A Costa Rican Orchid Tour Idea I have, tell me what you think

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DukeBoxer

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Hi guys, I have been thinking for a long time now about doing a tour around Costa Rica to see orchids growing in their native habitats, mostly near where we are building our house and I wanted to know what everyone thought and if they would ever be interested in doing something like this. The visitors would stay at our house and the tour would consist of 5 days of orchid hunting and adventure tours. This is what I have thought of so far.

Day 1 - Arrival at either Liberia or San Jose International Airport (Liberia would be the preferred airport) I plan on having an SUV for transport so you wouldn't have to worry about a car rental. From the airport we would go back to my house and get everything settled in. Depending on the time, we can then go visit some of the families in our town (it is a very small town, maybe 800 people) that grow orchids to see how they grow them there. Some of the people are my mother-in-law, my wifes grandmother, her aunt and some friends of my in-laws.

Day 2 - In the morning we would have breakfast at the house early and leave for Monte Verde (about a 2 1/2 hour drive) On the way we can stop at some places that have a wide diversity of orchids. There is this one tree with about 50 different species of orchids growing on it including Masdevallia chontalensis, the Platystele that has the smallest flowers, Sobralia, Oncidium, Pleurothallis and Epidendrum to name a few. This tree will take your breath away! Another site has white and lavender Sobralias growing for a mile or 2 on each side of the road, also very impressive. When we get to Monte Verde there is an orchid garden that has many different miniatures, stanhopeas, gongoras, epidendrums, encyclias and more that we will visit first. Depending on the time, we can have lunch first at one of the many great restaurants in the town or we can head straight to the "Bosque Eterno de los Niños" (Childrens' Eternal Forest) reserve and walk the trails. You can spend as little as one hour or up to 5 walking around the trails. This is a cloud forest so there will be cool growing orchids here, mostly pleuros and other miniatures but there are epidendrums, encyclias and oncidiums plus others that I can't remember right now. After the walk in the reverve we can go to a hummingbird garden that is right before the entrance to see many different species of hummingbirds. There is also a cheese factory that we can visit and also a frog farm and/or serpentarium. There are a lot of things to do in Monte Verde actually. After we are done we will head home and have dinner (either at my house or out at a restaurant) and rest for the next days trip

Day 3 - Breakfast in the morning and then we will head out early to go to "Parque Nacional Volcan Tenorio" (Tenorio Volcano National Park). This park is about a 2 - 3 hour drive from my house and contains the "Rio Celeste" or blue river. This river is probably the most beautiful river you will ever see! The water is actually BLUE! It comes from certain volcanic minerals that enter the river at a point that you can actually walk to and see where it mixes with the water. This forest is a rain forest and might be in some parts a cloud forest. I have found some miniatures here and some terrestrials but the biggest attraction is the river. On the way up to the national forest we pass through a town called Bijagua (pronounced be-HOG-wa) where my brother-in-law is from. There are a lot of people in this town that grow orchids and I'm sure we can make some stops along the way to see their collections) After we leave the forest, we can stop at a small restaurant right before the entrance and have lunch, or we can bring a lunch with us and have lunch at the ranger station inside the park. Dinner again is at the house or out at a restaurant.

Day 4 - On this day we can either head toward San Jose and go to the Lankester Botanical Garden where they have one of the most complete collections of orchids from Costa Rica, go to "Rincon de la Vieja" National Park where we can see some orchids from a tropical deciduous forest or we can go to Buena Vista Lodge (a hotel where I used to work). There we can see some terrestrials, cycnoches and other drier climate orchids. There is a Canopy tour there (ziplines through the trees) a 1/4 mile long water slide through the forest (this thing is AWESOME, thats where I used to work) and some trails that we can ride horses on through some virgin and second growth forests and see 3 different waterfalls and then come out to a hot spring spa. The hotel visit is a whole day tour and I highly recommend this. Lunch will be out at a restaurant and dinner will be either home or out.

Day 5 - This day will be either bringing you back to the airport or if you are like me and don't believe in traveling out of the country for less than 2 weeks, well you choose what you want to do, we can do more orchid stuff, go to beaches, go to the casinos, go to San Jose or you can just rent your own car and do whatever.

I haven't worked out the prices yet but they wouldn't be more than like $500-700 for 2 people, probably even less. The plane tickets aren't included, you buy those.

So what does everyone think, would you be interested in doing this? How's the price, too expensive, not enough :poke:? Does it sound like a good full vacation, should we do more? Let me know

-Josh
 

DukeBoxer

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Blake, have you ever been to any of these places. I know Monte Verde is pretty well known by many of the tourists going there, but not to many people I have talked to have seen Rio Celeste. What do you think about the prices?
 

bwester

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no, I stayed at Peace Lodge at the la paz waterfalls. I wasnt too into orchids back then though.
 
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Drorchid

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oh, that sounds like a lot of fun. I have never been to Costa Rica, and would love to go there some time. Unfortunately I probably won't be able to go untill 2 years from now. If you are planning it again in 2 years let me know.

Robert
 
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goldenrose

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It sounds great, depending on when & what airfare figures in ...... it might be a possibility.
 

gonewild

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Here are a few questions to help you sort out your offering.....

I haven't worked out the prices yet but they wouldn't be more than like $500-700 for 2 people, probably even less. The plane tickets aren't included, you buy those.
Is that $500-700 per person or does that amount pay for 2 persons.

So what does everyone think, would you be interested in doing this? How's the price, too expensive, not enough :poke:? Does it sound like a good full vacation, should we do more? Let me know
-Josh
Does your price include all meals and transportation? Even at restaurants? What will a person need to pay for that you don't include?
What type of accommodations will you provide at your house?
How many visitors can you accommodate in one group?
 

DukeBoxer

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oh, that sounds like a lot of fun. I have never been to Costa Rica, and would love to go there some time. Unfortunately I probably won't be able to go untill 2 years from now. If you are planning it again in 2 years let me know.
Robert, I won't do this until my house is done, so 2 years from now is probably when I will start. My wife is heading down there in January after the WOC in Miami and will get all the permits then and start construction probably in February or March. We are hoping to have it finished and furnished about a year from construction start.

Is that $500-700 per person or does that amount pay for 2 persons.
Lance, I am figuring that price for 2 people but after talking it over with my wife, it might go up a little but because of insurance that we would have to pay and everything. There is a company doing orchid tours around the San Jose area that charges $1500 per person, but it includes airfare and stays in nice hotels.

Does your price include all meals and transportation? Even at restaurants? What will a person need to pay for that you don't include?
What type of accommodations will you provide at your house?
How many visitors can you accommodate in one group?
The prices will include the stay at my house, transportation, entrance to the national parks and meals, if you choose to go to Buena Vista Lodge, then either you pay for what you want to do or I will make a separate price. I haven't actually worked out the prices yet but I figured that if I had my own car to take the people around in and we ate most meals in the house, it really doesn't amount to much. My house will have the master bedroom and 2 additional bedrooms, each with their own bathroom. We will probably put a double bed in each room. We are going to try to make the house as modern as possible so there won't be any cold showers or anything like that. I am figuring 4 people at most, 2-3 people preferably just because of accommodation's and space in the car.

Just to add to Lance's questions:

Do we get to take the boxer home with us?
Marco, the boxer stays with us! I was joking with my wife today about leaving him up here and I got slapped on the back of the head.

Again, please remember that this is all just in the form of an idea now and I am looking for some feedback. When it becomes a reality you will all be the first to know. Please, no reservation requests yet :)

Oh and also, we can make a special date in the end of March when the Costa Rican Orchid Society has their annual show.

-Josh
 

gonewild

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Lance, I am figuring that price for 2 people but after talking it over with my wife, it might go up a little but because of insurance that we would have to pay and everything. There is a company doing orchid tours around the San Jose area that charges $1500 per person, but it includes airfare and stays in nice hotels.

The prices will include the stay at my house, transportation, entrance to the national parks and meals, if you choose to go to Buena Vista Lodge, then either you pay for what you want to do or I will make a separate price. I haven't actually worked out the prices yet but I figured that if I had my own car to take the people around in and we ate most meals in the house, it really doesn't amount to much. My house will have the master bedroom and 2 additional bedrooms, each with their own bathroom. We will probably put a double bed in each room. We are going to try to make the house as modern as possible so there won't be any cold showers or anything like that. I am figuring 4 people at most, 2-3 people preferably just because of accommodation's and space in the car.
-Josh
Your price is to low unless you are just wanting to attract someone to play with. Don't compare someone staying as a guest in your home as being worth less than a nice hotel, it is worth more.
 

DukeBoxer

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OK, advice taken, thats almost the same thing my wife told me also. I'll have to think over this price thing for a little bit. I understand that it is worth more for someone to stay in my home, but I thought that it would be nice to charge the same or less than a hotel, I've always thought that it's better to be a little cheaper and sell more than be more expensive but sell less. What do you think a fair price per person is, or how much would you be willing to pay for something like this?
 

gonewild

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So how much would it cost someone to stay in a nice hotel as opposed to your home?

How much would it cost someone to rent a car for 5 days including fuel?
Meals will be inexpensive but someone has to prepare them and take time to shop for the supplies. What is your time worth?

You can price your trips cheap and be constantly busy with tourists or you can price your trips higher and have less clients but make more profit with less work. Why work harder to earn less money?
 

DukeBoxer

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OK, I took Lances advice and have worked over the numbers this morning, and lets just say I was a little off with the prices. I figured into the price these things; the hotel stay (our house) for 2 people with breakfast and dinner included, car rental plus gas for 5 days, park entrances for 3 days (not including if we go to Buena Vista Lodge, that will be extra) and lunch at restaurants. The price comes out to around $750-800 per person and does not include airfare.
 
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Drorchid

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Robert, I won't do this until my house is done, so 2 years from now is probably when I will start. My wife is heading down there in January after the WOC in Miami and will get all the permits then and start construction probably in February or March. We are hoping to have it finished and furnished about a year from construction start.

-Josh
:clap::clap: Yahoo!! If it will be in 2 years from now count me in!!

Robert
 
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goldenrose

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:drool:Something I'd consider! (or start saving $$$ now!):rollhappy:
 

Jason Fischer

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I'm in for sure! As Robert said... 2 years is more realistic for me as well since I have a newborn here.
 

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