Thursday, 24 July 2014

Haggling for a Cheaper Tour in Costa Rica.

A few words of advise when booking an expedition in Costa Rica: haggle and habla Espanol if you can! And if it's in anyway possible, cut out the middle man too, i.e. the tour guide. Book directly with the centre itself. 

Naturally, my kids and their visiting pals wanted to take a Quad biking tour and I started my research a while ago, trying to find the best rates around. When I first emailed and inquired with one of the local tour guides, I was quoted $125 per person!! Yes per person!! OK, the excursion included transport, 2 hours of beach touring on the quad, plus lunch and a spot of shopping, but still, $125 is far too expensive.

So I challenged the tour guide, saying that my guests were teenage boys, they could do without lunch and shopping (well maybe not lunch, but I could provide that for them)! I said that we were local residents (again a good tip to try and get things cheaper), and was there not a trek close-by so that the transport element could be dispensed with? Basically I was asking them if there was any possible way that they could massage the price for me, and give them some credit, the tour company said yes, and knocked the cost down to $90 per person. I said thanks and would let them know dates and so forth. However, still too much money, don't you think? Well, we thought so especially as we have done this kind of tour in other places in Costa Rica for a lot less.

So Step Three of the 'Planning an Excursion': Rather than emailing, DH contacted the ATV centre themselves and spoke with them in Spanish and bingo! the price was reduced $70 per person. Amazing! After a little bit more haggling, he got the price reduced further and in the end we eneded up by paying almost half the price originally quoted by the tour guide! 


On Tuesday, I sent DH off with 5 teenage boys and 2 pre-teenage boys for their quad biking adventure. I think they had fun, all I know is that they came home unbelievably dusty and dirty - especially ES who somehow managed to roll the damn ATV by playing silly buggers! Thankfully, like a certain fictional character's favourite drink, he was shaken, not stirred, but hopefully a lesson has been learnt - who am I kidding, he's a teenage boy!!

Let me know your top haggling tips?

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