Blogs from Manuel Antonio, Puntarenas, Costa Rica, Central America Caribbean

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The sun was shining bright and hot today for our morning in Manuel Antonio National Park where we saw a three and two toed sloth, howler monkeys, lizards, raccoons, and the highlight which was a pack of squirrel monkeys that came all the way down to the path and were close enough to touch. The beaches were absolutely stunning and the wildlife loud. One of the raccoons performed a successful daylight robbery of someone's lunch from their bag on the beach then proceeded to eat it in full view and without a care. Before heading back to miserable San Jose on the bus we had dinner on the beach restaurant again during high tide. On the beach live a pack of white headed capuchin monkeys which are also fearless and come close to people. One had ... read more
Our journey
Great morning here!
National Park viewpoint


The song 'All by myseeeeelf' came to mind this morning as we went to the bus station by ourselves to get on a bus by ourselves to Manuel Antonio where we are now, by ourselves. It was very strange not seeing any of our group and not having Pippa to look after us but we managed okay and the bus was perfectly safe! Manuel Antonio has a beautiful beach and there is a very laid back and relaxed vibe. Annie prefers it to Roatan. We haven't done much today besides walk along the beach where we saw a few monkeys, and we did a little shopping. But tomorrow we are going to the National Park bright and early to see more animals and hopefully another sloth before heading back to the capital. We have uploaded some ... read more
We are joined by monkeys at breakfast
Lunch time on the beach
The wanderer


Distance driven today: none – hanging out in Manuel Antonio Cumulative distance driven: 7,474 miles / 12,028 km Today’s trip: Hiking around Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica We spent all day in beautiful Manuel Antonio on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The humidity level here is well over 80% most of the day, apart from the time when the tropical rain starts pouring, upon which the humidity level further increases! Zoe and I took a long guided tour in the Manuel Antonio tropical rainforest national park. We learned that, despite its tiny size of 200 hectares / 8 square miles, the national park boasts over 100 mammal species and close to 200 bird species, making it one of the most biodiverse areas anywhere. Our guide, who carried a tripod and powerful binocular lens with him, did ... read more
Ininity pool at our hotel facing the Pacific coast
Manuel Antonio tropical rainforest national park
National park beach


Distance driven today: 91 miles / 146 km Cumulative distance driven: 7,474 miles / 12,028 km Today’s trip: San Jose to Manuel Antonio, Cosa Rica Times I dropped the bike: once on an extremely steep driveway up to the hotel parking – no serious damage other than to Christer’s pride… Today we rode the shortest distance so far, just 146km/91miles. However, there was no lack of adventure for sure. Our goal was to ride from San Jose to the Pacific coast, and the beautiful backpacker friendly Manual Antonio. Instead of taking the straight-forward highway to the coast, I decided (in my infinite wisdom!) to take the scenic route over the mountains. The GPS route showed it to be shorter by a whole 50km/30 miles compared to the coastal highway. Half way into the scenic route it ... read more
Road from San Jose towards the Pacific coast
Zoe resting after a bumpy ride on gravel
Manuel Antonio approching


We had an amazing weekend getaway at Manuel Antonio National Park. We left right after school in an absolute downpour to head to the "beach" for the weekend. We took the Interbus (which is like a private shuttle bus) from Santa Ana to Manuel Antonio. It is on the west coast of Costa Rica on the Pacific Ocean side. It took about 3 hours with a lot of traffic and a few stops along the way. We arrived after dark to our hotel "Costa Verde". The hotels motto is "Still more monkeys than people" so we were hoping for lots of sightings. Our room was great, really big with an amazing balcony but it was dark so we didn't really know where we were. The kids were super hungry and we weren't really sure where to ... read more
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Los Últimos días.. Following our speedboat to Jaco, a we were driven two hours south to Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio. Upon arrival we headed straight to the beach for a seafood platter, why not! It was a long beach, and once we had found a spot away from the slightly concerning crocodile warning signs, we were happy chilling out and playing in the immense waves. Big kids at heart, it's awesome how much fun the ocean can be! Manuel Antonio has an odd layout because right by the park entrance there are shops and restaurants, which we were told were overpriced and more for convenience. The majority of good eateries and amenities such as ATMs or shops were on "the road to Quepos". We only went to Quepos itself to purchase bus tickets, but other than ... read more
Love love love.
White Faced (and slightly bashed) Monkey eyeballing me
Have you got my best side?


Nick: What with the salt flats tour, trip to the Amazon and visit to Machu Picchu (not to mention the bout of illness between the two), the last two or three weeks of travelling had definitely been the most intense so far and it started to catch up with us. As such, we were looking forward to our time in Costa Rica and having a few days to calm down and recuperate before the next leg. We'd wanted to visit Costa Rica for some time - it had only just been pipped to the post for our honeymoon destination by New Zealand - and when we'd drawn up our travelling plans, we couldn't resist bolting it on to the end of our South America itinerary, since we were in that neck of the woods (sort of!). ... read more
Beach, day 1
Taking a dip
SLOTH!


This was our last day of planned activities here in “The jungle on the beach”. Our muscles were sore and tired, but we had another day of hiking, so we sucked it up and attacked the Manuel Antonio National Park. First, we learned that the land used to be owned by a man named...Manuel Antonio. For many years the locals had a path across it to the best beach around. Manuel Antonio was fine with that, so the practice went on for many years. After he died, a French man purchased the property and he erected a fence and put up “Prohibido el paso” signs. The locals climbed the fence and crossed through his jungle to the beach. He built taller fences, and they continued to go over. When he added even more security, the locals ... read more
Hungry monkey
Monkey mid-jump
Howler monkey


It stormed all night, so I was very happy to wake up and realize that the sun was peeking through. This was our catamaran cruise day, and I certainly didn't want it to get rained out. We caught our van to the dock in Quepos, and boarded a large and apparently new catamaran. This boat had lots of extras...2 criss-crossing slides into the water, 2 hot tubs, and 2 stretched nets to lie on over the water. They served fresh fruit, crackers, and an open bar as we sailed out of the port and into the Pacific Ocean. We were hoping to see dolphins, but they must have had other plans for the day because they never did show up. After an hour or so, we dropped anchor in a sheltered cove and jumped in! The ... read more


This morning we left the cool mountain top of Monteverde to head to the lowlands and the beach. I managed to sit in the front seat for the hair-raising descent on the dirt road that leads down and around the mountain. I think I was better off not knowing that Juan Carlos, our driver, talks with his hands...taking both of them off the steering wheel at the same time. On the drive to Manuel Antonio, we made a monkey stop to see some howlers up in a tree. I've always been particularly amused by monkeys in the wild, so I continue to get excited about sightings. We made a pit stop further down the road, and we managed to see some black-striped iguanas. I'm accustomed to lizards in Florida, but these are big! Our guide assured ... read more
Black-striped Iguana
View from below Monteverde
Howler Monkeys




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