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“Sloth sighting from a kayak!”

Priss Tours (Mangrove Monkey Tour)
Ranked #42 of 65 Tours in Manuel Antonio
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Owner description: The Best Mangrove Kayak and Boat Tour!!!Damas Island Boat TourJoin us on a covered boat tour through the complex and beautiful estuary system of Damas Island. Our boats are eco-friendly and designed for your security and comfort once aboard our naturalist interpreter’s will describe a variety of biological relationships between many organisms in this delicate habitat, such as white faced monkeys, herons, snakes, crocodiles, iguanas, just to name a few! Includes: Transportation- bilingual guide, lunch or dinner.Damas Island Mangrove Kayak TourExplore the wonderful world of mangroves just 15 minutes from Manuel Antonio area. Discover a variety of amazing wildlife within the mangrove forests. You will float under a lush canopy of rainforest, silently watching an spectacular variety of birds, snakes, crocodiles, ant eaters, and many groups of white face monkeys. Includes: Transportation- bilingual guide, lunch or dinner.
Reviewed September 4, 2012

Our hostel owner recommended this tour and we were pleased we took his advice, the team were professional, knowledgable and spoke good English. We had two double kayaks and one single one for our family, there was also another family of 3 so the group was relatively small and we could all paddle fairly well! Our kayak guide was good at spotting the animals/birds and we saw our first sloth (my daughter was so excited she nearly fell out the kayak!) and troop of monkeys aswell as many other things. The guide told us lots of interesting facts about the mangroves and history of the area too. The meal afterwards was at a resturant in Manuel Antonio and was extremely good it also had a wonderful view of the coast. Good value at $50 each.

Thank AR-247
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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35 - 39 of 62 reviews

Reviewed January 28, 2012

I have a degree in botany and ecology and went on this tour to see and learn more about the mangrove swamps. The tour is advertised as 4 hours but don't be fooled. You will only be in the swamp for about 2 hours, the rest is transportation (or waiting for "late" transportation), and a meal that is very simple: just beans and rice, some egg and plantains with fruit and coffee. All for $65...yikes!
If you want more time in the mangroves, look elsewhere!

2  Thank Kfroese85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2012

Hubby and I were picked up at our hotel on time for our mangrove kayaking "adventure." Our guide/driver, William, was a very safe driver. It took about 15-20 minutes to get from Quepos to the estuary.

On arrival, I was disappointed that they weren't already prepared (all the kayaks were still in the shed). So we largely stood around and waited while they loaded one of the boats for a tour, and then launched us kayakers one by one (14 tourist in total, 8-9 kayaks). We must have stood around for at least half an hour waiting for this to get done. On top of that, hubby and I requested single kayaks (since they asked what we wanted when we booked) but when we showed, they said they didn't have enough for us (why even bother asking in the first place?) and said our only option was to share.

I was also disappointed that they didn't have any wet bags for your stuff on the kayak (first in my experience), and the "dry" compartment had water in it, so you had to leave your stuff back at the launch if you didn't want it to get wet. Once we were all on the water, then they decided to distribute the water (nice that they had water, but couldn't they have done this before, like when we were waiting or launching?). This took some time as well, since people had to kayak close enough to catch their bottle of water or get it passed along to them eventually. Not horrible, just annoying that they do this everyday and couldn't figure out a more efficient way of handling it. It came across as disorganized and time consuming.

They split the party of 14 into two groups, 8 and 6, each with their own guide. Our group probably spent about 2 hours kayaking in total. We saw a lot of birds in trees (well, not really, they were difficult to make out from the branches since they blended in so well), the butt of a sloth (so far away we couldn't tell if it was a three or two toed one), Jesus Christ Lizard, silky anteater (I never could make it out in the tree), and the resident capuchin that comes out to greet you while you're waiting, i.e. didn't see any monkeys once we were on kayak. Overall, slightly disappointing (especially compared to Manuel Antonio Park). Yes, you can't force nature to do anything, but that's why you hire a guide, they're better at predicting what nature will do. Oh, we also saw trash. In the water and hanging from the mangroves. Our guide didn't seem too phased by it.

Another flaw is that it's very difficult to do an educational tour on kayak. Most of the time, we couldn't all fit close enough to our guide to hear what he was saying or see what he was pointing at. On top of that, we'd have to move every so often for the boat tours to squeeze by, with their very loud motors emitting noxious fumes (so much for scaring away the animals), carrying along their very bored passengers. Lastly, you get some very good kayakers and some very bad ones. Most of the time, we didn't know where half our group was. So we'd just stop and wait for them to catch up. Not their fault, but still difficult for the rest of the group.

For dinner, we walked across to Kayak Lodge. The food choices were chicken or fish (sea bass), served with rice, beans, and a small side salad. Both were very good. They served POG/juice as well. Fortunately, we didn't have to wait too long for dinner, as we were all starving. Unfortunately, after we were done eating, we probably spent another 45 minutes afterward just sitting there waiting for our van to come get us. It wasn't horrible, but you could tell everyone was tired and ready to go, so it was a bit of a drag sitting there and waiting while the bugs were devouring us.

Would I say it was worth it? I would say it is okay, but if you're limited on time and funds, I would give it a pass. Don't do it if your intent is to see animals, your money would be better spent on a good guide for Manuel Antonio Park. Kayaking is always fun, and going through mangroves can be entertaining as well, so it's worth it if you just want an outdoorsy excursion. With that in mind, the boat tour would not be worth it personally, especially since it's the same price.

1  Thank lilbruingirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2011

First things first, Pedro, the Driver, is THE BEST! He was so willing to please and wanted us to see all the fun aspects Costa Rica has to offer. Once we got to the mangrove tour, Juan did an amazing job informing us of his "office" he knows so much about his surroundings! Juan will answer any question, make any stop for any animal and take any picture. We were able to get really close to the monkey's and tour them which was awesome. We learned all about the history of the mangroves and got to know all the different animals and trees that make the mangroves so interesting. We were bummed we didn't get to see any snakes or crocodiles, but as Juan says, Nature is unpredictable and you never know what you are going to get!

At the end, we were treated to a traditional Cosodos dish that was yummy! Transportation was provided, which is great.

1  Thank MartieBuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2011

The day started out overcast but as the drive to the park took place, the skies became bluer as the fogs lifted. The trip took us over some mountainous terrain and anyone who has been to Costa Rica can attest to the roads not being the best. It was quite bumpy in spots.
We made a stop at a roadside cafe and enjoyed the Costa Rican coffee with the local beans and rice offering at every meal. The combination of black beans and rice tastes different at every venue. The added ingredients provide for a variety like no other.D
During the course of our trip, we made a brief stop to see a crocodile feeding ground. They looked like logs in the water. Their snouts have been in the muddy water with the vegetation for so long that they actually look like algae. It wasn't until they began to move that you realized they weren't logs at all.
We reached our final destination to San Manuel Park where we were met with monkeys galore. They swung from tree to tree, skampered across the beach and the open lawns making all kinds of noises and coming just close enough to beg for food. It appears that they are not camera shy, either as they do poise with delight as you snap their pictures. They were very playful and entertaining.
It was a wonderful trip and I would recommend that others visit this area, too.

Thank Barbara A S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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