Manuel Antonio National Park

BY TARA BURKE

On day two of our time in Manuel Antonio we went to the national park! We decided to forgo a guide since we were going to another rainforest later in our trip, but because this park is so popular you can see where big groups of people are looking and chances are they’ll be looking at an animal. Right when we got in the park that is exactly what happened to us.

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There was a large group and tons of guides pointing into the trees and there it was, a three-toed sloth! It was a cooler morning than usual in Costa Rica so the sloth was moving a lot to keep its body temperature up. It’s actually pretty rare to see sloths awake because they normally sleep up to 18 hours a day. We also saw a two-toed sloth, many capuchin monkeys, squirrel monkeys and the potoo bird.

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The national park has several beaches inside of it, so right after we were done animal watching we went straight to the Manuel Antonio beach. If you’re more of a pool compared to ocean person, this beach may be your perfect fit since the water is so still, and like all the beaches in Costa Rica SO warm!

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Eventually we started to get hungry since our chips were confiscated at the entrance gate (as the raccoons apparently come running the second they hear a wrapper haha) so we headed out to eat. They have a lot of restaurants along the whole road leading to the national park, so we randomly picked one of them to eat at. In fact, it was so random that we don’t know the name of it, which is unfortunate since we love giving you guys good recommendations. We do know it was past the falafel place, had a bar along the back of the large outdoor seating area and had seat cushions! That’s about the worst description I can give you, but if you do happen upon it order a mango or pineapple jugo naturale. They were the best ones we tried during our visit. Also make sure you order a casado at least once while you’re there as it is a typical Costa Rican meal. It includes black beans, rice, salad, plantains and an entree meat. ¡Es delicioso!

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We couldn’t get enough of the Costa Rica beach vibes so after lunch we revisited Playa Espadilla. We swam for a bit and afterwards got some pipas frias (coconut water) to enjoy on the beach.

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To cap off our stay in Manuel Antonio we headed to Cafe Milagro for happy hour and live music. They have live music every night from 7pm-9pm which was really fun. We literally had to pry ourselves off our seats when it was time to head back to the hostel, but we had to get ready for our next big adventure in Drake Bay. Drake Bay quickly became our favorite spot in Costa Rica so we can’t wait to tell you more about it! Stay posted!

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