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Old Sunday 26th April 2020, 21:34   #1
Les Shulman
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Eafn

Is anybody familiar with and/or have experience using the European Association of Friends for Nature (EAFN)?

According to their website for 1.5 Euros per person per night one can purchase a "Virtual Pass" for the use at 25 Costa Rican Lodges that participate in the program with discounts ranging from 5%-25%. They will email you a Discount Code after the transaction is completed.
The pass can be used at multiple lodges/hotels for I believe up to a 30 day period upon check-in at the first accommodation.
Participating lodges include such well-known birding ones as Paraiso Quetzal Lodge (that's why I may be interested in EAFN for my trip early next year), Toucanet Lodge, Celeste Mountain Lodge, La Laguna del Lagarto, Finca Luna Nueva, Heliconias Nature Lodge, and Ara Ambigua Lodge.

I'm not sure if the discount if booked online at the lodges is applicable for the lodging only or would include meals also.

Saludos y cuidate,
Les

Last edited by Les Shulman : Sunday 26th April 2020 at 21:36.
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Old Sunday 26th April 2020, 22:29   #2
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The current epidemic is wreaking economic havoc with all the birding lodges, so they are all willing to provide discounts. So why pay some third party for that? It cuts the lodge's income even further.
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Old Sunday 26th April 2020, 22:36   #3
Les Shulman
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Estudiant,

That has not been my experience when communicating with many lodges for bookings between February-April, 2021.
The only discounts I have been offered by some is because my length of stay would be 10-16 days.
For example, one higher priced lodge whose rates did not include meals offered breakfasts as part of the package but no cash discount.
Also, from what I could ascertain a popular lodge in the Arenal area is providing no discounts at all with a rate for a standard room at $170.

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Old Monday 27th April 2020, 12:57   #4
etudiant
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Originally Posted by Les Shulman View Post
Estudiant,

That has not been my experience when communicating with many lodges for bookings between February-April, 2021.
The only discounts I have been offered by some is because my length of stay would be 10-16 days.
For example, one higher priced lodge whose rates did not include meals offered breakfasts as part of the package but no cash discount.
Also, from what I could ascertain a popular lodge in the Arenal area is providing no discounts at all with a rate for a standard room at $170.
Thank you for that real world check. Guess the hope is for a V shaped recovery. Or perhaps economic theory and reality diverge yet again.
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Old Monday 27th April 2020, 17:19   #5
Les Shulman
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Hi etudiant and all.

And I thought that the V shaped recovery was solely the delusion of the sociopathetic so-called president of the U.S.

It does seem that many of the lodges/hotels in CR are hoping (banking?) on their past occupancy rates, particularly during the high season.

Another example of that would be a lodge which arguably is the original and most successful of the "birding lodges." With no discounts considered, they are still charging $200 per person with mandatory full board during the high season and $160pp for the rainy season. The only concession they are making vis-a-vis convid-19 is they are now offering a modified, more flexible cancellation policy. However, I believe with nothing to do with the pandemic, the lodge has eliminated their single supplement which had tacked on anther $50 in high season and $30 in low.

Regarding EAFN I contacted one lodge who on their website was offering a 21% discount and notified them that on the EAFN site the discount was stated as being 10%. Gratefully that lodge got back to me and told me they had notified EAFN of the discrepancy and within hours EAFN corrected the discount to be the agreed upon 21%.

From the online research I've conducted on the EAFN Program there are some well-known and popular moderately priced birding/nature lodges that are really attractive with the discounts while there are some very high priced ones that would still be way beyond my means or interest. The money I'm saving for 5 nights at the 21% off lodge I plan to apply to a day of on property guided birding which otherwise I wouldn't have.

Saludos y cuidate,
Les

Last edited by Les Shulman : Monday 27th April 2020 at 17:29.
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Old Friday 1st May 2020, 21:15   #6
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Interesting to hear about that discount offered by the EAFN. Given wide scale cancellations during part of the high season, every lodge and tourism venture in CR and most places have been impacted to varying degrees.

Some that always have low occupancy rates during the next few months might not be as impacted as others but I would gather that all are banking on tourism being back to normal by 2021. What else can they do really? In the meantime, I have heard of the Observatory Lodge offering discounts in June although that might only be for national tourists and it's still up in the air whether they can be open at that time. Sure hope so, various other hotels might also offer discounts the next few months but yeah, not for the high season.
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Old Saturday 2nd May 2020, 10:33   #7
Les Shulman
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Patrick, since I only contacted lodges for the next high season my impression also is that they are hoping that 2021 will revert back to normal. From what I read yesterday it appears that CR has been acting quite responsibly and effectively in regards to covid-19 and will quite soon be very slowly opening up the country. However, the prohibitions regarding foreign tourists entering the country will remain in place indefinitely, thus continuing to greatly impact the tourism industry.

I did register with EAFN and the process was quick and easy. The only hiccup was that our bank in California initially denied the transaction as it didn't recognize the source and flagged it. They immediately contacted us by email and the problem was easily rectified. The charge by EAFN is $1.50 per person per night.

Then I booked 5 nights at Paraiso Quetzal for early April, 2021 and received a 21% discount for the lodging. As I anticipated the meal charges aren't included in the discount. Thus, I will be staying 10 nights at Miriam's Cabins/Cafe in late March and 5 at PQ. That is, if the viral situation is not only resolved in CR but also in Mexico???

Last edited by Les Shulman : Saturday 2nd May 2020 at 11:12.
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