the tours.

The only bit of snag we had was with the airport pick-up and drop off. The lady was 15 min late when we reached. We did not have cell phone or Costa Rican coins to dial. On departure, she was over half hour late. We had to call the cab, she did arrive after the cab came, but we ended up paying $25 to the cab.

Anyway, we plan to visit again some time in future, the parts of the country we did not end up seeing this time. Expect calls from me again or friends of mine who are also now interested in seeing Costa Rica!


~ A. D.


Dear Ray,

I would like to thank you for the wonderful and flawless services you have provided us during our first trip to Costa Rica... & I'll note it again truly the best service and recommendation from Costa Rica Travel Store. We had a great stay in Volcano Inn and Grand Costa Rica Hotel. The staffs are friendly and our transportation to and from the airport was punctual all the time.

Would highly recommend your company to friends and family, we enjoyed every minute of our tour to Tabacon Hotsprings. Overall, we had wonderful experience and would visit again.

Best Regards,

Johanne B.

12 September 2010

Hi Ray:

Sorry about the delay in getting back to you!! I'm just going through my Email, and I realized I hadn't replied to you. We had an excellent time in CR. Everything was just great. The amount of time we were at each place was about right, although of course we would love to have had 3 weeks there.

The Hotel Royal Corin was excellent: the accommoation was great, the staff was very helpful, and we really enjoyed all the activities around the rain forest and the volcano. We even got up one morning at 4:30am to go on a birdwatching tour!

The Hotel La Mansion Inn was a little disappointing. The airconditioning was not working well, and the staff took a bit of encouragement to fix it. The rest of the Manuel Antonio area was wonderful - the restaurants, beach, white water rafting, and the park itself. I've recommended you and the country to several people, and hopefully you'll be hearing from some of them next year.


Neil B.

1 September 2010

Hi Ray,

Sorry it took so long to write back after we returned from Costa Rica. It was fabulous!!!! Everything worked out perfectly and we had a blast. It was the perfect mix of leisure, adventure and pamper. My husband and I would love to go back...probably to Arenal and Tamarindo and also go to Panama as well. FYI. Thrifts e-mailed me the next day and said they were deducting some of the below. So, that was great as well.

Hi, Iīm Alejandra from Thrifty Car Rental, I closed your agreement tonigth and according to the reservation and the copy of your agreement, you had to cover the extra day so I charged it. The good news is that I got the voucher from the agency and they had the wrong hours but they are covering 8 days. So I already cancel the $133 charge and made the new charge for only $47.60. Thanks and sorry for the misunderstanding !

Alejandra Lůpez

Thank you Ray for everything!!

Leah and Jason A.


Dear Ray,

Just spoke to Mr and Mrs DiS., they said Costa Rica was beyond their expectations. They loved the HOTSPRINGS best of all, but each hotel and destination was wonderful. They really enjoyed the sightseeing too! They said the people were just wonderful, all transportation on time and no confusion!

Thanks for your help!

Kathy, Holiday Travel



I just wanted to write to you to say thank you for all that you organized for my mom and Iís trip to Cuba and Costa Rica!! It was fantastic. To be honest, I was a little nervous about traveling to Cuba with only a few paper printed vouchers, but it all worked out without any problems. Our highlights of the trip, besides the fact that Habana is just superbly incredible and the rain forest is like nothing I have ever seen, for Cuba, was staying in the heart of the city in front of Central Park (although a little run down, Hotel Inglaterra worked out just fine- we spent the first night in the interior but were able to switch to a room with a balcony for the other 3 nights. Although we did grab some drinks from the NH Parque Central hotel rooftop across the way, and I can tell you it is an incredible hotel! Modern and beautifully done. But almost too luxurious- creates a huge contrast from all you see in the city around you), and for Costa Rica, whitewater rafting (so much fun! The guide was fantastic, just like a camp counselor. Totally put my mom at ease- despite being nervous at first, she had a wonderful time. And now I am inspired to plan a rafting trip in Colorado with my husband). Also, the Sueno Azul resort was a pleasant surprise, with all its wildlife and the stream running right next to the resort really made you feel like you were in the heart of the forest. The Hotel Presidente was so luxurious- terrific staff, they even upgraded us to a Jacuzzi room both nights. The canal tour was interesting and relaxing- great group of people and the tour guide had so much character.

Although we knew which tour was for which day, and although we had a general idea of where we were going, what we were going to see, we never fully knew what to expect. Not knowing Spanish did not help. But our apprehensions on what might come were always soothed. When it was time to go on a tour or to another place to stay, we were always pleasantly surprised that everything worked out as planned and was very enjoyable.

The only comments I would make is that the Vinales tour in Cuba was a bit long and a bit too touristy. A lot of time was spent on the bus, and although it was great to see some of the Cuban countryside in the North, Cubans hitchhiking along the road, and all the political slogans and signs along the roadsides, the places we stopped (Indian cave, local rum factory, small place where a guy rolled cigars, lunch at a restaurant next to the Mural of Prehistoria) were all very touristy and superficial. I understand however that this may be how the Cuban government chooses to run its guided tours. I am also glad we did not spend a night in an all-inclusive on the beach in Varadero. It was a relaxing first day, and it was very interesting to see the contrast between the city and the foreign managed Varadero beach resorts, but it didnít even feel like we were in Cuba. It was nice to come back to the hub-bub of Habana at night.

All in all, I would definitely recommend you and your travel team to anyone considering traveling to Cuba or Costa Rica, although more probably the latter (not sure how many of our friends are adventurous enough to opt for travel to Cuba).

Thanks again Ray!

-Heather and Sharon


Hi Ray,

Thanks Ray for organizing this trip for me , it was great.All the tours were well organized and thoroughly loved Costa Rica.

Thanks again,




Having breakfast and prepping to leave Arenal area. The accommodations were PERFECT! We had cabin 403 which was huge...King in master and two doubles. Huge closet for everyone's luggage. One very large bathroom (master) and one smaller bathroom. The wet bar was a BIG hit with the kids yesterday. We zip lined right from the hotel grounds which was so convenient. Yesterday we drove to the national park and walked on the lava field - heard and saw rocks tumbling down the volcano.

Thank you again for your assistance.



Thank you, Jaime. the ticket arrived to my mailbox

And thank you too for all your help. I always check around with different agencies - but I don't know why I bother. You are always the best - in every way!!




Hi Ray,

Thank you so much for planning one of the best vacations ever for me and Ray! Costa Rica is amazingly beautiful! The first day tour of the central valley was wonderful! We loved the Cataratas. What a shame there was an earthquake there. Monte Verde was great, too. I didn't realize we had signed up for Zip lines in the forest. I reluctantly tried the first line (I'm rather scared of heights), but I quickly warmed to it and had a blast. We also got a kick out of the transport driver from Monte Verde to Manuel Antonio. I took your suggestion and told him I was interested in tropical fruits. He took us to a fruit stand in Orotina, then to the main squire where we saw a sloth and a black and white owl. From the fruit stand the most outstanding thing we bought was a sopadilla (Looks like a brown avocado, tastes like a carmelized pear) - Delicious!!!!

In particular, I want to thank you for the fruit basket you left for us at the Presidente in San Jose. Everything was wonderful, but I went crazy for the granadillas. On one of the excursions I found a larger version of the granadilla the vendor called a "Colombiano". Amazing! In addition to the great things you left us, I tried a "manzana de agua" or "water apple". I don't think the one I tried was ripe enough, because several natives told me that was there all time favorite fruit.

Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for arranging such a fantastic trip on such short notice.


Rod S and Ray G

Monday, May 19, 2008 6:27 PM


I just wanted to thank you for arranging our trip to Costa Rica. Everything was great, including the weather. We had an amazing honeymoon and appreciate all of your help and suggestions.

Thanks again,

Tom K..

Monday, May 19, 2008 6:27 PM


My wife & I recently used the Costa Rican travel service you provide. I donít often write to praise or to criticize services or products unless itís something exceptional. I wanted you to know that we could not be more pleased with the service provided to us on our trip. All of the drivers were on time and very courteous. I especially want to tell you about one of the drivers; Marvin Garcia. He picked us up at Hotel Sugar Beach, near Tamarindo, and delivered us to Hotel Villa Romantica in Quepos. He was very courteous, as they all were, but he was also very informative and entertaining. He went to great lengths to ensure our comfort and that all our needs were met.

If you are not the person I should be writing, please direct this email to whomever it needs to go to so that he receives the recognition he so richly deserves. I have already recommended your service to other people I know will be traveling to Costa Rica, and provided them with your contact information.

Thanks again for your flawless portion of our trip.


Charles S..



Just a note to say that we had a fabulous time in Costa Rica. All of your arrangements worked like clockwork, everyone was warm, helpful and punctual.

Thanks for your efforts in setting up a terrific trip. And the location of our rooms at Paradisus could not have been more convenient!


Michael K.

PS Now if you could just get that road from Arenal to Monteverde paved, thatíd be terrific!


Hi Ray,

Sorry it has taken so long to respond. We had a fantastic time and i really appreciate the service and effort you provided. The transfer provided back to Liberia worked out very well. Costa Rica was fabulous and I hope that some day we will have an opportunity to return.

The Travel Store is high on my list and will be recommended to family and friends.




Hello Ray

I wanted to let you know that we had a wonderful visit in CR. Of course it was way to short. We enjoyed the wildlife and the people very much. We are in the process of assessing our investment opportunities.

Thank you very much for setting up the hotels and the car rental.

Linda DeS


Well we didn't go with a GPS after all, but got only slightly lost a couple of times. Your directions were pretty dang good, BTW. Without them, I'm sure we would have had to have a GPS.

I want to say the itinerary you set up was very good, indeed. My wife and I were very pleased. We had a blast zip lining at Arenal. I also learned that driving in CR is an experience like zip lining, except without the fun. Tico's have a laid back culture, until they get behind the wheel.

Anyway, thanks for your expert help in setting up a great vacation in CR for my wife and I. Hope to see you again next year.



Maria and I attended the Dillmanís traveling watercolor painting workshop In Costa Rica on Feb.28 to Mar 8, 2008, with Bridget Austin as instructing artist (see and

This Central American country lies at approximately 9 degrees latitude and has a moist, tropical environment. It is generally mountainous with numerous volcanoes, some of which are currently active. Many of the more scenic areas are covered with tropical rainforest which grow to great heights in many areas. These forests, interspersed with lakes, rivers and waterfalls are home to a diverse population of plants,birds, animals and reptiles.

This workshop was, in our view, an ideal mix of painting as well as sight-seeing and photographic opportunities. The workshop progressed at a continual but relaxed pace. Painting was done mostly during the mornings while the temperature was relatively cool in incredibly beautiful and comfortable settings. Afternoons were spent on localized excursions to scenic locations within short driving ranges of the base hotels. Options were left open for individual interests and activities as well.

Following arrival at San Jose we traveled to the Arenal Springs Resort where we stayed for 3 days. The resort is located near the base of the active Arenal Volcano. Minor eruptions could be seen on a daily basis but the area is considered quite safe. Painting was done on the hotel veranda with a view of the colorful grounds and distant volcano. The grounds were well-manicured and contained a wide variety of vegetation including a fantastic assortment of tropical flowers. This stay included a trip to the Peace River Water Fall Gardens and an evening excursion and dinner at the Tabacon Hot Springs, where most of the participants indulged in a dip into the thermal pools. The third day included a trip to Lake Arenal and a hike down (and back up) a narrow valley to see the fantastic La Fortuna Waterfall.

The next day, we traveled to Manuel Antonio located along the coast of the Pacific Ocean, which is a very popular tourist destination, with many hotels. Our hotel was interestingly named Hotel California and was located near the Manuel Antonio National Park. As at Arenal, we were in a very scenic setting, and came with a view of the ocean.. The town of Quepos was nearby, where we had lunch and shopping opportunities. One evening we had dinner during sunset at the La Mariposa Hotel restaurant. The view from this hotel is of unparalleled beauty in all of Costa Rica.

Painting was accomplished here in a scenic upper-level veranda with a gentle tropical breeze. The hotel grounds had floral gardens with numerous Bougainvillea and Hibiscus. Monkeys could be seen in the surrounding trees and vegetation most mornings. Side trips included a Mangrove estuarine boat cruise to see a wide variety of birds and animals. Painting was also done at two beautiful beaches with large rock outcroppings and boats floating in the offshore.

Dennis and Sue Robertson as well as Stephanie Skotterud were as cordial and accommodating throughout this trip as could possibly be expected. They were tireless in there efforts to make this trip as enjoyable for us as they could.

The painting group was small enough so that each artist was provided ample individual attention. Most painting sessions were started with a demo by Bridget. She is an excellent demo artist and provided detailed verbal explanation of her painting procedures to maximize our learning curve. We would not hesitate to take another workshop with Bridget and/or the Robertsons and will likely do so as our schedule permits.

Bob and Maria Pauken

2007-11-15 12:05

Nice site which loaded very quickly. The navigation was good and there is more than enough content. Good luck and wish you all the best.


2007-11-12 5:10


We got back in one piece....... All the arrangements were done perfectly. Our driver arrived at 4:30 am to take us back to the airport and set a land speed record for Costa Rica. He might have to come to Chicago to teach people on how to drive the Dan Ryan.

The hotel was great the food was great the fishing was great but the people in Costa Rica really made the place special. I could see why people from here are looking to retire in Costa Rica.

I look forward to passing on your name to some of my friends and clients so they could experience some of the charms, some of course more than others, that we had on vacation.

I'm sure we will talk in the future.


2007-11-09 13:58:06

Great site design made with ease of use in mind.

This is a one stop portal for travel to Costa Rica. The site loaded fast and the content is well written and relevant..


September 17, 2007

Dear Ray,

Other than being robbed, the rest of my trip in Costa Rica was wonderful. We saw amazing things including a humpback whale and her calf on our snorkeling trip. I was most impressed by all our guides and their amazing knowledge of their country and wildlife. If we had hiked through Manuel Antonio alone we NEVER would have seen even a quarter of the animals we saw via our guide. He had eagle eyes! Seeing the independence day celebration on Friday night in Quepos was quite nice too.

I took a few pictures of the children with their lanterns - they're so proud. It's refreshing to see a country of people with such pride and respect for their home...quite unlike the US! As for being robbed - it certainly increased the cost of my trip by about $2000, but it was my fault.

I knew better than to leave my bag in the car even though we weren't even in a town, just at a roadside cafe. I was just a little off kilter because American Airlines lost my suitcase, so all my valuables that would have been tucked into my large suitcase rather than my little backpack were still in the small bag. The money lost is far less important to me than the vast amount of work I lost off of my computer, but I'll rebuild.

Anyhoo, thank you so much for all of your hard work and continued assistance throughout the trip. I will certainly contact you for future visits and recommend you to friends if anyone is planning to take a trip! Have a wonderful week!


Thursday, July 19, 2007 11:19AM

Fell in Love with Costa Rica

Hi Ray.

We have returned from the trip you planned for us to Costa Rica. In the brief nine days we were there, you did an amazing job of planning the places we visited of this magnificent country. I wouldn't have changed the activities or the locations. We wrapped up our trip with four dives. Costa Rica isn't known for the best diving, as the visibility isn't as good as many other places. However, what was lacking in visibility (about 45 ft on our dives), the phenomenal marine life more than made up for that. We saw sharks, eels, octupus, manta rays, sea turtles, schools of tuna and sea-bass, colorful fish and more. It definitely surpassed our expectations. And of course the wildlife on land was phenomenal too. The monkeys and sloths were my favorite. Although I also got to be on a first name basis with many iguanas.

Thanks for planning a trip that we will always remember. Pura Vida!

Michelle M

Side note: It doesn't appear that Hotel Karahe is under great management. This could be an absolutely phenomenal place. The view of the water from the villas is breathtaking. However, the mattresses are horrible and the bathrooms are not very clean. We definitely don't need fancy, since we don't spend a lot of time in the room. But these two things are the basics. I hope to go back someday and find that someone wipes off the dust and makes this place the gem it could be.

Also, the directions you provided were great. Thanks so much. The road to Hotel Sugar Beach was definitely an adventure. When we were first arriving, I read your directions and the description of the road being "HORRIBLE". When we actually got to the road we laughed in hysterics. We enjoyed it though...just part of the adventure!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The family had a great time through out the entire vacation! We actually added other things as time presented itself. The most memorable event was a non-intended stop at a small shop of a wood carver on the way to Monteverde, he and his family took us in to their home and showed us with pride his garden, and workshop. He even took our sons and showed them how to work on his machines and allowed them to carve a bowl! We enjoyed the hospitality of the people through out the country, even in the large cities. Driving for me was a high point, as I love dirt roads and rally style driving! Thank you greatly for setting up a wonderful vacation and putting up with our incessant questions.

Tad L.
Muskego, Wi.

Wed, 25 Apr 2007

Hello Ray,

We just wanted to send you a Thank you. Even though there was a lot of stress and things left to the last minute, in the end it worked out for the best. I'm glad the other caterer did not work out because Robin was absolutely fantastic. The resort was beautiful, the car rental worked out well, the garden court hotel was perfect. I would say that Robin did the most amazing job with the wedding, music, photographer etc. It could not have been better. The only concern we had was with the Marea Brava. They did not seem to have things organized. They had people leaving on the wrong days and not booked in for others. They also put us in different rooms than you had booked us for the wedding night and the rest of the week. I'm not sure if there was a difference but they put us in rooms 4 and 5 instead of 6 and 7 which were 2nd floor and appeared to be bigger than 4 and 5. We were having such a great time that it didn't really matter and we ended up moving back to a condo because the rooms were too small anyway. Just wanted to let you know that they were not the most pleasant to deal with, but the beauty of the resort made up for the service.

Thank you again for everything! We couldn't have done it without you! Very much appreciated. Take Care!

Tonya and David K.

Sunday, April 08, 2007 5:08 PM


This is a long overdue THANK YOU Our trip was wonderful everything happened as planned. All of the transfers you arranged occurred without a hitch. You chose a wonderful place to retire. I hope we can call on you again to help us plan our second trip to Costa Rica! Thanks again-


Tuesday, March 13, 2007 2:39 PM


It was a great trip other than an early bought with food poisoning courtesy of the restaurant at the ferry. (under cooked fish) Other than that everything and everyone was wonderful. Great people, (other than their driving) and spectacular scenery. The 2nd night at La Sabana was better than the first. Much nicer room that wasnít right over the road. Room 17 to be specific. Outstanding and a great value. That place is a winner

Thanks for all your help.

Jay D. L.

February 23, 2007

Dear Ray,

We have now returned from our trip to Costa Rica, and I want to tell you that everything went perfectly. All the planning certainly paid off. Each service, hotel, tour that you booked for us was waiting, precisely at the agreed time and place. There were no gaps. That made our trip so pleasant! Thank you for such excellent administration.

The wedding on the beach at Tulemar was as lovely as could be, and all went well. We all enjoyed all the hotels (although, I have to say, the Conchal development, so different from Corteza Amarilla and Tulemar, was not really our style, but it certainly was comfortable). The tours were so well done, and we got excellent use out of our rental car.

We will certainly recommend your services to any friends planning travel in Costa Rica, and, should we return, we will be in touch.

Thank you very much,

Liz L.

February 5, 2007

Hi Ray,

We are back from our trip to the Osa Pennisula. What a wonderful and beautiful place! I can't say enough about how smooth everything went. Even with those paper transfers. We had a great trip and will call you again when we plan to go back. Costa Rica is the friendliest place and has everything you can imagine and more.

Thank you!

Trish and Jake Sharet

December 12, 2006


We had a blast! Everything you planned went off without a hitch. Thank you so much for all the changes and additions. We had the larger bus (25 passenger) going back to San Jose and it was a God- send! I might like to use the larger bus on all my adult only trips. How much more is it?

I want to talk to you about the Coste Verde sometime.

The Scuba shop owners were very complimentary about you and your business.

I want to plan another trip for the same time next year, but want to make it 9 nights. We would leave on Thursday, November 29 and return on Saturday, December 8. One night Rincon, 3 nights Tamarindo area, 4 nights Manuel Antonio area, one night San Jose with AM city tour.

Let's make sure we have the March 31 - April 8 trip set and then we can work on the 2007 Dec trip. I am going to make a brochure that tells folks what to wear/bring for each of the excursions we do. I will send you a copy if you would like to use it for other clients.

Thanks again.

I enjoy working with you!


October 30, 2006


Thanks for all your help and your quick turn-around getting Jessica added. We are very excited for the trip. Please do not hesitate to use me as a reference/testamonial in the future.


Rose Maguire

August 4, 2006

Hi Ray,

I just wanted to drop you a note to thank you again for your insights and help in lining up our trip. Your recommendations were outstanding. I can't count the number of times my boys would turn to me while we on our excursions and exclaim "this is the best vacation ever!" I felt the same way.

Everything we did was perfect for my kids: La Paz, rafting, Tabacon, canopy tour, horseback riding. The Arenal Paraiso was outstanding - we had a beautiful view of the volcano and I barely slept at night, watching it erupt with a gorgeous view from the comfort of my bed.

Costa Rica is a beautiful country with beautiful people. Thanks for helping us discover our bit of paradise.

Who knows... maybe next summer we'll come back to see the Pacific and Manuel Antonio park. If so, you'll be hearing from me.

All the best,

Alan Gesalman

August 2, 2006

Mr. Hagist,

I never did get back to you - just wanted to extend a hearty thank you for putting together a great trip for us. Everything was very smooth and my wife and I had a very enjoyable vacation. I'm sure we will return, and hope to plan through you again. If anyone I know ever heads down that way, I'll be sure to refer them to you.

Thanks again,

Larry Kniskern

July 14, 2006


I can't thank you too much for the truly great holiday we spent at Playa Tamarindo at the hotel you booked for us this week. The Hotel Luna Llena is truly a gem. The rooms were very comfortable and the staff and owners went "over and above the call of duty" to make our stay pleasant and enjoyable. Lounging by the pool was very relaxing and tranquil. They EVEN have WiFi internet available in the hotel!

Next time we book a vacation, we will definitely be giving you a call.

Again, many thanks for the great service.

Arne and Marilyn Dresslar

June 1, 2006

Ray, Just wanted to thank you for arranging our transfers and tours while we were in Costa Rica the week of May 6. All the tours were great - we had a wonderful adventure - we were able to do things like the canopy tours and volcano tours that were awesome we will all remember for a long time. I look forward to visiting Costa Rica sometime in the future and will definately contact you when we do. Thanks again for all your help.

Sandra Powell

May 2, 2006

Ray, I wanted to let you know that we had a fantastic time on our trip.

I have to admit that when we landed in San Jose, I was a little concerned that those vouchers that you had e-mailed me may be meaningless. After all, I had not done anything to check the bona fides of the Costa Rica Travel Store and those pieces of typing paper seemed so informal. Well, my fears were for nothing, because I was greeted by name at the airport and our airport transportation and the rest of the trip went without a hitch. The vouchers were unconditionally accepted and we were treated like royalty everywhere we went.

I want to particularly commend you for arranging the private van drivers. We had the most thoughtful, most conscientious drivers that anyone could ask for. As you had advised me, the roads in C.R. are not the interstates that we are used to, particularly the road from Monteverde to Montezuma. I would have been very distraught driving over mountainous, shoulderless roads had we not had careful drivers. We did not arrive anywhere quickly, but we arrived safely. Moreover, our drivers, who by and large were not fluent in English, were nevertheless very accommodating. On one of our trips, one of the girls got car sick and the driver stopped to buy her guava to sooth her stomach (and would not accept repayment). After we told another of our drivers how much we enjoyed the local fruits, juices and nuts, he took us to a marvelous fruit stand (in Ocininto?) to purchase tamarind juice and other local fruits, nuts and coconut cookies.

As you may recall, we also took advantage of many of the "adventure tours" available (white-water rafting, horseback riding and zip-lines). In each case, the equipment was in good condition and we had excellent, safety conscious guides.

If you or Costa Rica Travel Store ever needs a referral, you should feel free to have them contact me. I was really impressed by your knowledge and level of service.

Thank you for a wonderful trip.

Susan Shanklin

718.625-7204 (home)

April 20, 2006

Dear Ray,

I wanted to thank you for all the wonderful arrangements you made for our recent trip. Your inside information and knowledge of lodging and activities really made the trip unbelievable! Every time I thought the trip couldn't get any better, it did!

Arenal Lodge was spectacular and I would go back and stay longer next time. We even saw an eruption our last night. Amazing! El Establo was a beautiful resort though I think their staff was a little tired from being sold out. We went to Santa Elena Reserve as opposed to Monteverde and only saw 3 other couples during our 3 hour hike. Hacienda Guachapelin was an amazing adventure and I definitely would go back there and stay a few nights to be able to savor all there is to do. Also, because you had us go up to the lodge on a Monday when the Park itself was closed at Rincon De La Vieja, it was incredibly quiet and most of our adventures that day were "private" though they had not been booked that way.

We love Costa Rica and found it to be beautiful, friendly, affordable and safe. I can't thank you enough for all you did to make sure our trip was awesome, but I will send you a copy of my tv show which is airing this month, and I invited folks to contact you. Just send me a mailing address and your DVD will be on the way. We will definitely come back to Costa Rica and when we do, you'll be the first one we call.

Thanks again for everything!

Terrie Q. and Skip S.

April 06, 2006

Good morning Ray,

We had a wonderful time in Costa Rica. Thank you for putting together a great itinerary for us. We were able to do everything except the Canopy Tour at Arenal. It was just too windy and rainy for our tastes that day and we figured we could catch it on our next trip.

My wife's name is Joleen, so that's not who they are looking for. Do you know when that segment is going to air?

Speaking of return trips - I may be coming down in June/July with my son. As our plans firm up, I will give you a call to make our reservations.



April 05, 2006


The trip went great!!!!! Thank you very much. So I missed you in San Jose but I got your cards and will definitely try to do some repeat business with you and refer you to friends.

Thanks again.

Donnie C.

19 March 2006

Hi Ray -

Thank you so much for putting together a great itinerary. We hada wonderful trip and look forward to coming back soon. Everything worked out smoothly with no hitches. The only item we didn't do was the zip line tour as it was extremely windy and raining that day - oh well, that gives us something to look forward to doing on the next trip down.

Again, thanks for your help and I'll contact you when we're ready to return later this year.


27 Feb 2006


We (Me, my wife, daughter and her husband) just returned from our 15 day trip to Costa Rica. We could not have had a better time. We had absolutely no problems with any of the arrangements you made for us. The weather was great as were our accomodations. Every place you recommended turned out to be better than we anticipated. The Corcovado Jungle Lodge is a truly fantastic place. Every thing about it is first class. We saw lots of animals and birds.

The lodge staff did every thing in their power to make our stay pleasant.

The only place we were a little disappointed with was the Villas Nicolas. This is a place we arranged ourselves. It was not nearly as nice as we expected. We paid for a villa and received two separate rooms not even on the same floor -- one adequate the other not. I certainly would not recommend this place to anyone. It is in need of remodeling and attention to general all around maintenance. We certainly didn't get what we paid for. We paid $275 a night for a so called suite. We should have let you arrange a place for us in this area.

Despite this one disappointment we still had a good time in the Manuel Antonio area.

Again, thanks for your assistance. Your assistance helped us have a fantastic trip to Costa Rica.

We will definitely return in the future.

David Brickell

03 Feb 2006

Dear Ray,

Our trip to Sugar-Beach was excellent. All your arrangements worked very well. Thank you for all your help.

Best regards,

Steve M

20 Sept 2005

Hi Ray,

On behalf of Zamina and Aliya, I just wanted to THANK YOU SO MUCH for a FANTASTIC VACATION!!!!!!!

We had an amazing time in Costa Rica, and everyone was so nice to us and accomodating. I would like to personally thank you for re-arranging our itenary due to my injury - that was very considerate, thank you!!!!

Thanks again for making our trip a memorable one.


Jasmine Sehota

22 April 2005

HI Ray

We had a great trip. Everything was perfect. Thank you so much.


29 Mar. 2005

Hi Ray,

Well, we are leaving CR tomorrow. It's been a great trip. Thought I'd give you a little feed back on how things worked out for your referance.

Airport pick up, The one thing that I wouldn't reccommend to others. Worked out fine for me, but my mother couldn't find the person with her name board and she looked for an hour. Finally, got scammed by a taxi driver. In the end, a $30 value, two $15 cab trips, cost $100.

La Sabana Motel / excellant, clean, helpful staff.

City tour was good.

Best of Costa Rica tour, excellant.

Mawamba Lodge, excellant, great guides!!!

Arenal Volcaneo Inn, excellant, the best motel we were in!!!

Thrifty car rental, great, good advice to get 4 by 4.

Mimos Motel, not that great, but considering the days with Easter it wasn't that bad Manual Antonio Park tour, great, good guide.

Canopy tour, they forgot to pick us up, waited in the hot sun for 45 minutes, finally phoned and they sent a taxi, half way thru the tour got caught in a heavy rain and lightening storm, but it was the highlight of the trip for my 80 year old mother and ten year old son!!!!

Damas Island Boat tour, good guide, but not that great, probably wouldn't reccommend to friends, you see one mangrove, you've seen them all and didn't seem likely to see the crocs and monkeys it said we might see.

So, bottom line, great trip and all your advice was excellant. I will definitely reccommend the travel store and specifically you to anybody. And a final thing, the people of CR were great!!! no problems with anybody, but I found the tourists a bit stuck up and unfriendly.

Thanks for all your help Ray.

Stephen Quigley

28 Mar. 2005

Thanks for Everything. Our trip was Great!

Hi Ray,

just wanted to say thanks for all your help in getting our room in Monteverde and the van. The van did hold 15 people and since we were only 10, the rental company took out the back seat so that we had enough room for luggage. The room in Monteverde was very nice. We usually stay at El Sapa Dorado, but Montana De Monteverde was just as nice if not nicer. The staff was friendly and food was good.

We had absolutely no problems with any of the vouchers. Everything you did was great!! Everyone we traveled with were impressed as well, and I am sure they will be calling us for your number when they go back. We truly appreciate everything you did. We will definitely be using you again. We even thought of calling you when we couldn't get a room on the night of Good Friday! Finally got one at the Marriott though.

Thank you once again, we look forward to doing much more business with you in the future.


Jill & Bryan St. G.

08 Mar. 2005

Hey Ray

Another great trip. Fishing was so so we landed 2 nice sails but had a great time and the conditions were picture perfect. It was great meeting you and I appreciate you taking the time to come by.

We are planning to return with a big group in October and I will be in touch with you to coordinate everything. Thanks again for all your help, take care and I will be in touch.


22 Feb. 2005

Hi Ray

We just returned from Costa Rica and had a wonderful time! The arrangements you made for the car and B & B in Monteverde were handled beautifully and the people who worked with us were excellent. I'll be back in touch when we take another trip to CR. Warm regards,

Warm regards,


22 Feb. 2005

Hi Ray!!

We just got home from another great trip to Costa Rica (I've been there twice before; 1987 and 2003). The hotels and adventure arrangements you made were great!! We were unable to see the top of Arenal due to clouds and she (he?) was not eruptiong, so no hot lava flow either; however, the hotel (Arenal Lodge) is a great choice. Would try earlier to get the Junior Suite next trip. MonteVerde continues to build up with new hotels and tourist traps, but the forest is still great. (First trip in 87, we stayed in pretty rustic accomodations, but it was still worth the visit-- we saw two quetzals!!!!). The Montana needs to buff up their dining area to fit the new sections of the hotel which are very nice. Great view and accomodations in the new sections.

Had reservations at the Flamingo Beach Resort, but they were overbooked and sent us up to the Estela de Fuego above the Flamingo Marina Resort. Had a great room with walkout into the pool. Also had full use of Flamingo Beach Resort facilities, which was a nice touch for use of the beach and their pool. (Stayed there during '87 trip. Wow, what a difference!!!). Trip home uneventful.

As I think I mentioned in earlier discussions, I have a cousin living in the Desamparados suburb which makes it nice as a base.

Will call you for help with next trip to CR. Thanks again for your super help with this last trip!!!!

Don Slingsby

10 Feb. 2005

Hi Carolina!

I can't believe that we're already back from Costa Rica. I loved it more each day.

I want to thank you for doing such a great job of putting tours and experiences together for us. We really enjoyed every opportunity. The transportation people were all very prompt, usually a little early. All guides were knowledgeable and very helpful. The Pachira Lodge experience was truly memorable. We enjoyed seeing so many different parts of the country as we went from destination to destination in vans or buses.

I will definitely pass your name on to others who are interested in a great vacation in Costa Rica.

I had hoped to meet you, but we really ran out of time. Thanks again.

Sharon Popp

07 Feb. 2005


I just wanted to say thank you for job WELL DONE. The trip was fantastic and the people in Costa Rica are wonderful. You already know the weather was great. Arenal was fun but Manual Antonio was AWESOME.

Thank you again,

R. John Umlauf, Jr.

31 Jan. 2005

Hi there Ray,

We tried to call you a few times while in Costa Rica but never could make contact. Sorry about that.

Everything you set up for us was perfect. The hotel in Panama City was a joy, great room with the pool just 20 feet from our patio. Found the city tour very interesting, the canal trip made for a long day, but it was worth doing.

The bus to Costa Rica was very nice, new, clean with air, restroom and English TV. The whole problem with the trip is crossing the borders. I felt like I was a Jew trying to escape from Germany. It took 4 hours to cross. We just thought of it as an adventure.

The Hotel Buena Vista was a beautiful place to end the holiday. The Villa Lapas Hotel is a birder's paradise. Roy really enjoyed the canopy experience, it was the highlight of the trip. We looked at two marinas and found two small airports.

Thanks for all your help Ray.

Best regards,

08 Jan. 2005

Ray, our hero!!

!?Que Paso?! y !FELIZ ANOS NUEVOS!

Just wanted to drop a quick line to say thanks to U and Carolina for Ure diligent work on getting us transportation & accommodations at a last minutes notice. Only problem was that we or maybe i should say- i didn't have enough days to really relax & kick back like i wanted to.... just means that we'll have to come back!!

The accommodations were great... and the view from La Colina was excellent.... well worth the stairway to heaven :-) transportation was excellent, as well... totally seamless. WOW, Costa Rica really knows how to host!!

Thanks again,

07 Jan. 2005

Dear Ray,

We six want to thank you for arranging lodging and activities that helped create a hugely successful and memorable vacation. Apartotel La Sabana was gorgeous, clean hotel w/ helpful employees and an outstanding breakfast. It was centrally located whether it be for a walk in the Park, food to eat or bus riding. Nakuti Resort too was another great family place. We enjoyed the food, plenty of it and it always tasted good. The real treasure, however, was the staff. They were incredibly gracious, warm, genuine and helped make our stay most memorable. The rooms were clean and cable TV a nice alternative for when we had too much sun or just plain needed a break especially the kids. The Best of CR was, as you said, a must do and the Aerial Tram, although it was raining, was a slow ride through a rainforest inches from nature that kept us in awe. My son and niece enjoyed their dives and the Pacific Ocean water wonderfully warm. So thank you for your part in our vacation. Molly and I liked the Guanacaste Province so much we want to buy beach access property. Our ultimate goal is to retire there and if we buy a home or a condo we can rent it and still have a place to stay when we vacation there. We were wondering if you know of anyone who has bought property there close to say, Playa del Coco, and if so do you think he would answer some questions we have on how to proceed w/ our search? We plan to fly to Costa Rica within the next 6 months if we can find something we like that fits our budget and hopefully buy something whether it is a lot or a structure on a lot. If you have a few minutes and could email us about what you know on this subject we would appreciate. We know this a very busy time of the year for you so if it works for you that would be great. Thank you.

Charlie and Molly Kundinger

06 Jan. 2005

Hello Ray, ,

We have arrived home after a wonderful visit, adventure and holiday in Costa Rica. Everything went very well. We would like to thank you for all of your assistance with making our holiday very enjoyable. The Apartotel La Sabana accommodation that you recommended in San Jose was just what was needed and the staff was most friendly and helpful. All of our other accommodations worked out very well,also. All of the transportation went exactly as planned including the pick up at the airport. The Interbus service was excellent and the staff very friendly, helpful and safe drivers. Do you have a contact with Interbus via email so that I could let them know how pleased we were with their service?

We had several adventures and would highly recommend the Canopy Tour in Puerto Viejo. It is owned by a family who have 7 sons who all work with the canopy business. The brothers were terrific in showing us the rainforests as well as ensuring a full, exciting and save canopy trip over 26 platforms. Do you know anything about this tour? I didnít pick up any information on the name of the company. If you are aware of this Canopy Tour would you please let me know their name and a contact? The tour office that we connected with is right in Puerto Viejo across the street from the Grant Hotel. Do you think they might have a website?

All and all it was a terrific visit to Costa Rica thanks to you and the Costa Rica Travel Store. The only thing missing was more time to spend in Costa Rica. I would certainly like to return again in the future. We had some difficulties with our camera and our pictures didnít turn out very well which was a bit of a bummer Ėhowever, Iím trying to find some shots of the places that we were at on the internet.

Thanks again for our great visit to Costa Rica and I will recommend you to anyone wishing to make travel plans for Costa Rica. Have a Great Day!


06 Jan. 2005

Happy New Year Ray, hope things are well.

I wanted to thank you very much for helping us on our family vacation and also with the large group that we had. Casa Conde in San Jose was very nice and perfectly located by my grandma's house. Also, the Montana Monteverde was very nice; very rainy over there obviously but nice.


03 Jan. 2005

Dear Ray

As far as a favorite part of the trip.....I don't know. We literally got very lucky, with your help, and had a fabulous trip. The Costa Ricans are so friendly, clean and nice. I could definitely live here...need some help?

The first four days at Playa Hermosa in the Pacific North were perfect with great weather, snorkeling, beach, great food, and just everything. We even got to see a Costa Rican cycle race when we took a back road from San Jose over to the beach.

We took one day and drove up to Santa Rosa National Park, and after 8 miles of a very bad road (I thought it was fun to manuever the ruts) we walked onto the most beautiful beach with no one there (Naranja Beach).

One day was also spent at Playa Ocotal. It is ok, but there is a resort on the hill that we chose to have our Christmas Eve dinner at, and it was not only a beautiful view, but very good food, and elegant.

The drive to Arenal and the Eco-Lodge was beautiful and experiencing the change of weather from very warm at the beach to the still kind of warm, but overcast and windy was wonderful. You are right, we absolutely loved the Eco-Lodge and did wish we had more time there. We would have loved to take a hiking or horse tour through the area, and wanted to explore Lago Cote.

There is a delightful German cafe in Arenal that we loved on our our way to Tabacon Hot Springs. The hot springs were great and we had fun. Unfortunately I lost my prescription sunglasses here! I have sent an email to them, but do not have high hopes of any response. The food was not the best, but I do appreciate all the masses that go through here and they do a good job. I liked the way people of all ages and nationality can mingle and have a great time together.

Since we missed the canopy tour we did find (it's about 3km from Tabacon) the Hanging Bridges, which made up for the tour. It is truly beathtaking and even though it was pouring rain, we just donned the rain ponchos and enjoyed. It was our first glimpse of monkeys. I would strongly recommend this to people and it is well worth the $20/pp.

Onward heading south we had a bit of a challenge with the route, but with two maps going at all times we succeeded and arrived at Hotel La Isla. It is great. It is right on a beautiful, palm lined beach, and we figured at one time it was a very nice resort, but is not utilized to it's fullest now. In fact our business minds were planning on how we would bring it back to it's glory.

There is a mangrove forest lining the property, so we found some old canoes, located some paddles and made a trip on our last morning down the canals. This was beautiful, quiet and very serene. We saw the most monkeys on this outing.

That evening we had a very good dinner at a fantastic Italian restaurant in Quepos.

I hope this is not too much information, but in your business I do know it helps.

Thank you so much for all your wonderful help, and I sincerely hope I can visit again soon. I am also serious about my interest in residing there soon.

Happy New Year to you and yours!
Sandi Bacon

01 December 2004

Dear Ray,

EVERYTHING was wonderful: I have already recomended your services to all of my friends here in Louisiana, and will continue to do so. We even enjoyed the 6.2 earthquake while spending the evening in Jaco Beach! And of course, Playa Tambor speaks for itself.

I was MOST PLEASED with everything you prepared for us, including the car rental and the canopy tour.


Jane T.

22 November 2004

Dear Ray,

When you plan a trip for clients, you really go all out...that earthquake was quite a send-off for Norm and me! Actually, we faired well, but never went back to sleep afterwards, so had no problem getting to the airport with time to spare.

We appreciate the thorough, detailed plans you made for us. Costa Rica is a beautiful country with wonderful people. We really enjoyed our trip, even with all the rain. We also enjoyed getting the chance to meet and visit Patricia and you. Thanks for your time and help. I'll pass your business card on to our travel agent in Reno (Gail Kosach) and will also recommend you to any friends who want to visit Costa Rica.


13 November 2004

Dear Ray,

I thank you so so so much! We appreciate your warmth, professional, effiency.

Thank you again. We will recommend other people to you.


Dr. Ping Wu

July 26, 2004

Hi Ray, We had a wonderful time in costa rica. The hotel cocal is perfect for us to see the beach and take tour also. Thanks also for accomadating us for 10AM last Thursday going back to San Jose. My comment only is the driver dropped us to the airport and we showed him where to drop us off but he said he doesn't go there. So we get a taxi to the hotel to pura-vida. Pura vida hotel is a lovely place to stay.

Thanks so much.


July 23, 2004

Hi Ray, hope all is well with you. I just wanted to take a moment to THANK YOU!! for all your effort in making our vacation a wonderful one. It truly was a trip of a lifetime. We had a wonderful time and you have the most beautiful country I have ever been too.

We could not have asked for anyone better than Maria and Fernando as our guide and driver. They were most knowledgable about everywhere we went and were a pleasure to be around. I forwarded your name and e-mail to Jeff Dorshkind at Crocodile Bay Lodge and I would hope he will refer you in the future. We will definitely be back to your country and would look forward to you handling the in country travel arrangements.

Thanks again for a job very well done.

Alan McKeithen


Thanks for putting our trip together, everything went fine.The fishing trip out of Quepos netted 12 billfish, glad I didn't cancel.

The estuary tour was lackluster, I think the kids expected a little bit more from that experience. You may want to look into another guide service, was not impressive.One of the kids left money and some costa del mar glasses in room C-1 at Coste Verde.See what you can do to get those back. Thanks again for everything.

Russ Robinson

Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2004 08:16:44 -0700


Can't thank you enough. We had an awsome time and all accommodations and arrangements were perfect. No snags at all. Did you plan that weather? Only 1 full day of rain and 1 night! Good surfing and lots of relaxing beach time. I had my reservations about Puerto Viejo, but it was very charming and the people were great. I would recomend that area despite the travel warnings.

Thank you again Ray. We will most definately be going back.

Tammy & Jeff Young

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Carolina of the Travel Store in Escazu set us up with our airline tickets and travel packages. We have used the services of The Travel Store several times in the past and have always been more than pleased with their professionalism and knowledge of our destination. Ray Beise

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Patrick and I want to thank you for helping make our holiday so pleasurable. Our trips to Guatemala and Cuba were wonderful! Caty, the proprietor of the Pura Vida, couldn't have been more gracious. Her advice on where to eat and things to do were very helpful plus she allowed us to leave luggage that didn't need to be taken to Cuba and Guatemala. Costa Rica is beautiful. It is hard to say what area we enjoyed most - Arenal, Cano Negro, Occotal - Playa De Cocco, Palo Verde, Monteverde or Manual Antonio. All have so much to experience and enjoy. Two highlights for me were the snorkeling at Occotal and the Sky Trek at Monteverde. Experiencing the different eco systems, climates,wildlife and hiking were great too. We will recommend your services to anyone who is considering a trip to Costa Rica and its neighboring countries. Thank you again. Kathleen and Patrick Kirklin

1 March 2004

Ray -

Our day trip yesterday was wonderful -- Arnold our tour guide was most enjoyable.


The Duracinskis

Omaha, NE

Feb 17, 2004
Hi Ray,

....It has been crazy since I got back!

Thank you so much for arranging everything! All the transporation and reservations at the various hotels were perfect! We ended up taking the Sky Trek tour in Monteverde.....that was pretty scary! But the day was gorgeous! Tabacon and Monteverde experienced the normal rain, but at Monteverde it was rain and wind. El Sapo Dorado mountain suites did not have a heater.....needless to say, we were all bundled up.....It was nice at Tabacon, because you wanted to stay in the hot springs when it was raining....very cool! We were all excited to see sun in Melia Conchal....very nice hotel and wonderful pool, it was a perfect ending to the trip.

My favorite place of all things was the Hotel Grano de Oro.....we all absoultely loved this place.....My cousin and his family met us for dinner there, and it was incredible!

My friends were very much impressed with Costa Rica and plan to come back....and I know I will always go back!

Thanks again for everything....I will recommend you to anyone who plans to go there....I already gave out your information to a couple of people!


22 January 2004

Now that we have returned, just a quick note. Everything went very well--seamless.

The coffee plantation tour and lunch was very nice, and they were so generous that because we toured ahead of the other group, and ate lunch earlier, they sent us on in our own taxi to the Grano de Oro, not having us wait for the bus and the other group.

The Grano de Oro was great, and Susan and I could not get over how excellent the food was, and the dining value.

Lava-tours mtn bike ride down Irazu was very good. Very good equipment, and our guide was excellent. They take digital photos of the ride, and email them to you at home, as well as post them to your own temporary web site, and offer to email that link to your friends at home while you are still away. Very nice touch.

The two day rafting/canopy/hike was great also. However, the canopy ziplines are definantly a thrill ride, and not a wildlife viewing experience.

The Karahe hotel, ocean front rooms, was a good location. The rooms are furnished minimally, but comfortable, with good air conditioning. They were very helpful in setting up some extra excursions.

While there, we also took a boat/mangrove tour, and had monkeys coming down to the boat. We also took the butterfly farm and nature walk tours across from the Como si no (?) hotel. We took both of those because until that point we had seen minimal animal life. On that tour we spotted animals including an anteater and a sloth, not to mention the hundreds of butterflys, and other small animal life.

The waverunner tour was nice, with good equipment, though the snorkeling was limited and unimpressive.

We purchased the transfers from the Karahe to the local airport, as they were not part of our voucher package. We ran into a glitch at the local airport, as they only allowed about 30lbs per passenger, and of course we were packing for 8 days. We were not the only ones who did not know ahead of time of the limit. We paid about $28 in weight overage fees. We also almost did not get our luggage to fly with us back to San Jose, because the total weight of luggage for the plane was over limit. They even weighed each person flying to see if there was room for allowance. Ultimately, some of passengers who were not connecting had their luggage held for a later flight and Sansa ultimately agreed to taxi it to their hotels. So we made it to San Jose airport OK.

At the airport there was no one there for our transfer voucher, and the infomation clerk called for me. He was put on hold and told me the distance was only a short walk and it may be faster than waiting for the transfer. So we walked made sense. I'm thinking the transfer was supposed to be from Karahe to the little airport, instead of at San Jose.

I've included the good and bad just to let you know our experiences so it might help you make recommendations to others--we are definately not complaining. This was a great vacation.

I want to thank you for all your help. I tried to locate your office to stop by and thank you in person, but all I had was the PO box. Susan and I were impressed at how smoothly everything went, not to mention the friendliness of everyone and overall positive experience.
I will be certain to give your name and company to anyone who is considering travel to Central America.

Preston L.

All Costa Rica Tours

San Jose, Costa Rica

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