Focus on Nature Tours / Armas Hill — Paid for services not provided
Problems on the Costa Rica birding trip Jan 30 - February 15, 2011. (Note payment was made to the company months in advance for daily guiding services and all trip related expenses in Costa Rica):
Trip leader, Armas Hill, failed to meet up with group until the morning of the third day;
Day 4: Armas routed the group via rough back-roads with which he was unfamiliar; upon arriving at the destination city, group had to wait while he went searching for accommodations - he was apparently denied credit card authorization at the first two hotels to which we were taken;
Day 6: all-day river trip was cancelled when Armas could not pay for the tickets;
Day 7: Armas was unable to pay the hotel bill for previous three nights or the driver from day 4; he was detained by the hotel, police were called; group left for next destination without Armas who said he would rejoin us when money was deposited to his account; had to find our own accommodations;
Day 9: Armas arrived early afternoon saying he received payment for a future trip, so he now had the finances to continue;
Days 9 - 16: trip resumed however the itinerary and accommodations kept changing from pretrip documentation; it was difficult to keep contacts at home up-to-date on whereabouts; we refused a scheduled overnight trip into Panama when Armas divulged it was illegal to take his rental car across the border.