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Favorite tours in Manuel Antonio?

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Jan 28th, 2013, 08:15 AM
  #1
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Favorite tours in Manuel Antonio?

We're thinking of revisiting Manuel Antonio for a future trip. I'm curious what everyone's favorite tours or activities in the area are? Any that you loved or didn't love? I'm sure we'll spend time at the beach and do a guided tour of the park - would love any other suggestions you can give me. Also any tour companies you would or wouldn't use again. Thanks for the guidance!
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Jan 28th, 2013, 08:55 AM
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We enjoyed the Damas Mangrove tour; we saw a silky anteater, lots of birds and monkeys, plus a beautiful sunset. Can't remember which company we used, I'll check my notes tonight when I get home.
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Jan 28th, 2013, 12:39 PM
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Thank you, x - that's one of the things we really want to do. I'd love to know the name of the company you used if you're able to find it. We've never seen a silky anteater in all our trips. That would be really cool. I've seen both day and evening mangrove tours; both seem intriguing.
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Jan 28th, 2013, 03:59 PM
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We also saw a silky anteater on the Damas mangrove tour. It was from really far away so even through binos it was a bit of a blur. We used Iguana Tours but as I mentioned in the other thread, our guide did feed the monkeys.
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Jan 28th, 2013, 06:37 PM
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volcanogirl, if you end up at Tulemar, their concierges are wonderful at recommending good tours. The concierge we worked with, Chris, had some great suggestions for us. He hated the idea of people feeding wildlife so I don't think he would recommend a tour that promoted it.

You can check the activities page on their site.
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Jan 28th, 2013, 06:44 PM
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Thanks, Patty. I've read good things about Iguana Tours, but didn't remember that they fed the monkeys.
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Jan 28th, 2013, 06:46 PM
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Birdie, that's great to know. Can you remind me which tours you guys did?
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Jan 28th, 2013, 07:11 PM
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VG,
We used (for both Manuel Antonio and Damas tour) Aguila Tours - our guide was Juan Luis Brenes, and he was fantastic.
http://juanbrenes.blogspot.com/

We stayed at Buena Vista Villas, and he picked us up there.

"Our" silkeater was also in a distance, but he spotted it and I got a pic: http://ioana-mark.smugmug.com/Travel...Bntcw&lb=1&s=A

He definitely did NOT feed the monkeys, which was a plus for me. And actually, we stayed away from other groups that were feeding them. This was in 2009, but I don't think his habits changed.

Have a great trip!
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Jan 28th, 2013, 07:22 PM
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We didn't do much, volcanogirl. This was a "relax on the beach" vacation. The guys went out deep-sea fishing one day while the girls went on the Canopy Safari Zip line and then all four of us toured MA with a guide Chris set up for us. It sounds like xyz99's guide was very good and that may be a good choice for you. Our guide was great at spotting things for us. (I don't know how you find a walking stick off the side of the path as you are walking along. Those things are impossible to see.) He was pretty serious, though.
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Jan 28th, 2013, 11:14 PM
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We are going in April for the first time, but our concierge at Tulemar suggested the Vacation Buggy - gets great reviews. We are also thinking about heading south to do Don Lula horseback riding trip to the Naucaya Waterfalls. Villa Vanilla is also on our list.

I can't really comment on any of these activities since we have yet to do them, so I am just throwing them out as ideas.
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Jan 29th, 2013, 04:17 AM
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x, I've read about Juan on tripadvisor. Thanks for the name of the company. I think we'd definitely like to use him. What is the difference between Buena Vista and Tulemar? They share a property don't they? Is there any benefit of one over the other?
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Jan 29th, 2013, 04:20 AM
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Birdie, I hear you on the relax at the beach part. We've done a lot of sweaty hiking vacation that we've loved, but for this trip some beach time and candlelight dinners sound pretty good! How was Canopy Safari? Are the lines very high? Lots of hiking?
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Jan 29th, 2013, 04:58 AM
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volcanogirl, I'm really not sure of the history there or how everything works exactly. My impression is that Tulemar is the name of the complex and there are rental companies that work within that complex. Everyone seems to use the same concierge services. I believe I intially booked by clicking on the 4 Tulemar site and then was sent to a Green Coast Rentals rep to arrange for my particular unit. We were in 405, a two bedroom unit which was perfect for us.

Yes, you are high. I guess it's the nature of that activity. It was the first time I had zip-lined. Heights don't bother me and I found it thrilling, choosing to go upside down, dropped on the rappel, and any other way I could increase the fun. There is a 10 min hike after the first zip line. I always felt safe and the guys running the Zip line are a lot of fun.
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Jan 29th, 2013, 05:40 AM
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Thanks, B - wow, upside down! I was scared to rappel the first time we did it, but on our last trip we did waterfall rappelling, and it was amazing. CR seems to make people a little braver!

Lisa, thanks for the suggestion of Villa Vanilla. I had read about that on a trip report, and that sounds right up my alley since I love to cook. I'll check out Vacation Buggy too. Do you know how far away the horseback riding is?
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Jan 29th, 2013, 06:31 AM
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VG,
I'm not sure about Tulemar vs. Buena Vista...here is a map of Buena Vista: http://ioana-mark.smugmug.com/Travel...562gZ&lb=1&s=A

We had an upstairs 1BR unit (305 I think), and loved it. Click 'next' through the pictures, to get an idea. They also have a kitchen and a grill on the terrace.
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Jan 29th, 2013, 10:20 AM
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Thanks, x! I was looking at booking the Mot Mot villa since I always hear about that one, but I think it books up fast. BVV looks really nice! We just need a one bedroom unit, and I'd like something with a balcony if we can get it.
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Jan 29th, 2013, 10:53 AM
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VG, I think all BVV units have a balcony.
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Jan 29th, 2013, 11:47 AM
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That's good to know. I found out that the Tulemar Bungalows do not have balconies. Your pictures are great - thanks for sharing those.
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Jan 29th, 2013, 12:07 PM
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I believe Tulemar is the name of the entire complex. Within the complex are the original Tulemar bungalows, the newer Buena Vista units as well as a number of different private residences that are also available for rental. Here's a map of the whole property http://4tulemar.com/map.html

We stayed at upper Mot Mot and can't say enough good things about it. Lower Mot Mot was just recently renovated and that looks lovely as well. The only downside is that there's only one Mot Mot. When are you thinking of going? We went in August and were able to book last minute. I booked directly with the owner and it came with concierge service. What we liked about Mot Mot was that it had the tropical feel of the original Tulemar bungalows but with the added bonus of a large outside deck (the original Tulemar bungalows have no outside deck). We spent most of our time relaxing on our deck where we had daily visitors (capuchin and squirrel monkeys).

The Buena Vista one bedrooms were below us and had a nice waterfall pool nearby which we also used. The way they were situated it seemed like some units had better views than others.
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Jan 29th, 2013, 12:21 PM
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xyz99,
Great silky anteater pic. Mine is definitely much blurrier.

volcanogirl,
Here are our photos of Mot Mot (we also stayed at Gaia on the same trip) share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0AZNnDlk5YtmbCxg
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