Michael Kaye, Natalie Ewing, and their team use the best guides and small groups. We really appreciated that – it makes all the difference.
We vacationed during the high season (early March 2016) but made our travels plans late (January), but their team was able to accommodate us pretty well.
The flora and fauna of the hotel Monteverde Lodge & Gardens were stunning. I sort of expected that, but it was even nicer than I had expected. In Arenal, our top hotel choices were booked and stayed at El Silencio del Campo – this was even more amazing!
If you want to have the assurance that everything will work out well and not worry, use Michael Kaye, Natalie Ewing, and their team.
Our trip to Costa Rica planned through Costa Rica Expeditions was perfect. Every aspect of the trip was amazing and impeccably planned. The coordination of every piece of the trip was flawless. Every driver and guide was where they were supposed to be at the exact time they were supposed to be there. I never had a single concern about our activities or transfers as they were all just as my trip planner said they would be. We loved everything we did and everyone we met along the way.
While all of the staff and guides were great, I have to give a special acknowledgement to two members of the team who really went above and beyond to make our trip even more special: our transfer guide Eva who travelled with us from San Jose to Monteverde and our river guide Leonardo at the Tortuga Lodge. Both Eva and Leo’s knowledge and enthusiasm was contagious and we will always hold the days we spent with them among our fondest memories.
We plan to visit Costa Rica again in the very near future and we will definitely use Costa Rica Expeditions.
We’ve traveled with many different travel experts and Costa Rica Expeditions by far exceeded my service expectations. We had a compact, yet very complicated travel itinerary involving numerous activities on a tight timeline combined with private light charters to get us quickly from one destination to the next. They listened closely to our requests and made things happen from private zip-line tours to last minute requests for a bike tour around Arenal volcano. From the planning process to execution, Costa Rica Expeditions was incredibly thorough with outstanding communication and service, making it a seamless experience for us and allowing us to thoroughly enjoy our vacation. It clearly is a team effort at Costa Rica Expeditions, with members closely monitoring every aspect of our trip. They certainly set the bar high for other travel experts!
WOW truly sums up our experience with Michael Kaye and Natalie Ewing of Costa Rica Expeditions in planning and enjoying our recent two week trip to Costa Rica. They not only met the very high standards required to get a spot on Wendy’s list (and we know how high those standards are having planned wonderful trips with several of her experts)—they managed to exceed them. (As they may well attest, I am not an easy client, so this is really very high praise!) At the planning stage, Natalie did a masterful job in putting together an itinerary in which my husband and I were able to see the vast variety of wildlife and nature Costa Rica offers and experience the very special lodges she suggested—all specifically tailored to our interests and requests. Two things were particularly noteworthy about the planning process. First, I asked about an accommodation I had read about that CRE had not used before. Before booking us into it, Natalie travelled there herself to check it out and make sure it was a place that CRE could stand behind. I have never had a travel agent do that before! Second, Natalie took the time to have detailed discussions with me and was able to communicate to me exactly what the nature of the accommodations and the activities were in each place so I could make knowledgeable choices. All expectations were perfectly managed.
Once we arrived, the trip was flawless. CRE’s special touches and relationships were apparent everywhere we went—from insuring that we were assigned to rooms with wonderful views, to surprising us with meals planned especially for us in beautiful locations, to stocking our room with food and wine. In fact, every lodge knew our food preferences before we even arrived! The guides and drivers CRE provided were superb and truly taught us to see and appreciate nature and wildlife in new ways. One thing that was very special was the opportunity to participate in a program sponsored by CRE in a local village assisting the children there with English language skills. The kids were incredible! From the beginning to the end, CRE was instantly available to answer any questions, provide for any needs, or just check in to make sure everything was OK. By the end of the trip, we viewed Michael and Natalie as friends and we have continued to keep in touch. We recommend them highly.
Oh my gosh, what a wonderful experience of Costa Rica we had from Costa Rica Expeditions! Our March 2011 trip was only partially an expedition to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We also went to visit our daughter who was studying for a semester at the Universidad Nacional in Heredia. Although Heredia, a suburb of San José, was not on most people’s travel itinerary, CRE secured us two WONDERFUL hotels there for the beginning and end of our trip. They tailored our program to allow us to be totally self-directed while with our daughter for two weekends. In between, when we explored the country at large for almost two weeks, they put together a fantastic variety of activities—with individualized transportation—in key parts of Costa Rica, giving us a sense of this beautiful and friendly country and its people. We rafted on the Pacuare River, observed a banana plantation, visited Tortuguero National Park (yes, the Tortuga Lodge alone is worth the visit), tutored kids in English in a local school, hiked in the Monteverde cloud forest, zip-lined across amazing landscapes, traversed the hanging bridges in the Arenal area, and luxuriated at an ecolodge on the Osa peninsula. I would not hesitate to recommend CRE to anyone who wants a truly personalized and in-person experience of Costa Rica! A special shout-out to all the guides and drivers who shared their knowledge, experience and love of their homeland with us.
My wife and I have had two trips arranged by Costa Rica Expeditions and are planning a third. And probably more. They do a very good job of matching what we want to do with the locations to do them. They are good at making sure we time our trip to our “list” of what we want to see and do. The drivers have been wonderful. Not only are the locations where we stay wonderful, but the people there have become friends such that when we return it is not just for the sights but for the people.