Monday, September 29, 2008

Manuel Antonio for TWO Please!

Yes, it was time! A trip for TWO....I was told that the beaches of Manuel Antonio are the prettiest in Costa Rica...and I would have to agree. The park is located on the pacific coast of the country, about 3.5 hours by bus. The bus system is great here, they are very reliable so you just get to sit back and relax!
Although Manuel Antonio is the smallest national park in Costa Rica, it is one of the most diverse. It is a beautiful combination of rain forests and beaches, trails, wildlife galore, and all within walking distance of your hotel. The forest is home to sloths, iguanas, deer, white face monkeys, the rare (and almost extinct) squirrel monkeys and a plethera of colorful birds, etc. Our Lonely Planet travel book says you are guarenteed animal sightings! Sounded perfect to me! LP also recommended a hotel, which is right at the entrance of the park, and "gets furry visitors." That sounded exciting too! We arrived at 930am on Saturday and were so happy when we reached our room.

Our beautiful, big, clean, cute room at La Posada. "private jungle bungalows" It was like an oasis! There are only 7 cabinas at La Posada and there was a little pool in the middle and we had our own porch with a table and hammack. $60 including breakfast!! Ernesto asked me if I booked the room because they had parrots on their website....BUSTED!!Look at this baby though.....ayyyy loquito!
Here ernesto sits at the common area where they served us our delicious breakfast. It is owned an run by Mike, an American who has lived in Costa Rica for a few years. He said when he walked in, he knew it was the place he was waiting for. We could see why, and told him if he ever thinks of selling, to let us know.Huge rocks lined the coast in the town of Quepos....just 10 minutes from the park. We had to stop here to buy our return bus tickets. On Facebook, TJ commented "I see that crack is not illegal on that beach." regarding this photo! HAHA! Speaking of crack, I think the bamboo is on crack here! This is on a trail inside the park. Its almost as big around as my leg...and that is pretty darn big!!
I thought there was going to be more hiking for us to do, but we were sweating so much on the hike to "Mirador la Catedral"...we were ok with just relaxing on the beach and playing in the water.
There were so many great views on this hike, forgive me for repeating...notice the sweat! I am a hard worker.
When we finally park our stuff on the beach, we ran into the water and played in the waves. We did not notice that this racoon was waiting for us to leave our goods. A guy came out to us in the water and said that the racoon had his whole head in our backpack. Ernesto knows that he had it totally zipped up and when we got to it 2 zippers were undone, and our cinammon bread was gone.
He wasn't scared, and didn't go too far either. We are laying on our towels as I took this picture of him enjoying our lunch. Other creatures came by while we hung out too, this iguana posed nicely while everone took pictures.
I know I know, not really that big of a deal, but the next group that came by.....??
....a huge group of fun to watch, and they were close!
Im standing right in front of this one.
It started raining just as the park was closing at 4pm. Perfect timing! Of course, we couldnt go two days without internet....not when sports are going on...just a quick stop in the little internet cafe.
Since it was raining hard outside, for dinner, we just ordered a pizza and a couple beers at our cabina. This may sound weird to "you people" with cable at your house, but for us non-tv watchers, we were so happy to be cozy in our room with movies on cable...and the room came with microwave and popcorn!!In the morning we got up really early, and just like Mike the owner told us, they have a daily visit from deer. This one came right up to our door. So I had the parrot in one hand and I was feeding the deer with the other. I stopped to give the parrot a cracker and look what the deer did.......
She put her pata up and tapped my leg for sweeeeeet! Neto fed her too.
After our animal encounter at the hotel, we entered the park again. (a bit pricey at $10 per person) You can hire a guide for $20/2 hours that can point out all the wildlife...but sure enough, we saw some other animals on our own while walking on the trail. It is also a big hint when people are all stopped looking at "something"
Look at this crazy grasshopper.....we didnt need a guide to point this out...Neto spotted it!!Of course there were butterflies as big as your head, I think this captures it.
Another day hike of less than an hour brought us to Playa Gemelas. This is the view above that beach. It was very ugly as you can see......Speaking of ugly......look at my HOT cross-fit husband!! (If you are curious to what he has been doing to change his body, check out his blog where he documents his workouts.)
Here we finally reached the Playa Gemaelas, but the tide was so high that there wasnt a beach, so we only stayed long enough to catch our breath and this foto opp. We hiked back to the nicest beach (in my ipinion) Paya Manuel Antonio where we just relaxed and did some more "rock climbing"
This shot captures the beaches pretty well. Not crowded (of course this is the low season) very green, blue water and nice white sand.
Before catching the 5pm bus back to San Jose, we ate late lunch at a "kitchen" on the beach...its not "street food" but it was "beach food"
Do you see? Are you starting to understand why I love it here?

1 comment:

I enjoy reading your comments. Thanks for stopping by Viva Cindy!


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