Costa Rica Expeditions - A Review

On my 55th birthday, I crossed "photographing the birds of Costa Rica" off my bucket list.

After a great deal of surfing and comparative shopping,
 I came across
Costa Rica Expeditions
Legendary Service…

Unforgettable Memories


Their unique and interactive Wish List caught my attention.  It is as engaging as it is informative.    

Finally someone seemed interested in what I wanted to do in Costa Rica; rather than in some popular predetermined itinerary.


Once I honed in on what was important to me, I clicked SUBMIT, and set a dream in motion.

Within 24 hours Nadya Shaw introduced herself as Senior Travel Planner Costa Rica Expeditions & Nicaragua Expeditions. 


She proved to be a knowledgeable professional.



Already armed with my needs and wants, (Photography, Birds, Nature, Private, Insert Your Own Here) Nadya walked me through some intriguing options.   



Despite the time constraints
of the coming high season and my fast approaching birthday
we carefully crafted a customized tour of a lifetime


Costa Rica Expeditions (CRE) arranged for almost every detail.



Costa Rica Expeditions do not dabble
in international travel (sticking to what they best),
so we booked Jet Blue, a Marriott on points


and a walking tour of San Jose City. 




We flew over mountains and banana groves
and who knows what all was below us.




 We drifted along a river in the midst of a misty rain forest.



We horsed around under an active volcano and were wowed over waterfalls.




We got lost in a garden paradise.




Costa Rica Expeditions

boast legendary service and unforgettable memories.

They did not disappoint. 

All logistics went off without a hitch and all facilities
were top notch. 

From Michael Kaye, the company’s president, to the airport greeters and drivers, from our tour guides to wait staff, CRE collectively created a completely unforgettable experience.




Allowed 25 pounds each of luggage
my camera bag weighed in at 22.5 pounds.
After a day on our own in San Jose, we were met by two cheery Ticos and set off for my birthday adventure.


Destination: Tortuguero

and The Tortuga Lodge

accessible only by plane or by boat.

Connie and I were immediately struck with the lush environment.



The staff welcomed us like family.

The rooms were clean and comfortable.
The “typical” meals were plentiful and tasty,
and the fresh fruit was mouthwateringly amazing.





I will never forget the special birthday surprise
that Nadya and the staff arranged for me
and it happened just down this path a little.

(Details in a later post).
Thank you all so very much. 
It was
over the top.  






Juan, our personal guide
and Sloth Finder Extraordinaire,
took us into the soul of the rain forest.

We enjoyed his company,
his enthusiasm and thank him
for sharing his experience with us.

We envy him for what
he gets to do every day.



After an all too short

two days,

we were whisked away

on another private flight

in an even smaller plane.

(Another thing off the bucket list)


Destination:  Volcano Lodge and Garden


Although not owned by Costa Rica Expeditions,
their choice in location was perfectly in tune with our wish list.



The garden a spectacular splash of painted color was a-buzz with birds of all varieties.




The Arenal area of Costa Rica is truly a magical place. 




We spoke to hummingbirds.




Dined with a dog





and stumbled upon a unicorn.





Muchos Gracias, to everyone involved in our trip.

You made my 55th birthday an unforgettable occasion. 

Pura Vida.

Mike and Connie Smeets

Lakeland FL USA

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