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“Great tours, brilliant guide, pura vida”

Costa Rica Jade Tours
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Costa Rica Jade Tours is a local tour company in beautiful Manuel Antonio. We offer the best activities and tours to help make all your vacation dreams come true. Contact us so we can help you discover the most exciting adventures and exotic treasures from this spectacular land. You may never want to leave!
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed January 1, 2014

I was part of a group of 20(10 adults and 10 kids, ages 2 through 16) that visited Manuel Antonio recently. I wanted to do a couple of nature tours in the area and wanted the best guide to take us around. After reading some reviews on TA and google, I decided to settle on Mario and contacted him via Facebook. We signed up for the night tour(Minimum age 9) and the daytime mangrove tour(all of us could go).

For the night tour, Mario took us to the rainmaker forest. This is an amazing forest about an hour away from Quepos via unpaved and rugged roads. It was a great thrill to walk here in pitch dark with the sound of rushing water in the background. We saw many animals including eyelash pit viper, different species of frogs including glass frog, leaf insect, jesus christ lizard etc. We also walked on the hanging bridges and it was incredible seeing the stars enveloped by the sounds of jungle.

The next day we did the mangrove tour in the morning. It was easily the highlight of our entire trip to Costa Rica. Once again, we saw a ton of animals - monkeys, crocodiles, different species of birds, Jesus Lizard walking on water etc. One enterprising monkey even jumped on to our boat looking for food(we didn't give any). The best part of our tour was getting an up close look at couple of boa constrictors on a tree. Mario and the boat captain expertly maneuvered our boat very close to the snakes but without disturbing them.

We all had a great time in Manuel Antonio, thanks in no small part to Mario Brenes of Jade tours. Mario has a wealth of knowledge about the different animals and we learnt a lot from him. Thanks Mario. Pura Vida.

1  Thank someIndianGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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869 - 873 of 1,213 reviews

Reviewed December 28, 2013

Mario gave us tours of Manuel Antonio NP (great) and the Night Mangroves (even greater) and we highly recommend both. He is knowledgeable, good natured, fun, and speaks perfect English. He has energy and is genuinely excited by what he is doing - sharing his love of nature and his country with others. He can get as excited about a spider as a sloth and can tell stories about both. He is also great with kids. Highly recommended. And Masha is an absolute trip on the night tour.

Thank nytraveler122
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2013

In 2009, I met Mario during my first holiday in Costa Rica. Together with a group of friends we did several tours with him through the Manuel Antonio Park. Because he was such a good guide, he can spot even the smallest bug, with a lot of knowledge and experience, my boyfriend and I decided to book two tours with him on the 8th of December 2013. We booked the tour through Manuel Antonio and the Damas Mangrove tour. Mario was our guide in Manuel Antonio and we had a great time. We did not only see a lot of animals, amphibians or bugs, but also learned a lot about them. The snacks at the end of the tour were a real treat. In the afternoon, we were picked up by Mario and his collegue. The latter took us through the Mangroves, and it was a great trip. We saw a boa constrictor, a silky anteater and many birds. We had a great time, and Mario's collegue was a great guide as well. We highly recommend Costa Rica Jade tours!

Thank Daphne H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 21, 2013 via mobile

I decided to go with Jade tours for our tour of the Manuel Antonio park after reading all the great reviews about Mario. When we arrived at the park, Mario introduced us to a different guide. I believe his name is Wilson and told us he was leaving to do a the rainmaker tour. According to Mario, Wilson has been a tour guide for about 20 years but it did not really show. We saw a few animals but mostly because there was already a group of guides pointing their telescopes at them. He did not find any of the animals himself, maybe just 2 of the spiders we saw. Actually, my husband found a lot more animals than the guide did and when we would point them out to him he would just say "yeah yeah" and keep walking. During our tour we heard a lot of the guides giving their group a lot more information about the park than what we got. Also, on many occasions the questions our group asked were not answered properly. I do not know if it was because Wilson did not know enough english to or did not know the answer. The snack at the end of the tour was really nice and I am sure Mario is a great guide but I would not recommend going with Wilson. Honestly, we felt like it was a waste of our money.

3  Thank ZairaCruz27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mariobrady, Propietario at Costa Rica Jade Tours, responded to this reviewResponded December 24, 2013

Hi Zaira,
I'm Sorry to hear that you had a bad experience in your tour of Manuel Antonio National Park . Still I cannot believe how Wilberth did not meet your expectations for the tour. He really has 20 years of experience and he is an expert in botany and birds as well. After receiving your feedback I have decided not to work with him anymore. My desire is always to assure my customers the best service in every tour.

One more thing that I will like to clarify is that when you booked your tour you didn’t request for Mario. You asked for a tour with our team and I was personally booked for the Rainmaker tour already.
You had all your complete service with the professional equipment, 3 hours tour and a very delicious snack with fruits and drinks in the park. By the way the snacks are taken and served in the park by my wife Cristel. Again I am really sorry you didn’t have a good connection with your tour guide.

Regards!!
Mario

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 20, 2013

My girlfriend and I went on two tours with Mario and his wife Cristel two weeks ago whilst visiting Manuel Antonio. Both Mario and Cristel were both very nice and helpful and Mario is very knowledgeable when it comes to all Costa Rican flora and fauna.

The first tour was the Night Rainforest Tour within the Rainmaker Park. This was our favourite tour of the two. You are picked up at your hotel in an air-conditioned minibus and from there it's a short drive to a local restaurant for a nice meal on the way to the park and then it's a short drive to the park where you're equipped with your torches before setting off on the tour. There were only two Spanish guys on the tour with us and that was it so the tour felt very personal and because they couldn't speak English and we can't speak Spanish, Mario had to repeat everything in two languages which he managed very well as his English is excellent.

During the tour you walk along paths and over suspension bridges (if you choose to) in the rainforest where you can hear all the sounds of the jungle at night as well as the running water from the waterfalls and rivers that run through the park. Along the way Mario and Cristel are constantly on the look out for any animals, and they managed to spot many different species on our tour which we were very happy about (and so was Mario who gets excited when he spots something he doesn't see regularly). We were able to see and photograph many different types of frogs (including Glass and Poison Dart frogs), salamanders, insects such as large stick insects as well as Cyanide Centipedes, a sleeping Trogon (bird), spiders including a Brazilian Wandering Spider, bats and the best of all - two Eyelash Pit Vipers. Mario was very patient with me when I was attempting to get a half-decent photo of the snakes around the hanging bridges and the whole tour within the park was nearer to 4 hours instead of the advertised 2.5 - we really got our money's worth.

The second tour was a daytime mangrove boat tour of Damas Island which is also a short drive away from Manuel Antonio/Quepos. This tour is dependant on the tide times so it was scheduled for after lunchtime (lunch was included) and once again Mario picked us up from our hotel. Once on the boat you start to see a number of different birds straight away and within 5 minutes we had seen White Ibis, an Amazon Kingfisher, a Ringed Kingfisher as well as numerous different herons and egrets. We then went into smaller channels that had different types of mangroves and here we saw White-faced Capuchin monkeys and many different crabs as well as a Green Kingfisher. By the time we headed back the sun was already setting (as this tour also was slightly longer than expected) and Mario finished off by managing to show us a big Boa Constrictor curled up in the mangroves not far from where you get off the boat which was really good to see.

Overall the mangrove boat tour was a good tour but my favourite was the night-time rainforest tour because the experience of being in the rain-forest at night was unforgettable and there was a lot more wildlife to see. If you want to go on a nature tour with a professional naturalist guide where you get your money's worth and see plenty of wildlife, then I recommend Mario and Jade Tours.

Darren & Clare

Thank bisleybus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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