driver and m.a. tour guide

Jan 17th, 2007, 08:25 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 391
driver and m.a. tour guide

We're just back from CR. As was the case with many other people on the message board, we had an outstanding experience using Oscar as a driver. In fact, we had such a good time with him that we used him an additional day. He is very knowledgable about things to see and do--and just made the whole driving/sightseeing experience stress free.

His e-mail address is [email protected]. He also is affiliated with the Vista del Valle Inn near the airport.

We also had a good experience with Juan Luis Brenes, a tourguide in Manuel Antonio. He or one of his guides (we had Henry, who was excellent) take people through MA, pointing out wildlife along the way. Juan also has a boat and does a tour of Damas Island. Juan has a website:
jag1jag1 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 07:27 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 475
I haven't seen any post prior to yours , but we are looking to fly into San Jose on May27. We haven't been to C.R. in rainy season so we are concerned about driving to MA since we don't arrive until 2pm and don't know how quickly the fog sets in. we are thinking of getting a DRIVER to take us and if we want to rent a car for day trips getting one there. Our problem is finding a driver. we will have our 3 children with us so we are more cautious than we would be if it were just us. Is Oscar a good choice for us? I;m sorry this is so long but we need help. Thanks
bamababe is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 07:25 PM
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Posts: 391
We really thought Oscar was great. We had read reviews about him here and on Trip Advisor. He drove us to Manuel Antonio from San Jose and then picked us up a few days later and drove us back to Vista del Valle outside of San Jose. We also used him to drive the four of us (including our 2 young adult daughters) to Arenal and explore the area. He is a safe driver-he knew places to stop and eat. We didn't know what to expect with a driver, since we usually drive ourselves, but we thought it really was a great decision.

I don't think you really need a car in M.A. Oscar recommended Juan, mentioned in also in my post, and he picked us up from our hotel.

Let me know if you have other questions.
jag1jag1 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 07:45 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 60
We are also a family with 3 kids traveling to C.R. in June. How much does Oscar charge to drive you to and from M.A.? Does he have a big enough van for our family? How did you like the Vista Del Valle hotel? We are looking for a hotel by the airport for a couple nights. Thanks for the info!
kimmarinelli is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 08:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 475
Thanks for the info on Oscar. After reading your post I went to another site and found him recommended there!! So I guess he's our guy. Like Kimmarnielle I'm curious about the cost and can he hold our family in his van. If we leave in the afternoon , will we need to pay for him to stay overnight? ( I,m not sure about the fog I keep reading about) Also if he comes back for another day trip are we charged for the trip down, day trip, and trip back? We've never taken 5 on a trip that we didn't have a car so I'm pretty clueless about how to handle this.
bamababe is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 04:53 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,265
Hi jag1jag1,

This is off the topic of drivers, but related to your mention of Juan Brenes. We were in Manuel Antonio last month. We went through the park and did the Damas tour with Juan's brother, Mario. I clicked on your link to Aguila Tours and immediately recognized Mario! Small world, eh?

Mario did a really nice job for us in the park and on the Damas tour. When I expressed regret that we had not seen any squirrel monkeys during our visit to MA, Mario offered to help us find them on his own time. He cut a deal with us, if he could track the monkeys down, we would give him a tip; whatever we thought was fair. He delivered on his end of the bargain and we got a wonderfully close view of those beautiful little monkeys! He received a well-earned tip from us that afternoon!
cmerrell is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 08:19 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 391
Oscar charged $150 a day. He drove us to M.A. one day. Then he came back a few days later and picked us up. So, each time we drove with him, we paid for the day. He mentioned that he spent consecutive days with people on the road, so that is an option.

His van has three rows of seats, so he can definitely transport five people.

We liked Vista del Valle. The funny thing is that Oscar works there also, which we didn't realize when we signed him up.

We were worried about driving at night, so when we arrivedin CR we stayed at the Marriott and Oscar picked us up the next morning. The day we went to Arenal with him, however, we did drive in the evening on the way back. It was foggy, but because he was driving it didn't seem as problematic as it might have been otherwise.
jag1jag1 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 05:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 475
thank you so much for all your advice. we will give oscar a call
bamababe is offline  
Jan 28th, 2007, 08:16 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 617
The driver we used was Leo Rodriquez, who is a college grad and owns two toursimo vans. Leo is a wealth of information and speaks fluent English. He is a careful driver, and he too, has positive posts here, www.tripadvisor,com and His e-mail address is [email protected] We are a family of 4 and everyone loved Leo. Pura Vida
Dyer is offline  
Feb 28th, 2007, 08:10 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 5
I used Danny for three days who was recommended to me by Leonardo. I'm a photographer and carried A LOT of expensive equipment with me and was happy to find Danny who's an ex police officer. He's also really really super nice and fun to be with and he really knows his way around and his English is great. We had a great time driving around in his fancy air conditioned van in the mountains around Quepos, Jaco etc. and he took me to some great local restaurants and taught me how to eat ceviche the Costa Rican way and talked with the locals so I could take their picture and get access to private properties to photograph. He also came snorkling with me which was a blast. He picked me up at 5 am every morning to photograph the sunrise without complaints. His e-mail is [email protected] and he also has a website . His writing English is not the best, so don't be scared if he e-mails you with imperfect language. He learned his English from living in the States for 3 years so his speaking is impeccable.
catknoch is offline  

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