I’ve been hanging out in the central and the northern parts of Costa Rica, and so I thought it was time to find out what it might be like along Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast. I’ve been reading good things about a place on the coast called Manuel Antonio: this is the name of Costa Rica’s most famous and popular national park, as well as the small town that is located at the entrance to the park.
I left most of my things at the hotel in San Jose this morning, because there were very strict limits on the number of bags and their weight on the flight from San Jose to Quepos. And when I saw how small the single propellor plane was, I understood why. It only seated 12 people, and we were fairly cramped. We more or less popped a wheelie during our dramatic take off down San Jose’s tarmac.
It is only a 20 minute flight from San Jose to Quepos on the west coast, but we saw some incredible scenery along the way. Costa Rica is absolutely full of natural beauty: it’s quite amazing. It is also world famous for the huge biodiversity of its plants and animals. I found out later that almost 25% of Costa Rica is made up of protected forests.
It is a short ride from the tiny Quepos airport to the town of Manuel Antonio. The road meanders through the mountains above the Pacific Ocean until it descends and finally brings you to Manuel Antonio and the national park. There are some more eye-popping views during this brief ride, especially out through the trees towards the ocean.
I was happy to find that the “Hotel Manuel Antonio” is only a stone’s throw from the beach and from the entrance to the national park. It’s nothing fancy, but then I wasn’t expecting a five star hotel in this little town that is full of surfers, hikers, and bird watchers. The rooms are simple and clean, and there’s a small restaurant that is attached to the hotel.
After checking in, I did a little work, ate dinner, and then went to bed.