Since there is no official northern entrance to the park, it's easiest to go with Tacuba's well-known, English-speaking guide, Manolo Gonzales. Manolo is the owner of Imposible Tours (Av. Cuscatlán near Calle 10, Tacuba; tel. 503/2417-4268; www.imposibletours.com) and the son of the owners of Hostal de Mama y Papa . Manolo offers 6- to 8-hour day and night tours into the park for $20 per person, including the entrance fee. His most popular tour is an 8-hour waterfall tour, which involves hiking for hours deep into the jungle and jumping from waterfalls ranging from 2 to 12m (6 1/2-39 ft.) in height. On this tour, you'll have to jump or be lowered down the highest waterfall, in addition to taking part in hours of rigorous hiking. Note: If you're out of shape or afraid of heights, the tour may not be for you.
Manolo offers an easier $20 coffee plantation and hot springs tour in which you witness the entire coffee cultivation process from field to factory, or bean to cup, and then head into the mountains to spend the afternoon soaking in hot springs. There's also a 2-day bicycle tour, where participants are driven to the highest point in the park and ride bicycles down through the jungle all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The rock-bottom $55 cost includes round-trip transportation from Tacuba, dinner and drinks at the beach, breakfast and lunch, and a kayak tour, along with stops at some towns along the Ruta de las Flores. Other tours include a night animal-watching tour and a tour in which you're driven to the park's highest point before hiking down to a natural swimming pool. Try to call at least 2 days in advance to schedule tours.