We recently went on a trip to Costa Rica, (September 19-29th, 2012) and we can tell you that it was and interesting, harrowing, adventurous, crazy journey, and we survived.
We booked with a company called Jetsetvacations (also associated with Travel by Jen) for a package deal which included a rental car, hotel, canopy tour and hot springs for 6 nights all for $800 pp all taxes and fees included. (We extended till the 29th on the day we were scheduled to leave) Sounds like a great deal right? Well it was not so.
When we arrived in San Jose it was 5-6pm and very visibly getting dark. By the time we got our car at Adobe Car Rentals, which is located about 15-20 minutes drive from airport, it was pitch black out!
We took longer to get on our journey because they had to see if they had an automatic car to give us, instead of the manual that we did not realize was booked for us. Wouldn't you know it they had one, with the gas tank only ¾ full, and for an extra $60 US it was ours!
At this point, we were exhausted and overwhelmed, and then we were told (only after enquiring about how far our destination was) that we would had to drive about 4 hours to our destination...ok so we have GPS no problem...wrong!!!
Little did we know; as the car people gave us no warning of the potential danger we faced driving up a narrow mountainside with only forest cliff drop-offs, fog in which you can barely see 1 inch in front of you, and winding uphill roads...for 3- 4 hours!
Anyway, almost four hours later (on top of 7 hours of plane travel, adrenal stress overload and post-traumatic stress disorder syndrome) we arrived at Montana De Fuego, our first destination, alive so our vacation in our opinion was a success!
Our room, at Montana De Feugo, was weirdly laid out (we were told it was an upgrade as they had given away our original room...I guess they thought we weren’t going to make it uphill either), and in one room I was awoken to a piece of the ceiling falling down on the pillow beside me because it appeared the A/C moisture caused the walls to ripple and the wood to become moist and brittle.
So to recap, our trip would have went a lot better, and we would have felt safer, if we had known a few days of our journey would have to be dedicated to driving.
If we have been honestly and openly advised by JetSetVacations of the driving times we would have looked into staying longer giving JetSet more of our business or preparing ourselves beforehand for an extended stay by reviewing other lodgings thus saving ourselves headache and money.
Also, our trip would have went smoother if we would have been put up in a hotel in town until daylight so our drive to our first destination was not so harrowing or at the very least better if we could have arrived in daylight so that we could see the roads.
In conclusion, we will not book with JetSet Vacations again.