30.06.2015 - 02.07.2015 29 °C
Manuel Antonio is beautiful, very small overall and a bit touristy. The main town that is next to Manuel Antonio is called Quepos, which is still pretty tiny in itself. The main attraction is Manuel Antonio National Park. At the entrance there are tons of people advertising cold water, mangoes, and coconuts as well as their services as a guide to the park. Tourists meander in large packs staring in awe up into the treetops. It is pretty obvious when there is an animal that is visible because there is a hoard pointing and gawking at the tree tops. Throughout the park I saw: a scary/poisonous looking spider, white faced monkeys, sloths, iguanas, a turtle, a long green snake and the most tame raccoons I think I've ever seen. The raccoons rustled through any bag they could find in search of food, and were not deterred by sand, clapping or even being hit by inanimate objects.
The park ended at two private beaches with beautiful warm water, white sand, and at least a few less tourists. Ended up spending all day hanging out on the beaches, moving from one beautiful place to the next. I was able to meet up with my friend Kellie, who is working in Costa Rica, and we joined in with the tourism by buying a coconut and hydrating on the beach.
There are a number of adventure tourism activities that visitors can partake including: parasailing, surfing, whitewater rafting, canopy tours, horseback riding, jet ski tours, and even a banana boat tour. I think it would be kind of strange to be a Costa Rican and having so many tourists coming to your country but never really getting to know the true culture that is present. Everyone is incredibly nice that I have met, but I can't say that I can really identify an obvious culture from the places that I have visited. I am excited to have the chance to go to a few places that are a little more off the beaten path once I am on program for Broadreach.
I am back in Alajuela (after a sweltering 4 hour bus ride) and all of the preparation starts tomorrow. Time to get into instructor mode and get excited for this next part of my journey!