This past Sunday my mother flew into Costa Rica to spend time with me for a bit in this new country. We’ve spent some time in San Ramon, but we also strayed away from a cultural experience and became tourists this past weekend. We went to Manuel Antonio National Park with hopes to see sloths and a beautiful beach. Luckily, we got the best of both worlds, and saw both of those!
It took me forever to decide somewhere to go with my mom, as she did not care where we went, but eventually I chose Manuel Antonio. I ended up picking it as our destination for the weekend because it had both wildlife and a beach. These two things, along with a special restaurant, are the reasons why you must also visit Manuel Antonio/ Quepos while visiting Costa Rica.
After being in the car for about 2 and a half hours, we turned another corner on the never-ending winding highway from San Ramon to Quepos and saw the panoramic view of the beach. I’ve been to many beautiful beaches in my life, and this one left me speechless. Before going, I knew that it is renowned as one the best beaches of the world, and it was used to film scenes of Jurassic Park, but I had no idea how close the jungle and the beach were. The tall dark green luscious jungle trees were arching over the beach, and the waves were always hitting some tall rock that was also covered in these amazing trees. It looked like a picture straight out of a travel magazine. I’ve also heard that on the beach in Manuel Antonio park there is a treehouse, and many monkeys if you are looking for that kind of experience.
The other reason you must visit Manuel Antonio is because of the wildlife. This is kind of an obvious one, but it is the greatest reason to visit. Nowhere else in Costa Rica are you able to see such a variety of animals. While on our tour, we saw monkeys, sloths, dragonflies, lizards, iguanas, spiders (eek), and so many more animals. It felt like a modern day jungle book, except I was not Tarzan, and the animals didn’t talk. Here are some pictures of the animals we saw, but don’t let these pictures be enough, go see these animals for yourself!
Side Note: I have heard some people say not to get a tour guide, as you can just follow the groups and then look at the animals that they point out. This is true, but I would still recommend getting a guide because they have binoculars that will let you see the animal’s cute little faces, I’m mainly talking about the sloths faces.
Lastly, Manuel Antonio is a must on your list when traveling Costa Rica because of the restaurant called el Avion (The airplane). As I said last week, I love food, so wherever I go, I always look on trip advisor for the best restaurants in the area. This one stood out immediately because I had never heard of anything like it. The restaurant is either an abandoned or old airplane that has been transformed into a two story restaurant and a pub. In order to enter the bar, you have to go in through a small door, and it is located within the cock pit of the plane. If I just heard a description of this restaurant, I probably would have not have thought it was classy, but the way that this place is set up, exceeded my expectations. On top of the amazing atmosphere, this place has great food. I ended up getting grilled chicken with passionfruit sauce, and it was deliciousss! The prices of the restaurant are more on the higher side, but so are most restaurants in Manuel Antonio.
Thank you all for reading, and I hope that once you visit the country of Pura Vida you also visit Manuel Antonio!
If you guys do visit, use our hashtag #CRFreeka when posting on Instagram or Facebook so we can see your adventures and cultural experiences!