BY TARA BURKE
After our day on the road we stayed in Manuel Antonio for a few days! On our first full day there, we had plans to go ziplining at El Santuario Canopy Adventure Tour. Our tour van picked us up bright and early at 7:30am and we headed to the tour site. We drove through acres of palm oil trees to get to the tour’s campsite where we were greeted with fresh cut watermelon. The guides suited us up with all our ziplining gear, gave us a quick rundown of all the safety procedures and we were off! As we were hiking up to our first tree platform we actually got to see a about five toucans sitting in the canopy. It ended up being the only time we saw toucans, so we were extremely happy we saw them on our tour as they’re one of Cailin and I’s favorite bird.
Our whole tour was amazing and so fun. We got to zipline upside down on two of the lines which was a little intimidating at first, but after you do it once you wish you could do it on more. Since you can only go upside down on certain lines, we’d recommend you give it a shot when you can. One of the best parts about the El Santuario tour is that they have the longest zipline in Central America at over 4,300 feet. The line is so long that you can really soak in the beautiful view of the Costa Rican canopy. Our tour guides ensured everyone’s safety, were funny and even took the time to get to know everyone’s names, which only added to the overall experience. When the tour is over you get a delicious typical Costa Rican meal! If you’re looking to do some adventure activities while in Costa Rica we’d highly recommend this particular tour.
After ziplining we had the rest of the day free and decided we’d get a coffee and try and look for better wifi. I’ve heard that wifi is a little spotty in all of Costa Rica, but since we could only get wifi in one specific section of our hostel room, we decided to give another locale a shot. We had heard of a local roaster called Cafe Milagro, so we decided to head there and give it a try. We looked up the address with our smidgen of hostel wifi and got in our car to find that our directions actually led us to their roaster instead of the café & bistro. Here you can get coffee to go, but there is no seating or wifi. We ended up getting lattes anyway and sat along the water right across from the café. It ended up working out since we got to relax by a beautiful view and explore Quepos more, which is where we actually stayed during our time in Manuel Antonio. Quepos is less touristy so prices are lower in that area if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly stay.
We still had some time on our hands so we decided to catch the sunset on the beach. We went to Playa Espadilla, which is a pretty long stretch of beach in Manuel Antonio. We all really loved this beach because the water was so warm and the waves weren’t too strong if you wanted to swim. We caught an amazing golden hour there before we went back to prep for day two!