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“Esteban is a real pro”

Esteban Daily Guided Tours
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Nature guided customized tours through the most well known reserves in Monteverde as well as other birding destinations in Costa Rica, book with Esteban you wont go wrong.
Reviewed February 17, 2014

Our guided tours of SantaMaria and Curi Cancha with Esteban were among the highlights of our trip. Esteban is professional, punctual, a first-rate naturalist, and a nice guy. We saw a number of quetzals, a sloth, a kinkajou, and much more. We learned a lot and had a great time-- a win-win! Thanks Esteban!

1  Thank TH2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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287 - 291 of 366 reviews

Reviewed February 14, 2014

Our last trip was better than our first two. We met him on our first trip and we made arrangements with him on our 2nd and 3rd. He led us four days; he knows where the birds are, and calls them in; he imitates them so precisely they can't resist him. He remembered what we had seen and took us places to find different birds. He is planning a fourth trip for us in areas we have not explored and is eager to show us even more exciting birds. He's the best...funny, professional, and can tailor trips to any family. His connections may help you get access to lodges the general public does not.

Thank Sandra S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2014

One of the best parts of our trip! Esteban was extremely professional, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic. Responded very quickly to emails. Really took the time to explain the cloud forest and found lots of animals. We took a morning tour and were even able to see Quetzals!! My only regret is that we didn't get to take a night tour with him. We will be back for sure!! Thanks Esteban

Thank mightymo2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2014

If you go to Costa Rica, don't miss the hundreds of species of birds and animals, which make their home in the country. Many of these are hidden in the top, camouflaging forest layer of leaves and mosses, as are monkeys, sloths, coatis and other animals. However with Esteban Mendez Vargas as your guide you won't miss these main attractions of the country. My wife and I (in our late sixties) hired him for three days and also for the popular Monte Verde night tour, because of the excellent reviews in Trip Advisor. The tours he selected for us, included in the Curi Cancha reserve, the Cloud Forest Ecological reserve and the Santa Maria park in the Monte Verde area and an all-day trip across and back on Lake Arenal to the forests at the foot of the Arenal volcano, including at El Silencio. He also came to our hotel quite early on two of the mornings, before the tours, so that without long drives, he could identify for us many of the beautiful and plentiful morning-feeding birds on or near the grounds of the hotel. In the forests however, it was unbelievable as we walked with him how quickly he could spot distant or hidden birds, mammals and insects and get his scope set up on them or expertly point them out for viewing in our own binoculars. We were also quite impressed with how often other guides on the trails with larger groups consulted with him by cell phone or in passing so that that they could show the hardest-to-find creatures to their clients'. He knows and can expertly sing hundreds of bird calls, thereby attracting birds he hears rustling leaves or singing in the area. Esteban also is expert in English and we always enjoyed conversation with him. As other reviewers have mentioned among the most beautiful or fascinating sightings included quetzals, toucans, parrots, motmots, tanagers, euphonias, osprey, herons, and dozens of humming birds. Esteban is based in the Monte Verde area, but knows the entire country. Now in his early thirties, he grew up accompanying his father who participated in the research of the country's bird population in the cloud forest, which is now so well-protected and world famous.

1  Thank boomerworldtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2014

When you take a night tour with Esteban, you not only get a personable and knowledgeable guide with great English, but you get access to a community of guides doing a night-walk through the Santa Maria Park, a strip of land with lots of wildlife. They're all linked together on walkie talkies to report wildlife sightings, and as a result our walk was really productive. Over the course of two and a half hours we found:

Two-toed sloth
Bark scorpion
Stick insects
Two side-striped palm pit vipers
Nine-banded armadillo
Common oppossum
Sleeping emerald toucan
Three or four other sleeping birds
Dead-leaf katydid
Leaf-cutter ants
Horned katydid
Orange-kneed tarantula
Esperanza katydid
Lobster cricket
Small lizards

And, there is potential for kinkajou or olingo sightings, as well. A great tour guide in a great area - highly recommended.

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

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