“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

TravelHaven Journal – Costa Rica Adventure 8

To Manuel Antonio

Our third destination is the Manuel Antonio National Park on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast where we’ll spend our last five days in Costa Rica. Manuel Antonio is a small, picturesque national park, with cliff views, monkeys, and lots of activities, making it perfect for a family vacation. It would also be a romantic destination for a honeymoon or a couples getaway.

We leave the hotel in Arenal around 8:30 a.m. for the five-hour ride to the park. We stop once for a bathroom/souvenir break and cross the Continental Divide, so we are once again on the Pacific slope. The last hour or so we follow the coastal road, looking for grand views of the Pacific Ocean, but the road is too far inland to see more than glimpses of the water.

Sadly, at Casitas Eclipse, our hotel in Quepos, our wonderful guide, Eddie, left us. But we hope his schedule will allow him to pick us up Friday and take us back to San Jose. Time will tell.

The hotel is acceptable, though not as nice as others we’ve had on the trip. Our rooms are very separate, not adjoining for the first time. But what is amazing is the white-faced monkeys and iguanas all over the property. Soon after arriving, going from my room to Mike and Lisa’s room, I’m confronted by a white faced monkey screeching and advancing on me. When I turn to retreat back to my room, there’s another monkey behind me. I have to confess I was a bit frightened, because they have very prominent, sharp teeth, which they were baring at me! The one behind me wasn’t quite as menacing as the other one, so I chose to go back to my room—quickly. I figured I could see Mike and Lisa’s room later.

Needing some groceries (that would be soft drinks, Milky Ways, and liquor!), we decided to walk to the super market. It was a very long 1-2 kilometer walk, mostly uphill. But we got to scope out the area and got what we needed (after trying to make the store clerk understand we were looking for beach towels) and made the trek home.