Manuel Antonio National Park

Trip Start Jul 18, 2009
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Trip End Aug 03, 2009


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Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Puntarenas,
Thursday, July 30, 2009

Manuel Antonio is one of Costa Rica's smallest parks. The park was only established in 1972 and is only 683 hectares in area. It was just a ten minute journey in the car from our hotel. We found a parking space outside a hotel and paid the 2000 colonas and hoped it was OK to leave it there. The park was just a short walk down a small track. We had decided not to go with a guide here but do some exploring on our own. The day was very humid and I wished I had brought one of the hotel towels to mop me down. We were early so it was nice as there were not too many people about and we had been warned that the park can get incredibly busy.  The first things we spotted were a pair of deer just inside the park entrance. A little further on we spotted a raccoon hurrying across the trail in front of us. The main trail takes you through the centre of the park but there are many side trails to take. We took one up to the viewpoint where there was beautiful views across the Pacific and over to the islands. There was a fair incline and although not that demanding we were feeling the humidity.  We then took the trail to one of the beaches in the park and found ourselves sharing it with a rather large iguana.

There were quite a few birds including a couple of colourful Fiery Billed Aracaris high up in the trees but we were a little disappointed that we didn’t see more although it was nice just walking through the park. We made our way back to the car but on the way stopped in a sushi bar (not what we would have expected) that was on the road out of the park and had a small snack and a well earned drink.  Back in the town we bought two cheap T-shirts to change into. The exertions of the walk had taken their toll and we did look a mess.  We caught up with the boys who had taken the complimentary bus from the hotel in to town, on the beach. The palm trees on the beachfront were filled with the squawking of parrots as they bickered and flew about.

After lunch we took ourselves back to the hotel and decided to do the trail. This turned out to be much more productive than the park and we ended up seeing a large troupe of white-faced monkeys in the trees in the hotel gardens.

The boys ended up doing tennis again and then we all played on the crazy golf course in the hotel, a family tradition. That night the meal was a surf and turf BBQ and it was superb. There was lobster, tuna, steaks, kebabs and mahi mahi.
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