Good morning, all! Today is all about part 2 of our Costa Rica trip – Manuel Antonio. What a beautiful place! We stayed three nights here and loved it. It took a few hours to drive here from La Fortuna so we arrived late afternoon.
We wanted to see the beach before dark so we drove straight there. You have to pay for parking but we just wanted to take a peak – only 15 minutes or so. The attendant was so sweet when we told him we just got into town. He told us not to worry about paying and to go enjoy! We ended up having a blast and staying for over an hour. When we returned to the car, we apologized and tried to pay. He wouldn’t let us! He told us just to promise we would come back and park with him tomorrow. Of course we did!
We went and grabbed some drinks to watch the sunset and then headed to our rental. We stayed at Manuel Antonio Estates in a studio apartment (#9) for $50 per night – https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/413223. This was perfect for us because of the price and the location. It was right in between Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park.
The next day, we went to explore Manuel Antonio National Park. The entrance fee is $16 and you can pay extra for a tour. The tour wasn’t in our budget so we just followed behind a group to see if they were pointing out any exciting wildlife. The funniest little critters are the monkeys. But be sure that any food in your bag is in a sealed container or ziploc – they have a great sense of smell and will happily unzip your bag to steal any goodies. Also, don’t smile at them! Showing your teeth is a sign of aggression.
We walked to Playa Espadilla Sur and hung our backpacks on a tree. This beach was amazing and it was just the two of us! We played in the sand and then took our snorkels and masks to see the beautiful little fish swimming near the rocks. When we left, we didn’t take a trail back. We walked up and through the trees. For the first time ever, I was skeptical about an adventure! I wasn’t sure we’d ever find our way out but this ended up being a ton of fun!
On our way back to the rental, we spotted a happy hour sign at Raphael’s Terrazas. So we got ready and then headed back that way for dinner and drinks. The views were incredible and the staff was beyond nice! We stayed late into the night and had so much fun talking with them.
The next day, we went to the Manuel Antonio Estates office to see what sort of excursions we could book for the day. As soon as I saw horse back riding, we were sold! The entire day was great. We drove to the farm and hopped on our horses to go for a ride through the rain forest. Each tour company has rights to their own waterfall so we were able to go up and have a private swim! There is a changing hut so you don’t have to worry about having a wet suit for the ride down. We encountered some heavy afternoon rain so be sure to pack a good rain jacket if you visit in the summer – this is my favorite: Columbia Women’s Arcadia Ii Jacket
When we finished the ride, we went back to the farm and the family cooked lunch for us.
Later in the day we went back to Raphael’s Terrazas for another fun evening with great people!
The next morning, we rented boogie boards and enjoyed the waves for a few hours before having to head back to San Jose and fly home.
This trip was all around amazing and we had the best time! We will definitely visit Costa Rica again and explore different areas of this great country. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!