Home Costa Rica Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio

Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio

by Mackenzie Hudson

This past weekend was our first excursion to Manuel Antonio National Park. On the way to the park we stopped to see a spot known to have lots of crocodiles. These weren’t crocodiles like I’ve seen before. These were huge crocodiles. I’m guessing they sometimes feed on the cattle nearby because I don’t know how else they could have grown to be so big, and so many…

After getting settled into our hotels we spent our first night on the beach with a bonfire. In the midst of this little social session we saved a giant “puffer-fish” that was stuck on the sand using flip flops to carry it back to the ocean.

The next day we went into the park. It started with a guided tour to show us all the animals living there. The park is protected in part for the many native animals such as monkeys, raccoons, sloths, bats, spiders, insects, lizards, crabs, and many more. After the tour our guide led us to the beaches inside the park.

I’ve been to a lot of beaches growing up but this beach shoots to the top of my list. I would 100% recommend it for anyone’s bucket list. The water was warm enough that you didn’t have to force yourself in, but refreshing enough that you didn’t want to get out. Big rocks were on the side of the beach near the forest but other than that it was all sand and a few shells to stumble over. The day was so relaxing: some exploring, some swimming, and lots of sun. When I say lots of sun I mean that even though we loaded up on sunscreen, we were all hurting the next day. We learned very quickly just how powerful the sun is here and not to mess around when it comes to putting enough sunscreen on. I’m sure we won’t be making that mistake again this upcoming weekend.

If you do ever visit Manuel Antonio, keep your belongings close by. The raccoons and monkeys aren’t as innocent as you think, and will take advantage of you being in the water. They have been known to steal belongings whether it be shiny objects, food, or even a whole bag if they can get away with it. I didn’t see it but apparently a raccoon came by and stole chips from a family while they were gone.

The next day was free until we had to leave. After we all got over complaining about how red we were, most of us loaded on more sunscreen and went to the beach.

The trip to Manuel Antonio was unforgettable and I don’t doubt I go back if I have the time before I leave Costa Rica. ¡Pura Vida!

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