Seeking wildlife in Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
Sloths, check. Monkeys, check. Racoons, check. Iguanas, check. Birds, check. Beaches, check.
After a bit of a disappointing trip to La Fortuna/Arenal (was super expensive to do tours and not much else there), I opted to head down the Pacific coast to Manuel Antonio.
The town of Manuel Antonio is once again expensive and touristy, but at least it was low season so it wasn’t too bad. I stayed in a hostel with amazing views over the countryside and sea, waking up to chickens and roosters roaming and iguanas climbing trees.
The main purpose of this stay was to visit the National Park, which I’d heard was abundant in wildlife and with some nice beaches. I spotted two sloths, a large group of white headed capuchin monkeys, a tree of racoons and heard a lot of birds. There was even a really incredible blue and black spotted iguana/lizard by the beach! It was a pretty successful day, especially once I’d lost the group of people I started off with (quieter to find wildlife).
The beach was lovely and warm and not too busy with people. If you minus the palm trees and water temperature it could have been very similar to beaches in New Zealand, but probably still not quite as nice.
Manuel Antonio is just a bit further than the town of Quepos. All transport begins and ends in Quepos and it’s a bit cheaper there. I’d recommend staying there if you’re not fussed about a nice view. If you fancy some tasty healthy food in Manuel Antonio you can’t go past the Falafel Bar either!
Onwards to my last stop in Costa Rica, Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean Coast… via San Jose, so it’s a long travel day ahead!