When we approached Irene in order to plan our trip to Costa Rica, we had no idea what we were looking for, where to go, or what to do. Irene was quick to lift that burden by discussing with us in great detail about our lives, hobbies, and passions. When her proposal came in, it was above and beyond anything we could have ever imagined planning. (and somehow still in our budget!) We wanted an authentic and adventurous trip, where we could immerse ourselves in the local culture and experience the stunning nature and wildlife of Costa Rica. She did not disappoint. We began our trip by flying into San Jose, where we were met by Mauricio. Let me stop here to discuss Mauricio.
He was by far one of the most knowledgeable, caring, funny, and genuine persons that I have ever met. He would point out historical landmarks, native plants, animals, mountains, lakes, etc. and tell you the history and everything there was to know about them. My wife gets car sick easily and he was very accommodating, making frequent rest stops to catch some fresh air and explore local markets in between the winding roads. He never allowed her to feel sick, and consistently checked to make sure she was having a pleasurable car ride! At one point on the trip, I needed to withdraw cash due do card difficulties, and so we stopped in a local town. I attempted to go into a bank to make a withdraw, and after waiting for a while was unable to do so. At this point Mauricio walked me in the rain from bank to bank, negotiating and translating for me, until we finally were able to complete the transaction (about 2 hours later). He was so patient and positive the entire time, and I would not have been able to do it without him. I could keep going on and on, but long story short, he was one of the best parts of the trip, and someone I hope to visit many more times!
We began by going to Dona Mara’s Home (Irene’s Mother) on the way to the Arenal volcano region after San Jose. She taught us how to prepare homemade tortillas, and prepared an amazing Costa Rican lunch filled with Gallo pintos, chicken, yucca, etc. (and made Mauricio, and I wear “cute” aprons and hats that my wife got a kick out of). She was so welcoming, and invited us back anytime! Next, we continued on to the Arenal Region of La Fortuna with Mauricio. Here Irene arranged a beautiful hotel for us at the base of the volcano amongst the natural hot springs. The hotel was Hotel Arenal Kioro Suites and Spa. The staff was professional yet very friendly. It was not your average tourist all inclusive ( which I consider basically America but in another country and a waste of a trip) but a rather authentic Tico experience. Pura Vida all the way. In the Arenal area, Irene arranged for us to go Ziplining, white water rafting, rappelling, and on a hanging bridge and wildlife tour. All in three days. It was amazing!!! We then got back in the van with Mauricio and headed to Nosara Beach on the Pacific side. This was the relaxation portion of our trip, where we were able to arrange our own activities, and surf as we pleased. The area was everything that we could have wanted. It was a vibrant local beach area without major resorts or attractions. Most everyone traveled by ATVs, which we rented from a local surf shop along with boards. We also got to see thousands of sea turtles arriving to lay their eggs, which only happens once or twice a year, for a few days! We surfed every day and ate at local restaurants and bars with some other tourists from our hotel. The Hotel was Olas Verdes and was right on the beach. It was all open air, with a different menu each day, and amazing staff. They stored our surfboards for us so that we could go whenever we pleased! This was the best trip we have ever had and was entirely hassle free ( minus my own banking issue) thanks to Irene and her staff. All of the transportation was safe, comfortable, and private!
Irene truly cares about the experience of her clients, and personally takes the time to get to know you. She sat through hours of calls with us in order to ensure we got the perfect honeymoon. We now are hoping to make this trip at least every 2 years, and would not dream of doing so without Irene and Mauricio. We promise you will not be let down!!!
Costa Rica: Coffee Plantation, Osa Peninsula, Nicoya Peninsula
The trip was fantastic and what we had hoped. We traveled with our 2 boys (6 + 9) as well as my mother whos in her 60s and Irene was able to plan and accommodate everyone’s interests. Given the remoteness of Casa Corcovado, we would never have been able to set up the trip so well like Irene did (chartered flights, drivers, etc.). On my birthday, Irene had a wonderful surprise dinner set up for me at our hotel. The accommodations were great – especially given the number of people we were traveling with etc. The one snafu we hit was the hotel in the Nicoya Peninsula. We planned on going out on excursions (to be planned once we got there) and the hotel said it was policy to pay for excursions with cash – we had planned on using a credit card. After wasting 1/2 a day trying to sort this out (we didn’t have $800 in cash) our travel agent worked it out that we could use a credit card.
I worked with Irene to plan a family trip to Costa Rica for June/July 2017. We just returned home and we couldn’t be more pleased with the experience. It was seamless from start to finish. Irene and her team picked wonderful properties and activities, and all the logistics went smoothly. Mauricio, her in-country guide, was kind, professional, and very knowledgeable about Costa Rica. We thoroughly enjoyed the time we got to spend with him. I would recommend GreenSpot to anyone headed to Costa Rica. Pura vida!
Irene and her team at Green Spot did an absolutely amazing job at all stages. We had flight delays, and they handled re-bookings completely gracefully. Our trip was wonderful, and our guides were top-notch. Perfect on all fronts!
Irene Edwards made our trip to Costa Rica happen! We were late in planning and as such Irene had to scramble to arrange not only hotels but also the various activities. Not only was she able to source great hotels, she also managed to arrange several fantastic guides for our excursions. This included some backcountry hiking and an amazing open-water snorkeling trip. Access to local guides and off-the-beaten-path boutique hotels turned the trip from simply good into something great. P. S. Trust Irene when she recommends something off the beaten path, our hotel in Drake Bay was quirky, but absolutely top notch.
Irene Edwards and Selena Solis planned one of the nicest if not the nicest trip I and my family have ever taken. They worked hard ahead of our trip to plan it and quickly answered any questions we had during our time in Costa Rica. Hotels and excursion were terrific. Our trip to Costa Rica was simply amazing because of them.
Irene Edwards and her team prepared a varied itinerary and delivered without a hiccup. We felt very well taken care of and presented with a very rich and delightful experience. We loved the country and would recommend a trip to Costa Rica with Irene to those looking for adventure and nature.
Irene Edwards planned a wonderful trip to Costa Rica for me and my wife. She was very good at listening to our travel needs and meeting our expectations. The primary focus of our trip was to see wildlife, spend some time at the beach, and enjoy nice food and accommodations. We were very pleased that each of these needs were met.
All of the lodging recommendations made by Irene were excellent; food, service, staff, and cleanliness were the best in the area. Transportation was always on time and the guides provided much information about the area. When he discovered I became easily motion-sick, our guide even brought me homemade ginger tea from his garden. When Irene was verifying our itinerary, she went above and beyond by verifying our reservation with a hotel I had booked directly. Thank goodness she did as they had no record of my reservation! Irene already had a solution in place before bringing this concern to my attention. Without hesitation I would recommend Irene and Greenspot.
We traveled to Costa Rica using Irene Edward’s services before (in March 2012), and had such a good experience that we did not hesitate to book a trip with her again. This time, my husband and I were traveling in November 2015 with our two adult children and one of their friends, so the logistics were a bit more challenging. We asked for a mix of relaxation and activities that would work for all of us, and Irene perfectly guided our resort selections. Our trip started at The Springs Resort and Spa in a great suite of connecting rooms with awesome views of Arenal Volcano. The float trip she booked for us was wonderful, as was the guided tour on the hanging bridges at Mistico Arenal Park.
Next, it was off to the cloud forest and our stay at El Silencio Lodge. The lodgings, food and service were all world class. We went on an unforgettable horseback ride through the cloud forest with views of Poas Volcano and the surrounding countryside, then were able to split up during the next day and go on easy and more ambitious hikes as desired.
Finally, it was off to the beach. We had opted to be driven from El Silencio to the beach and asked Irene to schedule a lunch stop to break up the 5 hour drive. Irene booked a lunch at Villa Caletas, and it was a truly memorable experience. We had a leisurely lunch from a balcony overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the view, food and service were excellent.
Our final stop was at Arenas del Mar Resort, where our connecting rooms were again extremely comfortable with great views. We went on a guided trip through Manuel Antonio National Park and saw an outstanding array of wildlife with an expert guide. In addition, one member of our party went on some amazing surfing trips that Irene set up for him.
This review would not be complete without acknowledging our wonderful driver/guides. Mauricio was our guide for the trip from the initial airport pickup until we reached El Silencio, and Sterling was our guide from El Silencio until our drop off at the airport. In addition to being expert and safe drivers on Costa Rica’s sometimes-challenging roads, they were extremely nice people who were knowledgeable about the culture and natural wonders of Costa Rica. They were skilled at spotting birds and pulling over safely to point them out to us, and also took very good care of us in other ways. For example, we were delayed leaving the airport because of a nearly 4 hour wait in immigration, but Mauricio called ahead at The Springs Resort and made sure we would be able to eat dinner after our late arrival. On another day, when dropping off my daughter’s friend at Jaco for surfing, Sterling made sure there was a safe place to stow his gear and that he knew how to safely get back to our hotel. We were fortunate to have almost everything go smoothly, but we always knew that Irene and her staff had everything under control if there was the slightest question or concern.
My advice to anyone booking a trip to Costa Rica would be to work with Irene. She listened carefully to our wishes and expertly guided us to make the right choices of resorts and activities. Once we were in Costa Rica, her staff made sure that we had no worries from the moment we were picked up at the airport until we checked back in for departure. This was the second time we used Irene Edward’s services and would not hesitate to work with her again. I rarely submit such glowing reviews, but Irene and her staff have truly earned this one.
This was our first trip to Costa Rica and we were looking for a luxurious eco experience focused on wildlife and culture. From our first contact with Irene, we knew that we were in extremely capable hands. After only a few brief conversations, she created an itinerary that was perfect for us, with every detail carefully selected to provide the range of destinations and experiences we were hoping for.
Our time in Costa Rica was extraordinary. From the moment we arrived in San Jose every aspect of the trip was amazing, from the transfers and internal flights to the hotels and guides. The three premium hotels we stayed at were outstanding and the guides were superb – we could not have asked for a better introduction to this beautiful and happy country. When we did encounter a problem (which happened only once), Irene dealt with it promptly and decisively.
Irene’s vast experience of Costa Rica, along with her excellent contacts, made our trip very special indeed. We are delighted to have found Greenspot – their commitment to customer service and satisfaction is truly exceptional and we can recommend them wholeheartedly to anyone planning to travel to Costa Rica.
Thank you again, from the bottom of our hearts, for everything you’ve done to make our trip so amazing.
I feel so lucky that we found Irene to plan our trip. Not knowing much about Costa Rica (except that everyone I know who had traveled there raved about the experience), I needed a lot of guidance. Once Irene submitted an itinerary, I was then able to “fine-tune” it with her to best meet our interests. I wanted a combination of luxury accommodations and exhilarating activities.
All the hotels were just incredible. The food was amazing. The activities were astounding. But I think if I had to name the best thing GreenSpot offered it would be our guides. Not only were they wonderful people, but their knowledge, personalities and obvious love of their country were inspiring. Our guide the day we went from Arenal to El Silencio even made a detour so we could stop at a hot spring he knew. Not to mention our tireless guide at Copa De Arbol who would not rest until he found tapirs for us to see. A perfect trip and an amazing travel expert.
As seasoned travelers, having been to all 7 continents, we’ve learned when choosing a travel consultant it is best to find someone who specializes in a country or region. When planning our 45th anniversary trip to Costa Rica we selected GreenSpot over several other agencies. Irene Edwards was easy to work with, understanding of our desires, extremely knowledgeable, and responsive to our email and phone requests. We wanted a private, upscale and luxurious vacation, and Irene obliged with great destinations, magnificent hotels, friendly and knowledgeable guides, and an adventurous itinerary well suited to our desires. To allot maximum time at each destination and minimize travel time from place to place, Irene arranged private charter flights. We wouldn’t think of planning another adventure to Central America with anyone but Irene and GreenSpot.
We had Irene and Richard plan our trip to Costa Rica and it was amazing. Every detail was handled, and all we had to do was go and enjoy. One of the most beautiful places we stayed was El Silencio Lodge and Spa. The food was out of this world and the grounds were breathtaking. Irene even arranged it so I could catch the fish I would eat for lunch, and the chef gave me a lesson in how to clean a trout. The room we had was stunning and so quiet and peaceful. We couldn’t have been happier with their travel arrangements.