Having a great day with the monkeys and squirrel-rabbits in Manuel Antonio !

Manuel Antonio Travel Blog

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pool at our hotel

An uneventful trip by local buses took us to Manuel Antonio ! The site of the most popular national park in the country , as well as the gay capital of Costa Rica…but we wer there for the national park!
We found our self a nice hotel which was walking distance from both the beach and the park. It took some real effort to find a decent place though. First we took a room at a place by the beach called Cabana Pisces. The room was super depressing, but we decided to take it as it was cheap, and as there were loads of squirrel monkeys(!) in the trees around the hotel. When we found out that the mosquito netting was full of holes and that the room was filled by those little parasites we instantly checked out and went looking for a new place.

Ready to dive !
We went to the place which is listed first in Lonely Planet called Cabinas Ramirez. It says in the holy book that this place looks like a trailer park, and it was`nt lying !

The rooms were like 35$(even though the sign in the road said 20$) and absolutely the most crappy rooms I`ve seen , and I`ve stayed in loads of bad hostels in my travelling time. The room looked like something out of a horror movie (“the hostel”), and smelled like wunderbaums(3 of them on the door) and the walls were full of holes for the mosquitoes to enter.
And the really strange thing is that just 50 meters from this dump there is a super nice modern hotel with clean A/C room with hot showers and cable TV + free internet for 30$ ! Thank god that it`s the low season now , almost no tourists here…the hotel we found would normally cost 70$ pr night !

We decided to do a dive here as it was our last chance for a dive in the pacific ocean ! Then I have Dived in 5 different oceans around the world ! Most of my dives in the Atlantic though!
The dive masters were pretty bad though.

Pretty squirrel monkey
They brought me and Torunn with no experience to a dive site for advanced divers. I was very disappointed in both the dives we had here. The visibility was like 2 meters, there was hardly any fish around, and they dropped us at a place with strong surfs` that was tossing us in all directions when we were at 15 meters deep. There were also some currents that the dive master insisted on crossing , even though there was a complete and total newbie with us.

What absolutely saved the dive was that at the end of the dive we saw a beautiful big green sea turtle swimming around slowly. It was amazing to see, and I didn’t try to ride with the turtle as I did once when I was young and stupid !
We also saw 3 reef sharks hiding in a little cave, and a big sting ray sleeping on the sandy bottom.

bIG IGUANA

After the dive we went straight through the Manuel Antonio national park. Fortunately it was a small park, so it was no problem to see every part of it in the 4 hours we had left until darkness was coming.

The park was teeming with life, squirrel monkeys and howler monkeys in all the trees. The book of books say that you should consider yourself lucky if you see one….well I would say that it should take a lot of effort to not see one of them as they are all over this park. One of the things that has drawn them out of the park is local hotels that are feeding them so they will stay in the trees around the hotel and draw guests. This is a trick which obviously works, as we would never have taken the room in the first hotel we found if it wouldn’t have been for all those nice monkeys in the garden !

After seeing just about every trail in the park we went for some beach time.

sun setting Manuel Antonio
That was pretty cool as we were surrounded by wildlife there ; loads of iguanas, squirrel monkeys, and these amazing little creatures called Agouti which is basically a cross between rabbit and squirrels, and looks like a big guinea pig(not same as Capybara though).

The time until sunset we spent in these crazy big waves on the 4th. Beach of Manuel Antonio. That was hysterically funny to be thrown around by these 3-4 meter tall waves , we spent like an hour playing in the waves, and then enjoying a spectacular sunset from the beach.

Stigen says:
Yeah , it is really worthwhile, such a small country with such enormous diversity. Spend at least 2 weeks there!
Posted on: Jun 21, 2011
pearcetoyou says:
Would love to go to Costa Rica, heard so many great things.
Posted on: Jun 21, 2011
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pool at our hotel
pool at our hotel
Ready to dive !
Ready to dive !
Pretty squirrel monkey
Pretty squirrel monkey
bIG IGUANA
bIG IGUANA
sun setting Manuel Antonio
sun setting Manuel Antonio
Torunn relaxing in gorgeous sunset
Torunn relaxing in gorgeous sunset
doing manicure..
doing manicure..
SQUIRREL MONKEY IN TREE
SQUIRREL MONKEY IN TREE
CLIMBING
CLIMBING
the beach on Manuel Antonio
the beach on Manuel Antonio
Tha beach
Tha beach
Sunset on its way
Sunset on its way
surfers !
surfers !
Surfin`before darkness
Surfin`before darkness
Sunset approaching
Sunset approaching
yes !
yes !
going diving
going diving
divemaster (but not a very good on…
divemaster (but not a very good o…
Torunn ready to get wet
Torunn ready to get wet
crazy dive spot with lots of surf
crazy dive spot with lots of surf
overcrowdedcatamaran
overcrowdedcatamaran
cute little yellow frog in rainfor…
cute little yellow frog in rainfo…
Girlstaking picture of little frog
Girlstaking picture of little frog
cool spider
cool spider
strange flower
strange flower
Torunn at nice bridge
Torunn at nice bridge
view at viewpoint in park
view at viewpoint in park
Rainforest trail
Rainforest trail
monkey in palm
monkey in palm
squirrel monkeys
squirrel monkeys
climbing monkey
climbing monkey
iguanaat beach
iguanaat beach
cute thing
cute thing
Torunn at tree
Torunn at tree
Sunset in our fun waves
Sunset in our fun waves
ohh yeahh
ohh yeahh
almost down..
almost down..
our hotel
our hotel
Manuel Antonio Hotels & Accommodations review
A clean, cheap decent place to stay
This place was a gem anong rubbel , as it is situated between cabinas Piscis on on side, and Cabinas Ramirez on the other side. Both of them total cra… read entire review
Manuel Antonio Hotels & Accommodations review
Not worth it..
Cabinas Pisces This place is nicely located in the jungle surrounding the main beach. The location is very good, as it is only a short walk on the … read entire review
Manuel Antonio Hostels review
Worst dump in the history of dumps..
This was the place listed in Lonely planet as the only cheap place to stay in Manuel Antonio, A judgment that you should`nt trust, as it is`nt true.. … read entire review