San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Tour Cancellation Policy Causes Confusion

We paid Montezuma Expeditions $220 for a round-trip travel package between Alajuela (west of San José) and Montezuma (on the Nicoya Peninsula) on Jan. 14.We were required only to pay $110 but decided to pay the return in advance.

The next day, we made the trip – as you are aware, the journey is long and the roads are rough. On Jan. 16, my back seized up and I was unable to walk or move without severe pain. I visited a massage therapist and chiropractic clinic, where I was treated for an unstable sacroiliac joint. It was decided that I would need to fly back to Alajuela, as the long bus ride would be very painful.

On the morning of the 20th, we asked our hotel owner in Santa Teresa to contact the agency to cancel our pickup on the 22nd. She spoke with someone at our hotel in Alajuela (Hotel Los Volcanes, which belongs to the same owners as Montezuma Expeditions), who said there should be no problem. However, after we flew back to San José, we were informed by an Expeditions employee that the manager was not willing to reimburse us.

We are reaching out to the company to reimburse the travel portion of our package ($56). The company’s service is mentioned throughout the guidebooks we studied prior to our trip. To keep its good reputation, it is important that it be responsive to medical emergencies, which cannot be planned for.


Josie Lenwell

Taos, New Mexico, USA


Montezuma Expeditions Manager José Antonio Quesada told The Tico Times last week that Lenwell has been reimbursed for the $56 in question. He said the reasons for the delay in paying her included the cost and difficulty of making an international money transfer, though a solution was eventually found.

The company’s travel cancellation policy, available on its Web site ( and confirmed by Quesada, is that cancellations must be made at least five days ahead of time. Exceptions can be made for “extreme cases,” he said, which is why the company reimbursed Lenwell.


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