Reviewer: William & Connie Mayfield
This shore excursion was fantastic. It was fun, educational, and gave us a great overall picture of the canals and banana plantations. I believe we got more for our money on this excursion than any I have ever taken. Our guide, Jesus, was outstanding. He took the time to search out the wildlife, monkeys, sloughs, lizards, alligators and explain the eco-system. He seemed as excited as we were when we discovered something. The boat and its driver were also great. Jesus went above and beyond at the Banana Plantation explaining the process and getting a banana tree bloom and taking it apart to explain the growing and cultivating process. Even though our ship was late getting into port, Jesus and his driver were patiently waiting with a smile and did not skimp on the tour. It was a 5 star tour.
Reviewer: Don Slice
This tour was one of the highlights of our 11 day cruise due to the tour guide Jesus. His mix of explanations and humor combined with his ability to spot and point out wildlife on the canal (and along the road as we drove) made this one of the best excursions we've been on anywhere. Well done and I highly recommend it.
Reviewer: Leslie Hersh
There were 8 of us on the tour and we had our own driver in an air conditioned van, and a tour guide as well. This made for lots of personal attention. We saw all the animals listed in the tour description. The boat driver was an extra set of eyes that helped us get within a few feet of many of the animals. The people on the ship's canal excursion were in much larger boats, and could not see things up close as we did. The banana plantation was also interesting and well presented. Jesus, our guide, explained the system and works pulling many bunches on a cable and explained, first hand, what hard work it is. He also explained in detail how the plants grow and are harvested. Now I want to go back to Costa Rica to see even more. I felt very safe and cared for during the course of the day. We were provided a generous portion of cut up fresh fruit after our boat ride which was definitely refreshing.
Reviewer: S.L. Montague
Amazing tour, amazing guide Jesus - our guide grew up in this area, was extremely knowledgeable & knew where to look for the wildlife on the river. As a result, we saw many sloths, various birds, iguanas, a crocodile & lizards. Although the banana plantation was not operating, as it was Sunday, Jesus again provided us with much information regarding its operation. Would highly recommend this tour to everyone!
Reviewer: David Marsden
We enjoyed this tour and would recommend it. Our guide Jesus, was great. He had an unusual level of area knowledge as well as an understanding of and passion for the animals and fauna. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the time went by too quickly. One note: this is advertised as a banana plantation and packing facility tour. Unfortunately, the plantation is closed on the weekends. So any tour on a weekend is just a drive into the entrance of the plantation. Jesus filled the time with information about the cultivation of bananas and a drive to a mountain side to look for more animals. We would tour with Jesus again.
Reviewer: Rey Chang
The tour was much better than we expected. The tour guide was excellent and knowledgeable, he put in extra efforts to make sure that we saw all those hard-to-find wild animals/birds. He even caught with his bare hands a red Pumilo frog for us to have a closer look.
Reviewer: milt ruebush
This was the best tour of our entire cruise. It was done by a local man that grew up there. He took us to places that none of the other tours went. We told others on the boat about where we went and what we did and they were in awe.
Had a great time, Jesus was a very friendly & informative tour guide.
Reviewer: Sue Lavoie
Our tour guide was excellent. We weren't able to tour the plantation because it was a holiday, which was disappointing, but our guide explained the process of growing bananas. The boat ride was very good and we saw a lot of wild life along the way. Also enjoyed the fact that it was a small group (13).
Reviewer: Joanne K Brogis
Excellent tour and visited many areas.
Reviewer: K. Fairchild
Amazing day of exploration in Costa Rico! Our guide Jesus was fun, knowledgable and very eager to show us the beauty of his country. By far the best shore excursion ever!!
Reviewer: John M
Great excursion and phenomenal guide. Grew up in area and knew a lot about the local wildlife and plants. Only negative was distance and route to pickup point. Longer than advertised and not in the general pickup area for other excursions but actually in the port town area well beyond that.
Reviewer: gary gabelein
Very good tour. The boat driver and the guide did very good at spotting things of interest for the group to see. Excellent!!
Reviewer: Patricia Harmon
This was a tremendous excursion!!! The ride through the rain forest was fantastic!! Seeing the animals in their natural habitat was a highlight of our trip. Jesus was a personable and knowledgeable guide. The excursion was well worth the money spent.
After a quick tour of the city, we headed to the Tortuguero Canal. Along the way, our guide, Pablo, provided an excellent history of Limon, along with what life is like in Costa Rica. Once aboard the canal boat, the other guide, Jesus, pointed out the many different animals that make the canal their home. Dozens of egrets, herons stood along the shore. Jesus also pointed out a caiman, a few different lizards, toucans and a sloth. While on our way to the banana plantation, the vans quickly pulled to the side of the road, so we could get out and observe a family of howler monkeys. They also took us to an area to get a close up look at some of the tiny, colorful, poisonous frogs. The plantation tour was just as fascinating, although because our tour was on a Sunday, the plantation was not actually in operations, so we couldn't visit the packing facilities. Finally they took us to a fruit stand, where we sampled bananas, pineapple & coconut water.
Reviewer: Bobbi Sussman
Jesus was an excellent tour guide. He knows a lot about his homeland. The Torguguero boat ride was peaceful and both Jesus and the boat captain were very good at detecting the wildlife along the river. The banana plantation was interesting to see and quite informative. My only complaint was that the tour was about 1/2 hour short for some reason. (Possibly because we were only 11 passengers so thinks went more quickly)
Reviewer: Anne Marie S Souter Loring
This tour was fantastic and the tour guide was most informative. He knew his island and everything about it. He had a full bus and several people with walking issues and he was so careful and caring for everyone. This involved a bus and boat trip. When we were getting on the boat my husband with walking issues he made sure he was seated in the front seat. The helping of getting into the boat was such a relief for me knowing there a caring person watching out. He was terrific in helping everyone get good pictures to produce great memories. I wll be cruising again in April. 17 and plan to book plans thru Shore Excursions. They are the best tour group. We have built great memories. AM and JR
Reviewer: Grandmom Cruiser
Everything about this excursion was phenomenal! The guides really made it spectacular, siting animals and amphibians that we did not notice. The banana plantation was so interesting, especially when we were able to see and hold the banana "pod". Such an informative excursion. A+++++
We went on this excursion at the beginning of February. We saw a lot of wild life and thoroughly enjoyed it. Isaac was a great tour guide. He made the tour interesting and we would recommend this tour.
Reviewer: Susan Brigden
We booked this tour instead of the much pricier ship tour, and we both loved it. Much smaller group, very personable and knowledgeable guide Jesus. Marcos, our driver, was also very attentive and helpful whenever we got on and off the van, walked up steps, etc.
Reviewer: J Geisz
Jesus was an engaging and knowledgeable guide. This tour was excellent. We saw lots of wildlife; learned about the banana harvest and got to eat some; and visited his secret spot.
Our tour guide was excellent but storms closed the plantation and I was disappointed to not have seen the operations of a plantation.
Reviewer: Harriet Basel
We had a wonderful guide who was so enthusiastic to show us his country. He knew so much about the wildlife. He showed us beautiful scenery. I learned so much about bananas. His tour was my favorite.
Reviewer: John Dorfe
What a Pleasant Surprise! We thoroughly enjoyed our adventure to see the local wildlife, plants and countryside, and the banana plantations. Our tour guide, Jesus, and driver, Marco, were awesome. They made sure we saw & heard Howler Monkeys, Slooths, Caiman, Dart Frogs, Fruit Bats, and numerous birds. We learned how banana are grown, visited a roadside fruit market, tasted fresh fruits of the area, and learned about life in Costa Rica. Would do tour again, and strongly recommend Jesus-very knowledgeable and personable tour guide! Money well spent for small group adventure!!!
Reviewer: David Chen
The tour guide on our van has very good knowledge and did extra mile for us. He is #1 tour guide we have ever had.
With Jesus as our primary guide, our rides through the Costa Rican countryside and our visits to various facilities of the fruit plantations were, except for the passage through the canal itself, the high point of our Panama Canal Cruise with Holland America Lines. All the personnel were friendly, courteous, and professional. Jesus was exceptionally pleasant, helpful, and informative, as was his fellow guide (Omar?) who did the guide duties on our delightful boat ride in rain forest canal. We saw up-close any number of colorful and unusual animals and insects and all stages of banana production on the Del Monte Banana Plantation. We enjoyed our walk along the Banana River through the rain forest and our short stop at a local fruit stand where we could sample local produce. Our van was modern and airconditioned, and our driver (Marcos) and our boat operator (Carlos?) were professional and pleasant. I highly recommend this tour as we receivedit on December 18, 2016.
Reviewer: Dr M D Chan
The Tour Guide, Jesus (GIO Tour), was so good that he tried his best to show us the ' Blue Jean frog'. He actually managed to 'catch' one to show us. We are all impressed by him!
Reviewer: Lorne J Ulven
Our tour guide was fantastic. this was the best tour of our trip. the boat ride on the canal was full of exotic monkeys birds, lizards, iguanas, and sloths. The bus ride to the banana plantation was over rough roads. Seeing how bannanas are grown was very interesting. The stop at a roadside market to have a drink and a vine ripened banana was yummy.We learned alot about Costa Rica.
Reviewer: Joyce Warriner
EXCELLLENT tour guide...Jesus
Reviewer: Self cruise explorer
Tour guide was local to the area and went out of his way to make our experience fun and educational. He loves his home and his excitement for it was contagious. We were able to see many animals because of his exuberance towards the live on this island. The driver was also very informative and fun. The two worked well together. Both listened to our questions and were able to answer them. It was a very very worthwhile experience and one that we will cherish.
Jesus really knows this island! He took us around the island, on the river and to a banana plantation with the eye of an insider! We were in the right place at the right time to see caiman, howler monkeys, sloths, toucans and more birds than I could name. It is definitely THE shore excursion to book.
all things great
Great variety and well explained.
A very comprehensive excursion, greatly enhanced by the knowledge, experience & personality of the guide Jesus & the driver Manual. Every effort was made to provide information that would enhance the understanding of the participants. An excellent tour at a reasonable cost in a quality tour vehicle.
We had a great guide, Jesus. The driver, Manuel, was also very nice. This was an excellent tour seeing the canals, banana plantation, and some hidden gems.
Our guide, I believe Jesus, was extraordinary. He's love of nature was infectious . I would highly recommend this tour. Never had a better guide.
Jesus, our Gio Tours guide, and his driver were very experienced with the area, the canals, the plantation and the local foods and people.