Situated 82 miles from the nationwide capital of San Jose and simply south of the town of Quepos, Manuel Antonio Nationwide Park is maybe one of the biodiverse parks on the planet and one among Costa Rica’s greatest vacationer points of interest. After visiting, it’s clear to see why.
Named for a Conquistador who was buried there and established in 1972, Manuel Antonio is bursting with conquest and shock. Born to supply entry to all and share the wonder which Costa Rica beholds, the locals and the federal government made positive conservation of the land was truthful and intervened any unethical behaviour.
Upon strategy to the nationwide park, crazed Ticos sprint between automobiles on the highway, decided to drag you into their overpriced automobile park. Some actually stand in the midst of the highway, proper in entrance of your automobile, directing you to their automobile park. Nice begin. However don’t be disheartened! Drive proper previous the maniacs and also you’ll pay affordable parking costs, plus an admission charge of simply $16, and that’s when the journey of Manuel Antonio Nationwide Park begins.
The warmth hits immediately and, as an enormous white-tailed deer trots throughout the path, it immediately dawns upon me that I’m in a rainforest in Costa Rica and I’m in mom nature’s territory now. However because the preliminary bemusement passes, you start to grasp simply how lovely the surroundings is (in-between frantically looking out 360 levels in try to identify a creature, and following any stranger who factors into the forest).
You’ll rapidly uncover that, regardless of being Costa Rica’s smallest nationwide park at three sq. miles, Manuel Antonio is wealthy in wildlife- 109 species of mammals and 184 species of birds to be exact, that’s simply how wealthy in wildlife. A sloth (the park consists of each two and three toed) dangling from a tall tree transferring at a snail tempo was one of many first issues in sight when getting into the park. Iguanas are additionally frequent, while toucans and vultures are simply two of the various hen species that Manuel Antonio has to supply.
The positioning homes three of Costa Rica’s 4 completely different monkey species; the squirrel monkey, white-faced capuchin monkey and the infamous howler monkey. Little doubt you’ll hear the howler monkey earlier than you catch a glimpse of 1, as their sinister ‘howl’ can heard from as much as three miles away. Details like these may be discovered dotted across the park on helpful info boards. For instance, do you know that sloths sleep a median of 20 hours a day?!
Squirrel monkeys are sadly at present a threatened species, surviving primarily in Manuel Antonio and Corcovado, Brazil, therefore, bringing the realisation of simply how fortunate you might be to see one of their pure habitat. Additionally, appreciation is important to the park itself for managing to preserve a lot wildlife and due to this fact species such because the squirrel monkeys can stay on regardless.
Central American monkeys are nimble and transfer swiftly, so that you’ll must be fast to identify a couple of. You’ll must be even faster to catch a selfie with them, a feat I managed to perform in a rush as seen beneath!
The primary stroll to observe round divides pretty often. A sloth path (no prizes for guessing what this route entails) and waterfall path (which enters snake zone!) are each divergences to pursue in your go to to Manuel Antonio. These aspect trails precede Playa Manuel Antonio- a tropical paradise. The white-sand seashore alongside white-faced monkeys cheekily swinging between timber offers a real style of Costa Rica. However beware! Look out for the troublesome racoons dashing onto the seashore in hope to seek out an adventurer’s lunch. Comical, simply so long as the meals isn’t yours!
Previous the seashore are maybe extra demanding hikes, however rewarding nonetheless. Towering viewpoints overlook the entire nationwide park whereas others look in the direction of the Pacific Ocean, the place dolphins and whales may be noticed if lucky.
Trails are rated in issue and also you’ll be instructed how far each is. Some are flat, while others are steep and have many steps to climb. As we ventured additional out, at occasions it will really feel like we have been the only real travellers in a world of our personal, adrift from the surface world. No expertise, no polluting automobiles, no McDonalds- simply yourselves, the character and the buzzing sound of the tropical rainforest.
General, Manuel Antonio supplies an expertise like no different. Monkeys galore. Pacific coast. 4 privately owned seashores. Warmth, magnificence, journey and nature. What extra are you able to ask? This nationwide park doesn’t disappoint, it actually delivers the Costa Rica expertise.
Because the locals round right here say, Pura Vida!
Tip: Don’t step on the leaf-cutter ants! I might have spent hours watching them carry leaves backwards and forwards to their dwelling.
Concerning the Author
Hello! I’m Harry Wooden, 17 12 months outdated pupil from Sheffield, UK. Working laborious to realize my goals and journey the world!