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“Top Guide”

Johan Chaves - Nature and birding Tours
Ranked #7 of 69 Tours in Manuel Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: I am Johan Chaves, a local naturalist guide who has lived in the region since my childhood. Besides my professional training, the passion for the natural world, enthusiasm and the experience gained at the field during this 13 years in my profession had been key in gathering the knowledge required to lead professional tours. I am always willing to give each customer a lifetime experience through my office; the rain forest. I offer individualized tour services that can be customized, ranging from a fun family vacation to a serious nature history walks thru the stunning scenery of the Manuel Antonio park, or even advanced birding outings locally or throughout the country.
Reviewed July 27, 2012

The bird guide network in Costa Rica worked great for us! Our bird guide in Monteverde recommended Johan Chaves when he learned we were going to be in the Manuel Antonio area. We had a 4-wheel drive, so Johan met us at our hotel and we left around 5:30 a.m. to explore Esquipulas/Villa Nueva, Johan's home territory. Johan's English is impressive as are his birding skills. Our delight at seeing "lifers" was matched by Johan's enthusiasm for birding and guiding. Because we were interested in mainly birds, Johan took us up into the highlands, helping to navigate some muddy tracks as we drove way into the country. We parked and walked the roads, with Johan locating birds or identifying ones we spotted plus offering observations about various flora as well as the way of life for people living in the area. We couldn't have spent a more delightful morning. Johan is smart, full of energy, and delightfully savvy about the business of guiding--a true contemporary professional. We can give him our highest recommendation.

Thank Francie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"his knowledge"
in 49 reviews
"manuel antonio national park"
in 62 reviews
"el rey"
in 7 reviews
"spotting scope"
in 32 reviews
"costa rica"
in 106 reviews
"bird guide"
in 8 reviews
"great guide"
in 26 reviews
"private tour"
in 23 reviews
"his passion"
in 13 reviews
"he loves his job"
in 6 reviews
"keen eye"
in 12 reviews
"birding trip"
in 6 reviews
"flora and fauna"
in 19 reviews
"amazing pictures"
in 13 reviews
"take photos"
in 14 reviews
"scarlet macaws"
in 5 reviews
"knew exactly where"
in 5 reviews
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391 - 395 of 429 reviews

Reviewed July 19, 2012

My family of 23 took our first trip to Costa Rica this month.....we absolutely loved it!! The first morning I booked a tour with Johan of Manuel Antonio National Park. He picked us up at our rental house and our adventure began :) We had a great tour with Johan! He is very knowledgeable of the area and the wildlife! He put up with 11 of my family members---for that you get two thumbs up!!! He helped us to spot all three species of monkeys, both types of sloths, some crabs, dozens of iguanas, bats, and many other cool things! And he certainly has an ear for the birds!! Without him, we would have been just walking around the park clueless. The beach was absolutely beautiful and I wish we had brought our bathing suits to really enjoy the ocean! The kids went in anyway! Thank you so much Johan for a great tour and for dealing with my crazy familia!! My husband and I will be coming back to Costa Rica one day for a birding tour!!!!

Thank Lkn4me
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2012

Our first time to Costa Rica, we spent 5 days in Manuel Antonio. We were fortunate to contact Johan Chaves (thanks to Trip Advisor!) previously of our arrival in CR. We enjoyed our 3 tours with Johan and have appreciated everything he shared with us: birding, fauna, flora and historical knowledge in a very friendly tico way.

Don't hesitate to contact him for a private, personalised, professional and friendly tour. Johan loves his country and is passionate to share his culture with others. He really tries to make your tour unique and to get what you expect to see or do, even if it means to expend the tour a little.

We think we have seen the best of Manuel Antonio area in 3 tours: MA National Park, Getting around Quepos and typical tico meal in Rancho Leon and finally a very good birdwatching tour in Carara National Park.

Pura Vida!

1  Thank FreeGreenHummingbird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 11, 2012

Thank you all for the nice comments! I am always looking forward to show my clients not only our forest inhabitants but also to give them a real cultural experience in a nice all-age-friendly context. Pura Vida!!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2012

After careful consideration, we decided to select Johan as our tour guide to visit Manuel Antonio National Park. We are SOOOO glad we did! We would have walked through the trails not being able to spot anything, except trees and bugs on the trail. We spoke with Johan the previous night to arrange all the details and helpful tips (ie. water, bug spray, walking shoes, etc.). He met us at the hotel entrance with a shuttle taxi (on-time, not Costa Rican time) and off we went to the National Park. He was well prepared, with our entrance tickets to the park, telescope and guides. Johan can literally find almost "all living insects and wildlife" in the park. He was very knowledgable in his descriptions of the inspects and wildlife, very passionate for his country and sincere appreciation of tourism. His english was solid-- better than most in the States.

This was our honeymoon--- not to mention, our professional expecatations are extremely high. The quality service, price for admission ($10/each) and tour service was well worth every penny.

I will be the first to tell you, you will NOT see everything without a knowledgable guide and telescope. As a matter of fact, other guides were asking for his help! 5-Star experience.

Thank JasonandShanna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 23, 2012

I'm an amateur bird watcher but more generally, I much appreciate nature's beauty wherever I find it. I'm from from Montreal and it was our first visit to Costa Rica (spouse and I).

Johan is very professional because of:

1.his deep knowledge of this region (nature in general, a real expert in birding but also history and geography)
2. great listening capacity and great flexibility to adapt tour for the group
3. Impeccable english (actually better than mine)
4. Open minded, respectful and friendly. I wish him the same on your side.

Please be curious and ask questions, he will be more than happy to help you out.

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

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