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Costa Rica on the Summit


charlielinda

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We had a wonderful personal tour in Costa Rica with Oscar and Danny. Below is a full review (I'm posting on the Costa Rica board also).

 

It was so much fun to get a group of folks from the Cruise Critic Board and take this tour together! We started many wonderful friendships on the van with Danny!

 

Comprehensive Review of Our Day in Costa Rica with Oscar and Danny: I had contacted Oscar Brown and arranged for a tour for myself and another couple that I had been corresponding with on Cruise Critic. I had mentioned to Oscar that I would try to bring along some others on the tour if anyone showed an interest. He had mentioned he had a van that would hold 10-14 people.

 

By the time we arrived in Costa Rica I had formed a group with a total of 11 people for our tour. I figured the more the merrier and what a wonderful way to meet new friends! We all meet at the gangway early in the morning and were off the ship to met Oscar at the end of the pier. We didn’t know that Costa Rica time is different than the ship’s time so we were a little early which gave us time to all introduce ourselves and start taking pictures. There were men at the end of the pier who were guides, they were all were very helpful and even called Oscar for us to see how many minutes he was away from the pier.

 

Oscar showed up promptly along with his brother-in-law Danny with two vans. It turned out that Oscar was going to be very busy that day with tours and asked if we would mind going off with Danny in his van; insisting that we would have the same tour and great experience (he was right). Just a note, the van had an ice chest that held sodas and water for anyone that would like one.

 

As we left the pier Danny introduced himself and we were off! We were in Costa Rica on Good Friday, which is a National Holiday so, the government, schools and most of the stores were closed. This also meant that the local beaches were crowded with normal folks having a nice day off from work and school.

 

Our first stop was to visit a small monkey and a sloth at a “private†home. The fellow that lived in the home showed us the monkey and let us take pictures and presented all the ladies with a beautiful flower. We all tipped him $1 (bring $1’s with you in Costa Rica!). We started down another road and were stopped by the local police to check Danny’s “papersâ€, which were in order. It seems that since it was a holiday the police were out in force.

 

Our next stop was to see another sloth. We were allowed to hold this “little lady†who was pregnant and have our pictures taken with her. It was great to get upclose and personal with a sloth! We tipped our $1 and were off to the plantation.

 

We all jumped out of the van at the banana plantation and Danny gave us a wonderful talk about the growing cycle of bananas and how they are harvested. It was fascinating. I understand that if the packaging plant had been operating that day we would have been able to go there also.

 

Next we were off to the Tortuguero Canals. We pulled into a small area, which was the jump off point for the canal tour. Oscar was there to greet us and give us all a “coin†to be able to use the restrooms there. Then all eleven of us boarded a small boat and off we went. I can’t remember the boat driver’s name, but he was proud of the fact that he had twenty-seven children: 12 with his wife and 15 with other “ladies.†Two of his grandsons were on board with him, since it was a holiday. The young men proved in be invaluable (and very cute) at spotting an alligator, sloth, termite nests, iguanas and other interesting animals. Ricky and Phillippe who were eight years old did a great job and of course they each got $1 for their help. We also tipped the grandfather – but it was the boys who were adorable.

 

Danny was awaiting us when we hopped of the boat and was ready to end the tour. We mentioned that we really would like to have lunch at a Costa Rican restaurant and wanted to go to a grocery store he said sure. It turns out that he had another tour to pick up but said he would figure something out. We ended up running into a “cousin†of his on the road; Danny told him that he was continuing with us and that was the last we heard of it.

 

At this point we headed up to one of the highest points in the area at a restaurant called El Forno. It was wonderful – we sat out on a covered terrace overlooking town and there was a wonderful Calypso band playing. The service was great and the prices very reasonable. If you go the arroz con polo was great; others had various dishes, including seafood – everyone had a great meal. They brought out a “salsa†to use with our meals and we all fell in love with it and mentioned in to Danny. Danny told us that we could purchase the salsa at the grocery store along with coffee.

 

While at the restaurant Oscar appeared again to be sure that our group was being well taken care of – we had a resounding yes for him! We were totally enjoying our day. Oscar came up to me separately and said that since I had gotten so a large group together that my tour was free. Obviously that was a nice surprise but not the reason I put the group together. Of course, I tipped Danny quite nicely.

 

Off to the supermarket we went! We all walked into the one open supermarket like we were on a field trip. Danny helped us with our purchases of salsa and coffee! I started getting hot in the store so went to sit down by the ice cream parlor at the store and spent some time talking with a young woman who was an English student at a local university.

 

During one of my discussions with Danny I discovered that we could have also gone to the Sloth Sanctuary about an hour away (I’m sure this would be an additional charge) if we had wanted to. Just wanted to let you know about this if you are interested.

 

At this point it was about 2:30 and we were beginning to fade in the Costa Rican humidity. We confirmed with Danny that we had seen everything we needed to and decided to head back to the ship.

 

When Danny dropped us off all of us were sorry to see him leave – we all had to have hugs and get lots of pictures! I can’t think of a better way to spend the day in Costa Rica than with Oscar and Danny.

 

I understand that they are trying to start a small business so can use lots of support. Whenever I can use a local tour guide instead of a ship’s excursion I do. I found Oscar on the Cruise Critic Board -- I like to support the local economy, I like meeting folks that are proud and knowledgable about their country and I like setting my own schedule. The cost of the tour is $45/person.

 

If you have any questions please feel free to ask and I will try my best to answer them. I highly recommend Oscar and Danny! It’s great being able to design your own tour.

 

Oscar’s contact information is:

Oscar Cell: 011 506 350 6415

Home number: 011 506 758 1881

E-mail: cbrown@costarricense.cr

 

Voyager of the Sea -- September 2001; Galaxy -- May 2002; Zuiderdam -- September 2003; Summit -- APRIL 2004; CAN'T WAIT -- SUMMIT OCTOBER 2004

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Thanks, that was one of the best reviews I ever pretended to read!

 

This ship 10/91

That ship 11/95

Whatever ship 12/98

here a ship 13/99

there a ship 14/00

everywhere

a

ship ship 15/05

 

<font size="3" color=red>Over 1 year</font> into my LMBO cruise

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Nice review Basket!

 

We really enjoyed Danny for the day we had him too, wonderful person! He was the best thing in Costa Rica along with the zip lines! Such a poor country, very sad!

 

Rosie

 

E-mail me <a href="mailto:JNLROSE@AOL.COM">here</a href>

 

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=0000ff&cdt=2004;11;26;17;0;00&timezone=GMT-0800

CELEBRITY MERCURY HERE I COME!!!

 

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Basket, Thank you so much! I am leaving tonight for Fla. We are on the Infinity Panama Canal. I have emailed Oscar and called him twice. He said on the second phone conversation that he would email me the info and has yet to do so. What do you think? We are doing the Jeep Tour in Aruba. What did you do in Cabo and Acapolco?

Thanks, Elly

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  • 1 year later...

Great review Basket! We just returned on Monday evening from our 11 day cruise on Brilliance of the Seas. Stopped in Puerto Limon as well. Had a tour booked with Oscar, and he sent us on our way with Danny and Alan. They were both FANTASTIC. There were only 6 of us, and although we had a specific tour booked (two, actually), they were both so accomodating, they were willing to take us anywhere we wanted to go. Such a different experience from the normal cruise-associated excursion. I HIGHLY recommend Oscar and his group -- you can contact him easily by email and I don't think anyone would be disappointed with his service and in seeing this beautiful country. :)

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Basket, Thank you so much! I am leaving tonight for Fla. We are on the Infinity Panama Canal. I have emailed Oscar and called him twice. He said on the second phone conversation that he would email me the info and has yet to do so. What do you think? We are doing the Jeep Tour in Aruba. What did you do in Cabo and Acapolco?

Thanks, Elly

Just a guess, but here's what his sister Carol will likely send to you -- and note: email to/from CR can be a little goofy at times.

 

Also, Carol was very specific on both of our excursions w/Oscar that our meeting time on the dock was LOCAL time. Be sure to pay attention to whether ship's time has been adjusted. We've done two different versions of Tour #2, one in Dec '04, and one in Dec '05. If we ever get down that way again, we'll be signing up for our third.

 

 

Tour #1

 

The Tortuguero Canal tour is a tour through the rain forest, where as you go comfortable in a boat, you can see all wild life: alligator, monkeys, slots, different type of birds, Then I will take you to the Bamboo trade school, banana plantation, coco beans farm, City tour, a tour at the ANIMAL PRESERVE PLACE where you see while life and get personal contact with them (no snakes), a white sand beach, the rich area, and a surprise stop; witch will take you to the highest part of the city. I include soft drinks along the tour. We have a stop for the purchasing of souvenirs and coffee. This is $50 per person, and it goes for 5 hours.

 

 

Tour #2

 

The Canopy tour: This is a sieve line where you switch from one three to a another: Hiking in the jungle., I include a stop on a white sand beach are a black sand beach, it is your chaise, a visit to the Bamboo trade school, banana plantation, coco beans farm, The animal preserve place, City tour, the rich area, and a surprise stop; witch will take you to the highest part of the city. This is $75 per/person, no extra charge. This include transportation and zip lining and a stop for the purchase for coffee and souvenirs . I will make the reservation, it is better that way. This tour is for 5 to 6 hours, sometimes more. This is depend on what the group want to do.

 

The one that don't want to do the zip line, only pay $35 for the transportation, and I will take them to a little village near by meanwhile the others do the zip line.

 

 

Tour #3

 

Tour to the Aerial Tram:

This tour takes you to the highest part of Costa Rica giving you the best vie through the highest part of the country, in the rain forest. And the way to this place you see pine apple plantation, carne fields and rafting river. This is $50 for transportation and you pays $49.50 for the going on the aerial tram. Then After I will take you to a surprise stop. This tour is for 6 to 7 hours, I include soft drink along the road

 

Tour # 4

 

And I have the Costa Flores, and the butterfly tour, here you see lots of flowers all different variety , the same thing at the butterfly place, the only thing is that they charge to enter each places, and I make a special price for the transportation and to enter to both places; $80 per person, (they charge a fee to enter these places). I include in this tour, pine apple and banana plantation, a stop at a place where you see all different species of fish, soft drink along the road. With this tour you see and learn a lot more things of this country.

 

Tour #5

 

For the Sloth Sanctuary I include a visit to the Bamboo trade school, banana plantation, coco beans farm, City tour, the two biggest hotels around the coast, one is a botanical garden, and the other one has a nice vie on a tall hill, the rich area, and a surprise stop; witch will take you to the highest part of the city. This is $30 per/person, for the transportation, and to enter the Sloth Sanctuary you pay $25 and this include the canopy tour the gives in this place. So in all it will be $55 per person for every thing.

 

 

Tour #6

 

The Cahuita National Park and a tour on the beaches of Limon.

This tour take you to the Cahuita National Park of Limon, where they charge a donation to enter the park, and for a walk through the forest, and you have a chance to see, monkey, sloth’s, and other animals. And also, get the history and information of this particular forest.

For this tour I take your to see 2 different beach of the area; Cahuita beach, and Puerto Viejo beach. With these two beaches you have the opportunity to see the with sand beach and the black sand beach. (This is for the people who love to bead in the sea)

Besides, I include, soft drinks along the road, a visit to the Bamboo trade school, banana plantation, coco beans farm, City tour, the two biggest hotels around the coast, one is a botanical garden, and the other one has a nice vie on a tall hill, the rich area, and a surprise stop; witch will take you to the highest part of the city. This is $50 per/person, no extra charge.

 

You will have the opportunity to visit the installation of Colon Caribe, where you have one of the biggest souvenir shop. Are if you prefer, we will just go to the market to do your shopping, this is your choice.

This tour is for 5 to 6 hours, sometimes more

 

 

 

Some times I make a combination tour, so you can have more of this beautiful country. I combine the #1 and #2 tour, this with the special price of $110 per person. Or the #1 and the #3 tour for $100 per person. I will take you to the Animal Preserve place with any one of these tours.. They have no snake there. All the tours have soft drinks along the road.

Please reply so I can now for sure with one of the tour you'll will prefer to take.

 

God bless you and yours.

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Basket, Thank you so much! I am leaving tonight for Fla. We are on the Infinity Panama Canal. I have emailed Oscar and called him twice. He said on the second phone conversation that he would email me the info and has yet to do so. What do you think? We are doing the Jeep Tour in Aruba. What did you do in Cabo and Acapolco?

Thanks, Elly

One other item --

 

You say you're doing the "Jeep Tour" in Aruba. That's most likely with DePalm. If it is, take the version that adds DePalm's island on the end of it. It's a very nice place to hang out for an afternoon.

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