TripAdvisor Forums & Comments - Best Reviews About Forest Alive and Andres Alvarado in Costa Rica, Monteverde, Cloud Forest Reserve


Monteverde Enough Variety - Monteverde 

Considered one of the best 99 things to do in Costa Rica  - Comment in Guidebook
"99 things to do in Costa Rica"
2006 by author Matt Landau:
"Ever get the feeling that organized tours are overwhelming, overcrowded, and overpriced? This is the option should you take: a privately guided tour that fits your needs and your interests. Your guide, Andres Alvarado has the encyclopedic knowledge of Jaques Cousteau, the photographic talent of Ansel Adams, and the entrepreneurial instinct of Bill Gates. A native Tico himself, Andres uses his multi-layered education to lead trips throughout the country and even throughout the continent. His custom-guided tour will prove to be the vacation you’ll not stop talking about." Matt Landau

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44 comments:

Leon said...

Hi Mr. Alvarado!

Just wanted to say, that you made out of a boring, muddy, rainy day in Monteverde the most enjoyable rain forest walk my family has ever taken.

Looking forward to the next chance!

Cheers,
Leon

Vincent said...

An amazing visit... Andres will just blow your mind with everything he knows about the forest!!!

It was the best visit we did during our trip, thanks to Andres.

We hope plenty of people will visit him!

Vincent, for the French team

Byron Davies said...

Hi Andrés

Having now returned with my family to the UK. I would just like to take the opportunity to say how much we enjoyed the experince of being guided through the Monteverde Cloud Forest with you.

It was a wet afternoon but you managed to engage and fascinate my family and I with your knowledge and passion for the environment that you ably guided us through.

Many thanks

Byron Viv Sian and Ian

Alex said...

We have been lucky enough to hire Andres as our private guide for an evening tour and one full day.

The energy and love for nature that he has shared with us really changed not only our experiences in Monteverde area but also our perception of diverse Costa Rica's nature in the days that have followed. Our eyes and ears were more responsive to the sights and sounds around us. We were able to see what was before hidden to us.

Thank You so much, Andy !!

Alex, Zvezda and Tanja from Slovenia

Louise O'Boyle said...

Andy was a guide for me and 7 students in 2005. He was by far one of the most incredible and knowledgeable individuals I have ever met. I felt comfortable with his expertise in knowing what to do and when to do it ... no matter what the situation. The students, who ranged from 14 to 16 years old were at ease asking him questions and even trying new things such as termites. I would recommend him to anybody ... whether it is for only 1 day or several weeks.

Louise O'Boyle

Mark Dimitroff said...

As we posted on TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet and Fodors.com ...

"6:30 AM was met at our hotel lobby by our guide for the Cloud Forest, Andy (Andres Alvarado - http://forestalive.com/ ). We too spotted 4 of the Resplendent Quetzals, Motmots, tons of other birds (sorry, Andy - we didn't write the all down but my pictures are amazing!!), and Howler Monkeys. Andy is among the most sincere, knowledgeable and honest individuals we have ever met. His respect for nature and his immense knowledge base just blew us away. You can't go wrong with Andy. Have him take you to see the hummingbirds. WOW!! Quite frankly, Andy set the stage for the rest of our trip. We could not stop talking about him. Cannot say enough. Well worth the money for a private tour. Just tell him where you've been, and where you're going and he'll make sure he structures his time with you so you have a chance to see other things to 'complete' your experience in this wonderful country."

Mark & Lorraine Dimitroff

Amanda Chung said...

Just returned from 10 days in Costa Rica and one of the highlights of our trip was the day we spent with Andy (Andres Alvarado, www.forestalive.com). My husband, myself and our 3 daughters (aged 17-25) were so impressed with his knowledge about the flora and fauna and how it all works together. Without him, we wouldn't have had the same appreciation for the Santa Elena reserve. We did the morning hike, the hanging bridges tour, and the AMAZING NIGHT TOUR!!!!!! At night, we hunted and found a lot of interesting wildlife, insects, snakes, etc. in a totally different perspective. We were so impressed by his love and passion for his work. Thanks so much Andy for sharing your knowledge and your wonderful country with us.

Jaycee, Margie, Katie, Laura, and Amanda Chung

Alexandra said...

There are bad guides, good guides, but Andres is just incredible! Friends highly recommended him, and we're happy we used their tip.

We first did a guided tour in Monteverde with Andres, and we liked him so much, so we went to a night tour with him, and then we went out together. Andy has everything you want from a guide, and more -- he is extremely knowledgeable, passionate about the nature, he is a talented speaker, he speaks English so well I can hardly believe he did not live abroad, he is such a likable nice person who knows so much and can tell it so well.

We learned a lot from him, and time flew very quickly. Not to mention how much wildlife we found with Andy's help. He even helped us to make reservations for other activities in town. It was a great day, thank you very much, Andres!

Alexandra, Mike, Veronika, Vlad, Alex and Alex.

Anonymous said...

Without going into unnecessary details and without repeating comments made by other colleagues-tourists (with I fully agree), let me just express my and my spouse's sincere gratitude to Andres for his very interesting and exciting tour in Monteverde. With Andres who does not stop to feed you with information revealing secrets of the forest life in a very interested manner you dot actually feel tired and want to continue. Many thanks! I would advise anybody who would like to have an exceptional tour in Monteverde to contact Andres. You will really enjoy his knowledge and his compagny. Anatoli and Irina.

Anatoli and Irina said...

Dear Andres,
I really do not have enough luck with chosing the right profile which prevents my comments to be posted.

Let me sincerely thank you for the extremely intersting and revealing tour my wife and I have recently had with you. We really enjoyed walking and absorbing tones of intersteing knowledge you shared with us.

I would advise everybody who woud like to have a really intersting tour to enjoy Andres' company.

Many thanks agains and hope to see you again.

Anatoli and Irina.

Anonymous said...

Holla Andrès
Thank's for all
christophe (salsa) the seaman of the Levant

Anonymous said...

Dear Andres,

Let me express my sincere gratitude for your exceptional tour. It was very revealing and rewarding to enjoy so much of interesting, really guiding, comments and information about wild life in Monteverde. My wife and I enjoed very muchyour company, your help and advice. I would strongly suggest to everyone who would like to have an unforgettable walk in the forest to get in touch with you. Million thanks again and hopefully see you later.

Anatoli and Irina.

Tammy Bar said...

Dear Andy,
Though belated, I would like to thank you for the most interesting morning we had with you in Monteverde cloud forest on April 12. You are very knowledgeable and an excellent guide.
We hope to come back to CR one day and tour with you again.
At the end of the tour I purchased Simbiosis CD and love it!
Thanks
Tammy Bar - Israel

Anonymous said...

Hola Andy!
At the end of our 12 day trip, our day spent with you was at the top of our list. Your knowledge of the plants and animals was amazing! Monteverde was beautiful and we wished we had spent more than two nights there. Thank you for the wonderful pictures and memories. We are putting them together on a CD with the music from Simbiosis as the background. Beautiful!
Thanks,
Ken,Carol and Holly

Elena said...

It’s rare to find someone who truly loves what he does but Andres is that individual. That quality is what makes him the best guide in Costa Rica or at least one to the top guides in the country.

We had the pleasure of spending a day and a half with Andres last month and it was terrific.

Starting out at 5:30 a.m. we hoped, to not only be early birds but to see early birds as well. Andres is amazing in his ability to hear, see and spot birds. What looks like a pile of dead leaves behind the left palm frond across the trail is indeed a red billed pigeon! And when he hears a bird call, he knows just where in the canopy to look. We would have been lucky to spot a handful of birds in the thick forest without Andres. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Don’t worry if birds are not first and foremost in your mind. Andres keeps you fascinated with the workings of all the forest creatures from crickets and butterflies to howler monkeys and venomous snakes. Add to that his expansive knowledge of plant life and you have the perfect person with whom to “walk on the wild side”. And it gets better! He knows quite a bit about photography and digital imaging!

Our unforgettable memories include a kindly Quetzal who posed for photographs before continuing on to feed his young, the invisible Bell bird calling from right over our heads (we did finally see him) and the small pit viper on the edge of the trail during a night walk. The little snake was found by another group but they called Andres over because he is very knowledgeable about local snakes; he managed a 15 minute impromptu talk on snakes in general and our little pit viper in particular.

The bottom line is that Andres is passionate about nature and his enthusiasm is bound to rub off on you. He’s tireless and he’s just fun to be with!

So Andres, what else can we say. We had a wonderful time and we hope you achieve all your goals in life. And we look forward to returning and spending a few more hours with you even though we'll be older still!

Elena y Bill in Texas

Sheryl from Colorado said...

Andy was a terrific guide. His enthusiasm is infectious. I was amazed that he was able to keep the attention of our two college age kids. We learned a lot about the forest and about Costa Rica. It was wonderful. He's a wealth of information. English is excellent. Definitely a strong recommendation!

Justin Santana said...

My girlfriend and I and two friends from Madrid were accompanied by Andy on a personal morning tour of the cloud forest in Monteverde. I say personal because Andy invited us to his home at the Biological Station for coffee while he showed us a slideshow of some of his wildlife photos, including close encounters with pumas in Manuel Antonio Park. He also regaled us with tales of his and his naturalist buddies' experiences with pumas and other wild creatures. He and his brother were very hospitable and made us feel right at home. Andy then gave us a private tour of the forest, pointing out many different birds and insects and indicating the changes in topography and forest composition. Andy's passion and enthusiasm for nature and natural education are irrepressible and he also taught us a few things about wildlife photography; naturally, he also runs workshops on the subject! (not to mention his strangler fig rappelling, work with Nat Geo, biological research, etc.) We ended the morning with a quetzal hunt on a road where Andy had been monitoring their migration patterns based on avocado fruiting, and he spotted several quetzals for us (and other guided groups nearby), as well as a sleeping porcupine and a several other birds.

Andy, thanks again for a wonderful experience and we very much look forward to another visit to CR in the near future. All the best in your many endeavors and please look us up if you ever come up to NY.

All the best,
Justin and Sara

Anonymous said...

My girlfriend and I and two friends from Madrid were accompanied by Andy on a personal morning tour of the cloud forest in Monteverde. I say personal because Andy invited us to his home at the Biological Station for coffee while he shared with us a slideshow of some of his wildlife photos, including close encounters with pumas in Manuel Antonio. He also regaled us with tales of his and his naturalist buddies' experiences with pumas and other wild creatures. He and his brother were very hospitable and made us feel right at home.

Andy then gave us a private tour of the forest, pounting out many different birds and insects and indicating changes in the topography and forest composition. Andy's passion and enthusiasm for nature and natural education are irrepressible and he also taught us a few things about wildlife photography; naturally, he runs workshops on the subject (not to mention his strangler fig rappelling, work with Nat Geo and biological research, etc.). We ended the morning with a quetzal hunt on a road where Andy had been monitoring their migratory patterns based on advocado fruiting, and he spotted several quetzals for us (and other guided groups nearby), as well as a sleeping porcupine and several other birds.

Andy, thanks again for a wonderful experience and we very much look forward to another visit to CR in the near future. All the best with your many endeavors and please look us up if you ever venture up to NY.

Justin and Sara

Dave and Sally Nicholls said...

We have just returned to England after a wonderful 3 week tour of Costa Rica. We saw many fabulous sights and spent time with a number of guides but we are both in total agreement that the highlight was the day we spent with Andy in Monteverde. Andy's knowledge, enthusiasm and ability to adapt to the interests of those he is guiding are exceptional. We recommend Andy as a guide to anyone visiting Monteverde.

Dave and Sally Nicholls
Leicester, England

Anonymous said...

Andres;

We had a blast hiking and birding with you on two trips. You are one of the best naturalists I ever known or will know. You're knowledge of the forest is unparrelled. It is clear you have alot of passion for your work and its great to see you spread that passion to visitors. We'll be sure to recomend you to anyone we know traveling to costa rica. Happy Holidays!

- Tim Powers, Notre Dame student

Jerry Powers said...

Andy took my family of 7 (children aged 8 to 21) on a 6-hour birdwatching hike and a 2 and 1/2 hour night tour -- on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day! I've been dreaming of taking my family to Costa Rica for 20 years and his two tours made it everything I hoped for. He has an amazing ability to make things interesting for the adults and college-age students who have some experience with birding and biology while also making it understandable for the younger kids. He is a true educator. He has an incredible passion for and excitement about all thing nature; you would think it was the first time he'd ever seen the quetzal, sloth, toucanette and several dozen other birds and mammals he found for us. And he has a unique ability to explain things in a sophisticated, interesting and fun way! As a college professor with children in college, high school, and grade school, I couldn't think of a better teacher for any of my children.

Jerry Powers

The Brenners said...

On our recent trip (Dec 09) to Monteverde we had the good fortune to tour with Andres. Prior to our arrival in Costa Rica we had set up a daytime tour of the Cloud Forest with him. We so enjoyed that hike (including seeing the elusive quetzal!) that we added in a night tour for later that day. Andres is very knowledgeable and passionate about his work and touring with him is a fascinating, fun and educational experience. He also is a sweet and gracious man and we recommend him highly!

The Brenner Family

David Valenta said...

Hi Andres,

Had a great time with you on the Costa Rica Panama Tauck trip. Gained a lot of knowledge on the locals as well as some photo tips. And you Salsa dancing is outstanding.

I'll be in touch.

David Valenta

Oza family said...

One word of caution - do not do a guided trip with Andres until you are done with all the guides in CR, because he will spoil you. He sets a very high bar and the rest of the guides have to struggle to keep up with him. We hiked in the cloud forest on a rained out day with our 3 little ones and he made it a LOT of fun. We are sure to visit Monteverde with Andres next time we are here. Oza family, Boulder CO

The O'Briens said...

We (two 30 something couples) had a mad dash visit through the Moteverde area and hired Andy to tour us, and what an amazing choice that turned out to be! We did a night tour, as well as a 1/2 day tour the next morning. We crammed so many wonderful places, birds, animals, and insects in to our short stay, but if we had toured alone or with a large group, we wouldn't have seen 10% of them! He made the crazy drive to and from Monteverde totally worth it!

Ryan Spahr said...

Hi Andy!

My girlfriend and I recently had the pleasure of spending about a days worth of time with Andy on our trip to Monteverde, Costa Rica.

Andy gave us a private tour of the Monteverde Serpentario; guided us on a night hike at Hidden Valley (saw an agouti, white nosed coati, raccoon, porcupine, tarantula, and heard an elusive kinkajou); set up our activities at Selvatura Park; and gave us a great 1/2 day guided hike through the Monteverde Cloud Forest (my girlfriend and I's favorite part of our trip to Costa Rica).

Andy is a local, passionate about what he does, invested in his work, and really conveys that as he walks you through his 'home' (he only lives right down the road). Not only would we have missed out on the Resplendant Quetzal (and the side-striped palm pit viper), but we wouldn't have learned an ounce without him.

Thanks for a great trip,
Ryan & Rachael in Seattle

Anonymous said...

Dear Andres,
Thank you so much for such an amazing trip through the Cloud Forest!

You truly made the Cloud Forest come alive for our family - especially Jacob and Andrew(ages 6 and 9). Your interesting explanations of the plants and wildlife kept our attentions and enriched the experience. Without you we never would have seen the three-waddled bellbird, quetzal, pit viper, toucans, purple throated mountain gem hummingbird, and so much more. The two days we spent with you - exploring the Selvatura Hanging Bridges and Monteverde Reserve - were highlights of our trip. Thank you! We learned so much from you and appreciated your passion and wisdom.

Thanks for everything,
Michael and Dana
Orange County, CA

Ajay said...

Hi Andres,

Thank you for being our guide and showing us all the wonderful flora and fauna in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Without you, we would not have seen the beautiful quetzal, green highland toucan or capuchin monkeys so close but hidden from sight. Your knowledge and passion for wildlife and great humanity are inspiring.

Vinita and I can't wait to come back to Costa Rica and see the natural beauty with you as our guide.

Thanks for the camera tips, memories and advice!

All the best!!!
Ajay and Vinita

Ajay said...

Hi Andres,

Thank you for being our guide and showing us all the wonderful flora and fauna in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Without you, we would not have seen the beautiful quetzal, green highland toucan or capuchin monkeys so close but hidden from sight. Your knowledge and passion for wildlife and great humanity are inspiring.

Vinita and I can't wait to come back to Costa Rica and see the natural beauty with you as our guide.

Thanks for the camera tips, memories and advice!

All the best!!!
Ajay and Vinita

Xinhong and Poh Hui said...

Hey Andrés! These comments are long overdue (got inundated with work immediately after I got back) but I'll give it a shot anyhow:

Going with Andres into the forest is like going with a gourmand to dinner. With Andres as our guide, the forest became a sensory feast - just like you would taste a gourmet meal, you'll walk slowly through the forest, appreciating every little detail from the evolutionary advantages of red flowers on green leaves, identifying plants by venation or the exact species of the insect that just flitted past, the resonant bircall of the bellbird, the intricate and interdependent layering of the forest, and even the smell of the soil. Yes, we saw the requisite trophy animals like the rare and resplendent Quetzal (we saw three - my friend who'd visited Guatemala, where the Quetzal is the national bird, commented that even she didn't manage to catch sight of one), the Forest Toucans, the star-nosed Mole, the Horned Katydid, a tarantula and more. But beyond that, Andrés' ability to really make the forest come alive through his encyclopedic knowledge of all the flora and fauna of the forest, as well as his passion for adventure and conservation, and knowledge of politics and economy really made the experience holistically satisfying and inspiring.

Andrés also really went the whole hog for us service-wise, picking us up in his Russian general Jeep and ferrying us to the choice forests for the tours, arranging our entrance to the Cloud Forest, the Canopy Tours at Selvatura, and also our night forest walk. We spent the entire day from 7am till 8:30pm with him, and there was never a dull moment. After finding out we were fellow biologists (though on a molecular scale), Andrés was even kind enough to give us a nice price for the tours.

We took part in several tours during our Costa Rica trip and were privileged to have had several knowledgeable guides. However, Andres was easily the best nature guide we had and have ever had, period. We highly recommend him to anyone who is looking for naturalist guides in Costa Rica.

Pura vida, and hope to see you again soon!
Xinhong and Poh Hui
Stanford, California

Monique said...

Being with Andy on a tour is a must when you are in Costa Rica!!! Andy has so much passion for the nature and all the animals of Costa Rica. And he's very eager to show you. We were with him on a night walk and a one-day tour and it was unforgettable. He's a very experienced guide and has a lot of patience and knowledge. So you will see and learn a lot being with him on a tour. And last but not least he's very nice guy to spend your time with.

Thank you so much Andy!

Annette and Monique
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Diana and Greg said...

We had a great time with Andy as our tour guide. He is a walking encyclopedia of knowledge about the nature and animals of Costa Rica. We went on two tours with Andy.

Thanks for sharing with us.
Diana and Greg
Minneapolis, MN

Anonymous said...

We had a great day with Andreas in the Monteverde Cloud Forest. We were really keen to see the infamous quetzel and due to Andreas's fantastic knowledge and awareness of the forest we were lucky enough to see three pairs! Of course there were plenty of other delights - the hummingbirds, the toucanets, trogans and many more. Walking in the cloud forest with Andreas is an amazing experience - he knows so much, has such a passion for the environment and clearly loves his job. His excellent English means that communicating is easy, and his relaxed and easy going manner make it a pleasure to be with him for a day. He is also a great photographer and helped me learn how to use my camera, as well as taking lots of great shots himself. Hiring Andreas as a guide is the best thing you can do in Monteverde. Thanks so much...I can't wait to return one day.

ebd3a71e-8b26-11e0-b95f-000f20980440 said...

Our family spent one half day at the hanging bridges at Selvatura, a night tour, as well as another half day in the Monteverde Reserve with Andres. His passion for teaching about the hidden treasures of the cloud forest, his knowledge of biology, history and culture gave us a new and greater understanding about this unique place on our planet! Andres was so accommodating to our schedule and was willing to plan any adventure that we desired in the area. With his expertise, we were able to capture some great photos of a male and female Quetzal, Bell Bird, white faced monkeys, sloths, and beautiful insects and plants. We hope to continue learning in the future with this great instructor who is able to share his heritage, and instruct with great knowledge in understandable terms. Without Andres, our visit to the cloud forest would have been so much less. Thank you Andres for making this a memorable time for our family. Mega Super tuanis!

Anonymous said...

As posted on TripAdvisor....

I found Andres Alvarado's blog while browsing around tripadvisor. Normally I wouldn't trust a random review of a private tour guide in another country, but I kept seeing his name so I went to his blog to check it out. I was on the fence about hiring a guide at all for the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, but the reviews convinced me and they were totally right! Andy met us at our hotel at 7am, as we had planned. He was superfriendly right away and made us feel that we were going to explore the forest with a chilled-out friend. But don't let that fool you, Andy has about 17 years of experience and his services are contracted out by major companies like National Geographic because of his understanding of every single bird, animal, and plant in Central America. During the taxi ride over to the reserve, Andy told us about costa rica and MV from a biodiversity point of view. We were learning already! When we arrived, he let us borrow his very expensive binoculars for free for the duration of our tour. He had two sets to lend us, we rented the third from the reserve for $10. I thought we would go right into the forest, but Andy took his time. Within thirty minutes (without even entering the forest), Andy showed us frogs, rare flowers, a tarrantula, an upclose and personal amazing hummingbird area (that we would've totally missed without him). He let us use his powerful telescope to take pictures, which left us with absolutely stunning images. He was the most knowledgeable guide I've ever had, he was filled to the brim with fascinating information and most importantly he knows how to communicate this in an enjoyable, interesting, and relateable manner. The thing that makes Andy most special is his understanding of the animals, from a behavioral perspective. He knows the forest so well that he can anticipate important happenings for you to see. For example, he had us spot a tiny baby toucan in a tree. He explained it was waiting for his mother to bring food. He told us to wait a few moments, which I was confused about at first. but then sure enugh, the mother came back to to feed the baby! He told us to wait a bit more. And finally we got the most stunning visual of the mother feeding the bird! We got the most incredible video of this happening (we put the camera through his scope) that is so breathtaking you could sell it to a television show, no joke. It was amazing, and this describes Andy's unique skill. I am not generally the most outdoor person in the world, but Andy opened my eyes and made my trip unforgettable. His rates are very reasonable, especially considering you will pay the same amount to the park/hotel for a GROUP tour. His tour is private and goes according to your speed and preferences. You can find his info at: http://forestalive1.blogspot.com/

He will email you with fixed rates and it is very professional. We did the half-day tour and he booked the canopy tour at selvatura for us afterwards (and dropped us off to a free shuttle from the forest). I am so glad we chose him over a larger company's group tour. My friends thought I was so forward thinking to have booked Andy before we left New York. I thank the reviewers on this site for leading me in the right direction. I hope you follow the same great advice that I did. Enjoy!

>>>Andy, thanks again - you made our trip amazing! If I ever make it to Costa Rica again, I'll reach out to you. As promised, I'll email you the toucan video when we get it uploaded!
-Kunaal

Dave Stout said...

My wife, 13-year-old grandson and I spent two fantastic days with Andy, one day in Arenal and one day in Monteverde. His knowledge, passion and enthusiasm are remarkable. I'm a professional wildlife biologist and I can tell you that Andres is the real deal. I felt like my grandson got a bachelor of science degree in rainforest ecology! We saw a wide assortment of birds, snakes, and other cool critters. He also gave us some great photography tips.
My grandson saw a Quetzel!
Thank you Andy!
Dave Stout

Tammy Reece said...

Well there's no need to repeat all the above comments. Andres definitely delivers. Well worth the money. His understanding of the synchronicity of the forest is fascinating. His tours are a must when coming to the MV area. If you're just there to hike don't use him but if you want to see all the minute things the forest has to offer he is a must. Also his photography skills are amazing and with a few quick pointers I went home with some unbelievable pictures. Thanks again Andres. Look forward to seeing you again soon.
Tammy Reece

Anonymous said...

We visited Selvatura on 8/11/11. We hired Andres Alvarado who is a PRIVATE guide worth millions when it comes to knowledge! WOW! This man is a wealth of knowledge and we are glad we hired him! He was able to point out birds and insects that we would have TOTALLY missed had we gone by ourselves. He explained in details the difference between the rainforest and the cloud forest. He is a lover of nature at heart and told the history of this place as if he wrote all books there may be about it. . Andres comes well prepared with a telescope and brought two binoculars plus his own (one for my fiancé and one for me) and showed us how to adjust them and use them correctly. I got bit by ants and Andres went and founds some herbs to put on the bite, which totally took the sting and pain away. Additionally, he is a great photographer and taught us a few things on how to get better shots of birds, insects, plants and just photography in general. He took several pictures of us and for us of plants, birds and insects. Andres is patient and time flies when listening to him!

Oh! An interesting note about him is that he is related by blood to Clodomiro Picado Twight (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clodomiro_Picado_Twight) Mr. Picado is his tio-abuelo or his uncle-grandpa? His dad's brother - to make it easier. Mr. Picado is the gentleman that appears on the 2000.00 colones bill in Costa Rica... pretty cool, huh?

THANK YOU ANDRES FOR A GREAT EXPERIENCE! - Yady & Leo from Florida

Leon Ash said...

We had the absolute pleasure of having Andres take us on an early morning bird watching tour (saw a toucan!) in Monteverde. My family had a fantastic time talking and learning about the cloud forest (and even the story of coffee in Costa Rica). His knowledge is incredible-- definitely an experience we will never forget.

Thank you so much!

The Leon-Ash Family,
Tampa, FL

Lori Burke said...

Today while at Selvatura we came across an amazing guide at the Hummingbird Garden. I enjoyed listening to him and learning about the hummingbirds -- and even how to get one to land on your hand! I was impressed with his expertise, and was quite surprised to find out he wasn't a guide at Selvatura, but the guide to a small group! Anyways, I'm writing this to tell you that Andres was fantastic! And I was impressed not only by his expertise, but also his excellent English!

Principal said...

Andres was unable to guide me when I was in the area. However, he set me up with a colleague who did a fantastic job helping me not only see the beauty of Monteverde, but come to know and understand so much about the flora and fauna. Marcos was fantastic thanks to Andres.

Keith Klein
USA

Polina from Pennsylvania said...

Thanks to Andres my dream come true. I could not believe my luck! Once I saw on TV hummingbirds sitting on people’s hands and drinking nectar. Since then, I had been dreaming of experiencing the gentle touch of these wonderful, tiny birds. This year, I went to Costa Rica with my husband, to a beautiful country famous for their hummingbirds. Our first strive to meet hummingbirds at a butterfly garden in the Arenal Volcano was unsuccessful, but we learned there that Selvatura Park at Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is the right place to go. At this park, I finally enjoyed a lot of hummingbirds flying around their feeders. As usual, I made a lot of photos and videos and I wondered how to get them to sit on my finger. All my attempts failed. Fortunately, there appeared a group of people along with Andres Alvarado, and he mentioned that it is possible to train wild birds exactly what I was trying to accomplish. I tried his technique and in few minutes these tiny creatures were sitting on my finger!!! What a wonderful experience! This also confirmed how beneficial it could be to have an educated and experienced guide in such nature tours. When we met, I learned from him much more about hummingbirds and plants of both the rain and cloud forests. I highly recommend Andres Alvarado as an enthusiastic, knowledgeable and inspiring guide for these nature tours.
Thank you, Andres

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Andres my dream come true. I could not believe my luck! Once I saw on TV hummingbirds sitting on people’s hands and drinking nectar. Since then, I had been dreaming of experiencing the gentle touch of these wonderful, tiny birds. This year, I went to Costa Rica with my husband, to a beautiful country famous for their hummingbirds. Our first strive to meet hummingbirds at a butterfly garden in the Arenal Volcano was unsuccessful, but we learned there that Selvatura Park at Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is the right place to go. At this park, I finally enjoyed a lot of hummingbirds flying around their feeders. As usual, I made a lot of photos and videos and I wondered how to get them to sit on my finger. All my attempts failed. Fortunately, there appeared a group of people along with Andres Alvarado, and he mentioned that it is possible to train wild birds exactly what I was trying to accomplish. I tried his technique and in few minutes these tiny creatures were sitting on my finger!!! What a wonderful experience! This also confirmed how beneficial it could be to have an educated and experienced guide in such nature tours. When we met, I learned from him much more about hummingbirds and plants of both the rain and cloud forests. I highly recommend Andres Alvarado as an enthusiastic, knowledgeable and inspiring guide for these nature tours.
Thank you, Andres

Ingrid said...

My daughter and I visited Curi Cancha in March of 2013. We hired Andres Alvarado because all of our research indicated that the best way to see the cloud forest was with a guide. It was the right decision. Not only is Andres incredibly knowledgeable, but he was pleasant, fun and kind. There were several times when he was showing us something, that other people would stop to ask him questions, ask to look through his telescope and even ask him to take photos (he's an excellent photographer too!). Not once did he point out he was a guide for hire, but graciously explained what we were looking at and shared with them what he was sharing with us. We saw so many animals - a sloth, a howler monkey, a coati, toucans - and the best prize ever - THREE Quetzals, and many more interesting plants animals and insects. There is absolutely no doubt we would have missed them had he not been with us. His enthusiasm and passion for what he does is contagious. All and all it was a great experience. I would encourage anyone who has any interest in maximizing there CR experience to hire him!

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