The Real Deal: Eight nights' accommodations, two each in San José (at the Centro Colon), La Fortuna, Monteverde, and Manuel Antonio National Park, ground transportation, sightseeing activities, such as a horseback riding excursion and guided tour through Monteverde Cloud Forest, and the services of an English-speaking guide, for $699 per person—all taxes included
When: Oct. 31, Nov. 4, 11, 21, 28, Dec. 2, 5, 9, 12, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 26, 30, 2009. Additional dates are available in 2010.
The fine print: All taxes and fees included. Based on single or double occupancy; solo travelers will be paired up with a roommate of the same sex. Alternatively, solo travelers can request their own room for $329 more. Use promo code CRQ. Maximum group size is 15. Allow $300 for meals. Hotels used in La Fortuna, Monteverde, and Mauel Antonio will vary based on your departure date. Airfare is not included. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.
Book by: No deadline; based on availability.
Contact: Gap Adventures, 800/708-7761, gapadventures.com.
Why it's a deal: The Costa Rica Quest breaks down to about $87 per person per night and takes care of accommodations, transportation, and arrranging a local guide, all in one reservation. Gap Adventures used to require a local payment to be paid in cash at time of arrival on top of the trip price. Now the tour operator includes this payment within the trip price—kudos to them for full disclosure.
More: Add nights in San José starting at $75 per person. Airport transfers start at $15 per person one-way.
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