We used Surcos tours for our early December trip through Corcovado. We booked with Surcos based upon the good reviews, and we were not disappointed. Estelle set up our trip for us, and she was very helpful with the planning aspect. She answered e-mails very quickly, and provided us with all of the information we needed. Our guide was Steven, and he was awesome. He’s a local who has lived in Puerto Jimenez for many years, and his English was perfect. He met us at our hotel the night before our trip and went over some last minute details. He told us that he keeps several mosquito nets at La Sirena, and we were glad to be able to leave ours behind and have a little extra space in our packs (we just brought daypacks since we had paid for 2 of 3 meals each day at Sirena). We had initially planned to hike from Los Patos to La Sirena, and then out to Carate. However, Steven suggested we got the opposite way due to the amount of rain that fell the previous days, which affected the water level of the rivers as well as the trail conditions. This worked out really well. Steven arranged for a taxi to take us to Carate and pick us up near Los Patos, so all we had to do was pack our backpacks and meet them outside our hotel the next morning.
Our Corcovado experience would not have been as good without a guide as good as Steven. Our sole purpose in hiring a guide was to be able to see as much wildlife as possible. Steven’s ability to find various species of animals was remarkable. Nobody can guarantee any sightings of a particular animal, but if an animal was in the same area that we were, Steven was sure to find it. He used his knowledge about the animals’ behaviors and habits as well as visual, audio, and olfactory clues in order to show us an amazing amount and variety of wildlife. The highlight of the trip for us was the two pumas we saw. The pumas were hidden under some thick bushes and we would have just walked right past without knowing they were there, but Steven used his knowledge of monkey behavior (a group was screaming, which Steven said was their “danger” call, and determined that the danger was a current and/or very recent danger) and went looking for potential predators. Within a few minutes he found two pumas dining on a monkey that they had recently caught. Because the pumas were occupied with their lunch, we were able to stand and watch them for a long time. Steven explained that they were brother and sister, and fairly young pumas. He kept an eye out for us in case mama was nearby! There were several other guides on the trail that day, but we were the only group that saw the pumas! Another highlight of the trip was seeing two tapirs right around sunset. Again, Steven had to really search for the tapirs, as we had seen several tapir tracks that day but no tapirs. Steven knew all of the spots that the tapirs liked to frequent, and eventually he brought us to a spot where we saw two tapirs. He also showed us a ton of other animals, including a tamandua, coati, tayras, owls, capybaras, crocs (baby and adult), lizards, a fer-de-lance, a sea turtle nest & eggshells, and various species of birds and insects. We even saw a jaguar track on the Los Patos trail, which I thought was really cool seeing as how rare an actual jaguar sighting is. Steven carried his scope around all day on the second day, which allowed us to get a great view of some of the animals. Steven also had a lot of knowledge about the plants in the park, although we were slightly less interested in the plants than the wildlife.
We wanted to do a quick hike out on the Los Patos trail, as we left fairly late since we waited to eat breakfast at La Sirena and were also concerned about not having enough water (we carried about 5L for two of us). Steven respected our wish and led us on a fast hike out, which was much appreciated. Steven had talked to the taxi driver the night before and our timing was perfect, as we reached the pickup spot just as the taxi was arriving. Steven had arranged for the driver to bring us ice-cold sodas and a couple of sandwiches, which were a nice surprise (after hiking all day, those sandwiches were some of the best I have ever tasted!). Our taxi driver was great, too- besides being nice enough to bring some snacks and ice cold drinks for us, he was kind enough to return to our hotel and return a water bottle that we had forgotten to take with us!
We were really happy that we had booked Surcos for our trip. They were really helpful during the planning stages of our trip, and provided a knowledgeable, friendly guide for us. I also thought their prices were really reasonable for the guiding services. We had an amazing Corcovado experience thanks to Surcos!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.