Saturday, January 24th, 2015
Hike: Manuel Antonio National Park – Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
Weather: HUMID, warm, upper 80s-lower 90s
Hikers: Ian, Court, and most of the wedding party
Length: about 7.5 miles total
Our first international hike! Courtney and I got married in Costa Rica and the morning of the wedding we went with most of the wedding party down the beach to Manuel Antonio National Park for a self-guided hike of the trails. The hike was fantastic and filled with plenty of unique plants and animals, most of which aren’t usually found in the US. Capuchin monkeys, Agoutis, Raccoons (which actually go by another name I can’t remember), Iguanas, and multiple bird species surrounded us. It was pretty amazing.
We took the main trail from the park entrance and then on to the Cathedral Point trail which looped up a peninsula that used to be an island, but has now been reconnected to the mainland by about a 20 yard wide stretch of land. On this strip are a family of raccoons that love to steal food from unwary beach goers. I heard stories of them being in cahoots with the Capuchins as well. After a couple of days in Costa Rica, I remembered what I learned in Sri Lanka: monkeys are cute at first, but their shenanigans get old really fast.
Cathedral Point was the highest of the hike, but there were several other viewpoints on the way down as well. It was very warm and you could cut the air in the forest with a knife, but everyone did really well.
As I said, the raccoons were fearless.
We all made our way back at our own pace. I stayed a bit behind with Greg because he hadn’t put his shoes back on from the beach stop we made and we saw another of the green snakes in a creek. It was holding itself up out of the water and very still, waiting on food to swim down to him I assume.
What an amazing hike. I don’t know if we’ll ever make it back, but I’m glad we had the experience, especially with the great family and friends who made it down. We are very lucky.
The trail map below is the best I could find. Our route was a combination of the trails on the southwest corner (roughly down the yellow trail, out to the loop on Cathedral Point, then down the purple trail on the beach, then backtracking back to the yellow trail and out).