Manual Antonio National Park

We drove to the Manual Antonio National Park (Google Maps Link / Wikipedia Article). According to wikipedia, established in 1972 with an area enumerating 4,014 acres (16.24 km2) (the smallest of any Costa Rican national park), it is the destination of as many as 150,000 visitors annually and well-known for its beautiful beaches and hiking trails. In 2011, Manuel Antonio was listed by Forbes among the world’s 12 most beautiful national parks.

Before we even got to the park, a group of men, with outfits that were made to look like they worked for the park guided us to our parking spot, way before the actual park entrance. Eventually we figured this out (or rather, eventually we acted on what our gut was telling us) and we got back in the car and drove to the entrance, where there is absolutely no official parking for the park, just a very narrow street with locals selling spots in empty building lots and along the street. Happy with our spot we loaded up the Chariot with all our gear and headed down the path.

We stayed on the main trail, which looks like it was once paved but mother nature has had it’s way with the road. During the hike we didn’t see that much wildlife until we arrived near the end of the main trail at the beach where we saw some fearless raccoons, a lovely sloth and several types of monkeys. We were all very hot during the late morning walk so when we arrived at the lovely beach we were all very happy to go for a dip. Even Oliver who went in the Ocean for the first time.