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Testimonials of satisfied clients


A long overdue but no less sincere thank you for all that you did to make our Costa Rican vacation an amazing experience. Traveling to a country where we didn't speak the language over a holiday week could have been stressful. However, every step of the way, you made sure we were well taken care of and knew what to expect. Our driver was terrific; the condo was perfect for our needs (great size, amazing pool and beach); the rental cars perfectly met our needs (and were delivered right on time) and all of excursions were incredible. We appreciated all of the little touches--the stocked condo, the cell phone, the reminder emails, etc. The guide in Manuel Antonio and the owners of the horseback tour were amazing. They were knowledgeable, friendly and made sure we had a wonderful experience. The zip lining was great fun, as was the rafting trip. We would highly recommend all of these vendors. This trip would have been much different without all of your help. Thank you for making our holidays so special. I have a number of friends that will likely be in touch!

Michelle Rodgers (and Doug, Natalie and Alex), San Francisco, California, USA.


If you want to get the most joy out of your trip to Costa Rica, do yourself a favor and plan it with John. After being overwhelmed by all the choices and opinions on Trip Advisor, John was able to help us hone in on choices, work with our interests and our budget to really help us build an unforgettable trip. He told us which beaches to visit. He knew of waterfalls off the beaten path (Loved this), set us up with knowledgeable guides at Manuel Antonio (we saw more animals than anyone I know), helped us get the most out of our quick 2 day trip to Arenal. We went kayaking, and horseback riding, and hiking. John set us up with the best secret Thermal waters in Arenal. We did beach. We did Rain Forests. We did the volcano. John arranged drivers to and from the hotel, got us great deals on a rent-a-car, set us up in a very reasonable and beautiful hotel in Manuel Antonio (with a gorgeous view and monkeys in a tree outside our door). It was all fun, all beauty, and pre-paid, and stress fee. I seriously cannot recommend his services enough. Our family (3 kids ages 13, 11, 9) had a trip of a lifetime!

Karen Zacarias, Washington D.C., USA. August 2015.


John... many many years ago you were the inspiration for me and a handful of my friends to follow the dream instead of the masses that are the rat race. I was the only one who followed the dream and have been living in CR for the last 13 years.

Jeff Ruzicka, owner, Marlin del Rey Catamaran Tours, Tamarindo.


My friend and I had an unforgettable visit to Costa Rica! John helped us find the best locations, lodging, transportation and excursions for our interests and budgets. He was available to us through email and by phone throughout our stay with additional recommendations and troubleshooting if we needed it! I needed to leave the country a few days earlier than expected for a family funeral and John made arrangements for me right away. It was a great relief to be able to adjust my plans efficiently and safely with John's help. I would highly recommend John's Picks to any and all travelers to Costa Rica! I will definitely be going back!

Teresa Duffey, February 2016. Playa Manuel Antonio.


John's Picks made our trip seamless and effortless! It was our first time in Costa Rica, and he helped us with travel arrangements, hotel choices, and excursions to fit our budget. It helped having someone who knows the culture show you around! We could count on him for anything, as he was super responsive and so supportive during our time there. As far as vacations go, I'd highly recommend him!

Amy Berrafato, February 2016. Playa Manuel Antonio.

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Contact Us if you want a personalized travel package for your
family, couple or group vacation to Costa Rica.


In late December 2015, Dr. Chaz Brendler and his entire family (18 in total) traveled to the tranquil South end of Playa Jacó, where I packaged a group of 2 and 3 bedroom fully-equipped beachfront condominiums for them. They also enjoyed surf lessons in front, with my trusty John’s Picks team of surf instructors headed by the colorful Gringo personality Mr. Salvatore Viola. Sal ensured a safe, fun-filled experience….even Grandma Lucy got up and riding!

The Brendler Family, December 2015. Playa Jacó.


In early February 2015, Gail and Neil Macklin did a tour de force of luxury hotels mixed with tours like waterfall rappelling, and a jungle night tour. John’s Picks Drivers provided transportation for all legs of the trip, and made sure to stop along the way so digital photos could be snapped of 20 foot crocodiles, a fresh smoothie enjoyed at a hotel view point that juts into to Gulf of Nicoya, and a delicious casado (typical local lunch of rice, beans, and fish or chicken) consumed at one of the proven roadside eateries we “pick” for you to enjoy!

The Macklin Family, February 2015. Guanacaste.


Hailing from my hometown of Phoenix, my childhood friend Alex Butler and his family did a John’s Picks trip to the Rincón de La Vieja National Park in the Guanacaste region in December 2015. With the help of my trusty naturalist guide Carlos Venegas, their 3 daughters got an education in the rich biodiversity of a Tropical Dry Rain Forest. They made the 6-mile round trip hike to the turquoise blue waters of one of my favorite spots on Earth, Catarata La Cangreja (“Crab Waterfalls”). I put them in a suite at a nearby 5 star resort and spa, where my clients get VIP treatment, enjoying the hot springs and therapeutic mud baths between meals of fresh local fare like steaks that come from the grass-fed cattle in this largely rural, agricultural region. The area is only 45 minutes from Liberia International Airport, which means it is a good stop at the beginning or end of your trip.

The Butler Family, December 2015. Guanacaste.


The Calvano family from Phoenix, Arizona, brought their infant daughter with them and I put together a very unique itinerary for them. They started on the pristine white sand beaches of the southern Caribbean zone in a boutique guest house hotel, followed by a few nights in Arenal Volcano region at a resort, then bookended with a last night at an Eco hip hotel in Santa Ana – a suburb west of San José only minutes from the airport.

The Calvano Family.


Amanda and Chaz Roth warmed up after a cold winter in Northern Arizona, and celebrated their honeymoon with a John’s Picks trip on a budget, staying at reasonably priced hotels and packed with fun tours such as horseback riding on the beach in Manuel Antonio, a visit to a Vanilla farm, a zip line canopy tour, and dinner and entrance into Arenal Volcano’s best hot springs resort.

The Roth Family.

With John you can build your own package!

Contact Us if you want to get a customized package for your Costa Rican vacation.