car/driver recommendation?

Old Jan 24th, 2004, 07:20 PM
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car/driver recommendation?

i'm beginning to think that this may be the same $$ as renting a car. how do i proceed? any sights, or recommendations? thank you. going to MA, arenal, monteverde, on 3 seperate trips from SJ.
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Old Jan 25th, 2004, 01:15 PM
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dear bodhijack,
the cost depends on how long you are thinking of renting, and which kind of car. Basically, you should figure around $150 for each of these trips if you go with a driver (I believe this is more or less the cost these days) + taxis in each place.
Regarding renting a car, I personally think it is the best way to go, but only if the thought of driving doesn't stress you. If the thought of driving makes you uncomfortable, go for transfers. I think the best thing for you to do would be to write to the hotel where you are staying in San Jose, and ask them if they work with someone. Most hotels know drivers or can recommend a good reliable company.
Feel free to write directly to my email if you need any more information.
Pura Vida,
Neta
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Old Jan 25th, 2004, 04:07 PM
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Hi, yes you are right, the big difference is you do not have the strress to drive and look for the indications, and knowledge of the road whith a private driver...I cannot promess nothing, but try my friend Miguel at [email protected] mentionned you are refering by Mychelle and he should give you 5% discount...good luck and if you need other help, let me know I 'll do the best I can , Mychelle
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Old Jan 25th, 2004, 04:43 PM
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Hi
I"rented a private guide" when I was in Costa Rica for 9 days.
Here is where I went:
San Jose, city tour
Sarchi
Grecia,Alajuela,Zarcero, Poas and La Paz Waterfall.
Britt Cafe coffee tour
Arenal and Tabacon Hot Springs with an extra trip around the Arenal Lake.
To San Mateo, Orotina, and the town of Atenas which is reported to have the best climate in the world.!
Jungle cruise over the Tarcoles River.
A new place called Turu Ba Ri, which my guide said was better than going to the Aerial Tram.
La Fortuna , San Ramon
Cartago...must see Church here
Paraiso.. nice town,close to the Lankaster Orchid Gardens.
Orosi Valley/Town/Reventazon River area.
..Was going to visit Irazu Volcano but too cloudy.
Zoo Avenue..to see the famous Quetzul.

When you are touring all day long with a private guide , who knows all the sites to see and the best way of getting there, you really do see more.
For me it worked out fine.
There was just my wife and I.
Maybe if there was four of us..then maybe we might have rented a car..but I doubt it.!!
I have nothing against driving...But I come to Costa Rica to see and tour and learn.
I would highly recommend Oscar who is a private guide and works out of Vista del Valley resort.
How much did this 9 day private guide trip cost me???!!!!..$475.00 US.
So for me , why would I rent a car and then start reading maps.
When I went to Tabacon Hot Springs..Oscar came right in the pool with us..he know everyone there, and he gets in free.
When we got to Arenal Volcano, the top of the Volcano was cloudy and we could not see much.
Oscar said, "let's drive around the Lake and come back and maybe the cloud will be gone."
Sure enough, when we came back , no clouds and we saw the top as clear as a bell.
Another example,when we toured San Jose, it was pouring rain for a while.
Oscar drove us right up to the front door of Gold Museum,we spent 1 hour and 45 minutes there and when we came out , Oscar was right by the front door in the Van waiting for us.!!... Great..off to the next place.
Nothing wrong with wanting to drive...but I personally prefer a private guide.
Percy




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Old Jan 25th, 2004, 04:52 PM
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Neta:
You have a lovely secluded resort,as I visted your website.
It looks great.
Why don't you advertise it a little.
I certainly will want to visit your place the next time I am in Costa Rica.
Percy
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Old Jan 25th, 2004, 07:25 PM
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Dear Percy,
Thank you very much for the kind words.
I have joined the forum for personal reasons - I enjoy helping people visit Costa Rica and I am committed to helping Costa Rica tourism industry grow. The forum is not commercial and for that reason I don't mention the hotel there. However, I would love the people from the forum to come and spend some nights here on their visit to Costa Rica (mention the forum and I'll give you a discount ;-). If anyone is interested in more information about our small unique hotel (it's not a resort), please make sure to write directly to my email. Of course, it would be wonderful if the people from the forum who visit the hotel mention us in the forum...
Thank you again, I'll see you soon!
Neta Talmor
Hotel La Finca Que Ama
www.costaricafinca.com
P.S
The park you visited, Turubari (www.turubari.com), is only 15 minutes from our hotel, and is really excellent (www.turubari.com). Maybe you can post something on the park, as it is very new and can use all the help spreading the news.
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Old Jan 26th, 2004, 11:41 AM
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Neta:
Hi again
I did mention the Turu Ba Ri Tropical park in my trip report in November 2003.
But I will briefly mention it again here.
This park area is new . it opened in late May 2003.
1.You take this nice cable car ride over the Tarcoles River and look over the lush forest area below.
2.The ride is 2000 feet long and the height of the cable car is 265 feet in the air...so you do get a nice view.

3.There is a Butterfly Garden there and although I have been to two other Butterfly Farms in Costa Rica...this is the one that explained everything so well.

4.There is a Bromelaids and an Orchid Gardens.
If you wonder what Bromelaids is, well, a pineapple is a Bromelaid plant.

5. There is a Bamboo forest and you take a lovley walk through here with your guide...then you see this HUGE Guanacaste Tree.

6. You take a walk in the forest with birds singing and you are looking up to try to spot them.
Sorry , No Quetzuls here..darn it.
There are bridges over little creeks and rivers.

7.There is a Country Farm here and so you can see some of the animals...adults and children alike will like this.

8.There is a Canopy Tour..I did not take this. Why not ?..just chicken!!!

9. There is horseback riding here and walking over suspension bridges.
10.
Ahhhhh, now we come to the Garabito Restaurant for some real Tico food.
There were 16 different dishes and three different desserts.
Our Guide Rebecca, brought us a couple of tablespoonful of each of the 16 dishes...what treat, 16 different samples!!!
Then Rebecca brought us all 3 desserts to share between the two of us.
I remember the Coconut desseert was to die for!!
You can eat all you want,it is buffet style but they serve you,I hope I am making sense!!
All this is included in the one price which I think I paid $55.00 per person.
You can spent all day here if you want..or else after you leave you can take the Jungle tour( about 15 minute drive away) on the Tarcole River..cost was $25.00 per person for almost three hours..saw lots of birds and crocodiles.

And Neta ,your place is only 15 minutes away, my Goodness,if I would have only known,I for sure would have told our guide Oscar to take us there.
Take care
Percy
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Old Jan 26th, 2004, 06:19 PM
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ttt
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Old Jan 27th, 2004, 06:50 AM
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ttt for Neta
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Old Jan 27th, 2004, 07:14 AM
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Percy - sounds like Oscar worked out well. Where did you find him and do you have any contact information?
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Old Jan 27th, 2004, 07:22 AM
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Angie;
Yes, I have the information.

Oscar works out of Vista del Valle resort but he does private booking tours.
You can contact him in 2 ways:
1. write to him in care of Eliza at
[email protected]

or
2.E-mail Oscar at c[email protected]

3.His cell phone is 373-2736...he lives on the cell phone!! it is always on.

4. Home phone is 249 0582, don't forget the Country code to Costa Rica is 506.
They have no area code.

If you reach him..say Hi to him from me
Thanks you
percy
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Old Jan 27th, 2004, 07:36 AM
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Percy,
Thank you for the report on Turubari, do try to mention it to others when you get a chance!
See you soon!
Neta
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Old Jan 27th, 2004, 10:04 PM
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Percy....I have never used a private car/driver for more than one day. Did you have to pay for Oscar's hotel rooms at each of your destinations? Or did he find accomodations and pay for them out of the fee you described earlier on this post?
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Old Jan 28th, 2004, 02:39 AM
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Oscar sounds great. Does he speak English? My spanish is not good.
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Old Jan 28th, 2004, 08:08 AM
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Yes Oscar speaks English very well.
We had a ball driving all over the Central Valley area.

I took day trips only and was always back at Vista del Valle for the night.
Even when we left for Arenal and Tabacon Hot Springs, we toured many places on the way going,as we left before 8Am and so had lots of time to visit other places.
We drove about Arenal Lake to kill time as the top of Arenal Volcano was cloudy.
We chatted and laughed about everything so the ride no matter how long never seemed long.
I paid Oscar at the end of each day, because that is what I wanted to do.
Others ,who stayed at Vista del Valle and hired him for their duration of stay at Vista,paid him at the end of the week.
I just liked paying him at the end of each day.
One day he had no change and he was going to give me change back in colones, but I just told him, no,just deduct it from tomorrow's trip.!
he said "Okay"
We never stayed over night , but I know he does stay over night with clients and I think he pays for his own room.
When on the tours, Oscar could always visit the site free,he knows everyone at each place.!
Like when we went to Poas Volcano, the fellow at the gate just motioned Oscar to go in,but he said no and they just chatted and chatted while I visited the Volcano.
Oscars favourite words to me at each tour site was " Take your time",I'll be here waiting."
There were so many little things that I did not mention in my report in November, like when we were going through La Fortuna and I mentioned to Oscar how cute the girls and boys were in their matching school outfits.
Oscar said, "hey,school is out soon,let's go by the school."
Sowe turned off , went to the school, I took pictures of the boys and girls(ages 10-14) , the girls were giggling but the boys were posing !!!priceless.

Percy



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Old Jan 28th, 2004, 01:53 PM
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ttt for marthag and Dottie.

Percy
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Old Jan 29th, 2004, 03:17 AM
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To: bodhijack and everyone else planning to use a guide.

Please post a trip report when you get back. I would love to hear your comments and recommendations. We won't be going for quite a while yet and not sure what we will do yet. We will be to women traveling alone so safety is a big concern for us.So all this information is so very helpful.Thanks to all of you for sharing.
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Old Jan 29th, 2004, 10:14 AM
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Percy...thanks so much for the helpful information. I'm also going to explore using Interbus for point-to-point transfers.
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Old Jan 29th, 2004, 12:56 PM
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ttt for Jacki

Percy
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Old Jan 29th, 2004, 01:20 PM
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Percy -
Thanks. We are considering your itinerary for our next trip. It sounded wonderful. Especially the Turu Ba Ri Tropical park.
Pura Vida.
~ Jacki
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