We traveled flew into San Jose and hired Mr. Alex ( Alessandro Cirla Figueroa <email@example.com) to drive us to Manuel Antonio. Do not use Danny (Danny Jimenez - firstname.lastname@example.org) as others have recommended...completely unreliable. He was having some issues and never called--he just didn't show up. Only when our concierage called him on our behalf did he find someone else to drive us who showed up and hour 1/2 later. By that time we found Mr. Alex and he was ready in ten minutes to take us to Manuel Antonio. Mr. Alex was amazing--he stopped wherever we wanted no extra charges and was always prompt --very knowledgeable and excellent English.
--Casa Barba Roja--PURA VIDA. Love this house, the location, the view. Everything. If you want a house that looks out over the Pacific with a pool--this is it. Monkeys come to you. Sigh miss it sooo much. The concierage Shirley Clark is amazing.
--Valmy Tours--The best horseback riding experience I've ever had...my eight year old and four year old loved every minute of it. Che and Valentin were just fantastic people to meet and we learned so much from them.
--National Park is beautiful, but I will say that hiring a guide is a must our guide was Juan from :http://www.aguilatours.com/. He was soo good other guides were following him.
--Midworld Ziplining was a great experience for my husband and eight year old.
--Damas Mangrove Tour was definitely worth while --we saw an entire troupe of monkeys up close
--We opted to hire a professional photographer to take family photos while we were there--Chloe Murdoch is amazing. The pictures are fantastic and she is a pleasure to work with.
Wow did we have a great trip. Thanks to all who answered all my questions and helped guide me in the right directions.
Enjoy your trip to Costa Rica!