Costa Rica: “The Real Costa Rica” Guide TicoGrande Reminded Me of My Worst College Prof — 20 Comments

  1. For Future Expat – we considered a tour before we moved, but ended up doing it on our own. We figured we had decades to find out about the country if we decided to move here (we did), and the most important thing was to find out how to find out more. We did attend the ARCR 2-day seminar, and found it very useful. We also read a lot of books, blogs, and forums before coming, and stayed in small hotels/B&Bs on our several trips. The most important thing is to know what you want out of life, and to be as critical as possible (no rose-colored glasses) with what you experience to see if it will work for you.
    BTW – we met Tim for lunch once – that was enough. One statement that he made that sticks w/ me: “retirement is different for a woman.” Even w/ a hint or two that I was retiring from a profession, he remained clueless, didn’t follow up, kept his outmoded single-sided outlook on what life is like for “everyone.”

  2. Dear Going Like Sixty: Thanks for your reply! I am now even more torn than ever! It seems Tim has the most information and for sure, legitimate, which is comforting. However, not sure I want to pay money to be treated in an insulting way. While I know it is not intended to be a fluff tour, and is supposed to be educational about moving there, it seems that could be accomplished in a polite manner. Sooooooo…… seems like its the “Devil & The Deep Blue Sea” conundrum. Not sure what we are going to do at this point.

  3. This is hilarious, but sorry you had to put up with such a meanie. Your experience sounds a lot like the “help” I get on expat forums whenever I ask a question. There are one or two nice, helpful, knowledgeable people, and the rest are out to start arguments and be miserable. Get a life meanies!

    • Yeah, his interpersonal skills were lacking, but he has done a lot of research and we have found his website and the tour to be worth the money. Forums can be a wild and wooly place thats for sure! So you and me and the other nice people must not let the trolls win. 🙂

      • We are considering hiring TicoTours but are a little leary due to these comments. He does seem to have a lot of good information on his website. Also he wants a deposit up front. It does sound like he is legit so not too worried about any scams for the deposit. However, due to everyone’s comments, can anybody recommend any tours similar to his so we can look at other options?

        • There are no other options. The other tours have a agenda to sell you property. You will be treated like a customer.
          On the surface this may seem to be a good thing, but what you really want is an unvarnished opinion backed up by some facts. Tim will provide this for you. But it won’t be easy. Should it be?

  4. Just want to put in my two cents. I hired Ticogrande just a week or so before goinglikesixty did. I got a lot of good info from Tim but found his manner to be abrasive, controlling in the extreme, rude, and unprofessional. I was happy to get the info he imparted but had great difficulty with his behavior.

  5. ROTFLMAO!!! Hard to imagine two adults paying at that and not able to speak-up and set somebody straight at their expense to boot! I believe this is just a sham to discredit Tico Grande by a bunch of jealous realtors and other money makers off those interested in moving to Costa Rica!

    • I’m guessing you have never met or talked to Tico Grande. Here’s why we didn’t ditch him: we paid upfront. BTW: did you even read the first paragraph of the post? Let me help you… it starts:
      “The time we spent with Tim was intense. …” Go back and read that.

      • Thank you but I do not need your help…Tim’s an honorable man, I find it very hard to believe your account…I know he’s a straight shooter and does not pull any punches. Perhaps your very sensitive…I can not imagine anyone not putting someone in their place especially paying customers regardless of a refund or not. JMHO

  6. Wow, what a crappy guide. I’m glad you wrote about it so other people don’t fall into this guy’s hostile trap.

    I am always open to any questions you have. Living here is a blast, even with all the crazy things that happen. A group of Mot Mot birds are in a tree in my front yard right now. Things like that make up for the fact that I did not have water for 8 hours yesterday.

    And I promise not to ask you what a dongle is. 🙂

  7. Bruce and I are still laughing with tears streaming down our face. We LOVED your description of your beloved guide!! Next time you come back I am sure it will be a much more pleasant trip since you won’t have two whole days of being beaten and battered. Of course, you DID have the comfort of kisses and snuggles from the furkids at the end of these arduous 2 days.
    HURRY BACK!! All us two leggeds and four leggeds miss you!!!

    • Yes, we think we could be happy living in Costa Rica. Even though CR is the size of West Virginia, there are enough mountains to put between us and Tim that we feel confident our paths will never cross again in person.

  8. My husband and I took the TicoGrande Tour with Tim in January not long before you went out with him. We learned a fair amount from him but found his manner to be offputting in many ways. He made rude and condescending comments, reacted defensively when we asked questions pertinent to the topic at hand, and was controlling in the extreme. After just a couple of hours in the car with him, we were both very stressed.

    Like you, we got through the second day by pretty much keeping our mouths shut. We also agreed with him as much as possible to avoid confrontation of any kind.

    While I’m glad to have acquired some of the information Tim imparted, if I had it to do over again, I’d save my money (several hundred dollars) and take my questions about mail, banking, getting residency, etc. to other expats.

    • Yes, we feel the same way. Not money wasted per se, but certainly nothing in his lecture that couldn’t be learned from and other sources. As we talked on the trip home there were little nuggets of info that I think will be useful.

  9. It’s also difficult to listen about how things are in the US when he hasn’t lived here since the 90’s….things change! At the end of the tour he was discussing technology and made a statement regarding a dongle. He looked at Mark and said “do you know what that is?” Mark said yes, then he wanted to know how he knew; he replied, “we use them at work”. Then he asked me and I said yes. Then he wanted to know how I knew and I went on to explain that I use one with my embroidery machine. Then in a gruff voice he barked, “Are you trying to tell me that your sewing machine hooks up to a computer?” And I responded yes it does! Sheesh…I need to add, I don’t think he was convinced that sewing machines are now computerized and can be hooked up to a computer. See, things do change! And another thing, I don’t need a Costa Rican telling me about the US political scene.

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