Monday, September 10, 2007

Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio is a tropical Paradise. A picturesque vision of what I originally imagine our semester abroad would be like: lounging in the pool, Oceanside while monkeys and iguanas frolicked nearby. For these reasons, Manuel Antonio is a hot spot for many tourists who come to Costa Rica. This past weekend when we visited, we were able to experience all the ups and downs of the one of the top destination areas.
Manuel Antonio is a very unique area in that tropical rain forests are juxtaposed against white sand beaches. On Saturday we took a guided tour through the Manuel Antonio National Park, one of the smallest but most visited National Parks in Costa Rica. During our tour we were able to see a three-toed sloth with her baby, crabs walking along the beach, the Jesus Christ lizard, a pack of monkeys, a crocodile staring at us from the marsh, a deer walk up to us, and other wild animal. I am so glad we took the tour because without our tour guide, Juan, and his telescope we would not have noticed most of the creatures along the trail. At first glance, the trail did not look like much, but with Juan’s information we were able to learn so much more. For instance, as you first enter the park, the trail is lined with seemingly innocuous trees that are actually poisonous to the touch; however we would have never know that on our own.
Overall, the weekend was a great respite from the hectic first week of the semester. Manuel Antonio’s forest and beaches provided an experience like no other. The wildlife and the sunsets were amazing. Hopefully, we will have an opportunity to return.
-Maggie Owner

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