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Manuel Antionio - What is the process to hire a good guide?

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New York City, New...
posts: 47
Manuel Antionio - What is the process to hire a good guide?

I see alot of recommendations to hire a guide to tour the MA park, but how should one go about hiring a guide - can we schedule a guide in advance (or do you need to pick one up at the gate?) - will they meet you at your hotel? and what is the average cost per person? - Thanks

Slovenia
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 5,420
reviews: 52
1. Re: Manuel Antionio - What is the process to hire a good guide?

Every accommodation will be able to help you hiring a guide. In addition there will be some of them waiting at the gate to the park. Personally I have been more then satisfied with services offered by Juan Luis Brenes Alvarado http://www.aguilatours.com/ . Be sure that the guide will be certified one!

Winnipeg, Canada
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 5,838
reviews: 14
2. Re: Manuel Antionio - What is the process to hire a good guide?

I too have used Juan Brenes and enjoyed his tours.

A few others have been recommended in this forum including Pablo Gonscalves ( who works with Juan) Maurillio Cordero, Efrain Vargas. You can schedule one in advance if you want.

Your hotel will be able to get a guide for you. Since in part ther own reputations rides with the customers being satisfied, the hotels usually work with a few that have proven themselves.

raquel

Manuel Antonio...
posts: 587
reviews: 34
3. Re: Manuel Antionio - What is the process to hire a good guide?

Both replies above are right on.....either choose and book one in advance (that comes highly rated).....or let your hotel arrange one (remember, they do this everyday and they strive to keep their guests happy, plus you have a third party to assist in case of problems, like changes/cancellations/etc).....or you can pick up one at the front gates of the park.....at your own risk.

Tulemar Dave

Manuel Antonio
Destination Expert
for Manuel Antonio National Park
posts: 2,110
4. Re: Manuel Antionio - What is the process to hire a good guide?

Yes, it is usually best to have your hotel or house manager arrange your guide to make sure it is a certified one. They know if you are not happy you will come back and let them know, so they use guides with proven track records that will help you get so much more out of the experience. The cost is usually around $45 per person which includes RT transport, your $10 entrance fee, fruits and refreshments and of course your bilingual guide with telescope. They generally go in groups of 10 or less persons so there are not too many people crowded around the telescope. They usually stop to allow you to swim as well. If you decide to go by yourself, remember they sell no food or drink in the park, so you need to go prepared. The park is closed Mondays, so plan around that. Enjoy!

San Jose, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 39,236
5. Re: Manuel Antionio - What is the process to hire a good guide?

Juan is a great guide...also you can check with MAurilio Cordero..avenatura@racsa.co.cr

roadadvisor

posts: 2
reviews: 33
6. Re: Manuel Antionio - What is the process to hire a good guide?

My opinion: skip the guide. It's a waste of money. The park is very small an VERY crowded. I would make sure you are the first one in at 7 AM to avoid the crowds and have peaceful walk in nature.

London, England...
posts: 2,203
reviews: 80
7. Re: Manuel Antionio - What is the process to hire a good guide?

Juan and Pablo (who's actually Canadian but emigrated 20 yrs ago) are both superb. We (3 guys) did the MA national park with Juan and the mangroves with Pablo last Sunday, with lunch inbetween, and the whole experience was a joy. There is a lot you'll miss without a guide, though I suppose you can't miss the white faced monkeys n iguanas, but there's so much more than that.

San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 80
8. Re: Manuel Antionio - What is the process to hire a good guide?

Agree with #6..wouldn't waste my money on a guide in Manuel Antonio park. It's a tiny little park with tons of tourists. Just look for a gang of 30 people or so looking up at a tree. A place like the Osa I would say yes, spend money on a guide, but MA , no chance.

London, England...
posts: 2,203
reviews: 80
9. Re: Manuel Antionio - What is the process to hire a good guide?

No guide = no high power telescope, we'd have missed a lot without it.

Harwich Port...
posts: 58
reviews: 1
10. Re: Manuel Antionio - What is the process to hire a good guide?

It is cheap money for a guide. We would not have had the same experience without him.