7 Day Essential Costa Rica



Land Only


Air & Land

7 Day Essential Costa Rica



Land Only


Air & Land

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Book By Sep 19, 2024 & Save!

2025 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $350
Hotel Dates Embark Tour Starts Ship Land Only Air & Land
  Book By
Sep 19
Book After
Sep 19
Book By
Sep 19
Book After
Sep 19
$749 $1049 $1599* $1899*
$749 $1049 $1599* $1899*
$749 $1049 $1599* $1899*
$699 $999 $1649* $1949*
$699 $999 $1649* $1949*
$799 $1099 $1949* $2249*
$799 $1099 $1949* $2249*
$799 $1099 $1949* $2249*
$799 $1099 $1949* $2249*

Not Included:
Optional tours and gratuities.

Additional Information:
Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers.

Passport information must be submitted to Gate 1 Travel at least 30 days prior to departure.

Entry Requirements:
Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information, check our Visas page.

Is This Trip Right for You?

This value program provides the comfort of an escorted tour, with the freedom to explore on your own. Minimal inclusions plus a variety of optional excursions allow maximum customization. Costa Rica's climate is tropical with lodgings built in the traditional local style. Some hotels have no air-conditioning and can become uncomfortable during heat waves. Road travel between cities will often be rough and bumpy. Expect uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes. This is a Value program which may include relatively basic tourist class, 3-star hotel choices with comparably fewer central locations. For more information, click here.

Accommodation Details

Room 1

  • Requests are not guaranteed and are subject to each hotel's discretion and availability

Additional Nights

Flight Details

Escorted Package Includes

  • Round trip flights Miami-San Jose, San Jose-Miami
    Some departure dates may be offered from an alternate nearby airport. Check flight itinerary options when booking.
    Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • 6 nights accommodations
    • 2 nights San Jose
    • 2 nights Arenal
    • 2 nights Monteverde
  • Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
  • Hotel porterage
  • All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates†
  • Breakfast daily
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
  • Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Entrance fees per itinerary
  • Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring

Special Features

  • Stop at the charming artisan town of Sarchi, known for its vibrant oxcarts
  • View Arenal Volcano National Park with its unique landscape and famous Arenal volcano
  • Leisure time to explore the stunning Monteverde Cloud Forest on a self-guided hike

†Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates

Is This Trip Right for You?

This value program provides the comfort of an escorted tour, with the freedom to explore on your own. Minimal inclusions plus a variety of optional excursions allow maximum customization. Costa Rica's climate is tropical with lodgings built in the traditional local style. Some hotels have no air-conditioning and can become uncomfortable during heat waves. Road travel between cities will often be rough and bumpy. Expect uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes. This is a Value program which may include relatively basic tourist class, 3-star hotel choices with comparably fewer central locations. For more information, click here.

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DAY 1, Thursday - Depart for Costa Rica
Depart for Costa Rica. Arrive in San Jose and transfer to your hotel
Overnight: San Jose

DAY 2, Friday - Travel to Arenal
Morning departure for Arenal, enjoying the views of coffee and sugarcane plantations along the way. En route stop in Sarchi, an artisan town, where traditional colorful oxcarts and souvenirs can be found. Learn about the history and production of coffee on the optional Arenal Coffee Tour. Perhaps wind down after a long day during the optional tour in the renowned Hot Springs of Arenal, followed by a traditional Costa Rican dinner
Optional: Arenal Coffee Tour with lunch (AM)
Optional: EcoTermales Hot Springs with dinner (PM)
Overnight: Arenal
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 3, Saturday - Full Day in Arenal
Spend a full day at leisure in Arenal, famous for the Arenal Volcano. Or, in the morning, embark on the optional tour* of the Las Coladas trail in Arenal National Park. Perhaps, join the optional full day Cano Negro Boat Tour to learn more about the flora and fauna endemic to the area
*Passengers can participate in both optional tours, if desired
Optional: Arenal National Park Tour (AM)
Optional: Full Day Cano Negro Boat Tour
Overnight: Arenal
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4, Sunday - Travel to Monteverde
Make your way to Monteverde. In the evening, you can join the optional exploration of the Children's Eternal Rainforest where you will be provided dinner before embarking on a guided hike in Bajo del Tigre, part of the reserve located in Monteverde
Optional: Children's Eternal Rainforest Night Hike with dinner (PM)
Overnight: Monteverde
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5, Monday - Full Day in Monteverde
Spend this morning at leisure, or choose to participate in one of the optional tours* including the Selvatura Canopy and Hanging Bridges adventures. This evening, you may choose to join an optional tour of a coffee farm, followed by dinner made with fresh ingredients from the organic garden
*Passengers can participate in both morning optional tours, if desired
Optional: Selvatura Canopy Tour (AM)
Optional: Selvatura Hanging Bridges (AM)
Optional: Cultural Farm Tour with dinner (PM)
Overnight: Monteverde
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 6, Tuesday - Travel to San Jose
Today, travel back to Costa Rica's capital city, San Jose. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel and spend the balance of the day at leisure or, join an optional tour of the city, including a visit to the Gold Museum and National Theater. Conclude the tour with an authentic Costa Rican dinner
Optional: San Jose City Tour with dinner (PM)
Overnight: San Jose
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 7, Wednesday - Depart Costa Rica
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

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Gate 1 Travel itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently.
Book your Optional Tours before you travel. See more, save time, save money.
  • Tours purchased while travelling may cost an extra 10% or more
  • Tours often sell out. Avoid disappointment
  • Save your cash. Credit card processing may not be possible locally
  • Travel insurance only covers services purchased prior to departure
  • Book Online or call to book these tours up to 1 week before your departure
  • The day the optionals operate varies by the day of the week
Arenal Coffee Tour with lunch

On this tour, you will get an introduction into the history of coffee in Costa Rica, one of the country's most important exports. Learn about the process of coffee production from bean to the beloved drink and sample some of the coffee for a full sensory experience. Afterwards, continue with the chocolate tour. Visit the chocolate processing center, where you can participate in the chocolate-making process. See how the cacao beans will be turned into chocolate, using traditional methods of roasting and grinding. Opportunity to taste the cacao fruit and sample a range of chocolates.

Approximate tour duration is 4.5 hours

Day #2 01 May 2025 - 30 Sep 2025 $46.00
Arenal Coffee Tour with lunch Thumbnail
EcoTermales Hot Springs with dinner

Spend this evening relaxing in the renowned Hot Springs of Arenal. The family owned EcoTermales has four different pools ranging in temperature from 91 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit, surrounded by the local flora of the forest. Private and secluded, these hot springs are a great way to wind down after a long day of sightseeing. While there, enjoy an included traditional Costa Rican dinner.

Approximate tour duration is 4 hours.

Day #2 01 Jan 2025 - 31 Dec 2025 $63.00
EcoTermales Hot Springs with dinner Thumbnail
Arenal National Park Tour

In the morning, embark on a brisk two mile walking tour of the Las Coladas trail in Arenal National Park to learn more about the flora and fauna while enjoying scenic views of the volcano.

It is recommended that you wear hiking boots/walking shoes for this activity. Please bring sunscreen, hat, and light clothes.

Approximate tour duration is 3.5 hours

Day #3 01 May 2025 - 30 Sep 2025 $31.00
Arenal National Park Tour Thumbnail
Full Day Cano Negro Boat Tour

Enjoy the peaceful sights and the sounds of the rainforest as you quietly float down the Rio Frio near the Nicaraguan border. A professional guide will share educational and interesting facts about the plants and animals encountered during the tour. This area is abundant with bird species, including the Snake-Bird, Wood Storks, and Olivaceous Cormorants. Keep an eye out for the various monkey species, sloths, turtles, and caimans that live along the rivers banks. This tour also includes a typical Costa Rican lunch, along with regional fruit, juices, and coffee. Pick-up and drop-off at the hotel.

This tour is approximately a 1.5 hour drive from the hotel. Please bring sunscreen, hat, and light clothes.

Approximate tour duration is 7 hours.

Day #3 01 Jan 2025 - 31 Dec 2025 $69.00
Full Day Cano Negro Boat Tour Thumbnail
Children's Eternal Rainforest Night Hike with dinner

The Children’s Eternal Rainforest is the largest private reserve in Costa Rica, with an area of 55,600 acres of protected tropical forest. It exists thanks to the help of children, and adults from all over the world who have taken part in what is known as the Children’s Rainforest Movement. Currently, 44 different countries have contributed to the acquisition, and protection of its territories. Embark on a guided night hike in Bajo del Tigre, part of the reserve located in Monteverde, with its 2-mile system of trails. Explore the mysteries and experience the immensely different sights and sounds of the nocturnal forest, then savor an included dinner afterward.

Approximate tour duration is 4 hours

Day #4 01 May 2025 - 30 Sep 2025 $66.00
Children's Eternal Rainforest Night Hike with dinner Thumbnail
Selvatura Canopy Tour

Join this exciting tour to see the rainforest in a whole new way. Cross through the unique Cloud Forest's canopy while suspended from a high weight capacity zipline cable, maneuvering between the 15 platforms and 12 cables that span over 2 miles in length, making this extreme adventure one of the longest Zipline tours in the country.

It is recommended that you wear hiking boots for this activity as you will be walking some distance through the forest between the Zipline cables. For some, this activity may be considered very strenuous and people with difficulty breathing, heart or other medical conditions, should consider not to choose this optional tour. The zipline harness has an approximate limit of 250 pounds and a 41 inch waist circumference.

Approximate tour duration is 2.5-3 hours.

Day #5 01 Jan 2025 - 31 Dec 2025 $49.00
Selvatura Canopy Tour Thumbnail
Selvatura Hanging Bridges Tour

Enjoy a walk among the treetops on this 1.9 mile trail, which boasts 8 different bridges at heights ranging from 36 to 180 feet. The Selvatura Hanging Bridges are the longest and the strongest bridge system in the country. The hanging bridges give you the unique opportunity to see plants and animals not visible from the ground.

It is recommended that you wear hiking boots for this activity. For some, this activity may be considered strenuous and people with difficulty breathing, heart or other medical conditions, should consider not to choose this optional tour.

Approximate tour duration is 2.5 hours.

Day #5 01 Jan 2025 - 31 Dec 2025 $30.00
Selvatura Hanging Bridges Tour Thumbnail
Cultural Farm Tour with dinner

Explore Life Monteverde, a coffee farm nestled amidst beautiful primary rainforest. In the last thirty years, Life Monteverde has evolved from a dairy farm to a diversified one that grows specialty coffee in combination with organic food production. Learn about the farm’s history and the process of coffee manufacturing. Afterward, walk through the grounds, the vegetable gardens and hear your guide explain about the techniques used in the farm to improve quality and sustainability. Conclude the tour with dinner, made with fresh ingredients from the organic garden.

Approximate tour duration is 4.5 hours

Day #5 01 May 2025 - 30 Sep 2025 $40.00
Cultural Farm Tour with dinner Thumbnail
San Jose City Tour with dinner

Begin with a city tour of San Jose. Stop for a visit to the Gold Museum,* where more than 1600 pre-Columbian artifacts are displayed, dating from 500-1500 AD. Continue to the National Theater, the principal jewel of San Jose. This ornate Neoclassical theater, was declared a National Monument in 1965. Visit the lobby with its Carrara marble floor and admire the lavish furnishings and beautiful murals. Conclude the tour with an authentic Costa Rican dinner at a popular restaurant in the city.

Approximate tour duration is 5 hours

*In the event of local holidays and unexpected closures, the visit to the Gold Museum will be substituted by an in-depth tour of the National Theater

Day #6 01 Jan 2025 - 31 Dec 2025 $79.00
San Jose City Tour with dinner Thumbnail

Know Before You Go
Although most of the planning and preparation is taken care of for you, there are still a few things you should know and some details you should take care of to ensure your comfort, safety and peace of mind. Please review the following information before your departure to ensure that any surprises along the way will only be pleasant ones.
Getting Ready to Go
Passports and Visas
It is each traveler's responsibility to have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the dates of travel and a visa if required. Please check the information at www.gate1travel.com/visas.aspx for the specific country/region you are visiting for more details. IMPORTANT: Passengers who are not U.S. citizens must check with the respective consulate or a visa agency to determine what personal identification is required. Passengers who enter, leave and then re-enter the same country on their itinerary should check if they require a double-entry visa. Passport applications are available at most U.S. Post Offices, as well as at regional Passport Agencies. Passengers requiring visas, whether obtained in advance or locally upon arrival, should ensure that their passport has blank pages.

Costa Rica - Passport information must be submitted to Gate 1 Travel at least 30 days prior to departure.

Traveling with Friends or Family?
If you are traveling with friends or family who are booked on another reservation, please make sure that we are aware. On occasion, we may operate more than one vehicle on your tour departure in which case we will ensure that guests will be assigned together. This is achieved by connecting your reservations before your departure. Once you arrive in your destination, it may not be possible to make assignment changes. To check that your reservations are linked, log into https://www.gate1travel.com/reservations with your email and password, select your reservation number, and check to see that your reservations are indicated as "Traveling With" at the top right side of the display.

Trip Preparation
A little pre-planning can make your trip go a lot smoother. Several weeks before your trip, make a list of what you will need to take with you. Make sure your personal documents (passports, visas, driver's license) are in order. Make sure also that you have enough prescription medications to last through the trip and carry them with you in case your luggage is delayed. Bring a change of clothes in your carry-on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost. Lost luggage is common. We strongly urge you to consider carry-ons instead of checked bags when possible, and when checking a bag is necessary, choose a bag color and identification that stands out. We suggest that you make photocopies of passports, visas, personal ID and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. You may also make a digital copy of your passport to keep a clear picture with the important details in your cell phone or digital camera photos. If you lose the originals while traveling, you'll have copies for easier reporting and replacement. Pack a list of medications including dosage and generic names. You may consider bringing a small supply of over the counter medications for headaches and/or anti-diarrhea pills (especially when traveling outside of the USA and Western Europe). We recommend that you pack a portable alarm clock. Due to security reasons, many museums have restrictions on the size of bags that can be taken inside and backpacks, carry-on bags or large purses may not be permitted. It is recommended to bring a small shoulder bag or purse to use in these situations instead. Avoid placing valuables such as cameras in your checked luggage. Airplane pressure can cause similar pressure in your body, most notably in ears, as well as liquid tubes and bottles. Your physician can suggest medication for decongestion. We suggest that you place liquid containers into Ziploc bags to catch any leaks.

Travel Safety Advice: The safety of our guests is Gate 1’s #1 concern. Before making the decision to reserve your vacation, we want you to be aware of potential situations which may impact your holiday. While most of the time our programs run precisely according to plans, on rare occasion force majeure events including weather, transportation mechanical issues, or uninhabitable accommodation, civil unrest and even criminal or terrorist activities will present themselves unexpectedly and with little or no notice. Gate 1 will make the decision to cancel a tour only after receiving verifiable government issued information. We are otherwise obliged to comply with contractual airline and vendor agreements and carry out the tour until or unless we are advised otherwise. In the event of such an occurrence anytime after your date of departure, Gate 1 and the local destination ground staff, in coordination with government advisories, airlines, hotels, cruise ships and other vendors, will make decisions with regard to your safety first. We strongly recommend that tour participants review the destination country's specific information at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html.

Travel Protection
Even the best-planned trips can be impacted by the unexpected. And that is why we recommend that you help protect yourself and your investment by purchasing Travel Protection for your Gate 1 trip. Travel Protection can help with medical coverage for illness or injury, trip cancellation and/or interruption, baggage loss, medical evacuation, and more. At any time before you complete Final Payment, you may choose to purchase Travel Protection. The protection plan premium is non-refundable after a 10-day review period. In addition, you must be medically able to travel at the time the premium is paid. For a summary of the plan details on coverages, benefits, limitations and exclusions, please refer to the Description of Coverage by visiting www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.

Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit (CFAR) is a non-insurance feature that allows you to cancel up to 72 hours before your scheduled departure for any reason not otherwise covered in the Travel Protection Plan. CFAR must be purchased at the same time as the Travel Protection Plan as well as within 21 days of the original booking date. Independent or escorted tour reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to the full cost of your trip, less the cost of initial deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. Sea or river cruise reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to 50% of the cost of your trip, less the cost of initial trip deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. All CFAR credits are valid for a period of two years from the original date of travel. CFAR Credits have no cash value and are not transferrable. Airline-assessed fees are generally $300 per person, but may be as much as fully non-refundable. Some non-refundable airline tickets may retain value, less airline-assessed fees. Your future air credit must be used to book with the same airline. Deadlines to rebook and complete travel vary by airline and may be as early as 12 months from when the tickets were originally issued (not the date of travel). For details, www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.

This program does not apply to custom groups and Antarctica cruises. Residents of New York, Missouri & Minnesota may purchase this Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit separate from Travel Protection. Call to speak with a reservation agent for details. This Cancel for any Reason Wavier Benefit is not insurance and is provided by Gate 1 Travel.

Mobile Phones
Mobile networks differ from country to country. We recommend you check with your provider to see if your wireless plan will work in the destination(s) you are visiting. To avoid possible roaming charges, you may want to consider purchasing an international plan. With most major phone companies, for a modest fee, you will be able to use your domestic plan's talk, text, and data allowances just like you do at home. If you can access the internet while you travel, you can also take advantage of services such as WhatsApp or Skype.

Making Telephone Calls from One Country to Another
When dialing a number from one country to another, you should proceed as follows: dial your country's Exit Code (often indicated with a “+” sign), then the destination Country Code, then the Phone Number. For most countries, the exit code is 00. Exceptions include the USA and Canada (011), Hong Kong and Cambodia (001), Australia (0011), and Russia (8 Pause 10*). For Brazil, please consult with the local telephone company. If you are dialing from a mobile phone, you can enter a “+” instead of the international Exit Code (011, 001, 0011 or 00) by pressing and holding the 0 key. For most countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and South Pacific, if you are calling from a local phone to a number within the same country, you should drop both the exit and country codes and then add a leading 0 (zero). Exceptions include Spain, Italy, Hungary and Malta (no additional zero needed to dial locally).

To dial the following number in Germany (as listed on your voucher): +(49) 0555-555
From USA or your US cell phone: 011-49-555-555
From another country in Europe: 00-49-555-555
From a German phone within Germany: 0555-555

WiFi Access
WiFi is available in most airports, hotels, and cruise lines, as well as on some flights, trains, and buses. There may be a fee for access and service quality and speed may vary greatly especially while on moving vehicles. Availability on cruises is also dependent upon its location while sailing through multiple countries. Please note that WiFi can be extremely slow, unreliable, and sometimes nonexistent in developing countries.

Staying Healthy While Traveling
All travelers should familiarize themselves with local conditions, such as high altitude or required immunizations, which could affect their health. We recommend you consult with your personal healthcare provider, the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and/or the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/en/) for their recommendations.

There are several easy steps you can take to stay healthy while traveling which may help prevent contracting an illness while away from home.

  • Watch what you eat. Try new foods in modest quantities, and depending upon your destination, you may want to avoid street foods, salad bars, raw vegetables and fruits, unless they have thick peels like bananas or grapefruit.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink bottled water and avoid consuming ice cubes made with tap water.
  • If you have allergies to foods, medications or insect bites, or have any other unique medical issues, consider a medical alert bracelet and/or a physician’s note detailing required treatment should you become ill.
  • Wash your hands regularly and carry hand sanitizer.
  • Where appropriate, pack sunscreen and insect repellent (for both active and warm destinations).
  • You may also want to bring a small first-aid kit with bandaids, antibiotic cream, pain killers, bug bite cream, digestive aids like antidiarrheal or anti-bloat medications, antacids, and cold medicine. This is in addition to any prescription medications which should be adequate for the entire trip.

Notice on Aircraft Cabin Insecticide Treatment - Please note that some countries may require aircraft cabin insecticide treatment for in-bound foreign flights. A list of such countries is available at: http://www.dot.gov/office-policy/aviation-policy/aircraft-disinsection-requirements.

Costa Rica - Costa Rica has a good healthcare system, with public hospitals in every major city and private clinics with European or US standards available in San Jose. Among them are the CIMA hospital (Tel: (506) 2208-10-00) and the "Clinica Biblica" (Tel: 2522-10-00). Both of these hospitals offer a 24 hour pharmacy should you need to pick up any important medication. Otherwise, while you are traveling there are smaller pharmacies throughout the country open during the day with a more limited selection.

You may encounter mosquitoes in both urban and rural areas, especially during wet seasons. Travelers are encouraged to bring insect repellent and consider wearing clothing that adequately covers arms and legs. Travelers to Limón or Alajuela Province are encouraged to consult their health care providers regarding malaria prophylaxis. It is recommended that you see your doctor 4-6 weeks before your trip.

About the Zika Virus - The Zika Virus is a mosquito-borne virus mostly found in areas of Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America. According to the CDC, most cases of Zika are mild. However, there is a potential link between this virus and a brain defect called microcephaly which affects unborn babies and may pose a potential risk to pregnant women. If you are pregnant or believe you could be at the time of travel, the CDC cautions against traveling to these destinations. For information, please visit www.cdc.gov/zika/.

Consideration for Tour Participants (Escorted Tours)
For the benefit of all tour participants, we ask tour members to be considerate of their fellow travelers in the following ways:
  • Refrain from wearing colognes, perfumes and/or personal products containing excessive fragrance in respect for other guests who may be allergic
  • Avoid smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes or cigars in the vicinity of other tour members, including in outdoor areas where smoking may be permitted but may still affect other tour participants
  • No Smoking of any kind (medical or recreational) is allowed on any transportation that is exclusively provided by Gate 1. This includes e-cigarettes, e-cigars or any other smoking device. Furthermore, some countries heavily regulate the public use and possession of cigarettes (including e-cigarettes and vape pens) which could include their complete ban. Please check the regulation for the destinations you plan on traveling to prior to departure.
  • Avoid attire with political or religious messages that may offend other travelers
  • Respect your fellow passengers. Guests come from all walks of life and varied lifestyles. Please refrain from topics of conversation which might cause offense, such as religion and politics
  • Refrain from conversation or talking on mobile phones while commentary is in progress
  • Respect the mandatory seat rotation policy on the coach
  • Make use of the available hand sanitizer on the coach to support a healthy environment
  • Seek approval before taking photographs of other tour participants
  • Respect tour departures times to avoid delay and loss of sightseeing opportunities

Climate & Clothing
Costa Rica - Costa Rica has a tropical climate with two seasons. The dry season is from December to April and the wet season is from May to November. Weather always varies between regions, some higher altitudes like Monteverde have cooler, wet weather. Manuel Antonio experiences hotter, more humid weather, and while during the day the temperatures can be very warm everything can cool down at night.

Comfortable lightweight clothing is recommended, as well as a sturdy pair of hiking boots and a light rain coat. Layers are recommended for people traveling to many different parts of the country so that you can adapt to every type of weather throughout your trip. If you choose to participate in the optional Canopy or Zipline tours, it is recommended that you wear old or worn clothing.

Tortuguero: For passengers traveling to Tortuguero it is very important to pack rain gear, hiking shoes, and insect repellent in the luggage that will accompany you to Tortuguero.

Costa Rica Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/americas/default.aspx#costa-rica-weather

About Drones
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or "drone" technology has quickly become affordable and is increasingly popular with recreational users. While some countries have clear, established drone laws, others do not, or existing regulations are undergoing review and change. Travelers who wish to bring a drone on their trip are responsible to research and abide by the laws and regulations of the countries they are visiting, as well as to check with their airline(s) regarding their rules for transporting drones. Please note that tours are unable to extend the length of scheduled visits and stops to accommodate use of drones.

Book & Film Recommendations
Many of our guests enjoy reading about their destination - either in advance of their trip or while traveling - as a way of adding context to their visit. Whether reading a traditional guide book, learning about the history and culture, or simply enjoying a fictional novel set in the destination, a good book can add greatly to your experience. Similarly, a good movie set in your destination helps set the mood before you travel. We asked our Tour Managers and staff to recommend books and films which past guests may have enjoyed. The following does not constitute an endorsement of any authors, books or films listed, it is merely a collection of guests' recommendations.

The Ticos: Culture and Social Change in Costa Rica by Mavis Hiltunen Biesanz, Richard Biesanz and Karen Zubris Biesanz
Life Above the Jungle Floor by Donald Perry
A Neotropical Companion by John Kricher
Happier Than a Billionaire: Quitting My Job, Moving to Costa Rica, and Living the Zero Hour Work Week by Nadine Hays Pisani
Assault on Paradise by Tatiana Lobo
Costa Rica: A Traveler's Literary Companion by Barbara Ras

The Blue Butterfly (2004)
Carnival in Costa Rica (1947)

Preparing for Your Trip
Reconfirming Flights
It is not necessary to call your airline to reconfirm your flights. However, we do recommend that you check your airline’s website 24 hours prior to your flight to ensure that your flights remain on schedule and that flight times are unchanged.

Seat Assignments
As a courtesy service, complimentary airline seat assignments are requested on your behalf and, when available, are displayed in order of Passenger #1, #2 and so on. Assignments reflect the best available seats at the time of booking. Some airlines and/or fare types do not allow for pre-seating and require this be done at airport check-in only; in which case the display shows “N/A”. Seats are subject to change by your airline(s) including, for example, when there is a schedule change or equipment change after your initial booking; this may cause seat assignments to be changed or even cancelled. Some airlines offer preferred seating for an additional fee; these seats may only be purchased directly from the airline. You will need your family name and the 6-digit airline “Record Locator” which is displayed with the flight details on your reservation. In the event that you change seat assignments directly with your airline, changes will not be reflected on your invoice or documents. At the time that Gate 1 travel documents are issued, the currently assigned seats will be listed based on the assignments stored in your airline reservation at that time. Should you have questions regarding your assignments, please write to us at www.gate1travel.com/contactus.

Frequent Flier Programs
Passengers are responsible to contact their airline directly regarding mileage eligibility and accrual. Airline frequent flier programs determine whether to award miles in part or total based on their own rules which are updated frequently. Some discounted or promotional airfares as well as some code-share flights are not eligible for mileage accrual. Some private airfares, such as a “Gate 1 Travel Airfare”, are not eligible for mileage or may qualify for reduced mileage, even if the same airline class of service is eligible for full mileage when sold as an “Instant Purchase” published airfare. Not all published airfares are eligible for mileage. Gate 1 Travel will record frequent flier numbers when provided by the passenger prior to travel documents being issued. However, the addition of frequent flier numbers to airline records does not guarantee mileage eligibility which is at the sole discretion of each airline. Airline schedule changes may result in flights which were originally eligible for mileage accrual no longer being eligible. We highly recommend passengers to provide their frequent flier account information whenever checking in online and/or at the airport check-in desk. After travel has commenced, it is often not possible to apply for frequent mileage credit. Passengers are also responsible to determine whether previously earned mileage may be applied to flights to secure upgrades.

Known Traveler Number (KTN)
If you have a KTN number, you are normally able to join the TSA security line for expedited processing at the airport. Prior to check in, you should go online or call your airline and add your KTN number to your reservation record. In most cases, you will then see the letters "TSA PRE" printed on your boarding pass. If these letters are not printed, you will not be permitted on the TSA line. Please be aware that some airlines do not participate in the program and therefore even if there is a TSA line at the airport, you will not be given TSA PRE status. Sometimes you may not be selected by TSA (even if you entered a KTN number) and even a minor name discrepancy can result in TSA PRE being denied. It is your responsibility to register your KTN number with your airline and Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for denial of expedited security. Note: KTNs are issued by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) after completing a background check through TSA's PreCheck® program. Global Entry members may also enjoy expedited customs processing.

Luggage & Packing
Checked bags are typically limited to a total dimension of 62 inches by adding length + width + height (example: 26"+26"+10" = 62”), and a maximum weight of 50 lbs (23kg). Smart Bags with a USB charging port, GPS tracking device and other high-tech features are prohibited as checked or carry-on baggage unless the bag is made with removable batteries and the batteries are removed and stored separately. Many airlines charge for checked bags including flights which begin and end within the USA. The most inexpensive airfare options commonly known as Basic Economy airfares do not include any checked bags nor seat assignments before the day of departure. However, for some airlines, other airfare categories also do not include checked baggage. This will be clearly displayed in our airfare selection and on your invoice. Where available, we highly recommend selecting airfares which include at least 1 piece of checked baggage. Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for checked bag fees, excess luggage or weight charges levied by an airline. Checked baggage allowances displayed on reservation details and invoices reflect the applicable allowance at the time of booking but are subject to change by your airline(s). For your airline’s requirements and fees, visit www.gate1travel.com/baggagefees.aspx. For important baggage information, visit www.gate1travel.com/luggage.aspx. Avoid placing valuables in your checked luggage. Federal law forbids the carriage of hazardous materials aboard the aircraft in your luggage, your carry-on or on your person. A violation can result in five years’ imprisonment and penalties of $250,000 or more (49 U.S.C. 5124). Hazardous materials include explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials. Examples: Paints, lighter fluid, fireworks, tear gases, oxygen bottles, and radio-pharmaceuticals. There are special exceptions for small quantities (up to 70 ounces total) of medicinal and toilet articles carried in your luggage and certain smoking materials carried on your person. Check the Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA) website www.tsa.gov to find out the current list of acceptable items you may bring on a plane before packing. We recommend that you use brightly colored luggage tags, straps or other identifiers to help you locate you luggage upon arrival or to describe it in the event that it is lost.

Carry on Luggage
Missed connections and lost luggage are more common than ever. We strongly suggest you use your carry on bag for those necessities you would miss if your checked bags went astray. Items to consider, but not limited to, are prescription medicines, eyeglasses, a change of clothes, mobile phone and charger, valuables (including jewelry and cash), passport, keys, insurance cards, local contact information. Refer to the TSA website for a complete list of items and their sizes which may be carried on board. We also recommend you bring a change of clothes in your carry on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost.

Optional Tortuguero Extension - Due to limited space on the motor launch transfer to and from Tortuguero, passengers may only bring up to 25 lbs of luggage. It is recommended to bring a smaller piece of luggage or duffel bag for this portion of the tour. Additional luggage can be stored at no additional charge. Please note: this restriction does not apply for clients traveling on the Costa Rica Fly & Drive or the 12 Day Natural Beauty of Costa Rica & Panama.

E-Tickets & Advance Check-In
Review the flight itinerary included in your documents. Print and carry a copy of the air itinerary which contains the 6-digit airline "Record Locator" and e-ticket numbers. Advance online check-in is available on some airlines. If available, you may enter your name and 6-digit Record Locator or Flight Ticket Number at the airline's website, and print the boarding pass on your home printer within twenty-four hours of departure. You may check-in online, even if you plan to check luggage at the airport. Airlines without advance online check-in require you to present your identification and e-ticket numbers at the airport self-service kiosk or check-in counter. Paper tickets will be provided in the rare instance when e-tickets cannot be issued.

Day of Departure
Arrive On Time
Due to increased security measures, you should plan to check in at least three hours prior to the scheduled departure time for international flights and two hours prior for domestic flights. Many airlines do not permit check-in less than one hour prior to the scheduled departure time. It is your responsibility to arrive on time for all scheduled flights. Enhanced security procedures, including passenger screening, canine inspection, and inspection of personal electronic devices, have been implemented for all flights into the United States, and therefore security procedures may take longer than normal.

If your flight itinerary displays a flight as “Operated By” another carrier, you should check-in at the desk of the “Operated By” airline. When you arrive at the airport, check the airport monitors for updated check-in desk listings. At check-in, be prepared to provide your government issued identification (valid passport required when traveling internationally) and your e-ticket itinerary/ticket numbers to the agent. Once you've checked in and received your boarding passes and luggage claim tickets, proceed directly to the security check. Security lines are often backed up and can take time to get through. Once you've completed security check, proceed directly to your gate and check the large electronic flight screens for your flight time and departure gate for schedule and gate changes. Airport desk clerks will assist with unexpected changes. Once you are in the gate area you can relax, shop or buy a snack before your flight.

Connecting Passengers
Passengers connecting from another point within the USA should check their luggage through to their final destination. Although problems with lost luggage have been minimal, it is a possibility. Certain carriers do not allow baggage “interlining,” and luggage must be checked separately for each flight. When you check your luggage, please verify where your luggage is being sent. When connecting between flights in major airports, you may need to pass through multiple security checkpoints. Therefore, we recommend that you proceed immediately to the gate area for your connecting flight to avoid any unexpected delays which may cause you to be late. Passengers returning to the USA may need to collect their luggage at the first airport of entry and recheck their luggage for their connecting flight.

Flight Services
Avoiding Jet Lag
In order to minimize fatigue and general restlessness caused by jet lag, there are a few steps you may take including switching to your destination time zone when you board the plane, by sleeping and eating according to the new schedule, avoiding heavy eating, caffeine or alcoholic beverages before or during your flight, and by drinking plenty of water and/or fruit juice while flying. Try to sleep on overnight flights and then, upon arrival, avoid the temptation to nap until nighttime.

Airline Food
Unless you are a first or business class passenger, you will likely be treated to a pretty mediocre culinary experience. Reasons for this range from airline budget constraints to the logistics of high altitudes, low humidity and air pressure which tend to desensitize taste buds. Small galleys, tiny ovens and precooked food, plus previously mentioned cost-cuts in order to keep airfares as low as possible, add to some often pretty poor fare. Our suggestion is to stick to simple options, carry a few granola bars, and don't expect this to be your best dining experience.

Premium Economy or Business Class
Service may not be available on all flights or aircraft types, and therefore some flights within an itinerary may not include Premium Economy or Business Class seating. This includes, for example, some US domestic connections and/or short haul flights abroad. When service is not available, you will be accommodated in the best alternative class of service and seating. Please check your operating airline to determine the extra services you may receive.

US Customs & Immigration for Return Flights
In most cases, passengers with return flights that include a connection in the US will need to complete customs and immigration formalities in their first port of entry, requiring them to collect their luggage and check-in for their onward flight. However, there are some exceptions: certain airports in Canada and Ireland (Dublin), allow US Immigration formalities to be completed in the overseas airport at the gate area.

Foreign Domestic Flights
If your tour program includes foreign domestic flights, and those tickets are not included together with the e-ticket itinerary in your travel documents, you will receive those tickets at your destination from our local representative.

What to do if You Need Assistance

Whether you purchased your airfare from Gate 1 Travel or from the airline directly, please bear in mind that Gate 1 Travel does not own nor operate the airline(s), nor the airport facilities where they operate. At times, flying can be a frustrating experience, especially when things do not go exactly as planned, and airline explanations can be confusing or even misleading. Should you face a problem, remain calm and seek assistance either from the airline directly or from Gate 1. Please be aware that in most cases, on the day of your flight(s), airlines pass responsibility for your reservation to their staff at the airport and it is not always possible for Gate 1 Travel to intervene on your behalf, either through our reservations system or directly with your airline.

Emergency Assistance
The Gate 1 emergency line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call: 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676. From overseas, call: 001 215 572-7676. Outside office hours, listen to the prompts, then press 3. You will speak immediately with a representative, or you may be asked to leave a detailed message including your name, your booking number, and most importantly the telephone number where you can be reached. Your message will be forwarded immediately to a representative who will contact you at the telephone number provided.

Last Minute Schedule Changes & Flight Delays
On the day of travel, check the flight schedule and advise Gate 1 by phone, 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676, of any significant changes that might affect your arrival transfer or hotel reservation. Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for affected land services, including arrival and/or departure transfers should flights be changed without our knowledge. Gate 1 will make every effort to inform passengers of schedule changes and cannot be held responsible for changes in routing and/or the number of stops in the itinerary. Nor will Gate 1 provide compensation for changes or cancellations implemented by an airline.

Missed Flights
In the event that you miss your flight which departs as scheduled, for any reason, your airline will consider you a "no-show” and may resell your seat(s) to other customers. This will also result in the cancellation of any later flights in your itinerary. Similarly, if you voluntarily decide not to use any of the flights on your itinerary, the airline will consider you a “no show” and cancel remaining flights on your itinerary. In this case, please contact your airline immediately for assistance in getting you to your destination. Missed flights are typically fully non-refundable and you may be required to purchase new flights from the airline at your own expense. Once your alternative arrangements have been confirmed, please contact Gate 1 with your new flight details.

Missed Connection
If you are connecting from a domestic flight which is delayed for any reason, causing you to miss your international flight, ask the airline for assistance in getting you to your destination. Since all airline tickets are issued on special fares which carry restrictions and penalties if changed, it's the airline's responsibility to make alternate arrangements on your behalf as Gate 1 has no authority or control over airline activities and policies. Do not leave the airline check-in desk until an alternative itinerary has been confirmed.

Lost Luggage
If your luggage is lost or damaged by the airlines, a baggage claim form must be filed with the carrier before leaving the airport. Any cost to retrieve luggage will be your responsibility and you should retain receipts to submit to your insurance provider. You may be required to return to an airport to retrieve your luggage personally.

Arrival & Departure
Arrival Procedures
Upon arrival, please complete immigration formalities if necessary and claim your luggage. If your program includes airport arrival transfers, check your voucher for specific instructions, as they vary with every destination. In most cases, you will be met after collecting your luggage or passing through Customs by the local representative who will be holding a Gate 1 Travel sign and/or a sign with your name on it. In some instances you will be instructed to walk a short distance to a transportation counter. The company's name and location will be printed on your voucher. If for any reason you do not connect with the Gate 1 transfer personnel, go to the Tourist Information Desk and ask them to page the Gate 1 Travel representative or phone the number on your voucher. If you are delayed due to lost luggage, phone the number on the voucher or have a companion exit the Customs Area to advise the transfer representative.

Be wary of airport scammers who offer unwanted assistance. If you are arriving without a pre-arranged transfer, we strongly recommend going to the Tourist Information Desk to ask for a licensed taxi or transfer service. You may be asked to pay for the transfer at the desk prior to the trip, this will ensure you are not charged extra during the trip.

What To Do When Your Flight Is Delayed
Airlines do not share flight manifest information. Therefore, the only way we may learn of a delay or schedule change while you are traveling is from you, the traveler. The sooner you are able to contact one of our offices, the better we can respond. Please refer to the Emergency Assistance instructions on this same document. Gate 1 Travel is only able to guarantee pre-reserved arrival transfers for up to one hour from the scheduled time, no matter the cause. In case you are delayed for any reason, and are unable to follow the instructions on your voucher, please make independent transfer arrangements and retain your receipts. Unused tour services, including transfers and hotel nights are not refundable. Upon you return home you will need to contact your airline and/or insurance carrier to investigate the possibility of reimbursement for any unused tour services.

Departure Procedures
If your program includes departure transfers, instructions will be stated on your voucher or provided locally.

Due to local traffic and other extenuating circumstances, we ask that you allow 30 minutes from your scheduled transfer time for our representative to arrive. This includes hotel, airport and cruise transfers. Such possible delays are taken into consideration in scheduling transfers and you should therefore have no concerns about arriving late for your tour, flight or cruise. For transfers from a hotel, let the hotel reception desk or concierge know that you are waiting for a transfer. In the case of a missed transfer, reimbursement for your out-of-pocket expenses will be considered provided you obtain a written statement from the hotel's front desk verifying the length of time you waited, and the time you left the hotel, and a receipt for your transportation with time and date.

The cost of a transfer is more expensive than hiring a taxi, as a Gate 1 transfer necessarily includes round trip service, or 'dead-leg'. Often the places of call (airports, seaports, hotels) demand entrance and parking fees, where drivers may have to wait for up to an hour. Passengers comfortable hiring a taxi on their own and do not require assistance will save money.

About Your Accommodations
Gate 1 Travel has carefully selected each hotel based on overall quality, location, price, food, service, and cleanliness. All rooms are standard twin-bedded (two single beds) rooms with private facilities. Special requests such as bed types, smoking preference and connecting rooms are subject to availability. Room selection in all cases, unless otherwise reserved, is strictly at the discretion of the hotel's management on a run-of-house basis. Triple rooms consist of standard twin beds or one double bed plus a sofa/folding bed or cot for third person except in the U.S. and Canada, where triple rooms often consist of two double/queen beds for three persons; where available, a fee may be charged by the hotel for the addition of a cot/rollaway. The number of persons accommodated does not dictate the room size. Although available at most 4 and 5 star hotels, the use of air-conditioning abroad differs greatly from the United States, and is often shut down at night and from the end until the start of the summer months. Some lodges and accommodations in remote regions may not have all of the amenities, such as hairdryer, alarm clock and room service, that you might find in a larger hotel located in a city center.

Monteverde Hotels - Monteverde is located in a remote tropical cloud forest. Weather is normally pleasant with temperatures usually between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Passengers should be aware that the hotels in this region are very basic and are not equipped with air-conditioning or heat. Please note hair dryers are not available in most Monteverde hotels.

Hotel Check-in/ Check-out
Hotel check-in time is generally not before 4:00 p.m. and check-out time is prior to noon. If you will be arriving early in the day or departing in the evening, hotels will usually allow you to store your luggage in their luggage room. Ask at the front desk if the hotel can check you in earlier, or let you stay later.

At Your Destination
Eco & Sustainable Tourism
We support global efforts to create a more eco-friendly world, intolerant of any forms of cruelty, abuse and intentional environmental destruction. To that end we ask that our clients maintain a watchful eye as they travel, and report any abuses they may encounter. One of the many benefits of tourism is the shared cultural knowledge and ultimate elimination of negative behavior through education. We rely on your good feedback to enable this element of symbiosis. As you travel and learn about foreign cultures, we ask first and foremost that you practice tolerance and respect for local customs.

Tipping is always a matter of personal discretion. For your convenience, please use the summary below as a guideline for recommended gratuity amounts. Gratuities may be paid in local currency or US dollar equivalent where accepted. Please be aware that tipping is considered by many locals to be a part of their normal remuneration and some may approach you for additional "compensation." There is no need to be intimidated by the request, nor should you feel pressured to pay more than recommended. If you become uncomfortable by any behavior you encounter, please advise your tour manager or phone our local office. Numbers are provided in your documents for your convenience.

Suggested Tipping: Escorted Tours

Tour Manager (Coordinator; may or may not act as a guide): US $10 per person per day
Driver (Provides chauffeur services and limited assistance with luggage): US $5 per person per day, US $3 per half day
Local Guide (Offers in-depth information at specific locations. There may be one or many guides along a tour program): US $5 per person per day of sightseeing, US $3 per half day
Hotel porters and wait staff: Included

Costa Rica - Gratuities are appreciated and expected for good service in restaurants and other places that cater to tourists.

About Your Sightseeing
To ensure a pleasant and fair experience for passengers on our escorted tours, there is a mandatory seat rotation policy on our motor coaches which will be organized by your Tour Manager. On river cruises, color-coded group splits may be used for shoreside included and Optional tours. Some buses are equipped with toilet facility, however they are strictly intended for emergency use only and often require the vehicle to stop for safety reasons before use. When travel dates coincide with religious holidays and national celebrations, some monuments and sites may be closed, sometimes without prior notice. On these occasions, escorted touring itineraries may be amended to reflect these closures. Occasionally, during holidays and certain periods, and/or due to other unforeseen circumstances including weather conditions, there may be last-minute changes, sometimes after arrival, which may affect the sequence of the tour and locations visited. National monuments and tourist sites regularly undergo renovations, which can obscure the monument's view. No tour will be canceled due to renovations, however Gate 1 will decide based on the conditions whether to amend an itinerary. To respect the privacy of all tour participants, your tour manager will not organize a group photo or collect passenger email addresses for a group list.

Costa Rica Road Conditions:
Roads in Costa Rica are not up to United States standards. Roads vary from paved, multi-lane highways to narrow, gravel roads. The gravel roads often contain many potholes, bumps, and hazards. The journey between Arenal and Monteverde is on a unpaved, gravel road. The drive time can take longer than expected.

Land Only Passengers (Escorted Tours)
Your tour manager will contact you after your arrival at your hotel. Passengers who have not purchased arrival transfers from Gate 1 Travel should proceed directly to the hotel for check-in. The details of the hotel can be found in your documents.

Purchasing Tours Locally
On escorted tours, the guides will generally sell optional tours to passengers who have not pre-purchased them. Payment can be made by cash or credit card, unless otherwise noted below. This does not apply to Independent packages. Please see Gate 1 Terms & Conditions for more information. https://www.gate1travel.com/terms.aspx#optional

Independent Activities - Gate 1 itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently and with due consideration. Gate 1 is not responsible for any activities not expressly included in its programs. Caution should be exercised when selecting certain activities that may require physical strength, coordination or exertion. Particular care should be taken when considering animal rides, such as on camels, mules or horses

We suggest getting a small amount of currency for the first country you're visiting before you depart (except India). It is a good idea to carry a chart with you to help you convert dollars to the local currency. It's also a good idea not to carry too much money. Many countries have ATM machines that accept most ATM cards, but be sure you know your ATM password in numbers-the keypads on foreign ATMs don't always have letters. ATM machines will only dispense cash in local currency. Check with respective consulates to learn current currency allowances and requirements. Use your credit card whenever possible. Should you decide to carry cash, please note that exchange at banks is typically more favorable than at hotels or exchange bureaus. However, bank hours are limited to Mondays through Fridays and sometimes only morning hours on those days. Please note that many banks and most vendors will not accept or exchange $100 bills. We suggest to carry $20 bills or smaller. In many destinations (except Western Europe), we suggest to bring between $50 to $100 in $1 bills which may be used to pay gratuities.

Costa Rica - The Costa Rican Colón is the currency of Costa Rica. It is very common in Costa Rica to deal in both American dollars and the Costa Rican Colon, often prices will be given in both denominations. Many, but not all, ATM machines in Costa Rica dispense both Colones and dollars. It is not recommended to exchange money at the airport in Costa Rica. More favorable currency exchange rates can be found at locations outside the airport, such as at your hotels.

Credit Cards
While credit cards are accepted in most destinations, it is advisable to carry local currency. Inform your credit card company that you are traveling to avoid your card being blocked for security reasons.

While most US-issued credit cards have the embedded microprocessor chip, there are still some that have the magnetic-strip technology. The "chip-and-PIN" cards require users to punch in a personal identification number (PIN) instead of signing for a purchase. For example, many automated ticket kiosks, such as those commonly found at train stations, gas pumps and parking garages, don't accept cards without a chip and PIN. Most cash registers are equipped to handle American cards but if you encounter difficulties, offer an alternative credit card or politely insist that the cashier keep trying to swipe the credit card. ATMs typically recognize and accept US issued debit cards. For travel to Europe, should you anticipate using ticket kiosks or purchasing train tickets locally, you may consider buying tickets and other basic purchases prior to departure.

Most people enjoy bringing home at least one souvenir from the countries they visit. However, some find any amount of shopping to be too much while others never find enough opportunities.

We have built into our Escorted itineraries a few shopping stops at recommended spots. These stops are designed to enhance your experience by providing an opportunity to see first-hand quality locally crafted merchandise which you may not be able to find on your own. Shops are checked to ensure the quality and authenticity of the products they offer, and we limit guides from visiting other locations. In some cases, we plan these stops to provide an opportunity to use clean bathrooms and to stretch your legs. All shops want your satisfaction, and therefore in case of any misunderstanding they ask that you kindly submit your claim to us within one week of the item's receipt. Claims submitted later will be subject to each store’s policies.

While shopping independently, we advise you to exercise care and common sense when making any purchase. Always get a formal receipt. And remember that, just like in this country, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!

About Tax-Free Shopping
Tax-Free Shopping allows shoppers to reclaim the VAT (Value-Added Tax) or GST (Goods and Services Tax) they have paid on their purchases in some foreign countries in accordance with restrictions and procedures as dictated by each country. Refund eligibility varies by country, but may require presenting a scanned copy of your passport at the time of purchase, a minimum amount spent, or providing original store receipts. For more details, check the respective country’s online website, with the shop salesperson, with your tour manager or at www.globalblue.com for specific country regulations and airport operation hours. Please keep in mind that you must apply for VAT refund in the airport of the country the items were purchased and allow enough time prior to your flight for the application.

U.S. Customs & Shipping Charges
You may carry items with a fair retail value totaling $800 into the U.S. Taxes may be applied to the next $1,000 worth of merchandise. U.S. Customs determines the value of your items, often honoring a genuine sales receipt. Items which are shipped home are always subject to duty when received in the U.S. (in addition to shipping charges). Some shops may offer to include shipping and duties in the price but this typically means shipping only to the customs facility closest to you and payment only of the export duties; you would still need to collect the item and pay U.S. import duties. Please be aware that it is illegal to import products made from endangered animal species. U.S. Customs & Border Protection will seize these items, as well as most furs, coral, tortoise shell, reptile skins, feathers, plants, and items made from animal skins.

Costa Rica - Large stores and supermarkets in Costa Rica will have fixed prices that are clearly labeled and should be purchased at that price. However, in local markets people regularly bargain for what they buy, and you should too! Wooden carvings, woven blankets, colorful paintings, and beautifully crafted pottery are only a few examples of the many souvenirs you can purchase to remember your trip.

Your Safety is Very Important
Prior to your trip, if you are traveling overseas, we strongly recommend that you visit the website of the U.S. Department of State at www.travel.state.gov, specifically the section which addresses International Travel. You should read the tips for foreign travel and travel warnings for the country or countries that you plan to visit.

It is also important that you do not allow your common sense to take a vacation while on your trip. Here are several tips which, if followed, will save much potential hardship:

  • Always use seat belts (if provided)
  • Be aware of potentially dangerous places and situations as you would be at home. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry and carry your valuables concealed in inside pockets or hidden pouches. Your objective is to avoid drawing attention and to blend in with the crowd
  • Don't put all your valuables (money, credit cards, passports, etc.) in the same place (in case one wallet is stolen, you should have other valuables and identification in another safe place)
  • Do not leave valuables laying loose in your room or on the bus as Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for any loss. Use the hotel safe. Keep copies of your passports, credit card numbers and travelers checks numbers in the hotel safe
  • When possible we suggest traveling in pairs or groups when moving about independently
  • Do not pack valuables (cameras, computers, jewelry, etc.) in your checked luggage. Keep hard to replace valuables with you in your carry-on bag
  • Keep wallets safely tucked into front trouser pockets and/or wear a money pouch inside your clothing
  • Carry handbags close to your body, shoulder bags the cross-body method with the bag in front of your body
  • Credit cards are generally accepted everywhere and are safer than traveling with large amounts of cash
  • While in destination, you may encounter local wildlife. Please refrain from touching any animal as they may carry diseases or harm you.

If you've purchased an escorted tour program, your travel documents will include telephone numbers of local Gate 1 Travel representatives who will do their utmost to assist you in the event of an emergency. The numbers are printed on your Gate 1 Travel vouchers. Please copy the numbers. Once you relinquish the voucher, you will not have this information. Passengers traveling independently should employ the services of hotel concierges and local authorities.

Tourist Street Scams
Pickpockets and thieves can destroy an otherwise wonderful holiday. Be mindful of these precautions to help avoid being scammed or robbed:

  • Remain alert and cautious. Be wary of any unusual contact or commotion in crowded public places, including train stations, markets, subways and tourist sites;
  • Be especially careful when traveling independently, or leaving your tour group to explore on your own. Try not to travel alone, especially at night. Avoid narrow alleys and poorly lit streets;
  • Use only official taxis and check the change you receive from all taxi drivers and vendors;
  • Beware of pickpockets often working with an accomplice who will distract you by spilling something on you, dropping a wallet or other seemingly valuable object, or tripping and falling down in front of you;
  • Beware of aggressive street vendors who may approach you offering a demonstration which may end with you being pressured to purchase an item or act as a distraction for another pickpocket;
  • Don’t tip beggars;
  • Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest;
  • Carry modest amounts of cash (US dollars) in small denominations so that you can avoid flashing large bills when paying for small items;
  • ATM machines can be a convenient way to carry less currency. However those machines too can be used for robbery. Be wary of anyone who can look over your shoulder when inputting PINs. Another scam involves rigging the machine with a plastic insert which makes your card retrieval difficult; the thief then removes your card after you walk away;
  • If you are confronted, do not fight back - give up your valuables. If your possessions are lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to the local police and keep a copy of the official report for insurance claims.

Local Emergency Phone Numbers
Costa Rica
  • General Emergency: 911

Costa Rica - Spanish is the local language. English is generally spoken in tourist areas.

Please note: The U.S. uses 120 volts and you can purchase a converter and transformer at most hardware stores for your 120V appliances.

Costa Rica - The voltage used is 110 volts.

Code of Conduct
Costa Rica - Shaking hands is the standard greeting. Visitors should observe normal courtesies. The atmosphere is generally informal and casual dress is appropriate. The notion of Pura Vida dominates the national outlook.

Meals & Dietary Requests
Included meals are based on the restaurant's buffet or set menu. Beverages are not included, unless specifically stated. Although special diets like Vegetarian and Vegan are relatively commonplace in the USA, much of the world's menu options are more provincial. Please do not expect to find the variety of food selection outside of the local norm. Every effort will be made to honor special dietary requests selected no later than 5 days prior to departure in the passenger details section of your reservation. In addition, we recommend that you make preferences known to your tour manager upon arrival, and at each hotel/restaurant. Special requests are subject to local conditions and availability and cannot be guaranteed.

Costa Rica - While it is generally safe to eat fully cooked meats and vegetables, care should be taken to avoid undercooked meat and uncooked fruits and vegetables. Although tap water is considered safe to drink in the major cities, it is recommended that visitors only drink bottled water or water that has been boiled and filtered. Filtered water is often available at hotels. Avoid ice, as it is usually made from tap water.

On public holidays, there may be reduced public transportation, as well as limited hours or closures of attractions, shops and restaurants.

Holidays - Costa Rica

Holidays 2024

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Mar 28: Maundy Thursday
Mar 29: Good Friday
Mar 31: Easter Sunday
Apr 15: Battle of Rivas
May 1: Labor Day / May Day
Jul 29: Annexation of Guanacaste Day
Aug 2: Our Lady of Los Angeles Day
Aug 19: Mother's Day
Sep 15: Independence Day
Nov 2: All Souls' Day
Dec 1: Day of Abolition of the Army
Dec 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Dec 24: Christmas Eve
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 31: New Year's Eve

Holidays 2025

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Mar 19: St. Joseph Day
Apr 11: Battle of Rivas
Apr 17: Maundy Thursday
Apr 18: Good Friday
Apr 20: Easter
May 1: Labor Day / May Day
Jul 25: Annexation of Guanacaste Day
Aug 2: Virgin of Los Angeles Day
Aug 15: Mother's Day
Sep 15: Independence Day
Nov 2: All Souls' Day
Dec 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Dec 24: Christmas Eve
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 31: New Year's Eve

14 Day Kaleidoscope of Costa Rica, January 2024
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We had a wonderful time; Costa Rica is an amazing country. And I cannot speak more highly of our tour manager - Jose was not only extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of Costa Rican life (economics, politics, history, geography), but has an unbelievable familiarity of the flora and fauna (to the point that we had to ask if he had studied formally). We continue to be amazed at the quality of Gate1's tour managers; every time we think they can't get any better, they do.

Walter W.
7 Day Classic Costa Rica, January 2024
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Our family trip to Costa Rica using Gate 1 was fantastic. Rafael - our guide - was the best! We all loved him. He was so informative, funny, helpful and made everything so pleasant. And our driver - Marvin - was absolutely the best driver we have ever had! We never felt unsafe, the bus was immaculate and he was always so welcoming. And for our last day in San Jose - Monica was great guide! So warm and friendly - like our own mom or grandma. We have been recommending Gate 1 to all our friends!

Rallou M.
10 Day Classic Costa Rica with Manuel Antonio, January 2024
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The trip went very well! This was our first Gate 1 and our first tour with anybody for that matter. We felt the coordination from you and our tour manager was excellent. We had a little apprehension when we arrived late in the evening in San Jose but the transfer guy was still waiting for us after a long search for our luggage. When we got to the Hilton Garden Inn, there was a package at the front desk for us explaining what happens next. From then on, our tour manager, Rafael, kept us informed and entertained about the itinerary. It was a great trip and we would recommend Gate 1 to anyone but particularly you and Rafael provided accurate and timely information... that made me very comfortable and I wanted to make sure you two knew how we felt. Excellent job!!

Bruce D.
10 Day Classic Costa Rica with Tortuguero, December 2023
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The trip was fantastic. Our guide Edguardo and our driver were both excellent. Edguaro was amicable and entertaining as well as being highly knowledgeable and informed about Costa Rica, the sights and excursions. While the different sites and experiences were exciting and informative it was Edguardo that really made our trip totally enjoyable and rewarding. I can't recommend him sufficiently high. The bus driver was also superb. His skill at maneuvering that large vehicle on small roads and tight turns was awesome. Both Edguardo and the driver were constantly seeking and pointing out things of interest along the road, sometimes stopping to make sure everybody on the bus could see. I will definitely recommend Gate 1 highly to my friends.

Stephen S.
10 Day Classic Costa Rica with Tortuguero, December 2023
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We just completed a trip to Costa Rica including Tortuguero. We have been on 20+ Gate1 tours and wanted you to know that Raphael was one of the best tour guides we've ever had. Our party arrived 1 day early, and he personally reached out to us, dropped by the hotel, and gave us luggage tags along with safety advise for going downtown San Jose. We had a group of 18 for Tortuguero, and he was able to make every guest feel important. After Tortuguero, we met up with additional travelers making our group 40+...not an easy size group to manage. Raphael handled this larger group seamlessly. He has a great sense of humor and a wealth of knowledge about Costa Rica. He truly was made to be a tour guide - and we feel fortunate that he represents Gate1 so positively. Thanks, again, for a great tour experience!!

Debra M.
14 Day Kaleidoscope of Costa Rica, December 2023
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This makes my 14th Gate1 trip since the 80's, and we(Steve and I) are glad to have chosen the 14-day option since Costa Rica has so much to offer. Our trip was fabulous! We had the best tour guide, Manfred, and safest bus driver, Armondo who was so attentive to the narrow roads as we passed other busses and large vehicles, whether good or inclement weather! Manfred educated us throughout, even bringing pictures of the tropical birds and other critters that we encountered along our travels for us to see first-hand what they looked like up close. In Tortuguero, the boat driver could spot varied wildlife from a distance and took the boat up close for our picture taking, even turned the boat around for those on the other side to get good pictures. We tipped him well as he deserved it! Every accommodation was excellent, the included meals were very good also, some well above what we expected! Some on this trip had been already 16 to 18 other trips with Gate1, and these great accommodations and quality tour guides and drivers etc. are the reasons we keep coming back to you! It makes the most of our time to enjoy our vacation. Thank you. THANK YOU!! Gate1 is the greatest!

Ronald A.
7 Day Classic Costa Rica, November 2023
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Our trip was absolutely amazing! We had 13 family members in our group. Gilbert did a wonderful job. We had 4 children with us. 2 of the kids were ours (8 and 12 years old). They had a great time as well. Loved seeing so many animals and learning a lot about the country. Would highly recommend this trip to others.

Connie A.
7 Day Classic Costa Rica, November 2023
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Our guide Ricardo was the most amazing tour guide that we have ever had. His knowledge and personality and thoughtfulness was just amazing. I hope gate one travel appreciates what a fabulous guy do you have on your hands there! It was our first gate one trip and because of how well entire trip was run by your company and Ricardo we will definitely schedule another trip. Driver Hector was also excellent and thought of the safety of the passengers the entire time even when we encountered a terrible accident and were stuck on the bus for hours they both hailed it very well. We'll definitely book another gate one trip in the future as a result! Thank you for a very well run trip!

Susan L.
10 Day Classic Costa Rica with Manuel Antonio, November 2023
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The trip was GREAT! Our Travel Director Edgardo was fantastic and made the trip so much more meaningful! He was professional, funny, and knowledgeable about everything!! He really gave us a deeper understanding of Costa Rica's flora, fauna, people, and culture. Marvin, our bus driver, was outstanding as well. We could not believe the roads we traveled. His driving was nothing short of amazing! Thank you for a great trip!

Elinor C.
14 Day Kaleidoscope of Costa Rica, October 2023
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We had a AMAZING time! We were surprised to learn that there would only be 7 total vacationers for most of the trip (there were 5 enrolled for the full 14 day tour and 2 additional people joined us after the two days at the Tortugera) We were wondering how this would impact our tour and what type of transportation would be provided. We were extremely happy, although not surprised, at how well organized GATE 1 is. The personal attention our Tour Manager provided could not have been any better. He is truly knowledgeable of the environment, animals, wildlife, flowers and plants, etc. His enthusiasm for the beautiful locations and wildlife of Costa Rica could be felt each time he provided an explanation or answered the questions the group posed. He truly gave our small group 150% of his attention and knowledge. He was attentive to each traverler's individual needs. The transportation provided was very comfortable and spacious. The driver was very punctual and attentive to each tourist as well. This was our third trip with GATE 1 and each has been magnificent. We have highly recommended it to our friends and we look forward to traveling with GATE 1 again in the future. The itineraries are always very well thought out and the prices are extremely reasonable. THANKS FOR HELPING US MAKE WONDERFUL MEMORIES!

Axel A.
12 Day Kaleidoscope of Costa Rica with Tortuguero, September 2023
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My trip was amazingly wonderful. This trip was Beyond my expectations and happily enjoyed meeting All the people and the Jewel of Costa Rica tour manager Giovanni. He is patience, accommodating, attentive And very passionate about his culture and country. I wish I could have stayed longer. The hotels, activities, Food, drinks were so refreshing and good. I also love That our group was small for more enjoyable time and On getting us checked in with great ease. First and best tour/group Trip have done thus far. Definitely, will be booking future trips With Gate 1 travel again.

Medjine P.
12 Day Natural Beauty of Costa Rica & Panama, September 2023
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Best Gate One trip ever! Very well planned itinerary with amazing sights, hotels and meals! Excellent tour manager!

Charles L.
9 Day Costa Rica Walking Tour with Arenal & Guanacaste, September 2023
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It was excellent in all regards. Thank you!

Amy R.
9 Day Costa Rica Walking Tour with Arenal & Guanacaste, September 2023
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The trip was wonderful and exceeded my expectations. Well done of Gate 1 Team!

Chien L.
9 Day Kaleidoscope of Costa Rica with Guanacaste, August 2023
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I couldn't ask for a more invigorating, educational, relaxing and fun trip than my Kaleidoscope trip to Costa Rica. First of all, it was my first time taking a connecting flight and Gate1 did great with the connecting flights. The Tour Manager, Manfred was excellent at every level. Very professional, knowledgeable, and understanding. Upon arrival in San Jose, Manfred greeted everyone present in the lobby and facilitated check-in and luggage taken to the respective rooms. Throughout the tour, he unselfishly and with pride for his country made everyone feel welcome. He introduced us to the main cuisine- Casado and Gallopinto, and words such as Pura Vida and Tuanis. The bus driver, Mauricio was also excellent with driving as well as caring for everyone's comfort level throughout each trip taken. I truly had an excellent time and met some wonderful people, some of whom I exchanged phone numbers and email addresses. In ONE word: it was a MARVELOUS trip.

Arlene K.
9 Day Costa Rica Walking Tour with Arenal & Guanacaste, August 2023
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I just wanted to take the time to say how close to perfect our Walking Tour of Costa Rica was. We have been hiking for every vacation we've taken over the last two years and it was everything we were prepared for and more. Jose was the best guide and accommodated everyone in our small group very well (I could not imagine being in a large group of 20, which is what the max size of this group could have been on paper. ) I was expecting to have an actual packed lunch (picnic carried in my pack) but instead we had full sit-down lunches. You should go ahead and put that in your itinerary. I was prepared for the hikes to be a little tougher but was still very much challenged on the hikes marked "challenging"). The one thing we were lucky to NOT needing to be prepared for was the weather, since we had unusually nice dry weather for the season. There was nothing in our preparation materials that described the humidity (not unlike my hometown, but the folks from the northern US were less prepared for how that would afftect their abilities). Also, if it did rain, the hikes would have been even tougher. I know you write the itineraries broadly for the whole year, but still, a weather expectation email closer to the date would have been nice. The accommodations at the Xandari were phenomenal. Shorter time at the coffee plantation so we could hike the waterfalls at the Xandari would have been nice. Also to add in an optional zipline somewhere. I loved the coffee plantation tour and thought it was super informative and fun. All of the dinner and lunch choices were amazing.

Christina R.
9 Day Costa Rica Walking Tour with Arenal & Guanacaste, July 2023
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Just wanted to recognize our wonderful tour manager, Jose. He goes above and beyond at all times. Geo was an absolute pleasure as well. They both shared a TON of knowledge, and gave us a great tour of their wonderful country. Hector, the tour bus driver made us feel so safe. His driving was soothing and we felt like we could immediately trust him. Thank you Jose, Geo, and Hector for keeping us safe and giving us such an amazing experience.

Taylor M.
10 Day Classic Costa Rica with Manuel Antonio, July 2023
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We just returned from the 10 day Costa Rica with Manuel Antonio. I traveled with my 11 year old daughter. It was her first trip out of the country, and she was a bit nervous and apprehensive. That apprehension quickly disappeared. Our tour guide Manfred went out of his way to put her at ease. I was incredibly impressed with his knowledge & communication skills . The trip felt extremely organized and all of the details were taken care of for us . Marvin, our driver, did an amazing job navigating the difficult terrain and always greeted us with a smile and cool bottle of water. Manfred & Marvin will be a hard duo to top on future travels ! My daughter and I were impressed beyond words with every aspect if the trip and will definitely recommend to our friends & family.

Stacey B.
7 Day Essential Costa Rica, May 2023
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My trip was amazing! I have taken several tours through a competitor company to Gate 1, and from now on, I will only book through Gate 1. The organization was incredibly well done, but I don't feel like we were treated like children. We were told deadlines and timelines in a well organized manner without being repetitive. Jose, our driver, and Gilbert, our tour guide, were both absolutely fantastic! Jose got us everywhere super safely and always in the perfect timeframe. Gilbert was SO knowledgeable about every thing that was asked of him, and he was honest and sincere. His biology background made him and excellent guide for all of his knowledge of the wildlife too! The optional excursions were fantastically planned and executed as well. The Ecotermales Hot Springs was an absolute favorite, as well as the Cane Negro River cruise. Don Juan also gave an incredible Chocolate and Coffee tour. Those partnerships are a definite keep for Gate 1. It was a fabulous trip, and I can't wait to take another one soon!

Jamie S.
14 Day Kaleidoscope of Costa Rica, May 2023
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We just completed the 14 Day Land Tour to Costa Rica. I just want to express our appreciation for Edgardo - our guide during the entire trip. His knowledge of the plants and animals was amazing. He also had insightful comments about the history of Costa Rica and the country. He could not have been more helpful, more friendly, or accommodating. He is to be commended for his excellent work!

Vernon L.
7 Day Classic Costa Rica, May 2023
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First of all, this was my first experience with Gate 1. I received the recommendation from a friend, Darlene, who has traveled extensively with Gate 1 in the past few years. I made this trip with a friend, Daisy. We both had a overwhelmingly positive experience with the tour, from the moment we touched down at San Jose airport, where we were met with Gate 1 representatives with the shuttle to the hotel, until our last day, taking the shuttle back to the airport. However, the success of the tour was in large part due to our terrific tour guide, Manfred and our super human driver, Armando. Kudos to this duo! Manfred made this tour a trip to remember. It can't be easy to have 42 people on a tour. However, Manfred's management and organizational skills kept the tour on time for each and every event, from meals to daily excursions. I learned a lot about Costa Rica! Manfred is incredibly knowledgeable about all aspects of life in Costa Rica, from its people, government, geography, agriculture, wildlife, plants, education, food, customs--and especially it's history. His wealth and breadth of knowledge about the country is spectacular!!! I couldn't have asked for a more greater experience with Gate 1 than having had Manfred as my tour guide. His friendliness and people skills are to be commended. Although we were a large group, Manfred created a feeling of family. Many of us exchanged personal contact information, and have continued to keep in touch. I would highly recommend others to do a visit of Costa Rica and ask specifically to be on his tour!! Our tour would not be complete without our dear driver, Armando. I mentioned earlier that he is super human --which is the best to describe his driving skills. The roads in Costa Rica are not the most navigable, with winding rounds up mountainsides, unpaved roads, two lane highways, and narrow streets through the towns we visited--with limited parking options for the giant bus!! Not to mention the last hotel had a very steep and narrow driveway, which required that he did K-turns to get us in and up the driveway! I cannot thank Manfred and Armando enough for their hard work to provide a memorable tour. I would love to be on tour with them again. I hope that both will be recognized for their incredible knowledge, skills and expertise. They both made the Costa Rica experience one that will be the expectation of future tours. I will miss them both, and wish the best of success, health, and good fortune to them. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to express my gratitude.

Cecilia B.
10 Day Classic Costa Rica with Tortuguero, April 2023
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I wanted to commend several individuals whom, without them, this trip would have just been great instead of the "Excellent" that it was. Our guide for the tour "Giovanni" is truly a jewel and Costa Rica, as well as your company, should be very proud to have him as your representative. He is so attentive, caring, organized, transparent, meticulous and most of all, knowledgeable of his Country that we would not hesitate going on another tour with him. We had no worries with him at the helm. He organized pick up times efficiently and provided the right amount of information for everyone in the group to know what was going to happen next. We did not have to worry about our luggage being mishandled or lost for he took care of everyone's possessions as if they were his own. The hotels we stayed at were better than expected and the meals included were top notch. Our driver for the tour "Jose" was equally excellent and we rode in comfort and felt very safe during the whole trip. It is amazing how he can maneuver such a big bus as if it was a VW bug! Also our two boat captains "Orbin" and "Luis" were excellent and made sure we didn't miss any wild life they spotted. The tour to the coffee plantation was specially beautiful and informative and our guide "Jairo" was not only friendly and funny but also very knowledgeable in conservation and the coffee making process. We will be buying some of their coffee now that they have started selling it on line. Our half a day guide in San Jose, Monica, was also very friendly and knowledgeable. Although we only had half a day with her, she made the most of our excursion. I also want to commend the choice of restaurants we ate at and in particular our last meal atop the San Jose Hilton overlooking the Costa Rican National Stadium. What a view, and what a meal. Just a gorgeous place. Most of our new found friends had traveled several times with Gate 1 so we have a lot of catching up to do. We think our next trip will be to Iceland and next year we are planning in going to Australia and New Zealand and we would not trust our travel experience to any other company but yours! Thank you for the wonderful memories and an excellent trip experience. Please do not change the way you conduct business for, as I said at the beginning, you have really mastered the way a company should manage group travel.

Vincente S.
10 Day Classic Costa Rica with Manuel Antonio, April 2023
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My husband and I just returned home from our first Gate 1 trip to Costa Rica. This was certainly one of the best vacations we've ever had. We would like to say a very special thank you to our tour guide Edgardo. He did a magnificent job. He is professional, very personable and so knowledgeable about all aspects of his country. He made the richness of the culture and the beauty of Costa Rica come alive for us. He paid attention to everyone in the group and every detail to make sure that we were all well taken care of and comfortable. We enjoyed the tours, both the included and the optionals, and the food and hotels were outstanding. We appreciated the fact that we got an opportunity to see so much of the country in that 10-day period. Gate 1 is really a great company to travel with. We look forward to taking more trips with you.

Andrea C.
7 Day Classic Costa Rica, April 2023
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Our bucket list trip to Costa Rica was spectacular! Gate 1 Travel Agency was introduced to us by our friends and trip to Costa Rica was our third one. We enjoyed everything about our trip and definitely a once-in-a- lifetime experience! Entire tour was very interesting and we would strongly recommend the Costa Rica tour and Gate 1 Travel Agency to our friends. Trip Booking Agent at Gate 1 Travel Office (Ms. Sharon) and IT Staff were very helpful and available with receiving and responding to phone calls and e-mails, and making travel reservations for trip. They showed attentiveness and worked diligently in making our reservations and maintaining reservation folders. They e-mailed and updated us on the status of reservations. Throughout the process agents and IT staff showed receptive and cheerful attitude. Tour manager in Costa Rica (Jose) and his colleague (Monica) were excellent; they had incredible knowledge and in depth insight on the Costa Rica and neighboring countries' history. Both Jose and Monica captivated us with their story telling skills. They made history come to life. We liked the size of our very friendly group and made new friends during the trip. We were able to travel at a certain pace, stop and take pictures or just rest as needed. Trips were very well organized in a professional way. We learned about Costa Rica history, art, culture, food, agriculture, rain forest and wild life, hanging bridge and canopy in rain forest, hot springs, coffee plantation, religion and much more. Jose used native words and explained their meaning. We enjoyed stays in all hotels and resort and accommodations in each town were met our expectations. Our transfers between airports, cities and tours were well planned and we felt very well taken care of. Guides were friendly, helpful, and considerate and took good care of us. Tour guides clearly loves their job and feels passionate about their work. We were very happy with our tour guides - they went above and beyond to make our trip special, they were great and spoke excellent English. Bus driver, Martin, was a skilled driver, always on time and kept bus clean. He did an excellent job in driving us throughout the trip. Time and money well invested!

Narayana M.
10 Day Classic Costa Rica with Tortuguero, March 2023
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We had taken one Gate1 tour prior to this and it was also wonderful. My friends also recommend Gate1. Manfred made this tour one of the best ever. He is completely professional, knowledgeable, patient and he has a great sense of humor. He is very proud of his work with Gate1 and of Gate1 in general. I will definitely travel with Gate1 again because of the organization of the trip as well as the amazing tour guide we had and the spirit that he created on this trip. Manfred was fantastic! You have a real gem with him. Thank you!

Lynn B.
14 Day Kaleidoscope of Costa Rica, February 2023
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Our 14 day Kaleidoscope of Costa Rica was more than wonderful. This is our first time joining Gate 1 and traveling to Costa Rica. We have joined many tours before and this is definitely one of the best tours on our list . The itinerary is just right, not too rushed, we got to stay 2 nights in every destination and leisure time to rest or explore things we are interested in on our own. The optional tours we participated for EcoTermales Hot Springs with dinner, Selvatura Hanging Bridges and Panache Sailing was great and meals included were delicious which often comes with choices of beef, chicken, fish or vegetarian dishes. Our tour manager Jose is a very experienced tour guide, leading 36 of us through the amazing journey around Costa Rica. His sense of humor, friendliness, caring nature, organization skills and his ability to encounter day to day problem solving skills is unsurpassed. His extensive knowledge about Costa Rica is like an open encyclopedia. We learned so much from him about the history, culture, nature and wildlife, etc. Through his sharing, we can see his love for Costa Rica which touches our heart. Our driver Marvin also did an excellent job taking us around Costa Rica safely from one destination to another. He is a very skilled driver, always alert, friendly, polite and patient. We feel very safe on the road riding with him. I would like to explore other tours with Gate 1 in near future and highly recommended anyone who has never step foot in Costa Rica to join Gate 1 Tour. Thanks to Jose and Marvin, we had a very memorable trip exploring Costa Rica.

Agnes L.
14 Day Kaleidoscope of Costa Rica, February 2023
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Our trip was enjoyable, entertaining and informative. Many thanks to our tour manager Mr. Edgardo who made the trip the best experience we have had. The coach captain/driver Mr. Luis was exemplary: safe driving, care for all of us, keeping the coach immaculately clean and ensuring we reached destinations on time. We cannot find words to express our appreciation and how much of our enjoyable vacation was the result of the hard work, diligence and concern not only for our safety but ensuring all our luggage was loaded and we had properly checked out. All of this appreciation accrues to Mr. Edgardo Hidalgo and his coach captain Mr. Luis. We thank Gate 1 for providing the services of Mr. Edgardo and Mr. Luis. Thank you

Jaishanker B.
10 Day Classic Costa Rica with Manuel Antonio, February 2023
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The trip was incredible. Gate 1 nailed every detail from the itinerary , the hotels, the locations, the excursions and the travel manager. The travel manager Manfred was professional, courteous knowledgeable, and entertaining. He ensured everyone had an incredible trip! Outstanding! I am already looking to plan two more trips with Gate 1 on top of this one I just completed and the one I have planned in may for London and Scotland! Thank you for the awesome work you do! Please tell Manfred and the driver Jose they were outstanding and much appreciated! I know everyone that was on the tour agrees! Thank you Gate 1

Jeanna J.
10 Day Classic Costa Rica with Manuel Antonio, January 2023
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We would like to thank Gilbert, our guide on the tour of Costa Rica, for his absolutely excellent care, incredible knowledge, great tact and sense of humor, super calm and even demeanor, warm and helpful attitude. We cannot imagine a better person to be taking care of us/the group on any trip! Also, Luis, our driver, was simply excellent! Thank you so much for the wonderful experience. It was our first trip with Gate 1 Travel, but definitely not the last.

Ryszard S.
13 Day Classic Costa Rica with Tortuguero & Manuel Antonio, January 2023
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Our trip was great! Luis was an amazing guide, very professional, super organized and fabulous with all the various characters that make up a large group. And with 41 people our group was large! We saw a lot of the country. Even the bus transfers were educational with Luis explaining the different eco systems, the native culture, flora, fauna, the pursuit of sustainable energy and the goals of a better quality more simple life. A terrific experience! I will travel with Gate1 again, with the smaller Discovery groups you offer. P.S. Our bus driver, also named Luis, was amazing too. He drove us safely on the very narrow, rough and very winding mountain roads that were partially washed out. What a fantastic bus driver he was! Thanks for a great trip!

Susan B.
7 Day Classic Costa Rica, October 2022
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We are happy to be back home after our trip, however we regret that we didn't extend our stay! Gate 1, you really outdid yourselves! Our family was pleasantly surprised at the level of professionalism and pride that we experienced on our trip to Costa Rica. You, Jeffrey, along with your team members Gilbert, Mauricio our driver, and Monica our last tour guide, exhibited a love for the work that you all do. We loved the beautiful properties at which we stayed; all the staff we encountered where very courteous and helpful. We loved the excursions; especially the immersive experiences we had in every town we visited. We loved the food; the restaurant choices were grade A quality. And my dad was so touched by the constant recognition he received for his birthday in every leg of our journey. We truly valued the care with which you exhibited to our family, and we can't thank you enough for making my dad's milestone birthday such a memorable one. Thank you again Gate 1 for an indelible experience! We will forever be grateful. Kudos on a job most excellently done.

Sydone B.
10 Day Classic Costa Rica with Tortuguero, September 2022
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Our Costa Rican trip far surpassed our expectations and our guide, Edguardo, was exceptional. His incredible knowledge, demeanor, and personality were top notch. What a wonderful asset to Gate 1 he is. Thank you for everything-we will be back.

Sandra R.
7 Day Classic Costa Rica, August 2022
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Our trip was great! We enjoyed every moment of the trip in Costa Rica. The tour manager Gilbert is wonderful, he took care of us and knowing my daughter is allergic to tree nuts, he checked with restaurants making sure dishes we chose with no nuts in there. He made significant efforts to ensure the entire team has the best experience watching wild lives ( monkeys and birds etc). He has a great sense of humor making this trip very fun for all of us! We strongly recommended this trip to our friends and Gilbert is the best tour manager!

Kathryn L.
14 Day Kaleidoscope of Costa Rica, July 2022
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Our tour guide Rafael "rafa" was extraordinary, as a first-time gate 1 traveler I didn't know what to expect and how things worked but our tour manager was quick, knowledgeable and always went above and beyond anything I could have imagined. thank you gate1 for employing people like "rafa" and I look forward to my next gate1 trip. Please reward Rafael "rafa" with kudos and a bonus check as he was absolutely the right type of person you need as the face of this magnificent tourism company.

Kevin E.
13 Day Classic Costa Rica with Tortuguero & Manuel Antonio, April 2022
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I cannot say enough great things about our Tour Manager, Giovanni . Just giving "Excellent" on all the survey questions does not feel like enough. His extensive knowledge of the ecosystems, geography, culture and history of Costa Rica made the trip particularly enjoyable. He was thorough in his management of the large group without introducing any sense of pressure or rush and kept everything moving smoothly. He was quick and well prepared to deal with a (very minor) injury on one of the walks, and really made it feel like we were being escorted by an old friend more than being on a tour. Kudos both to Gio and to Gate 1 for a system that recruits and equips such capable directors. Every Gate 1 employee we interacted with was terrific.

Scott D.
10 Day Classic Costa Rica with Manuel Antonio, April 2022
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We recently completed the 10 Day Classic Costa Rica with Manuel Antonio tour (Sunday departure). Our tour manager Manfred was excellent in so many ways. He was very knowledgeable about every stop and destination and provided us with the information we needed to manage the time we had on our own. Manfred was an excellent ambassador for the country of Costa Rica, sharing details about the geography, history, agriculture, customs, food, wildlife, flora, infrastructure, etc., all the while showing great love for his country. He was also a strong ambassador for Gate 1, and we felt he had our safety and comfort in mind. I give Manfred a 5 Star rating, for sure!

Martha C.
13 Day Classic Costa Rica with Tortuguero & Manuel Antonio, February 2022
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We just completed the 13 Day Classic Costa Rica with Tortuguero and Manuel Antonio. We had an absolutely fantastic experience! I am so glad that we went to both Tortuguero and Manuel Antonio; some folks skipped one or the other and we saw so much in these locations that it truly would have been a loss to have missed them. Our Tour Manager Rafael was terrific! He was extremely knowledgeable about the animals, birds, reptiles, flora and fauna of Costa Rica and was very conscientious in making sure that everyone had a chance to see the animals, etc, that his eagle eyes had spotted. I also enjoyed his stories of the history of Costa Rica during our bus rides. We had two drivers, both named Jose, the first to and from Tortuguero, and the second for the rest of the trip. Both were excellent. I am so glad I wasn't having to negotiate those narrow winding roads! I especially appreciate Rafael's efforts regarding the mysterious pre-Colombian Stone Spheres of Costa Rica. I asked him early in the trip if we would see any, and he said yes, near Manuel Antonio. Then he made sure to have Jose slow down the bus so we could get a good view and photos. The other passengers didn't seem familiar with the spheres, but they were fascinated with them when he told us about them. Our traveling group was fun, we had a great Tour Manager and excellent drivers, what's not to love! Many thanks Gate1!

Regina S.
14 Day Kaleidoscope of Costa Rica, February 2022
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We just returned from our trip, 14 day kaleidoscope of Costa Rica. WOW, what an amazing experience. What made this trip so special was Manfred our Tour Guide. You could not meet a nicer man, an absolute diamond. The knowledge, passion and pride for his country and Gate 1 was above and beyond. So professional, kind and courteous. Always smiling and great fun, I miss him already. There aren't enough words, I only wish he could be our Tour Guide wherever we go. Special mention to Luis our coach driver (beautiful brand new coach, with toilet.. bonus !!) Fantastic driver, always felt safe with him behind the wheel, over the hills and round the bends. A true gentleman. Manfred and Luis are a great team.. All the excursions, accommodations and meals were exceptional. Saw so much of this beautiful country and will be back one day. Thank you Gate 1 and your team for a truly wonderful unforgettable experience. This trip was everything we imagined and more. Highly recommend and will be traveling with your company in the future. Spot on from start to finish, well done.

Anita F.
7 Day Classic Costa Rica, February 2022
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Edgardo far exceeded our expectations throughout our visit to Costa Rica. His depth of knowledge of Costa Rican culture, economy, history, plants and animals was incredible. His ability to connect with each traveler and create a safe and inviting atmosphere was above and beyond. Edgar has a true passion for sharing his beautiful country with visitors. He was timely and diligent in helping the group stay on track and have the most enjoyable experience possible. He truly went above and beyond in all capacities. Luis, our bus driver, prioritized our safety and comfortability in all capacities. The bus was kept absolutely spotless and his driving was impeccable, along with being a very kind person. Both Luis and Edgar prioritized our safety and health through their diligence in upholding Covid-19 precautions. I cannot thank them enough for their contribution to this amazing experiencing. Based on my experience in booking, and with Edgar and Luis, I will certainly be joining another Gate1 trip in the future. If you are able, please pass along this message to Edgar and Luis. They both deserve immense gratitude and appreciation. Thank you!

Marley B.
10 Day Classic Costa Rica with Manuel Antonio, February 2022
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Our tour guide Edguardo was the Best Tour/representative I've encountered in 20 years. He was Exceptionally professional, knowledgeable of all things, environments and individual food exceptions on the tour. Ensuring safety and comfortable conditions for all. Our first driver Luis was the Master of our Limo. An extremely skillful driver who ensured time, comfort & safety were his paramount concerns. Both these gentleman deserve the title Mas Excellante. Other individuals who gone above and beyond were our Dining Manager Brauner and our breakfast person Hillary both working at the Hilton in San Jose.

Joseph D.
13 Day Classic Costa Rica with Tortuguero & Manuel Antonio, January 2022
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We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Costa Rica with Gate 1. One of the main reasons our trip was so great was due to our tour manager Manfred. He was so knowledgeable about all of the birds and wildlife we saw and was equally good leading the San Jose city tour and providing suggestions for where to eat and what to do in the other towns we stopped at. Manfred was just a great combination of an organized, problem solving tour manager and a fun person to talk to and spend time with. He really knew his stuff and gave us all a wonderful trip to remember.

Linda H.
14 Day Kaleidoscope of Costa Rica, October 2021
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Our tour manager, Edgardo, was top notch! I never saw him without a smile and you could tell he was extremely knowledgeable and passionate about everything in his home country! He deserves to be highly commended for a job well done! I wish I could travel with him as my manager for every trip across the globe! Job well done Edgardo!

Melanie B.
13 Day Classic Costa Rica with Tortuguero & Manuel Antonio, September 2021
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The Costa Rica tour guide Edgardo is excellent. Extremely knowledgeable, kind and patient. I have traveled almost 70 countries and joined numerous tour groups. Edgardo is the very best tour guide. I feel really lucky to have him as the guide. Learned a lot about plants, animals. Because of him, Costa Rica becomes one of my best tours. Thanks Gate1Travel!

Zaijin H.
10 Day Classic Costa Rica with Manuel Antonio, February 2020
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The trip was an excellent experience. The scheduling, transportation, accommodations, excursions, meals and tour manager were all again over the top!!!! Luis is an excellent tour manager and we give him a 10 out of 10. Our coach driver Hose' was extremely good and very capable of navigating the coach through traffic and into some amazing locations. Thanks for another great Gate 1 tour. We've enjoyed them all!

Bill & Miriam A. Cheyenne, WY
14 Day Kaleidoscope of Costa Rica, February 2020
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Trip was incredible. Tour director Edgardo was excellent and so knowledgeable. Loved seeing all of the different animals and birds and plants. Would highly recommend this tour.

Wendy K. Knoxville, TN


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