Jun 26, 2010
Jul 04, 2010
Manuel Antonio (Wednesday) was overhyped in my opinion. I would still go there if I was in the area, but I wouldn’t plan a trip around it as a highlight. It’s a national reserve on the coast surrounded by a touristy town full of restaurants and shops. We did the hike into the reserve where there are several beaches, jungle trails, and tourist-acclimated wildlife (monkeys, sloths, raccoons, iguanas). The wildlife was fun to see, the beaches were just OK, and the trails were pretty well-travelled making it feel more like central park than a jungle. I would have enjoyed it more if my expectations hadn’t been raised by what I read about it which made it sound like paradise. I’m thinking now that the strategy must be to keep the bulk of tourists as confined as possible to a few areas so that the whole country doesn’t get overrun. If that’s the case, Manuel Antonio is a big success. The highlights of the day were a sloth crossing the trail (veeerrry sloooowwwlly) as we watched and a dirty old Labanese man gem trader hitting on my girls over a beer after our jungle stroll. They got a couple of aqua marine stones out of it, but we turned him down on the use of his apartment to spend the night (LOL)….good times!