We just returned from an incredible 10 day Costa Rica trip planned through Catalina at CR Referrals (highly recommended). She arranged two tours for us during our stay in Manuel Antonio: The Mangrove Boat tour and the Park Hike with guide.
Soon after our arrival at the lovely Falls Resort we had a phone call from Paul Gonsalves at Manuel Antonio Expeditions. Because it was Easter week he was concerned about the huge crowds in the MA National Park so he was wondering if we would mind switching the days on our tours. No problem for us and what a great difference this made for our experience.
It was fantastic to have Paul for both of the tours. It gave us an opportunity to really get to know him and enjoy his sense of humor and vast knowledge of so many things. He speaks perfect English and watch out because he is a huge fan of NCAA basketball and specifically Syracuse (sorry about their loss, Paul).
We didn't know what to expect on the Mangrove Boat tour and ended up enjoying it so much. It was fascinating to see and learn about the 4 types of mangroves that provide natural protection during hurricanes. Floating up the shaded estuary felt like the Jungle ride at Disneyland but this is the real thing! Saw lots of white faced monkeys, bats, crabs, birds. And a very unexpected highlight - after the boat trip we all went to dinner at Paul's home! His wife Wendy cooked delicious Mahi Mahi. Excellent!
The following day, Paul picked us up at our hotel at 8:10am for the MA Park hike. We had a nice number of 9 in our group with Paul and enjoyed seeing sloths, bats, iguanas, monkeys, birds in the forest. When we reached the spectacular beach we were given time to take a dip in the ocean. We were finished by noon and had a choice of taking the transport back to our hotel or staying on own. We stayed and enjoyed lunch at the Marlin restaurant across from the beach. We were able to walk back to The Falls Resort - took about half hour. There is also a public bus that runs frequently.
We highly recommend both of these tours and ask for Paul!
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