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We are doing a Island Princess cruse with Puntarenas, Costa Rica as a port. I am thinking about booking a tour with Odyssey tours. Has anyone done a shore excursion with them? Any other suggestions on tour operators would be helpful.

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Nancy...you will not be sorry if you book Odyssey tours. Diego and Al are professional and caring ambassadors for their country. My husband, mother, cousin, and I spent May 3rd (our 40th anniversary) with Diego. He taylored a 7 hour tour to see many animals (monkeys and crocodiles included) and plants of the country. We also did shopping and had a great lunch. We got back to the ship with plenty of time to spare and he actually gave us a 9 hour tour!!! My mother is 88 years old and he was very attentive to her...but if you want a more adventurous tour he will arrange that too. They were so much fun!! Shirley

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Hi Nancy, lucky you that you are going to visit Costa Rica. We just returned from 8 days in Manuel Antonio with my whole extended family of 13. We booked Odyssey Tours to take us from Manuel Antonio to San Jose and it was great. Alvaro was our tour guide and it was one of our highlights of the week. We learned so much about their beautiful country. The caravan used was clean and had A/C (which is important there!). The Driver was professional and we made stops along the way for photos and had a terrific lunch. You will be happy if you choose them for your shore excursion. Enjoy and Pura Vida!

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Nancy,

I can only affirm everything the others have already said about Diego & Alvaro with Odyssey Tours. They will make your trip enjoyable and will tell you and show you alot of their country. We stopped in Puntarenas on a Celebrity cruise and they really made our day special. We were a group of 4 and there was plenty of room for us and our things and the A/C van was great. We went to the beach, went zip-lining, saw crocodiles, had a great lunch along the beach, went shopping, fed monkeys along the roadside, and saw things we'd have never seen without knowledgeable guides. I would highly recommend that you go with them for your stop there.

Remember when you leave the ship, you will need to walk to the end of the pier to meet them. As soon as you leave the ship, you will likely have a few hustlers trying to get you into their small cabs at a high price - just politely decline and enjoy a leisurely stroll to the street at the end of the pier where you can meet up with Diego & Alvaro. You will be very glad you chose Odyssey.

Doug

Tucson,AZ

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Thank you to everyone for the great recommendations of Odyssey tours! Now that I have the right tour guide, I just need to figure out what we want to do. Did anyone see the Crocodile man? Does it seem really just for tourist? Some of us want to do the zip line so I am worried about finding something for the rest of the group to do while the others do the zip line.

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For me it is also interesting, any email adress or approximate cost - we´ll be there 02.10.09 from 7am-7pm

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We are going to Puntarenas in December and are booking Odyssey Tours to take us to Turu Ba Ri Tropical Park. It looks beautiful and there are some other posts from people who have been there. Alvaro told me if you have a group where some want to zipline and others don't both can go on this tour together. There is an aerial tram that will take the people not ziplining and then the group will meet up in the park to walk around and eat lunch. Check out the park's website at http://www.turubari.com.

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Nancy...you will not be sorry if you book Odyssey tours. Diego and Al are professional and caring ambassadors for their country. My husband, mother, cousin, and I spent May 3rd (our 40th anniversary) with Diego. He taylored a 7 hour tour to see many animals (monkeys and crocodiles included) and plants of the country. We also did shopping and had a great lunch. We got back to the ship with plenty of time to spare and he actually gave us a 9 hour tour!!! My mother is 88 years old and he was very attentive to her...but if you want a more adventurous tour he will arrange that too. They were so much fun!! Shirley

 

I just got back from a 2 day tour with them. It was pretty fantastic. It was so good I was willing to write them a review on trip advisor. THey took me to one of the best Zip Lines, a great restaurant in Arenal, the hot springs, the volcano and the whole time kept me amused and comfortable. At one point they heard I enjoyed the fruit and stopped off to buy me better quality more authentic tropical fruits. They get my picky thumbs up.

 

Dallan

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I just got back from a 2 day tour with them. It was pretty fantastic. It was so good I was willing to write them a review on trip advisor. THey took me to one of the best Zip Lines, a great restaurant in Arenal, the hot springs, the volcano and the whole time kept me amused and comfortable. At one point they heard I enjoyed the fruit and stopped off to buy me better quality more authentic tropical fruits. They get my picky thumbs up.

 

Dallan

 

Could you please tell me what zip line you did? thanks, Lisa

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San Lorenzo located on the way to Arenal.

 

Nothing like going a million miles in the rain!!! it was the best!

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We just got back and our trip with Odyssey Tour was fantastic. I have had to cancel two prior trips to Costa Rica and so to have finally made it and to see the beauty of this country was great. Crocodiles, sloths, lots of monkeys, toucans, beautiful beaches and macaws, we saw it all. When we got back to the ship and were talking to other people that took excursions that day, we quickly saw that our trip experience was far superior to theirs.

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We had a magnificent tour with Odyssey tours at the end of september while staying in Puntarenas. We came first out of the ship and the guys were there !

We went to the Manuel Antonio National Park and on the way to the park Alvaro and his father showed us Scarlet Macaws, Crocodiles, Sloths and even a bar that is build around an old navy airplane. In the park we had fantastic wildlife watching, alvaro had a telescope and we could watch monkeys, sloths and other wildlife. After the park, where we had a wonderful swim on a virgin marvellous beach we got lunch in a restaurant nearby. Alvaro even managed to get Wifi access on a laptop for our friends there to check their email accounts. In general the tour was very impressive and Alvaro managed to get us back to the ship on time, we really had time and everything went so smooth. Believe me these guys are reliable and professional. Do You know why? We arrived with 10 people and they were expecting 6 ... but they organized a bigger bus in a second. The bus was really good, everyone of us had plenty of drinks from the cars´ cooler.

In general: if You are in Puntarenas ... go for Odyssey Tours ! You won´t be sorry about it!

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Oddesey tours. What can I say, I booked them for a photography tour. They romptly met us at the cruise ship pier, we drove for an hour to a very very clean restroom stop, then on to the rian forest and beach. Well as far as photos we was able to photograph: Monkeys,many sloths,racoons,tree frogs,Jesus lizards, bats and many other animals. Then they took us to a lunch which was incuded, I have been on many excursuins that included lunch however this was a true great and nice resturant lunch Mine included Shrimp, others had fish and fajitas and it even included a great beverage. The trip laster literally all day from ealy morning to dusk I usually dont write reviews, however this was above and beyond. One more thing they also stopped and allowed us to photograph many large wild crocs. ODYSSEY A+

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One of the highlights of our Celebrity Panama Canal cruise (Jan. 2010) was the Odyssey tour in Costa Rico that we arranged with Alvaro. He and the driver (JC) were waiting outside the pier for the five of us. Before we started, Alvaro described what he had planned for the day. He included the stops we had requested and added several others. He knew that the volcano would be in clouds, so he recommended another stop. We spent a well-planned 10.5 hours with them seeing several different kinds of animals (mentined in other posts). We appreciated the scope Alvaro used to focus on animals that were in trees becaus we got great pictures by using it. Mid-day we stopped at a scenic restaurant that overlooks valleys and mountains...Great view, warm atmosphere, delicious food! In the afternoon, we visited a church, an authentic oxcart workshop, and Fair Trade coffee plantation. We saw parts of the land that ship excursions would never see. Alvaro was polite, thoughtful, accommodating to our needs, and very knowledgeable. We highly recommend Odyssey Tours and wish them the best with their business!

Edited by Travel Geeks

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Hi thebadpig,

We are going on HAL Feb6TH and made plans with Odyssey also. Going to Carara Park on the coast south of Puerto Caldera that I read about. Is this where you -- to quote you---"Well as far as photos we was able to photograph: Monkeys,many sloths,racoons,tree frogs,Jesus lizards, bats and many other animals" ? If not where did you see the tree frogs and Jesus lizards? I can't wait to go!!!

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Hi thebadpig,

We are going on HAL Feb6TH and made plans with Odyssey also. Going to Carara Park on the coast south of Puerto Caldera that I read about. Is this where you -- to quote you---"Well as far as photos we was able to photograph: Monkeys,many sloths,racoons,tree frogs,Jesus lizards, bats and many other animals" ? If not where did you see the tree frogs and Jesus lizards? I can't wait to go!!!

Hi we went to a park called "Manuel Antonio" We did see plenty of lizards and the one red eyed tree frog, the guide said that they might be preparing to hybernate. It was a nice park i wanna go back!!!

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We had a wonderful day with Odyssey tours in January. Our cruise on Island Princess docked at Puntarenas. Alvaro met us at the end of the pier holding a sign with my name on it. Our group of 16 did the Carrara Biological reserve and the Crocodile man boat tour with lunch. We went to the reserve first. Alvaro is an expert at spotting wildlife and had a scope with him so we could all have a close up view. It was windy that day and we did not see many of the scarlet macaws in the reserve so Alvaro took us to a few other places to see them. He really made a huge effort so we could see lots of wildlife. Lunch was buffet style at a local restaurant/house and was really good. We got to sample a lot of local items. The crocodile boat tour was really fun too. There were a lot of different species of birds along the shore of the river and we got great pictures of the crocodile feeding. Alvaro also took us to other stops including a resort, Villa Caletas, which had an excellent view from high above and to a village where we saw lots of large lizards. Alvaro was an excellent guide, polite and informative. It was really a fun day and we will definitely use Odyssey tours next time we are in Costa Rica.

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Our next stop, after a day at sea, on Friday, 1/29/2010, was Puntarenas, Costa Rica. We had booked a tour with Odyssey Tours of Costa Rica, dealing with Diego and Alvaro who are brothers. They were waiting for us right off the dock. Diego was going to look for another tour, so we went to the A/C van and met the driver. Alvaro then gave us an overview of our tour. We had requested a tour to see as many animals as possible.

 

We started our drive along the highway with Alvaro describing the area. He then stopped on the side of a hill and got out and looked for monkeys in the trees. There were none, so we continued on to the entrance to the Carara National Park. Alvaro paid for us and then we drove back about 2 miles to another entrance. A gated dirt road was the path—the road went to an Indian village about 40 km inland. We went here to avoid the tour bus crowds which would make seeing animals unlikely.

 

The hike was about 2 km each way. It was an easy hike along the dirt road. About 1 kilometer in we came on a group of 4 capuchin monkeys frolicking in the trees along the road. We got pictures and one of the monkeys jumped across the road. Alvaro had a single lens scope—very nice—which he trained on the monkeys. For all of the animal we would see he would do this, and after we viewed it, he would take our cameras and take pictures of the animals through his scope—very nice.

 

We also came on some beautiful large iridescent butterflies. About 1 ½ km in we came on a pair of scarlet macaws. One was sitting in branches, and the other was eating dates. We then came on our goal, the lagoon area. Here we saw a small crocodile, Jesus Christ lizards, boat-beaked heron, and an Aracari. Alvaro got us some great pictures of the latter with his scope. On the hike back we saw the macaws and an iguana.

 

We next drove to a road that went to a colonial village resort and went beyond its entrance to get a great view of the ocean and a beautiful waterfall. We then visited the resort and its shops. Next we drove to the seashore and a small village where we viewed some more scarlet macaws. We then went into a little. Local restaurant and had plates of wonderful fresh fruits and drinks (included in price). We started back and stopped at a bridge over a river where we saw several dozen large crocodiles sunning themselves on the bank.

 

We then went to the village of Orotina to view the sloths the villagers had put in the trees in the park to discourage the Grackles from nesting there. Besides the sloths, we got a great view of a large gray owl. Then we went to a small house in the village that had souvenirs for sale. Then we proceeded to the town super market and purchased Costa Rican coffee for gifts—price was very cheap, and Alvaro even used his super market loyalty card to get a discount. We then drove back to the pier.

 

The tour was great. We saw lots of animals, Alvaro was doing everything he could so we could see more. He brought his scope everywhere which really enhanced the viewing. The lunch was very nice. Alvaro and the driver were both personable and did whatever it took to make the tour comfortable and enjoyable. Diego and Alvaro can be reached through http://www.odysseytourscr.com. They were excellent at communicating, provided everything they promised and more, and were very reasonable.

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For anyone thinking of using Odyessy in Limon, just thought I would let you know that they are no longer doing tours in Limon. I just got an email from them today.

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I went to the website and didn't see any prices. Can anyone give a price range. Also, would any of these tours be good for a person that has to use a scooter? Thanks

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I just re-read the link above and it does list the prices for two other cruise open bookings.

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Several people on this thread have raved about their experiences with Alvaro & Diego, including prompt e-mail responses. I'm just wondering if those folks contacted them via the Odyssey website or from your personal outlook express, etc.? I e-mailed them a couple of times within the past few days from my outlook express and haven't heard back from them and I am disappointed, not sure what's going on! Just wondering if anyone had the same experience.

 

Thanks, GG

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I finally decided to send an e-mail thru their website yesterday and sure enough I heard from them later that day, and they had received my previous messages but weren't responding to them for some reason. Heads up if you want info on a tour conatct them thru their website, you will get a quick response!

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The first time around it was 3 days and no response until I e-mailed thru their website and then I heard back from them later that day. Now I am going thru it again, I hit reply on their last message, thinking I should get a quicker response, and I didn't hear anything after a day or so, so back to their website I went and sent them a message that way. It's now been 2 & 1/2 days and no response yet, I'm hoping I will hear from them today! Good Luck!! GG

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It's been more than 4 days since my husband sent a message to Alvaro & Diego asking about a custom tour, and still no response!! Not good for business and I'm disappointed, everyone on these boards raved about Alavaro & Diego and how great they are, etc.! We were hoping to book a tour with them, I guess that isn't going to happen. We will make other plans!

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We did a tour with Alvaro just last Wednesday and it was great. I highly recommend them for an enjoyable day in Costa Rica.

-Lori

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we toured using Odyssey last month and had no problems. Alvaro paired us with Gustavo. Very courteous and polite, good English and stayed with us the entire day while visiting TuRuBari Park. He allowed us a stop on the return so we could restock our sodas/water. A pleasant experience in all and yep, we would use them again. Enjoy.

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We used Odyssey Tours this April in Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Our group of 8 people had a wonderful day. Alvaro met us at the end of the pier, just as he said he would. We had a exciting Skyway walk in the jungle where we saw lots of wildlife. Alvaro & his dad were great at finding birds & monkeys for us. Our next stop was at the beach for a fresh, homemade & delightful lunch of local foods. We then went for a ride on the river where we saw many other birds & watched as a guide fed a crocodile right in front of us. We were transported back to our cruise ship. I can't say enough about how exciting our day was. Alvaro was extremely knowledgeable & took care of all our needs. If you are in Costa Rica contact Odyssey Tours & you will have a great day.

 

Pat L.:)

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has anyone a feedback about their transportation service from San Jose airport to Caldera?

We are planning to hire thier service as driver/guide to take us there with hopefully some nice sightseeings on the way, we are taking our Windstar cruise out of Caldera in December.

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How long did it take for them to e-mail you back?

I'm not getting a response.

 

Thanks

 

reading the previous "raves", lots came from people with 2 posts only, etc. maybe some of them are not real cruise critic members or fake accounts??? just a thought...

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I sent an email through my gmail account and had a very comprehensive reply the next day.

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I too am interested in Odyssey Tours, mostly for their Monteverde Cloud Forest tour.

 

It is either that or booking an nature/adventure tour with TuRuBaRi directly.

 

Has anyone any experiences to relate about the Monteverde tour? or further dealings with Odyssey Tours?

 

My email (through their site) has gone unanswered, though I haven't been waiting long yet.

 

Feedback from other CC members about Odyssey Tours would be appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Ian

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We have heard from Odyssey Tours and have booked ourselves in for the Monteverde Cloud Forest Tour when we visit at the end of October.

 

Will report back after the visit...

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  1. We used Odyssey Tours last January for transporation from the San Jose Airport to the Doubletree Hotel near Caldera, from the hotel to the Windstar the next morning and a week later from the ship back to the airport. Alvaro and Diego are completely dependable, personable and speak perfect English. They have the proper permits to take you right to the ship with NO walking from the outside gates. We would use them again with no hesitation!

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We just did a 2 day tour with them and it was the highlight of our cruise. They are very knowledgeable of all aspects of their country and speak perfect English. We saw things on our tour that others on board only dreamed of. Just a side note some roads have been washed out and caused major traffic jams that caused delays. Some cruise tours were canceled due to this and the ship getting into port late. I highly recommend them and am so glad that I didn't book through the cruise

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