Sun, Sea and Sloths

Taking a weekend break from our temporary home in the hills, we headed for the Pacific towns of Manuel Antonio and Dominical. The former being known for its national park and the latter for its surf.

In Manuel Antonio National Park we set out to see how many of the animals depicted on Costa Rica’s banknotes we could spot. Most likely being sloths and carablanca monkeys.

The park is renowned for being very busy, so we got there early and enjoyed one of the many beaches before undertaking the serious business of animal spotting.

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We got off to steady start, encountering some of the more familiar residents.

Animal spotting opportunities were interspersed with some mighty impressive viewpoints, mainly at the end of the park’s trails.

This star of the 5,000 colones note was not at all hard to come across – they brazenly approach people and we suspect they’re used to being fed. There are signs forbidding this, of course.

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Another interspersing viewpoint! They were generally much quieter than the rest of the park so made for peaceful resting places.

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We also caught sight of this sloth near one such viewpoint. It turned out to be the most mobile one we’ve seen yet, and we were mesmerised by its steady, graceful movement for a good 20 minutes!

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Our day at the park finished with a walk to the seasonal waterfall, chaperoned along the way by a considerable number of squirrel monkeys.

Back at our hostel, we found further evidence that the wildlife really does get everywhere in this country.

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We bid goodnight to Manuel Antonio…

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…and said good morning to Dominical (1.5 hours down the coast by bus) the next day.

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Roger had a much needed opportunity to practise his rather basic surf skills.

Dominical has a more arty and bohemian feel than the tourist-focussed Manuel Antonio.

Compared to the Caribbean, the Pacific coast feels more vast and wild, with tides also being far more prominent. The next time we’ll see it will likely be in the next country, so it is adios / pura vida for now.

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