Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Day 10: A day at the beach at Manuel Antonio

Today was the day all of us were really looking forward to. Today we were going to Manuel Antonio National Park. This park is located on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica and is known for its abundant wildlife and spectacular beaches. We began our day with a short hike through the forest to the beach.

As I said before, Manuel Antonio is full of wildlife. On just our short hike, we saw nearly 2-dozen howler monkeys, numerous frogs, and the three-toed sloth pictured above. It was neat to see these animals in their actual habitats.

Our short hike ended with this view. Today we would be spending most of the day at this spectacular beach!

We spent most of the day swimming in the water and playing Frisbee. It was a very relaxing and fun day!

After about 1.5 hours in the water, we decided to go hike one of the other trails in the park. We didn’t see much wildlife, but it had some spectacular views.

This is a view of the beach we spent the day on from an overlook. One of many beautiful views our hike provided.

When we came back, we decided to eat our lunch we brought. The animals in the park know that bags have food. As a result, the animals steal the bags if you don’t have someone constantly sitting by them. We had 2-foot iguanas, raccoons, and monkeys try to steal our food. This shows how close the monkeys got to us trying to get our bags. At one point we had 6 monkeys within 10 feet of us!

It was such a fun day at Manuel Antonio with this amazing group of people.

On our way back from Manuel Antonio, we stopped by a restaurant called El Avion. It features a AC-130 that the U.S. sold to Nicaragua during the Iran-Contra Crisis. It never made it to Nicaragua and is now a restaurant. You can sit in the cockpit, and the actual body of the plane is now a bar. I have no idea how the airplane was transported here. The roads in this area are steep and extremely narrow! We ended the day by going out for dinner in Quepos. After walking around for awhile, we found a restaurant with live music. We thought it would be neat to listen to a Costa Rican band. Turns out, the band was from Alabama and played country music. Today was another incredible day in Costa Rica!

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