One of the great things about my work schedule is that we have at least one three-day weekend each month. Because Costa Rica is a pretty small country, this schedule gives us enough time to travel around quite a bit. Over the last long weekend, a bunch of us went to Manuel Antonio National Park on the Pacific coast. Manuel Antonio is known for its beaches as well as its wildlife.
We had to walk quite a ways to get to the park entrance:
Before heading to the beach, we decided to hike to a waterfall, and along the way we saw at least 40 of these little guys:
After hiking for about 45 minutes through thick-ish jungle (we managed to lose the trail on the way there, hehe), we finally reached the waterfall:
Ok, so I know this dress/aquatic sneaker combo may look a little ridiculous, but let me tell you, it's worth it because these shoes are totally amazing. They're like hiking boots and water shoes all in one. And let's be honest: anything that dries in under half an hour in this humid climate is fine by me!
A few hours later, we made it to the beach and were totally ready for a swim.
The monkeys and raccoons on the beach were super-aggressive. This guy ran up to me a minute after this pic was taken and stole my yogurt cup from right next to my foot. Too bad for him he didn't realize that it was already empty. Haha!
When we arrived back at the villa where we were staying, this spider had set up shop near the door and was getting ready for dinner. I'm not really squeamish, but I mean...look at the size of this thing! And I don't about you, but those yellow stripes on its legs kinda scream "POISONOUS!" to me.
This was the view we woke up to each morning we were there. How can you not have a great day when you wake up to this?
Our friend who planned the trip knew of a fun restaurant called El Avion, which is built in/around an old airplane, so we decided to go there for dinner.
On our last day there, we went to a new-to-us beach, where part of the group decided to give surfing a shot. A nearby restaurant delivered smoothies and cocktails to those of us who decided to relax on the beach instead of go surfing.
Eventually, we realized we had to head back to San Jose. On our way back, we came to a nice bridge...
...with a bunch of HUGE crocodiles swimming underneath. The guard rail was completely missing in places. Don't slip!
Manuel Antonio was a great place to go visit! Props to M.D. for planning such a fun trip!
Many images courtesy of EG and EA.