Irene & Selena were outstanding to work with. From the outset, Irene was both timely and thoughtful with her advice, insights, ideas and recommendations. We got started a little late from a timing standpoint, yet Irene was able to identify 3 outstanding lodges for us to stay at. She orchestrated a diverse set of experiences and locales, and clearly had strong relationships with each of them based on how warmly and personally we were welcomed and supported throughout our trip. In addition, Irene was able to orchestrate a number of personal touches which made our trip that much more special and enjoyable. When we ran into an unforeseen problem due to the diversion of our day 1 flight, Selena could not have been more responsive or helpful in organizing a stop-gap hotel reservation to tide us over for one night, so we could continue the rest of the trip as planned with as little difficulty as possible despite the unfortunate circumstances. Overall, I cannot recommend Irene more highly. I will most certainly seek out Irene and her team again when we make our next visit to Costa Rica.
Absolutely loved our trip! Our family of 5 just returned from 9 nights, planned by Irene. She and her team managed to plan a trip that delighted our 5 year old as well as the college age kiddos and my husband and I – never an easy feat. Not only was every destination fantastic, but the attention to detail was superb (a booster seat for the 5 year old without us asking!). Our favorite was the remarkable Copa de Arbol on the Osa Peninsula. Breathtaking. We can’t wait to go back, and we’ll definitely use Irene again!
Irene booked us several resorts in Costa Rica that were fantastic and that we never would have found on our own. She cut through the magnitude of the choices to shape an experience my family will never forget. In addition to booking three fantastic resorts (two on the water and one in the mountains), she arranged all the travel for our group of 11 between the resorts, mostly via charter and small commercial planes. This saved time getting to each destination and was an adventure in itself. We were guided at each step of the way by wonderful guides and drivers who made sure we were taken care of. We especially liked our guide Priscilla in and around San Jose – she was incredibly smart, knowledgeable, and personable. In addition, the staff at Isla Chiquita, a new glamping eco-resort on the Gulf of Nicoya stood out — they were absolutely phenomenal. The manager Jason arranged a birthday party for one of our group during a snorkeling tour – complete with champagne, cake, and balloons on the beach. Our guide Erick was passionate about nature and it shone through as he taught us more about the eco-system we could have ever expected. Our hard-working young waiter Andy took care of our meals every day with a friendly smile and charm. At our second resort at Punta Islita, we had a beautiful 3-bedroom villa with its own infinity plunge pool and a fantastic view of the Pacific ocean. A wide variety of activities (e.g., zip lining, horseback riding) were included in the price, Extra activities, such as a visit to the Macaw Rehabilitation Center, were reasonable ($20 per adult) and fascinating. Two of us went to the last resort in the mountains – Hacienda Alta Gracia. This resort was beautiful – perfect for those who want to enjoy a quiet vacation enjoying the spa, excellent food and wine, and local excursions. I definitely recommend Irene to anyone wanting a customized itinerary that makes the most of their experience in Costa Rica!
Irene Edwards planned a spectacular, unforgettable travel experience for my wife and I. Starting with a telephone interview, Irene listened to our expectations and then came back to us with a written agenda full of information. We changed very little of what Irene suggested. She knows what she is doing. Absolutely everything worked: All transfers were on time in clean, modern tourist vans. The drivers were friendly and helpful. Irene’s knowledge of the accommodations and activities added tremendous value. We simply would not have found these places on our own.
When an airport closed for maintenance prior to departure, she was on it and rearranged the Sansa flight to another strip (and all logistics related to that change). We flew LAX to SJO (1st Class) and upon arrival, we immediately saw the sign with our name. The private transfer was flawless, thanks to a friendly, skilled driver (and Waze!). We spent the first night at the beautiful Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation, arriving around 4 PM. Our suite was fantastic, the service excellent, and we enjoyed a nice dinner in the open dining area with a fantastic view of city lights and mountains. Breakfast was ready early and we enjoyed it.
Our same transfer driver was there exactly when he said he would be, and we were off to the airport to catch a Sansa flight to Palmar Sur, a fun hop to the Osa Peninsula. We were met at the PMZ airport by Cynthia from Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge. Cynthia was truly one of the highlights of the trip… so smart, friendly and in tune with Costa Rica. Here we began our journey to Casa Corcovado, the ultimate combination of luxurious comfort and jungle adventure. Check out their website. We got on a boat at the C.C.J.L. Hacienda and headed down the Sierpe River, out the mouth into the Pacific and down the coast to the Jungle Lodge where we made a wet beach landing! So exciting! Everyone at the lodge was friendly, hardworking and accommodating. They had all of the gear… rubber boots, ponchos, snorkeling gear, wet bags, flashlights, spotting scopes. We stayed three nights in Unit 3… absolutely beautiful! Cynthia, Steven, and Manfred took us on great hikes and snorkeling at Cano Island. We had a blast! What a country!
Before we knew it, it was time to head north to Manuel Antonio and the beautiful Arenas Del Mar Resort for three nights. We had a fantastic ocean view room in a resort with unparalleled beauty. Fantastic hikes with Estoban, our guide, in Manuel Antonio National Park and the Los Campesinos bridge and waterfall. Terrific food in the world-class dining room with top-notch service. A++ service from the welcome area arrival to the checkout experience. Our final private driver transfer back to the airport included a stop for the jungle river crocodile boat cruise at Tarcoles. It was fun and we saw a bunch of crocks and Macaws! This trip could not have been any better. Eight days, seven nights of WOW!
Thanks for recommending Irene. Everything was perfect; everyone was wonderful! We can’t wait to plan the next one!
Our family traveled to Costa Rica in December 2017 on a trip that Irene Edwards planned for us. It was my third trip to Costa Rica, my husband’s second trip, and our children’s first. Irene put together a perfect itinerary that allowed us to explore destinations that none of us had been to before, and that was not overrun with holiday travelers. On Irene’s recommendation, we traveled to the Osa Peninsula and to Nosara. The trip was the perfect mix for us of jungle and beach time. The wildlife viewing in Osa was amazing, and we all had a blast learning to surf in Nosara. Irene arranged for stays in great eco-lodges, advised us on tours, checked in with us during our trip, and was very responsive to our questions prior to and during our travels. All of our air and land transfers went very smoothly. We would gladly work with her to plan another trip.
Irene Edwards did a wonderful job putting together our trip with another couple to Costa Rica for Feb 2018. None of us had been there and wanted to get a taste of the country.
One of the hurdles for Irene was to find a resort with a great Golf Course for the men, which she did! We were worried about splitting our time up among three hotels, but honestly, that was the only way to see Costa Rica. In fact, we would have added another hotel in the Arenal Hot Springs area. We stayed in Casa Rosa Blanca Finca outside of San Jose on our first night We enjoyed the outdoor restaurant, unique rooms, and coffee plantation tour. Our second stop was at El Silence Lodge, it was a wonderful and different experience, we had our own cabin with hot water bottles tucked in our beds while we were at dinner. Also had wonderful hikes to the waterfalls. We then went Ziplining which was thrilling and visited a hot spring in the Arenal area. Our last stop was in Guanacaste and we stayed at the Andaz hotel. It too was a great resort, with the best housekeeping staff!! Our driver, guide, and naturalist, Jonathan was very nice, courteous and knowledgeable. Jonathan was like a friend and we have recommended him to all of our friends. He took us to some of his favorite restaurants and they were amazing.
If you haven’t been to Costa Rica I recommend that you not delay.
My name is Fay Wang and we had our trip to Nicaragua (Pacific side) on Jan 31- Feb 102018. Our trip to Nicaragua was wonderful. We were picked up and welcomed at the airport as soon as we landed in Managua. All the drivers and guides were great, on time and very knowledgeable about the cities and places visited. We especially enjoyed the history walk in Managua and Leon. We loved the charm and the horse carriage ride while visiting places in Granada (including the cemetery).
We wish we had a chance to visit the Volcano Masaya at night instead of daytime to see the live volcano better but no regret visiting at daytime either. We wish we had more time in Ometepe to enjoy the island. We loved our stay at Morgan’s Rock! Very relax and very nice amenities. I wish we had a chance to visit San Juan Del Sur before going to Morgan’s Rock for a total relaxation.
Driving cross country sites allowing us to get a feel for what life is like in Nicaragua and we truly appreciated it.
Irene Edwards was our travel specialist. She was professional, attentive, kind, flexible, patient. She listened to my suggestions and wishes and made suggestions in accordance with our travel desires. Irene was quick to respond to questions or concerns. She arranged our guide, also our driver, who was outstanding. Mauricio Quiros was the best. He was concerned for our safety and comfort at all times and was excellent in helping us find the birds we were looking for, as well as very knowledgeable in identifying local flora. His connections with other guides were very helpful, as well. Irene did a superb job in selecting Mauricio for our guide. We highly recommend Irene and commend her for her remarkable efforts in arranging a memorable trip to a beautiful country. This was my third trip to Costa Rica and my husbands second. We knew where we wanted to go and what we wanted to see. Irene made it happen for us!
Irene arranged a terrific trip for us on such short notice. My wife and I both found visiting Costa Rica completely engrossing and meaningful. Our encounters with nature were especially memorable, but they were especially enriched by the people who guided us. It was remarkable to meet so many people with a knowledge of animals and plants, who had developed the ability to see so much. We felt excited to be in a country that has found a way to turn the preservation of nature into a sustainable and economically positive force. I’m sure it’s not perfect or easy, but it’s a real accomplishment.
High points. Lapa Rios is an extraordinary place, and the guides and staff are superb. Beyond the remarkably fresh air and beautiful site, we enjoyed the bird walks and hikes. By the third day there, we could spot birds and monkeys that were invisible to us when we arrived. And we were awed by the trees in the primary forest. Arenas del Mar is a bit more of a traditional resort, but the Pacific beach was restorative, and we loved the mangrove tour—we learned a lot from the guides—that Irene arranged for us (we didn’t go to Manuel Antonio National Park, as it seemed like it would be redundant after Lapa Rios). We had told Irene that we were especially interested in plants and gardens, so she arranged a visit to Nectandra Garden in the cloud forest on the way to El Silencio. Evelyne Lennette, who established the garden with her husband, gave us a good introduction to the cloud forest, and her garden is haunting. At El Silencio, we borrowed rubber boots from the staff and we immersed ourselves in the forest for many happy hours. And while there, we visited a small orchid garden nearby in Bajos del Toro that belongs to a man named Don Martin that was completely delightful (again, the young man who took us was remarkably knowledgeable about the orchids and generous with his knowledge).
So, all in all, a memorable experience, flawlessly planned in less than two weeks. Irene’s staff even figured out a transportation workaround that saved us several hours when an internal flight was delayed.
Irene and her team did a really good job putting this trip together for our family within a few months of the journey. We took our twin daughters for their 30th birthday during the Winter Holiday, Dec 17. They were able to arrange some great locations and properties. The highlight included our stay at the LaPoloma Lodge in Drakes Bay on the Osa Peninsula. I think if we did the trip over we would reduce the number of locations traveled in the 9-day trip to provide more downtime. Whenever we had an issue, Irene and her team addressed them immediately.
Irene Edwards and her staff worked closely with us to put together a last minute 6 day trip to Costa Rica. In early December 17, we visited the Cloud Forest northeast of San Jose and the Osa Peninsula to the south. Every aspect of our journey was smoothly coordinated with just the right amount of adventure and relaxation. Staff and guides at the eco-lodges were welcoming and knowledgeable.
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.