My family (my husband and I, son and daughter in law, and two grandson ages 11 and 14) visited Costa Rica earlier this month (July 2013) and were lucky enough to book a walking tour of Manuel Antonio National Park with Mario Brenes of Jade Tours. What a delight! Mario is a walking, talking encyclopedia of nature, especially reptiles. I swear he has four sets of eyes, front, back and both sides of his head, the way he can spot animals, insects, etc. in the foliage. Two of Mario's endearing attributes are his obvious love of the flora and fauna of Costa Rica and his passion for his work. Once we experienced Mario in the Park it was an easy decision to book a second tour with him, this time a night-time boat tour of the mangrove groves. This tour, which included a wonderful restaurant dinner before the tour, turned out to be the highlight of our entire week in Costa Rica, beating out even the Park and our canopy zipline tour. Don't miss it, and definitely do it at night-with Mario, of course-what a treat. Don't forget to ask Mario to do his imitation of a howler monkey-it's uncanny.
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