I usually do not like to hype a single travel agency in Costa Rica, because there are so many that provide excellent services, like the ones in our directory. However, due to the increasing S & Ss (scammers and spammers) bad trips I’ve read about on many chat rooms and blogs, I thought I’d write about one person that provides the Royals Royce treatment. If you want to be pampered, spend more time with the family or spouse/mate, this is the only way to go.
When my boys graduated from college, I wanted to treat them to an adventurous father-sons bonding in Costa Rica without the hassle of wheeling and dealing with some travel agent. So, I contracted Mark from Americana Sport Fishing, who does custom travel packages even if you are not an angler. After I told Mark what I had in mind, he sent me an itinerary via email and it brought a major smile and thumbs up.
Our vacation package was a week of ball-busting tourism. Mark started us off with a personal driver that picked us up at the San Jose Airport when we arrived late Saturday from Houston, and took us to Hotel Presidente, which is right in the center of downtown San Jose.
Monday and Tuesday – we fished with Captain Mike Hennessey (who my kids dubbed “Captain Ron” and one of the best captains I had the pleasure to fish with) where besides catching a ton of tuna and dorado, my boys got a life time experience, they got to swim with a Whale Shark that was basking in the sun next to a log, 25 miles out. The hotel we stayed at was right on the water, very quiet, service was good, rooms small but clean, and had good food. At night, we smoked Cuban cigars, watched the moon rise, drank Imperial beers and sipped cognac in a tropical setting that Tarzan would feel at home with.
Wednesday – again boarded Sansa back to San Jose.
Thursday – a private driver picked us up and took us ziplining, on the way back we had lunch at some local restaurant that was packed with families and truck driver. That afternoon in San Jose we took in the culture of Costa Rica.
Thursday – we went for a full day of white water rafting with Adventure Costa Rica, on the Pacuare River. A private shuttle bus picked us up at the hotel, had breakfast at a typical tourist trap with a great view. After a morning of rafting we had a picnic break, and then continued fighting the anger of the river.
Friday – we took a tour bus (that picked us up at the hotel) for a full day of at the Arenal Volcano, hot springs and a gourmet dinner that would be the envy of any chef.
On a special note, all the drivers spoke English, and we did not have to wait for one second, in fact, many times the drivers were waiting for us in the hotel lobby. We had enough time to see the sights of San Jose, in fact, one night the boys went to a nightclub and partied with the locals until early morning.
Saturday – went home. The flight out of San Jose to Houston got delay due to extreme weather condition, which caused us to miss our connecting flight in Houston. So we had to spend an extra day in Houston. But that’s just the thrill of vacations, where you can look back and laugh
Needless to say, my boys had an awesome time, the only bummers were, I would not do the tour bus to Arenal again, they spend to much time taking you to all the tourist traps. We did have to take a taxi back to the hotel (only $10 when we split it with another traveler) when weather caused a traffic jam, preventing our driver to pick up up at Sansa.
Parting Note: Custom packages are a bit more expensive, but well worth the extra. If you enjoy being catered to, they are the only way to go and allow you to spend more time with the family, without spending time wondering and hassling. For more info go to Costa Rica Custom Vacation and Travel Packages, I know that Mark can provide any custom package that will fit your needs.