We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
New! Find and book your ideal hotel on TripAdvisor — and get the lowest prices

“[--]” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Costa Rica Jade Tours

Costa Rica Jade Tours
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Costa Rica Jade Tours is a local tour company in beautiful Manuel Antonio. We offer the best activities and tours to help make all your vacation dreams come true. Contact us so we can help you discover the most exciting adventures and exotic treasures from this spectacular land. You may never want to leave!
Useful Information: Activities for older children
London
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“[--]”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2012

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.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank k_travelforthree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mariobrady, Owner at Costa Rica Jade Tours, responded to this review, 19 March 2012
Hi dear client,
I want to offer you my most sincere apologizes for the tour that you had with us in the Manuel Antonio National Park.
As the owner of my tour company I really appreciate all your comments and I use them in order to grow every day. So I honestly thank you a lot for your words.

Also I wanted to tell you that it seems like we had a misunderstanding before starting our tour. I remember the day when you took the tour, I received bad news from one of my guides who did not show up to work because of an emergency with his family so I had to hire Tony for the private tour who was sitting at the park entrance...
About your guide Jordan. He is a certified guide with the national certification from the goverment and from the ICT (costarican tourist board), yes you are right when you said that he seems like very new in his job (his experience is 1 year). But he is very talented and passionated about what he is doing... Anyways here the point is that you were confirmed to go with me as your guide. I had arranged in advance two groups for that morning: 10 people were coming with me (including the two of you) and ten more people with Jordan. Jordan's group was staying in San Bada Hotel. When I said to everyone that the group staying in San Bada were going with Jordan you moved to him just because you were also staying at the same hotel, the rest of the large group were confirmed in advance with me, this were people who found about me in tripadvisor just like you... When I realized about the situation I told Jordan to move you back into my group because he was guiding 12 people and I was guiding 8 in my group, but he told me that you were very happy having a good time with him. So I said ok.

I have been working hard hard hard to get a good reputation for my company and I know that probably you might be not interested about my story. I started Jade Tours less than two years ago when I realized that I was gonna be a father, we thought that our baby was gonna be girl and we planned her name to be Jade so when I made my company for giving my baby a nice future and I named my company "Jade Tours" as well. Then he was born and we named him James but we are still saving the name "Jade" for our future girl.

Now you can understand that this company is further more than just a service or a job. This is a life (my life and my family's life), and this is the reason of why I always try to put my 1000% in my tours...

About the amount of visitors in the park during the high season that sometimes it gets really crowded ... Everyone who come during a very busy time to visit the most popular park in Costa Rica can easily expect a large number of people inside because is very predictible.
In order to reduce to impact from many visitors the administration had created officialy a limit of people: 600 people inside the park (the park closes the gates when is on top of this limit). So now you can understand that you might see a lot of people at some paths but is not as extreme as you said. We normally always try to skip the crow but unfortunatelly when you came three of the six trails in the park were closed because of repairs from the damage caused by the storm from the last rainy season and one of them is still closed (Punta Catedral Paninsula trail) because is all under construction.

Sincerly
Mario Brenes
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

668 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    636
    25
    3
    4
    0
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Pound Ridge, New York
Level Contributor
120 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Mario was awesome”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2012

My husband and I took the Mangrove Tour by boat. Mario Brenes was our tour guide. He knew soooo much and was very passionate about teaching us about the mangrove ecosystems. He was very nice, treating us to coconut water and lunch. He showed us tons on birds and monkeys. He got the monkeys to come onto our boat. This was an amazingly fun tour and I would recommend it!

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
Thank ogramrebecca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Don't settle for anyone but Mario”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2012

The tour thru the park was great because there were plenty of groups spotting lots of animals for us. Lots of great info for our middle school kids that are studying similar biology.
But we waited at the gate with our guide, ready to go for a good 30 minutes and I never really knew why we had to wait.
We also did the mangrove tour with Jade. The tour itself was fantastic. But we were very frustrated that there were at least two hours wasted on lunch that we could have used else wise. We would gladly have paid the full fare to be transported straight to the dock to get on the boat. We were not told in advance how much time would be devoted to the lunch.

Helpful?
1 Thank Christy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mariobrady, Owner at Costa Rica Jade Tours, responded to this review, 21 March 2012
Hi Christy,
Thank you so much for giving us your sincere words. We work every single day to provide the best service for our customers.
I will like to clarify some details about your tour: the transportation from your hotel to the mangrove area was thirty minutes, you were a very large family and the time that you took for enjoying your lunch was forty minutes this means that you only had to wait fifty minutes. We took that long in order to provide lunch for all your family. Besides our policy is to provide fresh meals to all our customers.
I am sorry if you felt that we took long for preparing lunch but please understand that you were also a very big family (twenty people).

Thank you again. PURA VIDA!!! :)

Sincerly
Mario Brenes
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lakewood, Colorado
Level Contributor
4 reviews
“Nat'l Park Manuel Antonio”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 March 2012

Our guide was on time, fun, and very knowledgeable
It concluded with a fabulous lunch in town.

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
Thank Carolyn H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bloomfield, New Jersey, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
“Best. Tour. Ever.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 March 2012

We added a two night trip to Miguel Antonio National Park on our vacation to Costa Rica, last month. On a whim, we booked a tour with Jade Tours and had the best experience ever. Our tour guide, Mario was absolutely brilliant. He knew everything about the park and had no problem finding all the little creatures and explaining what they are. You could see all the other tour guides watching his lead and copying what he was saying.

We did a tour of the whole park and he then picked us up later in the afternoon to take us on a private tour of the area (we wanted to see squirrel monkeys) and then took us out to Silencia, a of-the-grid commune where they help sick monkeys and animals. It was just the most amazing trip we've ever been on and I can't thank Mario enough.

Do not skip this tour. You will regret it.

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
Thank George K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Costa Rica Jade Tours also viewed

Manuel Antonio National Park, Province of Puntarenas
Manuel Antonio National Park, Province of Puntarenas
 
Manuel Antonio National Park, Province of Puntarenas
Manuel Antonio National Park, Province of Puntarenas
 

Been to Costa Rica Jade Tours? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing