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Best Hikes with and without guides?

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Fort Collins...
Level Contributor
426 posts
86 reviews
Best Hikes with and without guides?

I've been reading about a variety of hiking tours that you can go on with a hired guide. I'm trying to figure out which ones are the best, as we can't pay to do them all - probably only one or two. My family (husband, daughter and I) all love nature and hiking. We hike all the time in our state of Colorado. We love to go to new places to explore.

I found a couple on the Manzanillo-Caribe site that sound interesting. This is the link: www.manzanillo-caribe.com/do/land/landen.html - The two I was curious about are the Hike to Punta Mona/Return by Boat and Tour to the Yorkin Indigenous Reserve. On the 2nd one it says that you hike, go in a traditional canoe up the river, go to the village, have a traditional meal, see some stuff, etc. I am really interested in learning about all the different people of Costa Rica, so that second one seems really appealing to me.

Then I also read about two on Atec's site. ateccr.org/index.php/… The two I was interested in were the Chimuri Reserve and Kekoldi Hike and the Hike to Waterfall.

Of course I read about the awesome Nature Observatorio also and I REALLY want to go check that out. We can't afford to spend the night, so we'd have to do a half day hiking tour.

I was also scanning through old posts on here and saw someone talking about a hike near Cahuita (?) that has some old lookout tower (from WWII?). They said it was really hard to find and that you'd need a guide.

So - if you were me and could only do TWO hired hikes. Which ones would you do and why?

Keep in mind we are going to go out fishing probably with Wahoo for one day- don't they take us near Punta Mona?

Also, are there any places that we can hike on our own? I was also reading about waterfalls in old posts as well. We'd also like to see some of those as well. When we were in Mal Pais, we rode our quad to Montezuma and hiked those falls by ourselves. Well...sort of! We ran into some locals when we were on the trail and they helped us around the tricky spots, which was really nice!

We will have a car. However, I know some of the roads near MP had huge water holes that I'm not sure you could drive a car through! Is it the same around the PV/Manzanillo area?

Thanks! I appreciate your wealth of information! TripAdvisor is the BEST!

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,656 posts
26 reviews
1. Re: Best Hikes with and without guides?

If I were you, I would do the trip to Yorkin -- this would be my first choice.

My second choice would be a visit to Gandoca-Manzanillo Preserve

My third choice would be any tour operated by ATEC

Others will have their own opinions, I am sure.

Lake Havasu City...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Level Contributor
6,833 posts
7 reviews
2. Re: Best Hikes with and without guides?

I would say you can do Cahuta National Park without a guide, unless you want to go snorkeling on the reefs offshore, where you have to go with a guide, the hike to Punta Mona and the tour to Yorkin is better with a guide, I recommend either Abel or Florentino for the Punta Mona hike. The Wahoo tour is excellent fishing,boat ride and snorkeling, but you'll see the Gandoca Manzanillo Reserve from the water, a totally different and also beautiful experience than the hike.

Fort Collins...
Level Contributor
426 posts
86 reviews
3. Re: Best Hikes with and without guides?

So - can you tell me - isn't Nature Observatorio located in the Gandoca-Manzanillo Preserve? According to their website - it looks like it is: http://natureobservatorio.com/projecten.html ? I really want to see the observatorio and go to the Gandoca-Manzanillo Preserve. I'm wondering how this is different from doing a hike to the Gandoca- Manzanillo through one of the guides on the Manzanillo Caribe site (like Omar or Tino, etc.)?

Anaheim, California
13 posts
4. Re: Best Hikes with and without guides?

the Observatory is in Manzanillo which is located in the Gandoca Manzanillo Reserve, the hike goes further South into the reserve.

Fort Collins...
Level Contributor
426 posts
86 reviews
5. Re: Best Hikes with and without guides?

Ok! Thanks for the clarification. I guess we'd hike somewhere in the Reserve though? As when I contacted him about the tour he said it was like a 40 minute hike to the tree, then we'd mess around at the tree climbing, eating snacks, checking out the view. After that he said it was like another 3 hour hike, so he must take you somewhere inside the reserve? Have you done the trip before? I know that people rave about it. But I'm also interested in the other hike that goes to Punta Mona. Ahhh....you guys have too many choices! ;-) Truly there are so many cool things to do. To bad I wasn't rich, then I could just do them all! This trip is costing us a good chunk of change just to get there and for the hotel, not to mention food. So originally when I planned it I was thinking that we'd lay low and just do mostly things on our own - snorkeling, explore town, bike around, and do cheaper things like the Jaguar Center. That was all fine and dandy until I started reading about all the awesome things to do in the area!!! Truly it sounds like a gold mine of good stuff! I'm really excited to go. We will just have a tough time deciding where to spend our money!

6. Re: Best Hikes with and without guides?

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