TRAVEL WITH TERRA CARIBEA
• Who are we?
• Why travel with us?
• What are our references?
• Who are you speaking to?
- OUR TRAVEL OPTIONS
• Tailor-made trips and tours
• Group services
• Themed trips
• Multi-country trips
• Who are our trips for?
• Are all of our trips and tours on the website?
- HOW WE OPERATE
• Why are the prices not on the website?
• Which tour / destination should I choose?
• What hotels should I choose?
• Which local airline companies do we work with?
• How to book a tour?
• How to find other travelers like me?
• When to book a trip?
• How do we calculate the price of a tour?
• How do I pay for my trip?
• What will it be like arriving in Costa Rica?
- OUR JARGON
• What are Road trips or Self drive trips?
• What is a Private transfer?
• What are Group services?
- COMFORT AND THE SPIRIT OF TRAVEL
• How safe is Costa Rica?
• What is the traveling spirit?
• How comfortable is Costa Rica?
• Respecting local peoples and natural sites
- OUR AGENCY• WHO ARE WE? Return to Questions
Terra Caribea is a receptive travel agency and tour operator based in Central America. Our team is specialized in tailor-made tours as well as adventure and off the beaten path travel in Costa Rica and Panama.
The company’s headquarters and offices are located San Joaquin de Flores near San José, Costa Rica. Our operating base is in Panama City, Panama.
- WHY TRAVEL WITH US? go to questions
Travel is our middle name. We fell so passionately in love with Panama and Costa Rica that we decided to take up residence here.
Our team is made up of Costa Rican, Panamanian, and French people who have been living in Latin America for several years. We are therefore aware of local customs and cultural aspects, from both personal experience as well as professional point of view.
We select hotels and other service providers according to serious and quality criteria that are the result of 12+ years of experience in the travel industry.
We personally know all our guides and drivers with whom we have very good working relationships. This enables us to ensure quality services at a competitive price.
At the same time, we regularly go on trips throughout the country that enables us to constantly improve what we offer. We are constantly discovering wonderful places and off the beaten path sites, often unknown to standard travel agencies.
Travel agencies often go through receptive agencies such as ours to operate their tours. If you decide to contact us directly, you’ll get faster answers and better prices!
Our responsiveness is one of our strong points. We’ll answer you by e-mail or Skype within the 48 hours of your request (this does not include requests sent during weekends). You can contact us from Monday to Friday up to 2 AM (European time) or 8 PM (Eastern Central Time – East Coast USA). We have two different numbers available at local costs.
- WHAT ARE OUR REFERENCES? ? go to questions
Terra Caribea is part of Terra Group, a network made of receptive agencies operating all over the world, born in 1998 and managed since then by a French-speaking team.
We are the official receptive agency for several travel agencies in French-speaking countries (France, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada) and in the rest of the world! Some of those tour operators are affiliated with an international association that promotes responsible tourism and is known as “Agir pour un tourisme responsable” (ATR).
Furthermore as we work via the the Internet, you can see trip reviews our clients have left us at the end of their travels.
We are registered in the Costa Rican Company Registry: CJ3-101538323.
We hold a professional liability insurance: INS0001494.
We are registered in the Costa Rican National Chamber of Tourism (CANATUR) under the number 1220.
We are also a partner to the French and Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
- WHO ARE YOU SPEAKING TO? go to questions
The travel adviser who answers to your information and quotation request works from our offices in Costa Rica or Panama. They are multilingual (French/English/Spanish) and an expert in the field they are working in.
They have a thorough knowledge of the destinations we offer and you can contact them directly via e-mail (email@example.com), phone, or on Skype (terra.caribea) from Monday to Friday. They will be your main contact point as you get ready to travel!
We guarantee that you’ll receive a quick and detailed response (in French, English or Spanish). Your request is personalized and key to
creating a trip that matches your needs and wishes.
We will adapt our trips and tours to you!.
Once you confirm your itinerary, your travel adviser will keep you informed about the advances made in the booking process. They will be available for any question regarding the preparation of your trip.
Once you are in country, we’ll provide you with an emergency phone number where you can reach any member of our team 24/7.
- OUR TRAVEL OPTIONS
“TAILOR-MADE” TOURS Return to Questions
“Tailor-made tours” is the best way to describe what we offer you. We want to offer you the itinerary of your dreams. Send us a quote today and we’ll build your next trip to Costa Rica together.
Whether you want your trip to include the must-see attractions or you prefer a journey off the beaten path, our team is ready to help you customize a tour that suits your desires, needs, and means (dates, season, general or particular wishes, budget, accessibility, etc).
We work personally with each one of our clients to provide you with friendly, high quality service.
Note: For our European travelers, we have a special office number that allows you to call us at European rates.
GROUP SERVICES Return to Questions
We’ve acquired a lot of knowledge over the years. That experience allows us to offer group trips that are both well organized and offered at competitive prices.
You may choose between packages with fixed departure dates, standard tours, business trips or something customized and unique to your group.
We are devoted travel professionals who want your trip to be a success.
THEMED TOURS Return to Questions
The travel industry is constantly changing. Themed tours are on the rise!
Whether your interested in wildlife, bird watching, scuba diving, history, hiking, food tours, adventure or home stays…We’ve got the tour for you!
MULTI-COUNTRY TRIPS Return to Questions
TERRA GROUP is now present on four different continents!
We are now able to organize trips over multiple countries and continents. It’s a dream come true!
In Central America, thanks to local offices, we are specialists in offering combine tours to Panama and Costa Rica.
We also organize tours within other nearby countries: Equador, Mexico, Brazil, Nicaragua and Colombia.
Who ARE OUR TRIPS FOR? Return to Questions
Our trips are intended for EVERYONE including families with young children. Depending on your physical ability some activities may not be suitable for all members of your party (i.e. scuba diving or other water sports).
However, Costa Rica and Panama are beautiful destinations, easy to discover and typically don’t present any particular hassles (weather, altitude, safety, and so on).
ARE ALL OUR TRIPS ON OUR WEBSITE? Return to Questions
The tours that you may see on our website are showcase of the possibilities offered in Costa Rica and / or Panama.
They may be customized according to your travel desires and important criteria (in terms of duration, regions to visit, hotel stars, interests)… We want to help you build your dream tour!
- OUR OPERATING MODE
WHY ARE THE PRICES NOT ON THE WEBSITE? Return to Questions
Our website is above all a showcase of our products and services.
On request we can send you the full leaflet of our programs as well as a detailed priced itinerary for your desired tour.
Terra Caribea works mainly with individual requests. The majority of our customers want customize their travel. Pricing depends on many factors. This is why we choose not to display prices on our website.
WHICH TOUR/DESTINATION SHOULD I CHOOSE? Return to Questions
On our websites you’ll fine examples of tours, listed according to their duration and theme. You might like an itinerary as is or want to make some changes.
You’ll also find information about the various regions and activities offered throughout Costa Rica.
You’ll also find a selection of hotels and accommodations that we work with.
Contact us and let us know your preferences. Our travel advisers are here to help you build the tour of your dreams.
WHICH HOTEL SHOULD I CHOOSE? Return to Questions
We establish our quoted values on a basis of 2-star hotels. These have a very good quality-price ratio and offer private bathrooms. Most of them are small luxury hotels, located near town centers.
Should you prefer a 3-star hotel, you’ll mainly get additional services as for the facilities offered by the establishment (phone in the bedrooms, mini bar, etc.).
The 4- and 5-star hotels are provided with luxury comfortable rooms and a better service. You should note that these are often big hotels which sometimes are part of national or international hotel chains.
WHICH LOCAL AIRLINE COMPANIES DO WE WORK WITH? Return to Questions
Regarding domestic flights, we work with trustworthy companies (Aeroperlas and Air Panama in Panama, and Nature Air and Sansa in Costa Rica) according to the availability at the time of the booking. Should you have any preferences, please let us know. Flight duration within the country are seldom more than one hour.
Please note: baggage allowances with local airlines (15 kilos checked luggage and 5 kilos carry on). Please contact us about excess baggage fees.
HOW TO BOOK A TOUR? Return to Questions
Once we have established and agreed on a tour together (itinerary, services and pricing), we only start with the booking process once we’ve recieved a deposit.
Please anticipate your arrival date so that we have time to work in good conditions and to book all the necessary services.
You should know that the process can be relatively fast: sometimes, we may accept requests from customers 15 days before they arrive in country.
We also invite you to look at our sales conditions.
HOW DO I FIND OTHER TRAVELERS LIKE ME? Return to Questions
All our tours are organized privately and individually. There are no fixed departure dates. We don’t accept “open” groups (that allow more members to join in).
However, we can recommend one of our partner agencies who may be able to include you on an upcoming group tour.
WHEN TO BOOK A TRIP? Return to Questions
There is no specific date for registration!
The sooner you register, the more possibilities you have to get availability on your desired dates, in particular regarding the hotels you choose! This will also give you several advantages:
- More attractive pricing;
- Bookings with our service providers (hotels, transfers, airlines, etc.);
- More flexibility to modify your trip or add an exucrsion.
However, even if your departure date is very close, our travel advisers will do everything they can to offer you quality services that suit your travel needs.
HOW DO WE CALCULATE THE PRICE OF A TOUR? Return to Questions
We pay close attention in order to offer you the best quality/price ratio.
The price that you receive on your quote is always the price per person!
The price we indicate are is valid for the dates of your trip. You should know that our prices respect those established by our partners, which vary according to season.
The fares you see in the quotation correspond to the addition of collective and individual costs. The more travelers, the less expensive collective prices will be (transfers, guides and so on).
HOW TO PAY FOR YOUR TRIP? Return to Questions
We consider that you confirm your trip as soon as we receive your deposit.
We offer several means of payment (you will get the details by e-mail): either by secure payment with your card (transaction fees chargeable to you), or by bank transfer on our professional account.
WHAT’S IT LIKE ARRIVING IN COUNTRY? Return to Questions
A (Spanish, English or French-speaking) representative of Terra Caribea will wait for you at the airport with a sign that says TERRA CARIBEA and your name.
They’ll accompany you to your hotel!
- OUR JARGON
WHAT ARE “ROAD TRIPS”? Return to Questions
This travel option consists of travel independant with a rental car. The road-trip tours include overnights in hotels you choose, breakfast, the rental of a 4WD vehicle with GPS, domestic flights, as well as travel documents and some visits (optional).
It might be the best way to discover Costa Rica and Panama!
WHAT IS A “PRIVATE TRANSFER”? Return to Questions
A private transfer is a vehicle driven by a Spanish-speaking chauffeur. The gas, parking, tolls as well as the driver’s personal costs (accommodation, meals) are included in your quote; you do not need to provide anything (unless you want to give tips).
We choose a vehicle that suits the size of your group. It’s totally private and just for you and your group.
If you are less than three people, the vehicle will often be a comfortable car, such as a sedan or a 4WD. If you have a largergroup of more than three, you’ll travel in a van.
This is an easier means of transport as you do not need to worry about anything (road contions, travel time, etc.) and it is safer (your driver knows the region like the back of their hand).
WHAT ARE “GROUP SERVICES”? Return to Questions
Group services are services that you share with other people. You may find yourself in the same means of transport, following the same guide during the same visit, and so on. The organization of the activities, as well as the moment and the duration of breaks, are therefore not yours to choose, but decided with the whole group.
On the contrary, private services are booked only for your group (whether it consists of one or more than 30+ persons).
The excursions and activities offered as group services are often organized for two or more parties (sometimes four or six). In the event of the non-confirmation of an activity or a lack of participants, we can:
- Invite you to pay an additional cost to guarantee that the excursion will take place, and you therefore then have a private tour.
- Propose that you choose another equivalent excursion instead.
- Reimburse the price of the activity.
We can always offer you the excursion as a private service. You would then need to pay an extra cost to have a guide for your group only.
- COMFORT AND THE SPIRIT OF TRAVEL
WHAT IS SAFETY LIKE IN COSTA RICA? Return to Questions
We suggest you purchase repatriation insurance.
If you’ve paid for your plane ticket with your credit card, you are likely already insured.
We do not want to deny any risk; however, Costa Rica and Panama are rather safe countries. Those destinations do not present any particular danger for travelers who take some basic precautions and who show some common sense. We recommend you take the following precautions to ensure a safe trip:
- Don’t show any exterior signs of wealth;
- Avoid traveling with too much luggage;
- Do not leaveyour bags and cameras unattended;
- Use safes in the hotels;
- Bring copies of all personal documents (passport, driver’s license, etc.).
To keep informed about the news in the country, please consult the website of Foreign Affair (U.S. travelers may consult the Department of State’s website).
Some activities (rafting, hiking, zip lining, abseiling, biking etc) may involve some risks that each participant needs to be aware of. Before starting any activity, you will get some safety advice. You will also receive well maintained equipment.
When you arrive in country, you’ll be provided with an emergency phone number that you can call 24/7. A member of our team will be available for you for the duration of your travels in the country.
WHAT IS THE “SPIRIT OF TRAEL”? Return to Questions
No one can prevent unexpected incidents (trip delays, breakdowns, etc.); they are part of the trip. Modifications may be made upon decision of the agency or the hotels/guides according to the weather, sailing conditions, or upon request of local communities. For organizational reasons and also in order to respect the environment and save energy in remote regions, some activities and transfers may be organized as group services (boat trips, fixed meals, and so on).
HOW COMFORTABLE IS COSTA RICA? Return to Questions
Some of our tours (hikes, stays in rural communities, etc.) require travelers to adapt to local conditions.
Sometimes this may demand a particular physical condition. When choosing a camp site or hotel, comfort is one of our priorities.
Basic comfort is specified for some of our overnights. This is mainly accommodation in local communities, where you might find a dirt or concrete floor and you’ll sleep dormitories with basic beds (bed base + mattress + blankets).
It may also be difficult there to have a hot showers or electricity all day and all night long. However, you should know that our field teams will do everything in their power to accommodate you in the best conditions possible.
RESPECTING LOCAL PEOPLE AND NATURAL SITES Return to Questions
Culture: Tip: Learn a few words of Spanish so you can communicate with the locals! Always ask before taking a picture. Do not give money, especially to children. Buy your souvenirs directly from the artisans. Avoid tourist traps where most of the profits will not return to the artisans. You may be offered sacred objects or crafts made of rare materials: do not encourage this practice!
Nature: The ecosystem of some of the regions you’ll travel through is very precarious. Tourism, even in small groups, disrupts this ecosystem. In the interest of everyone, each travel is responsible for the cleanliness and the state of the places they travel through or camp in. Avoid pollution: take your garbage with you and dispose of them in the appropriate places; some regions of the world do not have the right infrastructure to manage waste.