Thursday, September 3, 2015

Hiking Thru The Jungle Of Manuel Antonio National Park.....

One of the most famous tourist destinations in all of Costa Rica is Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio.  Located just south of the city of Quepos, about an hour from where we're staying made it too close not to visit. So yesterday we headed out early to try and beat the crowds as well as the sweltering heat that gets worse later in the day.  The slightly overcast skies were a welcomed sight which I thought might keep it just a tad cooler, although we were soon drenched in sweat.

We Had To Take A Photo Of The Park Map....No Handouts
Pack Of Monkeys

Lovely Waterfall 


We had heard the park is rather pricey with vendors trying to sell everything from fresh coconut water, guided tours, food and anything else you might imagine right outside. The entry fee was $16 US dollars each and parking was an additional $6.  We passed up all the tour guides along the way opting to see the park on our own.

Views From The Overlook Of Pacific Ocean

One Of The Trails

Manuel Antonio National Park was established in 1972 and welcomes some 150,000 visitors each year.  Known for it's hiking trails and beautiful beaches it was listed by Forbes Magazine as one of the 12 most beautiful parks in the world. Soon after entering the park we spotted a deer just a few feet in front of us.  She seemed accustomed to getting her photo taken by gawking tourists and we followed suit like the rest.

Can You See The Deer?

Doing The Limbo Under A Limb

Manuel Antonio Beach
Video Of A Blue Morpho Butterfly

The hiking trails were very well maintained and signed and despite the crowds we were often the only ones on the trail.  Each trail came complete with wooden pathways, steps, handrails and non slip walkways. But of course with all hikes come the highs and lows of climbing up to see the views and then back down. The thick, lush jungle kept the sun from shining down on us and blanketed us with a moisturizing coat of humidity.  Along the way we spotted many iguanas, lizards, birds and more culminating with a pack of white faced monkeys. And although we didn't see any howler monkeys their screams were evident all around us.  Even after exiting the park and driving through the town of Quepos we could hear their loud howling resonating from the jungle.

A Restaurant In An Old Airplane Called El Avion

 Costa Rican Lasagna Filled With Cheese, Ham, Beef, Chicken And Veggies
Different But Tasty

This Large Jar And Ladle Was On All The Tables In The Restaurant
What Is This?......I Asked The Waitress
"Chile," She Said.  I Asked, "picante?"  asking is it hot?
She Said, Si.....muy. (very hot).  That's ALOT Of Hot Sauce!

It was a day of beautiful vistas, white sandy beaches and working our leg muscles as we climbed through the jungles of Costa Rica. By the time we left the park we were exhausted and soaked in sweat.  Ready for some lunch we headed away from the tourist areas to find something less expensive.

After lunch we headed over to the town of Dominical since another gringo we met here said it was really nice. Like many others here Dominical is a beach town lined with bars, restaurants and surf shops offering lessons. Back along the highway we made another stop in the tiny pueblo of Matapalo which had little to nothing.  It too sits along the beach with one tiny grocery store, a tiny school, church and not much more.

We headed back here before dark in time to take the dogs for a long awaited walk on the beach at sunset. Back at the casa we took a well deserved dip in the pool for a night time swim before cleaning up for the night.  Some rain came in to cool things off nicely and for once I was actually comfortable. For the first time since we've been here we went to bed chilly, tucking ourselves underneath the sheet for a cozy night of sleep.......along the gringo trail.

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