We scheduled a halfday tour with William before arriving to Costa Rica. We confirmed the trip with him before departing, and called to confirm the day before once reaching our hotel. We were a little worried when he said he wouldn't be able to make it last minute, but Manuel would be our guide. He must have sensed our worry because he called us back with a description of Manuel an his cab number so we would know who to meet at our hotel.
Manuel was on time, courteous, and spoke very good English. He was very proud of his country and town, and was extremely informative. Along our hour long car ride around the area he stopped many times to show us bananas, paprika, local fruits (most we were able to try), flowers, and monkeys and sloths in the wild. He also told us about some of the history of the area.
We scheduled seeing a banana plantation as part of our tour. This part of the tour was brief, but interesting to see how they are harvested. We also had a boat tour with Carlos. This was a highlight too. We saw many local birds, more monkeys, and sloths, and crabs. Felt safe on the boat, and again Carlos was very informative. The last part of our trip was a tour of Limon/Moin. While we were not really in a shopping mood the driving tour was interesting and we got a feel for the local vibe. Didn't really feel like we were okay with exploring on our own (both the fact that this was our first full day in the country, and because of the language barrier) but Manuel was great pointing out important buildings to their history, and showing his pride in his hometown.
Overall this was a great firsthand way to see the area. We had good communication with William beforehand, and he obviously knows who can be trusted as part of his tours by allowing Manuel to be his replacement in an emergency.
Would highly recommend!
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