Sunday, June 17, 2012

Costa Rica: Arriving in Manuel Antonio

Thursday, the 7th, we packed up in San Jose and headed out to the beach town of Manuel Antonio. After some great recommendations from Kristi and Karen, our original plan was to really not have a plan at all. We were going to leave San Jose and just travel around to a few different cities, not spending long in any one place. Not long before we left though I found the site Anywhere Costa Rica and realized how much of our time would be spent traveling and not just relaxing, so we settled in on the town of Manuel Antonio and decided to stay there for 4 nights before heading back to San Jose and flying home. Although I do wish we had been able to go see the volcano town of Arenal, I am so happy with our choice because this part of the trip was seriously SO relaxing!
We decided to forgo the shuttle however and take the public bus instead. After getting directions from our hotel front desk and feeling pretty confident after managing the buses the day before we headed out. We made it into San Jose and followed our map to the bus terminal we had been told, only to find out that the buses to Manuel Antonio had recently been moved to a different terminal across San Jose. We took a taxi to that terminal and made it in time for the directo bus :-). The bus was pretty nice and included a pit stop at a little store, arriving at our hotel a little less than 4 hours later. It was fun to see different parts of Costa Rica along the way.
Our initial reaction when we arrived at our little beach hotel was that it was cute and very tropical rainforesty :-). We then discovered that we would have WiFi but only in the lobby and there were not TVs in the rooms. We were both worried that we were a little too ADD to stay there for 4 nights, but in the end it was so nice to be forced to relax and detach from the rest of the world for awhile.
After settling into our room, we explored the tiny town and the gorgeous beach. The next morning was our zip lining tour, but after getting breakfast in our hotel we still had a couple hours before we were picked up and went further down the beach. We discovered that Costa Rica is COVERED in hermit crabs...at the beach, in the rainforest, everywhere. It was crazy to look down at the ground and then realize that what looked like a pile of rocks and seashells was actually moving all over the place. We also spotted tons of iguanas...the one wild life we could spot all on our own :-).
It was absolutely beautiful there. I loved how the rainforest went right up to the beach...it was amazing!
a picture of us together!
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the bus terminal and pictures from the drive
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pit stop and our first glimpse of the ocean
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Monroe! (my dad worked for them for years) and the town of Quepos
 (right outside of Manuel Antonio, we went back and explored here a little later)
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In Manuel Antonio!
Our first of many iguana sitings, dinner near the beach, our hotel
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beach exploration the next morning
 (our hotel was right on the beach, my top priority for this part of the trip!)
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this just really doesn't capture the crabs well, oh well :-(
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Can you spot the iguana up on the rock?!
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