Costa Rica Expeditions

In business since 1978

Costa Rica Expeditionslogo

Costa Rica Expedition's goal is to create unique travel experiences that transcend conventional sight seeing. We strive to promote the type of tourism that is nourishing to both the visitor and the visited. The company was founded in 1978 to help the sophisticated traveler explore Costa Rica -- its flora and fauna, people and culture, and its wild and beautiful places. The company offers fixed departure and customized trips, many of which include white water rafting on the country's most scenic and exciting rivers.

"Our goal is to create unique travel experiences that transcend conventional sightseeing and travel. Our dream is to promote the type of tourism which is mutually beneficial and nourishing to both the visitor and the visited."
-Michael Kaye, June 1981

I wrote the above sentence for a brochure in June of 1981. I still can't say it any better. Though lots of things have changed since then, the basic direction and philosophy that I expressed more 20 years ago still holds true. Here's the rest of what I wrote:

Costa Rica Expeditions was founded in 1978 to help the sophisticated traveler explore Costa Rica - its flora and fauna, its people and culture, its wild and beautiful places. Over the years we have been very fortunate in being able to gather together a very special team of guides, both Costa Rican nationals and foreigners. Naturalists, artists, horticulturists, political scientists, river guides - all have in common a deep love and knowledge of Costa Rica and a desire to share.

Since 1978, our growth in terms of numbers of programs and number of participants has been greater than our wildest dreams. Even more important, the experience of sharing Costa Rica has been an extremely gratifying one. Yet, as I sit down to write about the incredible beauty and richness of Costa Rica, a doubt lingers.

I recently reread an article about one of our trips to Corcovado that appeared in a 1981 issue of the WASHINGTON STAR. The descriptions of the jungle and the wildlife are eloquent, but what sticks in my mind is an account of an experience outside the small town where charter flights depart to Corcovado:

"Palmar was a movie-set town with run-down storefronts off a dirt main street. Cows ambled about and the only game in town was bingo. To refresh ourselves, Roger, Don and I jumped into a nearby river, after which we cut through a farmer's field to get back to Palmar. The campesino, machete in hand, hailed us, introduced us to his family, and whacked a watermelon off the vine for us to eat. A trail of seeds and red juice followed us back to our pension." 
(Jungle Adventure Deep Inside Costa Rica's Incredible Rain Forest, Harriet Heyman.)

How many people walking through that field will it take before the campesino starts resenting the tourist, rather than inviting him to share a watermelon? So far, our guests have done us proud, but sheer numbers can take their toll. Costa Rica needs visitors but, as we have seen with US parks, visitation can quickly get out of control. How many is too much? 

Our dream is to promote the type of tourism that is mutually beneficial and nourishing to both the visitor and the visited. We want you to come. We advise you to come soon. We beg you to please tread softly.
-Michael Kaye, San Jose, Costa Rica

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Address

Downtown
San Jose, Central America
NA Costa Rica

Website(s):

Testimonials (2)

  1. Reviewer: located in USA
    "We were very well satisfied with Costa Rica Expeditions, from the pick-up at San Jose Airport - including welcome help in getting through customs - to the conclusion of our trip. We liked the hotels you recommended: Bougainvillea near San Jose and Villa Blanca. The drivers we had on all transfers were helpful and spoke enough English for us to communicate. We liked your country and would like to return and when we do we will use your services."
    5
  2. Reviewer: located in NC USA
    "Back in cold western North Carolina after one of our best vacations ever, we'd like to thank you and all the Costa Rica Expeditions staff for making our Costa Rica vacation a great experiencea Each trip component, starting with our arrival at the airport and ending with a drop-off at a car rental agency, included caring CRE staff ensuring that we were in the right place at the right time.Every part of your package was wonderful - the facilities were nice, the food was great, and the staff were outstanding. We'll certainly advise friends to consider Costa Rica Expeditions in their travel plans, and hope that we, too, can again use your services some day."
    5

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Prominent affiliations & awards

  • : National Geographic's TRAVELER Award
  • : Travel + Leisure Award

Our commitment to sustainable travel

Costa Rica Expeditions believes that we are stewards on this earth; that we have not inherited it from our parents, but rather we are renting it from our children; that if tourism does not contribute to the protection of flora and fauna, the prevention and repair of environmental degradation, the economic well-being of local communities, and respect for local cultures; it is not a justifiable activity.


CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT

HOW YOU CAN HELP THE TORTUGUERO FOUNDATION

The town of Tortuguero is so remote and neglected that historically it has received virtually no attention from government at any level. The entire economic base comes from tourism, but the town's needs are more than the salaries that come from what tourism can provide.

In response to this situation, Costa Rica Expeditions has founded The Tortuguero Foundation with an initial donation of $5,000. The foundation's mission is to generate funds to help Tortuguero in 3 areas: Health, Education, and the protection of the wilderness area that is the village's basic economic resource.

3 most popular Trips (out of 12 total)

Si Como No Resort In Manuel Antonio

Si Como No Resort In Manuel Antonio

San Jose Airport, San Jose, Costa Rica for 4 Days • from $1,060* per person

Operator: Costa Rica Expeditions

Offered Year-round: Three nights at Si Como No Hotel & Resort in Manuel Antonio. Si Como No is an award-winning, eco-designed resort providing its own signature version of "barefoot luxury" to all its guests. During your stay you… more

Exertion level:
4/7
Accommodation:
Comfort
Max group size: 20 people
Must form own group? Yes (custom departure). Price based on group size.

Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio

Juan Santamaria International Airport, San Jose, Costa Rica for 5 Days • from $1,285* per person

Operator: Costa Rica Expeditions

Offered Year-round: This trip takes you to Manuel Antonio on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast, perhaps the country’s best destination if you are short on time and want to explore both rainforest and beaches. Manuel Antonio is known for… more

Exertion level:
4/7
Accommodation:
Comfort
Max group size: 20 people
Must form own group? Yes (custom departure). Price based on group size.

Lapa Rios Ecoresort On The Osa Peninsula

Lapa Rios Ecoresort On The Osa Peninsula

Juan Santamaria International Airport, San Jose, Costa Rica for 6 Days • from $2,580* per person

Operator: Costa Rica Expeditions

Offered Year-round: After one night in San Jose, you will be flown to the Osa Peninsula for your four-night stay at Lapa Rios Ecoresort. Bungalows are situated 350 feet above the ocean and private beach on 1,000 acres… more

Exertion level:
4/7
Accommodation:
Comfort
Max group size: 20 people
Must form own group? Yes (custom departure). Price based on group size.

View all 12 Trips by Costa Rica Expeditions

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