This is the eleventh & twelfth in a series of posts about an incredible 2-week volunteer & adventure trip to Costa Rica I took in December 2022. I wasn’t sure this trip would happen, but luckily it did.
Here is my volunteer & adventure trip to Costa Rica, days 11 & 12, Manuel Antonio. I am combining the days into one post since most of day 11 we spent in the van driving from La Fortuna to Manuel Antonio. As you can see from the map, traffic made for a long drive and took even longer than anticipated. Definitely, something to keep in mind while visiting Costa Rica. More cars than roads. Also, the roads are not in the greatest condition if you are coming after the rainy season. You’ll want to do your research when planning your trip. Thanks to Ozzie & Yana, our fearless driver & leader, as they helped the time pass.
We made a couple of stops to break up the ride, stretch our legs, have lunch, have a coffee, see some crocodiles, and do a little souvenir shopping.
We had a nice surprise once we finally arrived at Manuel Antonio. We saw a family of sloths! It was definitely a bonus after being in the van for so long. In Costa Rica, they help the sloths (locals call them lazy bears) by putting up dedicated lines for them to get around up high. They are similar to electric lines but a much safer way for them to travel.
Waking up to day 12 in our new accommodations was a little sobering. This wonderful trip was winding down. Tomorrow was my last full day since I was leaving at the crack of dawn the following day.
After a walk around the hotel grounds and a quick breakfast, it was time to head to the Manuel Antonio National Park. Then to Playa Manuel Antonio after meandering through the park. We found a great spot in the shade and then went swimming. The water was very refreshing on a hot, sunny day. Then we found a place for lunch outside of the park.
manuel antonio national park
With the establishment of Manuel Antonio National Park in 1972, the people of Costa Rica decided to preserve, for future generations, one of the most beautiful and biodiverse areas in the world. Although it is the country’s smallest national park, the stunning beauty and diversity of wildlife in its 683 hectares (1688 acres) are unequaled.
Manuel Antonio contains a charming combination of rain forest, beaches, and coral reefs. These beaches are the most beautiful in the country, lined with lush forests, and the snorkeling is excellent, too. The forest is home to sloths, iguanas, rare and adorable squirrel monkeys, white-faced monkeys, and millions of colorful little crabs. The trail that winds around Punta Catedral features some spectacular views. The park is easy to reach, south of the town of Quepos, and is near a good selection of hotels and restaurants.
Visiting the park, one is treated to an abundant diversity of wildlife. Cathedral Point was once an island with its forest-topped cliffs but is now connected to the coast by a thin strip of island. This land bridge now forms the spine separating the park’s two most popular beaches, Playa Espadilla Sur and Playa Manuel Antonio. The southern-facing beach, Playa Manuel Antonio, is a picturesque half-mile-long, white sand crescent bisecting deep green foliage to one side and a private, secluded cove to the other.
Music I Use: Bensound.com/free-music-for-videos
After visiting the Manuel Antonio National Park, we got a coffee and then returned to our rooms to pack for our last (!) catamaran excursion tomorrow. Then we had dinner at a lovely restaurant with one of the most amazing views. We made it just in time for a 2-for-1 happy hour. I had a margarita & a pura vida. Both were delicious, but the pura vida was pure heaven. Fresh passionfruit juice & Cacique Guaro (Costa Rican liquor). Not too sweet, just perfect!
Thanks again to my travel mates for letting me use their photos & videos to supplement mine.
Pura Vida ❤️
Until the next adventure, my friend!