Manuel Antonio - a la playa!

Trip Start Aug 07, 2009
Trip End Jul 14, 2010

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Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Puntarenas,
Thursday, January 14, 2010

It was a great relief for us to descend from the cold and wet of the mountains and reach the coastal plateau. As soon as we got about 10 km west of Monteverde and went over the continental divide, the rains stopped, but we still had galeforce winds. As we were driving, we came across a tree that had fallen down and had blocked the road. So we saw the local drivers out there chopping the branches up with machetes, to get a path clear - Julio, our driver saved the day!

We reached the Tercoles river, and stopped for a crocodile safari. We hadnt been able to visit Monteverde reserve, so Ron used the money to pay for the boat trip. It was excellent; apart from the amazing wildlife, it was warm and sunny! What a change.

We got very close to the north american crocodile, and there were some huge males in the river. The boatman, got out and lured the crocodiles towards the bank with chicken pieces - def not something to try at home!!! We got our first glimses of Scarlett Macaws on this trip and many birds of prey such as the mangrove black hawk, osprey, black vulture and turkey vulture.

After lunch, we continued on to the coastal area of Manuel Antonio. It was a low key place, with a few beach front bars, shops and a small amount of restaurants.... but the main focus was the park, and the beaches.

The first day we just enjoyed a stroll along the beach and watched the sun setting, but the second day we walked into the park with Ron, as our guide.

There were loads of groups, so it did seem a bit crowded but the one advantage was that we could see where the wildlife was! All the guides had scopes to see the animals clearly. Saw two three-toed sloths v clearly, which was amazing. Aileen. Tricia and I then spent a few hours swimming and sunbathing at a very sheltered beach, and watched a cheeky racoon and cappachin monkeys steal food from bags! One cappachin, looked both ways, went into the carrier bag, took out the nature valley bar, looked both ways and then ran off!! All I could think of was that was 900 colones of food! (U$2).

Enjoyed the sunset again that evening and a nice meal out... ready for our last day.

The last morning in Manuel Antonio was spent snorkelling. It was a bit disappointing, as there wasnt a reef and we just had schoals of fish. Aileen saw an eagle ray though! We left Rod and Patrick behind at the beach and after lunch headed up towards the mountains and San Jose, the capital. It was a nice drive, but the lunch stop turned out to be 2.5 hrs after we left, and I was starving! We also stopped at a artesan factry/shop on the way back.... didn't buy anything though! We had a nice last meal out at Machu Picchu restaurant.

Aileen left at 6am and then I spent some time catching up on this blog!!

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tricia davies on

Brilliant blog Jo! It really felt like living the holiday again! Thanks very much.

Rae Browne on

Wow what a beach! Where have all the tourists gone, the umbrellas and chairs? Looks great and I bet you are topping up your sun tan nicely. Mum

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