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  Costa Rica & Guatemala Reviews  

5 Day Classic Guatemala, June 2010

Had a great time! Considering the price we were a little apprehensive on what it was going to be like. In fact, I figured it was so cheap that even if it wasn't any good it at least got us to Guatemala. But, we were both very pleased! Great hotels and tours. The Mayan Inn was outrageous! We do a lot of traveling and are not ones for "tours." If this is any example of what Gate 1 can do, we'll use you again and again. Thanks!

-- Thomas C. Miller Place, NY

12 Day Affordable Costa Rica, October 2010

Thank you for helping to make our recent honeymoon trip to Costa Rica such a wonderful experience! Your industry knowledge, both about the traveling experience itself, and your company’s Costa Rica service packages, provided a solid basis from which to plan, as we called it, our “trip of a lifetime.”

Imagine our surprise then, when on the day of our departure a last minute hitch with paperwork (our fault) threatened to ground us. In desperation we called Gate 1’s Emergency Services desk, convinced that on a Sunday our only conversation would be with an answering service. Imagine our double surprise when “Karen” called us back in a timely manner, provided unerring guidance on how to resolve the issue, helped us understand how to reschedule our flight to Costa Rica, and located a local Costa Rican driver to take us from the San Jose airport to our first stop in Arenal. We arrived simultaneously with our tour group, missing essentially nothing. Our honeymoon was saved!!

At each stage of the tour the Gate 1 staff took great care of all of us. Our tour guide, Juan Carlos, and our tour driver, Alonzo, were courteous, patient, adaptable, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable about the country, its culture, its people, its floral and fauna, its history, and perhaps most importantly its future. And Danny, our San Jose-to-Arenal “pitch hitter” is a game winner for sure.

Thanks to the wide selection of activities offered by Gate 1 through its local contractors, we did fun, new, and interesting things at every stop: We observed a volcano, zip-lined through a Cloud Forest, paddled through “the Amazon,” and snorkeled in the ocean to name but a few. We felt comfortable engaging in these activities knowing that Gate 1 had already vetted these vendors.

Accommodations were, overall, very good, with two of the five hotels standing out, in our minds at least, as equal to 5-star hotels anywhere in the world. The Arenal Kioro in Arenal, and the Manatus Hotel in Tortuguero, are both extraordinary: great accommodations, great service, great food, and great views! And both of them romantic as all get-out, because remember – we were on our honeymoon…

We were sad to leave when the time came. The country and people we met have a place in our hearts now. We expect to visit them again and will do so through our other friends at Gate 1.

Until next time, as they say in Costa Rica – Pura Vida!!

-- Joan C. Mill Valley, CA

5 Day Classic Guatemala, October 2010

The trip was great and we meet wonderful people. To be honest, I was a little skeptical at first being that this was my first tour trip with gate 1. However, my skeptical reservations were quickly dismissed during our tour pre-greeting. Many people said this was like their 4th trip with gate 1. Also, we had an excellent tour guide by the name of Tony. He is very knowledgeable which made me very comfortable and receptive. Overall, my stay in Guatemala was an A+, I'm still gloating about how it was a wonderful experience.

-- Yesenia R. Bronx, NY

10 Day Kaleidoscope of Guatemala & Honduras, June 2010

The trip was super! Gate 1 offers a comprehensive, safe and enjoyable tour of Guatemala. I look forward to visiting Vietnam next February, with Gate 1 of course!

-- Bob B. Almonte, Ontario

7 Day Costa Rica Fly & Drive, October 2010

We had a wonderful time. The Tilajari hotel near the volcano was especially nice. From the very beginning, Julie at the reception desk made us feel welcome. The guide, Pedro, made our trip to the volcano very interesting, even though we did not get to see it. Pedro and the driver, Marcello, were excellent ambassadors. We would recommend them highly for any excursion. The next day, our guide. Luis, was also very good. He made sure we were able to see crocodiles, long-nosed bats, and the poisonous frog. We would go again in a minute.

-- Virginia R & Francis C. Cape Coral, FL

5 Day Classic Guatemala, September 2010

I had a fantastic time in Guatemala. It was everything I had expected! Our tour guide, Stuart, was exceptional and very knowledgeable! I could not have asked for a better guide. He had definitely made the vacation much more enjoyable.

I especially loved my tour guide in Tikal, Juan! Not only was he very knowledgeable about the history and religious practices of the Mayan and the ruins, but also demonstrated a high level of expertise of the jungle, the animals, and vegetation. He was hilarious and so fun be with. I had so much fun and the guides that Gate 1 hires are absolutely exceptional!

I have been recommending Gate 1 to all of my friends and family and they too are happy with the variety of packages Gate 1 offers, the special deals that are held, but most importantly their experience with their tours and vacations.

It is only a matter of time that I will be planning my next vacation with Gate 1!

-- Jessica L. Manalapan, NJ

7 Day Costa Rica Fly & Drive, September 2010

Fabulous! You guys really put a great trip together. We cannot say enough about Tilijari Resort in Arenal. The people were amazing and the place is sooo beautiful. I do think maybe they need to warn people of the Crocodiles in the river though, and of the road travel around Lake Arenal on the way to Monteverde. It really is "Camino de Diablo". In Monteverde, our zip line guides were great and the hotel was nice. You are doing a great job.

-- Colleen L. Eugene, OR

5 Day Classic Guatemala, September 2010

It was an adventure. We roasted marshmallows over running lava! The country is definitely third-world, but without the security concerns that seem to have kept a lot of travelers away. Instead, they have road closures and violent rain that make the long bus rides a bit tedious. We had to skip a visit to Lake Atitlan for that reason though when we returned two days later on our own, the road had been cleared. The sense from all 14 of us was, "how can they give us this great a hotel and all this transportation for this low a cost?"

-- Bob V. Warwick, CT

5 Day Classic Guatemala, September 2010

Our recent trip to Guatemala was absolutely incredible! I am very impressed with your company, with the tours that they set up, with the local guide that they had accompany us, with the accommodations they set us up with, and, most importantly as someone on a tight budget, the value and the price!

Thank you so very much - I will be recommending Gate 1 travel to everyone I know planning a trip, as well as some who aren't committed to traveling yet!

-- Jennifer L. Hatfield, MA

8 Day Costa Rica Fly & Drive with Manuel Antonio or Jaco, September 2010

It was amazing -- quite the adventure! Really glad we got the GPS though, definitely not an easy country to navigate with just a map! The hotels were all very nice and accommodating, although we could have skipped San Jose on the front end since our flight got in so early -- not much to do there. It was good to do on the last night though just to be confident
that we would make our flight the next day. Travel within the country is totally unpredictable. Lots of roads washed out
here and there, although we were very lucky and made it everywhere we tried to go. What they call roads there are highly questionable!

One tip for any future travelers, on the way to Monteverde, there is a relatively large town you turn at to go up towards the Cloud Forest, and some entrepreneurs there took the directional sign down and were trying to sell people maps to get up the mountain, which we declined, but it could be very confusing since the main road up to the Cloud Forest is a very
harrowing dirt road you need to travel for at least another hour.

Manuel Antonio Park was amazing -- I'd go back!

-- Tracey K. Edgewater, MD.

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