Only for those who like package tours. Not off the beaten path. We pre-booked a hike through Manuel Antonio and specifically requested Mario. Upon arriving, we were instead shifted to another guide wearing a Jade Tours shirt. He was clearly a novice and knew very little about any of the wildlife, he simply followed others' lead, pointing out wildlife when other guides would set down their scopes and asking them questions about the animals and insects in Spanish. We visited during high season, there were easily 30+ groups, each with a dozen people, in the same small area of the park doing exactly the same thing. This is NOT off the beaten path. And I do not recommend Jade Tours as while they state on their site and otherwise that they do not accept more than 10 to each group, it seems that Mario overbooks and shifts people to other guides. And when others are at the gate in need of a guide, they will pick them up taking the group size to above 10.
What's more, this isn't a trail. It's a gravel road and you have to dodge cars (as well as other groups and guides) as you view the wildlife. It feels like an assembly line--guides put their scopes down and each of their group members then has 5-10 seconds to view whatever is in the scope.
Instead, go on your own 'off hours' and check out the deserted beaches within the park. To see wildlife, book a one on one private guide who can take you off the tourist trail.
The lunch included in the tour is not in the park. If you have lunch with the group, you must exit the park and will be unable to re-enter using your ticket.
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