One of the reasons why we chose Manuel Antonio for the second leg of our trip was the Manuel Antonio Nature Park and Wildlife Refuge. The Nature Park is part of a 25-acre private wildlife refuge and protected corridor with three primary nature exhibits, including turtle ponds and several user-friendly nature interpretive trails. The park was established in 1972 and even though it is the smallest national park in Costa Rica, it was named among the world's 12 most beautiful national parks by Forbes. It most certainly lived up this title!
As we were planning our trip, we all four were determined to see lots of wildlife, so we figured what better way to accomplish this goal, than to take a guided walking tour of the park. We were picked up from our hotel again and driven down to the entrance to the park. Our guide was very entertaining and very good at spotting the tinniest animal from far way. We were so glad that we decided on a tour of the park, because our guide carried a telescope that he would use to focus in on the animals so we could see them up close. It was hard for me to share with the other guests on the tour, including Joel, Chris and Jackie, because I wanted to watch the animals and didn't want to miss anything!
|This was actually a pretty cool lizard|
|How our guide spotted this tiny bug, I will never know!|
|This little guy wanted to be found, so he made it easy!|
|Leaf cutter ants|
|The only snake I saw was this one, and it was gone before I could take another picture, a rat snake|
|Green Basilisk Lizard (aka the Jesus Christ Lizard)|
|Crab eating Raccoon|
|Crazy little crabs!|
|more leaf cutter ants|
|a two or three toed sloth (I can't remember which)|
|Another howler monkey|
|The amazing view from our hike to find more monkeys|
|Joel and I, pretty sweaty from our hike, but loving it!|
|Me, Joel, Chris and Jackie enjoying our hike.|
|Joel and I enjoying the beach|
|One of the several beautiful beaches in the park|
|Chris and Jackie - so cute!|
After returning to our hotel, we lounged around the hotel, eating and drinking to our hearts content, watching the trees for more monkeys, and enjoying our lazy afternoon.