Monday in Manuel Antonio area

Old Mar 20th, 2013, 08:29 PM
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Monday in Manuel Antonio area

Looks like we will end up in the Manuel Antonio area on a Monday. We realize the park is closed but what else can we do in the area on a Monday other than head to the beach of course? Is the mangrove kayak tour in Damas worth it?

We plan to spend Tuesday at the park. Any recommendations for a guide? I heard only certain local guides are authorized...We are travelling with little kids - something to take into consideration.
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Old Mar 21st, 2013, 05:59 AM
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It's true that Manuel Antonio National Park is closed on Mondays, however, there's a huge choice of activities and excursions on offer in the region, the majority of which are daily. For instance, you can hike in the Carara National Park, take a trip on a catamaran to Tortuga Island, go rafting, horse riding or explore the canopy.

The kayaking tour in Damas is good fun, and gives a different insight into another ecosystem. There is a minimum age of 8 for this tour, and some other activities also have age restrictions. As long as the children are at last 5/6, though, there are quite a few options, including riding, snorkelling and canopy safari. Exploring the canopy on the Rainforest Aerial Tram has no minimum age, and is great for younger children.

Like most national parks, there is an authorisation system in place for local guides. You should always book your tours through a recognised operator to ensure the quality and responsible of their operation.

Hope this helps!

Dave
Pura Aventura
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Old Mar 21st, 2013, 06:30 AM
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There's a nature hike at Si Como No where you can see some animals, also the Damas mangrove tour, horseback riding with Finca Valmy, maybe do the Villa Vanilla spice tour, Rainmaker, or zipline at Titi or Canopy Safari or Midworld. Juan Brenes is the most popular guide and gets consistently good reviews. We just got a recommendation through our hotel and were very happy with our guide.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2013, 10:19 AM
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great suggestions - thanks! think we'll try visiting Carara NP. how does one go about hiring a guide? we'll be staying in Damas - hence quite a ways from the park.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2013, 11:23 AM
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Pura, how are the facilities in Carara NP? Do they have restrooms? Is there a place to eat lunch?
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Old Mar 26th, 2013, 05:30 AM
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Hello everyone!

In terms of hiring a guide - yes, it may well be that your hotel can help you with a good candidate, or at least put you in touch with an operator in Manuel Antonio who you can join up with.

Facilities in Carara are more limited than some parks, there's an administration centre, with toilets/restrooms and drinking water, and a picnic area for lunch.

All the best for your trip!

Dave
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Old Mar 26th, 2013, 08:40 AM
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Thanks, Pura.

steve, we have not been to Carara, but I know Manuel Antonio Expeditions does day trips there as do other tour companies.
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Old Mar 26th, 2013, 01:11 PM
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Carara ,while a nice hike, is a distance of about an hour or so from MA. The toilets are servicable but not very nice. They are located in the "old" admisitration building which is no longer used and slated for demolition as soon as they can get the funds. The new office is at the top of the hill on the right as you enter. You go up there to pay your entry and then back down to park & hike the upper trail. The lower trail is off the highway towards the Tarcoles bridge and there is parking there and usually someone to watch your car. It's an informal driveway so you need to look for,it or you'll miss it.There are sodas at the Tarcoles. bridge or along the highway for nearby eating or Playa Heredura or Jaco on the way from there to MA

I would suggest Hacienda Baru. http://www.haciendabaru.com/self-guided-attractions. It is closer to MA and for $7 pp the trails & gardens are very nice.
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