Manuel Antonio is the most visited National Park in Costa Rica and as the saying goes, “there are more Monkeys than people.” The park itself is amazing with spectacular scenery and white sandy beaches, not to mention teaming with wild life. The Manuel Antonio area has some of the finest hotels and restaurants in all of Costa Rica with many offering absolute breathtaking views. There are also numerous boutique shops and the large town of Quepos with marina and Regional Airport down the road. Whether a tourist or resident, living the good life is easy in Manuel Antonio and even the local wildlife has figured this out…..
Last time we went Manuel Antonio was during my Mom’s last visit, so we planned a fun day to take the kids to the park. We got there early right as they were opening and walked along the well maintained trails to the beach, saw a White-Face Monkey posing for some tourists to take pictures and a Three-Toed Sloth hanging out (because that is basically all they do) along the way.
Once we got to the beach we settled on a nice shady spot with a post card backdrop and decided to enjoy some cinnamon bread we brought with us.
It was a matter of minutes before a Raccoon was 5 feet away scoping us out. We continued our picnic without paying much attention, and the second we all turned our heads this crafty Raccoon snuck in quickly and snatched the cinnamon bread and ran off!
The Monkeys have figured out people eat picnics at the beach too, and a troop of White-Face Monkeys had made its way down to the beach as well. They were dive bombing from the trees stealing crackers, cookies, chips, and anything they could from guest’s bags! It reminded me of the Monkeys from the kids’ movie “Rio” that take the watches and jewelry from tourists. I walked over with my 4 year old daughter to get a closer look and she happened to be eating a cracker, when a park ranger came over with a stick in her hand (I guess in case of incident with a hungry Monkey or Raccoon). She told me not to bring my daughter near there with a cracker in her hand because the Monkeys will actually calculate which person is the smallest and weakest in order jump on them to take the cracker. So we took her advice and waited until she finished her cracker before going to check out the commotion.
All in all it was a great family day at Manuel Antonio (minus losing some delicious cinnamon bread) and we will always remember the experience. So next time you go to Manuel Antonio enjoy the beaches, restaurants, and National Park; but keep your picnic in tightly sealed tupperware or coolers and DO NOT feed the animals…
…they are good enough at feeding themselves!