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A good guide for Gandoca-Manzanillo

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wheaton Il
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A good guide for Gandoca-Manzanillo

I have 3 kids (15,12, and 10) and we are staying in Punta Uva next week. I would like to teach the kids about the plants and animals in Gandoca-Manzanillo using someone from the area that is fun and knows their stuff. Can anyone give me a name? Is Gandoca-Manzanillo a good place to go for this type of learning or is there someplace better nearby?

Thanks,

Gator

Seattle, Washington
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1. Re: A good guide for Gandoca-Manzanillo

Gandoca-Manzanillo is an excellent place to hike.

crlocalguide@hotmail.com 506 759 90 43

Abel Bustamante -- He's the greatest! First, he loves kids, second, he knows his stuff. One of the best, if not the best, in the area. We were recommended to him by a friend on Fodors who uses him for birding when she visits. He can tailor to whatever you want though. We wanted a primary/secondary forest walk with a general sampling of plants, animals and birds and he was terrific. We went on a 4 hours hike, and were only charged $40 for myself and 10 year old. Not only that, but when it began to rain and I transferred things into his drypack, I dropped my debit card, my sole source of cash! When we got back to his house I had enough money to pay him and have lunch, while he generously offered to hike back into the rainforest to find my card! He remembered exactly the banana tree where we exchanged items, and returned with it in about 45 min. I offered to pay him for his time and he would have none of that. I highly recommend him.

If you have time, be sure to have a meal at Maxi's while in Manzanillo.

Texas
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2. Re: A good guide for Gandoca-Manzanillo

If you don't want to spend $50 each at Maxi's go across the street, langostino there is $6 including tip/tax. Not a fancy place, but food is good and excellent service. Enjoy

Puerto Viejo, Costa...
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3. Re: A good guide for Gandoca-Manzanillo

Abel is probably the most qualified. He is an excellent guide.

There is also Omar and Tino are good as well. You can book them through ATEC.

Every Saturday, Puerto Viejo Fun Tours offers a group excursion (Max 10 persons) at Gandoca Manzanillo. You can view details here;

www.PuertoViejoFunTours.com

But since you have kids, I am sure that seeing animals would be high on your list. In my opinion, Cauhita National Park would be better as there are more animals to see.

The Sloth Sanctuary was also well worth the trip.

Hope you have a great stay in Punta Uva. Cheers, Colin.

Boston...
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4. Re: A good guide for Gandoca-Manzanillo

I have to agree with Colinsito on the tours suggestions,

We had an excellent guide (Omar) that took us to Manzanillo Gandoca-Refuge Jungle tour. Omar was an excellent guide and quite funny. Make sure your camera is fully charged. I took so many pictures that at the end of the tour, I regret not taking the most beautiful spots at the beach trail.

Cauhita National Park is an excellent tour! We did the tour on our own starting at Punta Vargas and ended at the town of Cahuita for beer and lunch. Go to 'Miss Edith' resturant for yummy authentic food!!!!

Note that the Cahutia trail is about 3 miles long to walk but worth the nature walk. You could always rest and have a pinic along the trails. Watch out for the monkeys. Nature is all around you! In my case, on my back since a white face monkey jumped on my back for a ride. The monkies are curious and friendly but 'Do Not Feed The Monkies' because you will have a lot more than just a monkey on your back. Trust me on this one.

Now the Sloth Sanctuary was almost worth the trip if it was open. We got there with a group but we were one hour too late since the place was already closed. However the owner made a little exception for the group. Please note that the sanctuary closes at 3:30PM, so get there early in the day to do the two hour canoe trip, etc.

Don't forget to visit the waterfalls! Beautiful area for a swim.

What to bring for trails: Wear shorts or comfortable pants, light weight cotton t-shirt, hiking shoes or comfortable sneakers (trails can be muddy and slippery), Deet bug sprays (those mosquitos are vicious!), swimsuit, extra change of clothes (you may get muddy or wet at the end of your hiking trip), bottle(s) of water, sunscreen (strong sun!), sunglasses, snacks for the munchies (the hikes can be up to 4 hours!), and fully charged camera (backup battery).

Texas
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5. Re: A good guide for Gandoca-Manzanillo

For colinsito: Since you have lived in the area for awhile maybe you know if this Bustamante (Abel) any relation to Jose Luis Bustamante also from that vicinity? I may be wrong, but presumably since they are all ticos, there must be a relation there even if it is distant.

Also I was wondering if the water there is safe, I got sick one night--after eating at Miss Edith's where I had salad, maybe they did not clean vegetables thoroughly, as I never had any problem at other eateries or when doing my own cooking w/tap water and always used it for coffee. Having been to many other areas in CR (only once in PV area--Sep '07) I had never experienced any problems w/water before. I do, however, have a very sensitive stomach and cannot go to Mexico, there even looking at food brings on the montezuma...for me.

Thanks, appreciate all your informative posts, hope to see you in PV sometime, will be returning there soon (hopefully to live eventually).

Puerto Viejo, Costa...
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6. Re: A good guide for Gandoca-Manzanillo

I will try and answer your questions. Abel the guide... I am not sure. I don[t know him that well. We just send guests with him and have had reports. You are welcome to email him. crlocalguide@hotmail.com

As for the water.. it is fine. This is not Mexico and all tap water is well clorinated. Now, kitchen hygene is a totally different story and many places have caused non-severe food poisoning. That is really hard to call. You eat in these places and you take your chances. Thankfully it does not happen often.

Cheers, Colin.

7. Re: A good guide for Gandoca-Manzanillo

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