First of all, if there is one word that I could use to describe Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, it would be amazing. Actually, all of Costa Rica is quite honestly amazing. A country full of life, beautiful people and the best hospitality in the central american region. It is a rain-forested piece of land with coastlines on the Caribbean and pacific oceans; like other central american countries. Also known for its beaches, happy people, great volcanoes, flora, fauna and great tropical climate. It is also known for boasting with a great night-life, high-achieving national soccer team, strong entrepreneurship and great economic activity. The costarican accent sounds cute too if I can be honest. By the way this was my fifth trip to this prosperous piece of land. Now, welcome to Manuel Antonio.
Experiencing Manuel Antonio
The trip starts from San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital city. It is a 3 hour ride away full of nice views all along. Since I had acquired an excursion, we headed off with tourists from different countries. In these trips, you always get to make new friends and exchange great experiences. The trip was comfortable, we were ready by 7 am in the morning and had arrived before midday. Manuel Antonio is located in the Puntarenas province. We parked at a local restaurant which would later on serve us dinner at the end of trip into the national park. The walk from the hotel towards the park entrance provides tourists the option to buy local souvenirs, drinks and restaurants. Most importantly, I was able to buy a nice shirt with one of the most famous slogans from Costa Rica; the famous “Pura Vida!”.
I have been to a few beaches in many different countries. I have observed that to my amazement, Costa Rica and Honduras possess the most beautiful beaches from the central american region. Honduras has the Bay Islands and Costa Rica has Manuel Antonio. White sand beaches are a complete delight. The park has several species of animals that include monkeys, sloths, birds, thousands of insects and several lizards. Be careful with the monkeys though, they may run away with your bags if they are left unattended! The park has a couple of loops to opt for. Some divert you into the high parts where you can take pictures and enjoy the breathtaking views of the pacific ocean. I was able to walk the high loop and it can be challenging for non-athletic people.
Overall , I think it was a good decision to make the effort of taking the high loop. Not too many people were walking through it and you could really appreciate the ocean. Me and my partner had the chance to eat some fruit and a sandwich while we relaxed for a bit overlooking the trees and people swimming down at the many beach spots found throughout the area. After the 30 minute loop, we finished off at a zone that truly felt like paradise. The water was probably more crystal clear than we expected. There were palms providing shades for people to have a great time. Summer couldn’t seem to look better than that. I wish I would’ve had a hammock with me at that moment to take a small nap in this beautiful place; it was simply mesmerizing.
Finally, I don’t recall seeing any stores or places to buy food inside the park. Therefore, we brought our own stuff so we didn’t feel compelled to buy anything. In conclusion, I think visiting Manuel Antonio is a great option. Costa Rica is a relatively small country with so much to offer. Furthermore, for a summer escape, I can only think of a very small amount of places in Central America with the quality of water that Manuel Antonio possesses. As a result, I can’t criticize the fact that it is usually crowded in the beaches. How could it not be with such precious settings and ambient? Above all, as usual, bring cameras, snacks, a healthy body and a ton of energy to spend some great moments here. And after a long day at the beach, off we were back to San Jose. Pure life! Pura vida!