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Manuel Antonio has to offer!

The last leg of my Costa Rica Adventure is visiting the interesting but touristy spot of Manuel Antonio. 

From Drake Bay, I rode a boat going to Sierpe and from Sierpe going to Quepos. Manuel Antonio is just a 15-minute more or less drive to Quepos. 
Sierpe docking area
Sierpe docking area (Petchie Colina)

Visiting Manuel Antonio would not be completed if you hadn't gone to Manuel Antonio National Park and so that is what I first did. Located along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio National Park stands as a tropical haven where dense rainforests meet pristine beaches, creating a sanctuary for diverse wildlife and captivating landscapes. The park's allure lies not only in its natural beauty but also in the rich biodiversity that flourishes within its boundaries. As we enter the park, the attendant checks each visitor's bag as foods are not allowed inside the park as it attracts monkeys, or the " Monkey Mafia" as they call them, as they are known to steal food from visitors. Plastic bottles are also not allowed in the park and they are encouraging visitors to bring reusable tumblers with them.  As we traverse the well-maintained trails, we encounter an array of exotic flora and fauna, from playful capuchin monkeys swinging through the trees to colorful toucans perched overhead, to the hummingbirds. The hike that we did at the park was almost an hour and we had to do a slow pace to see more wildlife. We ended the hike at the Manuel Antonio beach and were allowed to stay for more or less 3 hours.  The park's crescent-shaped beaches, with their ivory sands and turquoise waters, provide a picturesque backdrop for relaxation and exploration.  Manuel Antonio is renowned for its conservation efforts and commitment to preserving the delicate balance of its ecosystems. A visit to this national park offers a harmonious blend of adventure and tranquility, making it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and those seeking an authentic Costa Rican experience.

Manuel Antonio National Park Entrance
Manuel Antonio National Park Entrance (Petchie Colina)

Bats in camouflage on the tree
Bats in camouflage on the tree (Petchie Colina)

Sleeping Sloth
Sleeping Sloth (Petchie Colina)

bird we saw at the Manuel Antonio National Park
bird we saw at the Manuel Antonio National Park (Petchie Colina)

One of the beautiful hummingbirds we saw
One of the beautiful hummingbirds we saw (Petchie Colina)

Male hummingbird
Male hummingbird (Petchie Colina)

One of the shorelines in Manuel Antonio
One of the shorelines in Manuel Antonio (Petchie Colina)

The next activity on the list is doing the Mangrove Kayaking Tour.  The Kayaking tour unveils an immersive journey into the heart of one of the world's most vital ecosystems. As the gentle current carries the kayak through the intricate network of mangrove waterways, we find ourselves enveloped by the lush greenery and abundant biodiversity that characterize this coastal haven. The tour provides a unique perspective on the symbiotic relationship between land and sea, offering glimpses of vibrant marine life, including exotic fish, crabs, and even occasional sightings of elusive reptiles like iguanas and crocodiles. Unfortunately, it rained that day so the wildlife went into hiding and we weren't able to see much of them.  However, paddling through the mangroves, allowed us to witness the dynamic interplay of nature, where the dense mangrove roots serve as nurseries for marine species and a crucial buffer against coastal erosion. Guided by experts, the Mangrove Kayaking tour not only offers a serene and picturesque adventure but also imparts valuable insights into the ecological importance of mangrove ecosystems, making it a captivating and educational experience for nature enthusiasts.

Concluding my time in Costa Rica with a stay in Manuel Antonio is the perfect way to wrap up my vacation.

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