While I may not have done many of the typical adrenaline fueled adventure activities that are offered throughout Costa Rica, I couldn’t miss out on spending a day wandering about the beautiful Manuel Antonio National Park. National parks and wildlife reserves are one of the things that Costa Rica does really well. They aim to preserve much of the wild beauty of their country, and Manuel Antonio is a wonderful example of this.
Just south of Quepos, the park covers over 680 hectares of pristine rain forest and beaches. It is supposedly one of the most biodiverse areas in the world. Being the lazy bum that I am, we didn’t make it to the park until early afternoon, so we may have missed a lot of the wildlife that is more active in the mornings, like the colorful array of birds.
What we did see though, were a whole lot of monkeys! The White-headed Capuchins are definitely the most common, and in your face (as well as in your backpack if you’re not careful). These little guys will steal any food you have, and occasionally cellphones and cameras, so be careful!
There were also quite a few teeny little squirrel monkeys, but they don’t like to stay still very long in order to get a good picture.
And lastly, the howler monkeys. You will without a doubt hear these guys bellowing from the trees, but they are much harder to see. They don’t move as swiftly as their smaller monkey friends, and they like to hide far up in the tops of the forest.
Once you get your fill of all the crazy monkeys, it’s time to relax on the beach. For weeks we had been staring over across the bay at this perfectly clean, empty beach, wondering why there wasn’t anyone there. Well, it’s part of the park, and you have to pay $16 to get in to the park… So we definitely had to take advantage of this while we were there, at least until a family of raccoons started stalking our bags and we decided to get a move on.
What’s your favorite monkey story?