ESSENCE OF COSTA RICA DMC is the trading name for our Travel Agency & Tour Operator in Costa Rica of ESSENCE OF COSTARCA DMC S.A whose registered office is at (Registro Civil de Costa Rica ) We act as an agent for third party travel providers. We do not own or control those who actually provide the accommodation, flights, car hire, other transport, event tickets or other services which you book through us. Our obligations to you differ depending on what you book through us. Where you book only accommodation, excursions and event tickets this is a “Non-Package” Booking; where you book accommodation, excursions and event tickets with any form of transport this is a “Package” Booking. In our conditions below, section A applies to both Package and Non-Package Bookings; section B only to Non-Package Bookings and section C to Package Bookings. Please read our conditions carefully. They set out your rights and our obligations to you. Please note that insurance is not a travel product and its purchase is in any event a separate contract whether you have made a Package Booking or a Non-Package Booking with us.
SECTION A – NON-PACKAGE AND PACKAGE BOOKINGS
- WEBSITE ACCURACY
1.1 We take all steps practically possible to ensure that the details given to you on our website are accurate and up to date but we do rely upon the descriptions given to us by the actual suppliers of the services and facilities described. Sometimes the facilities or excursions described will be withdrawn for reasons such as maintenance or lack of demand from guests. Where our suppliers advise us about significant changes to descriptions or about the withdrawal of any significant facility, we will tell you as soon as possible. Some activities or facilities, water-sports for example, may not be available all year round. There may be a charge for some facilities at a hotel. In some places during high season (and even at other times) there is a possibility you will be disturbed by noise from less considerate groups, so please bear this in mind when choosing your destination and accommodation. All accommodation providers reserve the right to collect a refundable breakages deposit on arrival. Any transfer times we quote for travel between airport and resort are approximate and, depending on circumstances, the journey time to your own chosen property may be longer.
1.2 We cannot accept any liability for errors within our website descriptions which are as a result of the provision of incorrect information from your suppliers.
- ACCOMMODATION RATINGS
All ratings given on our site are based on our ratings, supplier ratings and are not necessarily the official ratings of the property. The ratings we use are based on certain criteria being met, which include but are not limited to location of the hotel, facilities at the property and the range of dining options available.
3.1 We endeavour to work only with suppliers who meet our criteria for treating all customers equally. Where possible, we make clear to all suppliers the purpose of our business and that we do not tolerate any discrimination regardless of sexual orientation, age, disability, gender reassignment, marital status, race, religion or belief or sex and we expect all suppliers, sub-contracters and third party suppliers to adhere to this too.
3.2 Where possible we ask all suppliers to adhere to the same stringent equality laws as set out BY THE GOVERMENT OF COSTA RICA and any subsequent amendments regardless of their geographical location.
3.3 We endeavour to make every effort to provide information about a customer to the supplier at time of booking and ahead of arrival.
3.4 If you provide it, we will share details regarding your sexual orientation with our suppliers in order to ensure you receive the best possible experience from all our suppliers.
3.5 Whilst we endeavour to ensure that you are treated with courtesy, respect and equally in any booking you make with us, we cannot be held responsible for any actions of our suppliers.
3.6 Our website partners with THE DIVERSE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF COSTA RICA (CCDCR) to provide up-to-date information on laws whitin Costa Rica. We are not responsible for verifying this data and it is provided as a guide only. The materials on CCDCR’s web site are provided “as is”. CCDCR and us make no warranties, expressed or implied, and hereby disclaims and negates all other warranties, including without limitation, implied warranties or conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement of intellectual property or other violation of rights. Further, CCDCR and us do not warrant or make any representations concerning the accuracy, likely results, or reliability of the use of the materials on its Internet web site or otherwise relating to such materials or on any sites linked to this site.
3.7 When making a booking with us you are responsible for checking the relevant laws of a country and ensuring that you adhere to them. Whilst we can provide advice about the latest laws, it is your sole responsibility and your own decision as to whether you decide to travel to any particular destination.
- MAKING A BOOKING
4.1 To make a booking with us, you can do so through our official numbers via the phone number listed on our website with one of our sales concierge team, email is he best way to do it as well: Julio@essenceofcostarica.com; CC email@example.com
4.2 The person making your booking (the “Lead Contact”) must be at least 18 years of age and one of the passengers in the booking. The Lead Contact must be authorised to make the booking on behalf of all members of your party. If the Lead Contact is not over 18 and a UK or Irish resident we reserve the right to cancel your booking and charge a 100% cancellation fee in respect of the complete booking. When you make a booking you guarantee that you have the authority to accept and do accept on behalf of all members of your party these terms and conditions and the conditions of the relevant supplier(s). The Lead Contact is responsible for making all payments due and for ensuring that all passenger names given to us accord exactly with their travel documentation.
4.3 It is your responsibility to check the documents you receive and notify us of any errors within 48 hours of receipt. If errors for which you hold us at fault are reported after this time, we cannot be held responsible for any costs associated with correcting these and you will be referred to the supplier’s terms for correction.
4.4 As most of our holidays are bespoke or complex itineraries, we cannot necessarily confirm every requested element at the time of booking. Processing your payment is not a guarantee or representation that your requested arrangements will be confirmed or subsequently provided. Obtaining confirmation of all elements from suppliers may take two weeks or more. On rare occasion, it may not be possible to confirm all elements as requested and we may need to make changes. Occasionally, we may have to cancel a booking prior to issuing a booking confirmation if we are not able to confirm all the elements or find suitable alternatives. If we have to cancel your holiday prior to confirmation or we have to make major changes that are not acceptable we will refund all monies you have paid us. You are not entitled to cancel prior to confirmation without paying our normal cancellation charges. No compensation will be due where your booking is cancelled or a significant change made by us (which you accept) in accordance with this clause.
- SPECIAL REQUESTS AND MEDICAL CONDITIONS
5.1 If you have any special request, you must advise us at the time of booking. Although we will endeavour to pass any reasonable requests on to the relevant supplier, we regret we cannot guarantee any request will be met. Failure to meet any special request will not be a breach of contract. Confirmation that a special request has been noted or passed on to the principal or supplier or the inclusion of the special request on your confirmation invoice or any other documentation is not confirmation that the request will be met. Unless and until specifically confirmed, all special requests are subject to availability.
5.2 Conditional bookings cannot be accepted i.e. any booking which is specified to be conditional on the fulfilment of a particular request. All such bookings will be treated as “standard” bookings subject to the above provisions on special requests.
5.3 If you have any medical condition or disability or suffer from reduced mobility which may affect your arrangements or any special requirements as a result of any medical condition, disability or reduced mobility (including any which affect the booking process), please tell us before you confirm your booking so that we can assist you in considering the suitability of the arrangements and/or making the booking. In any event, you must give us full details in writing at the time of booking and whenever any change in the condition or disability or your mobility occurs. You must also promptly advise us if any medical condition or disability which may affect your travel arrangements develops after your booking has been confirmed.
- PRICING, DEPOSIT PAYMENTS AND CHANGES TO PRICING
6.1 We and the suppliers who provide the services and facilities which you book reserve the right before you make your booking to alter the prices of any of the services and facilities which make up your booking and which are shown in our brochure or on the Website. You will be advised of the current price of the services and facilities that you wish to book before your booking is confirmed and documentation issued. All prices displayed on our website are for guidance only and are subject to change due to exchange rate fluctuations.
6.2 Should there be any increase in the cost to us, caused by currency exchange rate fluctuations, Government action, or changes in air or ferry fares, we will only absorb 2% change. You will be required to meet any increase between 2% and 10%. If we have to increase the price of your holiday by more than 10%, you will have the option of continuing with the holiday arrangements and meeting the extra costs (above 2%) or of cancelling with a credit note of any money you have paid to us, except any charges we have incurred for amendments. If you decide to cancel the holiday, you must do so within seven working days of the issue of the revised Confirmation of Booking Invoice.
6.3 Should the price of your Package go down due to the changes mentioned above, by more than 2% of your Package cost, then any refund due will be paid to you. However, please note that Packages are not always purchased in local currency and some apparent changes have no impact on the price of your Package due to contractual and other protection in place.
6.4 When you make your booking you must pay a deposit per person which will be notified to you at the time of booking. The time limit in which you have to pay is variable and will be notified to you at the time of booking. In some instances, depending upon the lead time between your booking date and commencement date, payment may be due in full at the time of booking. Failure to pay your balance in full by the specified deadline will result in a cancellation of your booking with full loss of all monies paid.
6.5 The deposit required will depend on the components you choose. The standard deposit is £30 per person for UK breaks, £50 per person for European breaks and £100 per person for international breaks. These deposits can however vary based on the suppliers used in your booking. Some suppliers and/or airlines will require full payment at the time of booking, and your sales concierge will advise you at point of booking if your deposit is more than the standard. Your balance must be paid before the date specified on your travel confirmation which is normally no later than six weeks prior to travel for all UK bookings and eight weeks for all international breaks.
6.6 Full payment will be required should you book within six weeks of travel in the case of a UK break and within eight weeks of travel in the case an international break.
- PAYMENT TYPES
7.1 ESSENCE OF COSTA RICA accepts the following forms of payment:
(i) Debit Cards
(ii) Credit Cards – including Visa and Mastercard, & American Express.
(iii) Bank Transfers are accepted on balances over $1000.
7.2 If you have made an over payment on your booking and wish for a refund, a handling charge of $15 USD will apply. This is necessary due to the processing charges incurred.
- AMENDING A BOOKING
If, after your supplier/s has/have confirmed your booking, you wish to change your booking we will try to arrange this with the relevant supplier(s) but it will of course be subject to the supplier’s terms and conditions. Further and in any event any request for a change must be made by the person who made the booking – the Lead Contact. You should be aware that changes made to your booking could incur an increase to the cost of your booking the closer to the start date that changes are made and you should contact us as soon as possible if you want to change. You will be asked to pay an administration charge of $ 100 USD for any changes as well as any increased charges. Some restrictions beyond our control will prevent any changes from being made prior to the start date of your booking and a loss of all money paid.
- CANCELLING A BOOKING
If you cancel your booking you will have to pay the supplier/s cancellation charges, and you will also have to pay our administration costs as set out below. Cancellations must be notified to us in writing via letter to our email address firstname.lastname@example.org CC to email@example.com
- 45 days OR LESS (HIGH SEASON December to March, July- August) prior to ARRIVAL to Costa Rica: Loss of full deposit paid plus any additional cancellation charges from our suppliers. (Up to 100% of booking value).
- 30 days (Green Season April, June, September, October, November) prior to arrival to Costa Rica: Full refund , except of card fees.
- 29-15 days inclusive prior to arrival: $100 USD administration fee per person.
- plus loss of all deposit paid and any additional cancellations charges from your suppliers. (Up to 100% of booking value).
- 15-0 days inclusive prior to arrival: Full value of booking.
If you wish to cancel a singular part of your booking, either a component or a passenger, this may be subject to full cancellation terms as above.
- SUPPLIER CHANGES TO A BOOKING
10.1 Our suppliers may change or cancel your booking(s) in accordance with their booking conditions. Should they do so we will let you know as soon as we are aware and your position will depend upon the relevant supplier’s terms and conditions. Copies of your supplier’s terms and conditions are available upon request. We always are going to say in our quotes our terms and conditions according with cancellation policies of our suppliers to inform you.
10.2 If you are notified of any change to your travel arrangements by one of our suppliers directly, it is your responsibility to act upon this information and update us.
- CHANGES MADE BY US TO A BOOKING
11.1 From time to time we may have to change details of your booking you have booked. If any change will have a significant effect on your booking, we will tell you about it before your trip starts, if there is time.
11.2 If you do not want to accept a significant change, which we tell you about before you depart, we will, if we are able to do so, offer you an alternative of equivalent or closely similar standard and price at no extra cost, or a less expensive booking, in which case we will refund the difference in price. If you do not wish to take the alternative we offer you, you can choose a different booking offered for sale by us and pay, or receive a refund of, any price difference. Or, if you prefer, you can cancel your booking and receive a full refund of any money you have paid to us, except for any amendment or cancellation charges.
11.3 Unless the change is as a result of circumstances listed in the paragraph below headed ‘Circumstances Beyond our Control’, we will pay you compensation. If you accept the significant change or amend to a different Package offered for sale by us you will receive reasonable compensation. If you reject the significant change and cancel your booking you will receive a full refund, AS LONG AS CANCELLATIONS ARE ACCORDING TO OUR CANCELLATIONS POLICIES MENTIONED ABOVE.
- CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND OUR CONTROL
Except where we say differently elsewhere in these conditions, we cannot pay any compensation, reimburse expenses, or cover losses for any amount or otherwise accept responsibility if, as a result of circumstances beyond our control, we have to change your booking after ARRIVAL, or we, or our suppliers, cannot supply your booking, as we, or they, had agreed, or you suffer any loss or damage of any description. When we refer to circumstances beyond our control, we mean any event that we, or the supplier in question, could not foresee or avoid, even after taking all reasonable care. Such circumstances will usually include, but are not limited to, war, terrorist activity, civil unrest, industrial dispute, bad weather (actual or threatened) and significant building work ongoing outside of your accommodation which is not known to us in advance of your ARRIVAL date and building work from a third party (such as resort development).
- CHANGES YOU MAKE BEFORE TRAVEL INCLUDING CANCELLATION BY YOU
13.1 If you want to change or cancel the arrangements you have booked in any way, we will try to help you, although we cannot guarantee that we will always be able to do this as changes are subject to availability at the time and to the transport or accommodation providers’ terms and conditions.
13.2 For any changes that can be made, we will charge the price that applies on the day the change is made. Remember any change to your ARRIVAL date, airport, transport, destination, accommodation, or length of holiday has to apply to all members of your booking.
13.3 The Lead Contact must give to us written notice to change or cancel. We will apply charges from the date we receive the instruction from you.
13.4 For changes or cancellations to flights, WE DO NOT BOOK FLIGHTS, SO YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH THAT ON YOUR OWN Certain travel arrangements may not be changeable after a reservation has been made and any alteration request could incur a cancellation charge of up to 100% of that part of the arrangements. Please note that the majority of flight providers do not typically allow changes to be made to tickets after bookings have been made.
13.5 You are not permitted to change all the names on any booking and at least one of the passengers (over 18) on the original booking must remain, unless you are prevented from travelling for reasons beyond your control and not simply from a change of mind.
13.6 If you do cancel, you must still pay any charges which arose before the cancellation, and any deposits paid for any pre-booked items or services.
13.7 Changes such as name changes (including initial changes), destination and date changes can be treated by such suppliers as a cancellation and rebooking, regardless of the period of notice given to us. If the supplier treats the change as a cancellation and rebooking we will pass on to you the cost imposed by the supplier, which could be up to 100% of the price.
- CHANGES MADE BY US AFTER TRAVEL
If, after your arrival, a significant part of your booking cannot be provided, you will be offered a suitable alternative if possible. If it is not possible to offer you a suitable alternative or, for good reasons, you do not accept the alternative arrangements, we will return you to the place of your arrival. If appropriate, we will also pay you compensation, unless your return has been due to circumstances beyond our control. The amount of compensation will be reasonable, taking account of all the circumstances.
- FLIGHT DELAYS AND CONFIRMATIONS UPON ARRIVALS
16.1 Flight timings are provided by airlines and are subject to Air Traffic Control restrictions. All means of transportation are subject to weather conditions and the need for constant maintenance and the ability of passengers to check in on time. There is no guarantee that transport will depart at the times stated on any itinerary or tickets which you receive. All timings are estimates only, and we do not have any liability to you for any delay, which may arise, or for any schedule alterations. If you are notified of any change to your travel arrangements by one of your suppliers directly, it is your responsibility to act upon this information and update us if the change will impact any other part of your travel arrangements while travelling to Costa Rica.
16.2 We do not have any liability if you fail to advise us of any change to your travel arrangements.
16.3 If you fail to check in on time or follow your airline’s on-line check in procedures, the airline is entitled to refuse to allow you to board the flight. We cannot accept responsibility if such a situation arises and, whilst we endeavour to assist in making alternative travel arrangements to your resort, any cost or loss incurred as a result will be your responsibility.
16.4 If you fail to check in at all for your flight from your country of departure, we retain the right to cancel any other arrangements you have booked with us and you will be unable to use any connecting or return flight to the country of departure. No refund can be made for any unused arrangements.
16.5 You should, approximately 72 hours before your departure, check the airline’s website to make sure that there has been no change made by the airline to the time of your flight. This is particularly important in respect of subsequent journeys after you have left the country of departure.
We consider travel insurance to be essential. Accordingly, it is a condition of making a booking through us that you have suitable insurance cover for the booking you have made and any activities which you expect to take part in or are listed in your itinerary. This insurance as a minimum should cover cancellation, baggage loss, accidents and health issues while you are away. You should take your policy details with you. We may also request the details of your insurer and policy number are provided to us for our records. We may need to refer to this if you are involved in an accident. If you are unable to provide us with insurance details at the time of booking or when requested then we reserve the right to refuse to accept your booking or cancel your holiday with loss of deposit if you fail to do so. We will not be held responsible for any expenses, damage or losses you incur as a result of your failure to comply with this clause and/or the requirements of your travel insurance policy.
- FORCE MAJEURE
Force Majeure means unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond the control of anyone involved with your travel arrangements. The consequences of these can often not be avoided even if all due care had been exercised by any travel arrangement provider. You may wish to purchase specific insurance to cover you for any out of pocket costs associated with a force majeure event. Examples of Force Majeure events include but are not limited to; an act of god, severe weather conditions, unforeseen traffic delays or strikes, war, threat of war or similar, terrorism.
- NO SHOWS
In the unlikely event that the airline with which you are travelling ceases to trade whilst you are abroad, YOU MUST LET US KNOW with time in advance. If you do not inform us about any situation about your travel to Costa Rica and you do no show up at the airport we will consider that as NO SHOW therefore there is no refund.
- TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION AND HEALTH ADVICE
20.1 A passport is necessary to travel to all countries. Passengers must hold a passport which is valid for at least six months following the return date of your holiday. Costa Rica enjoy the same level of medical service as Canada, USA, Europe However, we insist you and all members of your party insure yourselves adequately as per our above terms. If you are a USA, EU citizen and are visiting Costa Rica , from USA you can take a international insurance card. This card gives you access to state funded health care or private medical services in Costa Rica at a reduced rate or free of charge (will depend on what kind of Insurance you are buying in your own country). Certain countries require a pre-arranged entry visa and certain passport validity conditions; we accept no responsibility for these requirements, and advise all travellers to ensure that the requisite documents are in place prior to travel. For more information consult the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in your country.
- OVERSEAS SAFETY AND STANDARDS
It is the requirements and standards of the country in which any services, that make up your holiday are provided, which apply to those services and not those of the UK or your departure country. The infrastructure standards in certain overseas countries are often quite different from those of the North American countries This can include, but is not limited to, the reliability of transport, levels of service, food, accommodation, communications and water supplies. You are responsible for taking reasonable precautions for your own safety whilst on holiday.
22.1 If you have a problem whilst using any of your travel arrangements, you must inform the relevant supplier (e.g. your DMC, hotelier, transfer company, airline) immediately. Since it is your supplier (DMC) who is responsible for your booking they will have sole discretion in deciding how to deal with your problem. If you fail to discuss any complaints with your supplier whilst you are away your supplier, and we, will have been deprived of the opportunity to investigate and rectify your complaint whilst you were away and this is likely to affect adversely any rights you may have to compensation from your supplier, or us. That is why is very important that you communicate with us immediately so we can assist you during your stay in Costa Rica.
22.2 If the problem cannot be resolved locally, you should then write to us quoting your booking reference and giving full details of your complaint within 10 days of your return to your departure country. We will acknowledge your letter within 14 days, with a full reply following within 10 days unless we have been unable to investigate your complaint within this time in which case a detailed explanation for the delay will be provided and a full reply sent in any event within 60 days. No liability can be accepted for any complaint or claim which is not notified in accordance with the provisions of this clause.
22.3 Please send all complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org
If any provision or part of a provision, of these booking conditions is found by any court or authority of competent jurisdiction to be unlawful, otherwise invalid or unenforceable, such provision or part provision will be struck out of these booking conditions and the remainder of these booking conditions will apply as if the offending provision or part-provision had never been agreed.
You may not transfer any of your rights or obligations under these booking conditions without our prior written consent. We may transfer any of our rights or obligations under these terms and conditions without your prior written consent.
- LAW AND JURISDICTION
These booking conditions and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with them (including all non-contractual disputes or claims) shall be governed by and construed in accordance with CostaRican law and subject to the jurisdiction of the ourt Courts.
SECTION B – NON-PACKAGE BOOKINGS
- FINANCIAL PROTECTION
Please note that there are no financial protection arrangements for Non-Package bookings.
28.1 Your contract for your booking is with the supplier or suppliers providing the actual product, facilities or services which you book and those suppliers are responsible for anything which goes wrong with your booking.
28.2 We act only as an agent DMC in making your booking. We do not own or control the accommodation which you book or any of the other services, facilities or products which you book.
28.3 Accordingly, we have no liability or responsibility for anything which goes wrong with your Non-Package Booking unless caused by our own negligence or that of our servants or agents. Since we act solely as an agent processing your booking the only circumstances in which we are likely to be negligent is in relation to the provision of dates or other information between you and the relevant supplier.
SECTION C – PACKAGE BOOKINGS
- OUR LIABILITY TO YOU
30.1 Our obligations, and those of our suppliers providing any service or facility involved in any of Your booking, are to take reasonable skill and care to arrange for the provision of such services and facilities and, where we or our supplier is actually providing the service or facility, to provide them with reasonable skill and care. Compliance with any applicable regulatory requirements will be proper performance of our and our suppliers’ obligations. You must show that reasonable skill and care has not been used if you wish to make any claim.
30.4 If any International Convention applies to or governs any of the services or facilities included in your Package arranged or provided by us, or provided by any of our suppliers, and you make a claim against us of any nature arising out of death, injury, loss or damage suffered during or as a result of the provision of those services or facilities, our liability to pay you compensation and/or the amount (if any) of compensation payable to you by us will be limited in accordance with and/or in an identical manner to that provided for by the International Convention concerned (in each case including in respect of the conditions of liability, the time for bringing any claim and the type and amount of any damages that can be awarded). For the avoidance of doubt, this means that we are to be regarded as having all benefit of any limitations of compensation contained in any of these Conventions or any other International Conventions applicable to your Package. Any applicable Protocols or amendments shall apply to all such International Conventions.
30.6 You are obliged to assist us in recovering from any third party any sum which may compensate us for any sums we pay you. In particular, you are obliged to assign to us any rights that you may have against any other person whose acts or omissions have caused or contributed to our legal liability to pay you compensation. You must also provide us with all assistance we may reasonably require. Finally, you must follow the procedures for the notification of complaints set out in the clause below entitled “Complaint”.
30.7 Should you become ill whilst on holiday, you must, consult a local doctor and if