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“Best guide in MANP”

Johan Chaves - Guided Day Tours
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: I am Johan Chaves, a local naturalist guide who has lived in the region since my childhood. With the passion, enthusiasm and the experience gained at the field during this 8 years in my profession, 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 trek thru the stunning scenery of the Manuel Antonio park.
Reviewed April 3, 2013

Our guided tour began before we even entered the park, with Johan setting up his spotting scope outside the gates to show us a green iguana high in the canopy, a black iguana on the ground, and a troop of squirrel monkeys (Including a mother with tiny baby on her back) in another cluster of trees. Not only can Johan spot the big obvious creatures that all the other guides find, but he also has a sixth sense of some sort that enables him to locate lots of other unusual creatures that no other guide sees and then line them up on the scope for the best possible photo, pull out a guide book or tablet computer to show scientific photos or other views or related species, and discuss how this creature might have evolved differently from its counterpart on the Caribbean side of the country. He is so knowledgable and so passionate about what he does, it's a joy to spend time with him. I have worked in the travel industry in the past, and Johan ranks up there among the best guides I have traveled with anywhere in the world. Thank you, Johan, for a great day!

Thank MevH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (387)
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314 - 318 of 387 reviews

Reviewed March 25, 2013

WE LOVED JOHAN! Basically the only way to see all the wildlife in the park is to hire a guide with a spotting scope and the knowledge to be able to spot everything living in the forest. Johan was so cool, and you could tell he really loves guiding people, getting to know them, and showing them the awesome national park he loves. He was younger than most other guides we saw, but we noticed that the other guides would try to follow what he was doing and where he was looking because he had a really good eye for spotting things. He was also really knowledgable about all the wildlife and plants in the park. We learned so much as he walked us through. Plus he was just a really nice, cool guy who was fun to talk to. Johan is the best guide at Manuel Antonio! Don't waste your time with anyone else!

Thank angiegirl62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2013

Johan was an amazing guide. He was knowledgeable and you could tell he was passionate about his job. Johan is so excited to show us the animals that he started pointing out squirrel monkeys and iguanas from our balcony. Once we entered the park, we saw a ton of animals from Capuchin monkeys, howler monkeys, basilisks lizards, 2 & 3 toed sloth plus many more. With his help, I was able to get some amazing photos on my iPhone! We ended the tour with a refreshing fruit plate and some soursop juice.

When I come back to Manual Antonio, I would definitely schedule another tour with Johan. Plus it is always nice to meet another person who does TRX. Thanks again, Johan!

Thank Shannon F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2013

Yes if you're a keen birder staying in the Manuel Antonio area look no further than Johan Chavez for your guide. He gave me such a wonderfully enjoyable and bird rich introduction to neotropical birding on two separate day trips one to his local patches Esquipulas and La Gallega and the other to Carrara national park and wetlands en route. He obviously knew these habitats inside out from years of birding here. His ability at identifying the birds by call, then locating, tracking and scoping them so I was able to get the best possible view was just amazing. If necessary his use of a laser pointer proved invaluable to get me onto a bird and what fantastic birds they were - fiery-billed aracari, black mandibled toucan, lineated and pale billed woodpeckers, barred antshrike, king vulture, purple crowned fairy, mangrove hummingbird, gartered trogon, turquoise-browed motmot, scissor-tailed flycatcher, orange-collared manakin, Montezuma oropendula, red-legged honeycreeper, Cherrie's tanager, rufous and white wren etc etc. When necessary Johann would use recordings to bring the birds within viewing range. This was particularly successful with a ferruginous pygmy-owl but worked well for many species. I saw an impressive total of 115 species on both trips.

Of course as you will have gathered from Johan's other reviews he not only knows his country's birds but is very knowledgeable about all aspects of Costa Rican natural history and is a great guy to spend time with.

Book him now!

2  Thank DaveGarner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2013

I tried to book a last minute tour with Johan. No surprise, based on the reviews that I read, that he had already been booked that day for a private tour. That was the expected part.

What I didn't expect was how great Johan was at helping me find alternatives so that we could still have a great experience at Manuel Antonio Park. He had nothing to gain in this and he still went well out of his way to make sure that I was put in contact with a colleague of his, who he recommended as a great guide. And, he wasn't wrong - we had a great day in the park.

People show their true colours when they have little to gain for themselves. Johan showed that he is genuinely interested in making sure that visitors to his country and this park get to appreciate them fully. Thank you for that, Johan!

Thank Choco18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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