Day 4: Manuel Antonio National Park and Transfer to Arenal
Had a full day today. Since Manuel Antonio National Park was closed yesterday (Monday), we had to visit the park this morning, before Flavio and Roberto came to pick us up at 12pm to go to Arenal in the afternoon.
After breakfast, We went in the park at 7:30am, hiked almost all open trails in 4 hours.
1. We went to the longest trail first (#13 Sendero Mirador). It turned out to be just an overlook trail (I would have known this if I know Spanish), not even close to the beach below, not worth the 1.3 km one way steep trail we hiked in the rain. We did see an agouti (a rabbit sized rodent) and giant bright blue butterflies along the way though.
Trail #12 Playitas Gemeral was the most rewarding trail. There was a small rocky beach at the end of the trail, probably not a good beach for swimming because of all the rocks, but it was a very pretty beach to look at.
2. Playitas Gemeral. There is an even smaller beach in between those trees.
3. Playitas Gemeral.
4. Back to main trail, we saw this tree with lots of spikes.
5. There were many white-headed capuchin monkeys hanging around the main beach.
6. They were kind of mean looking.
7. Both trails #6 and #10 are beach trails. They were really beautiful. If we had time, we could sit there for hours.
9. Trail #9 is a loop trail (1.4km steep). It has some pretty lookouts but still may not worth the effort to some people.
We got back to hotel just in time to get a quick shower and checked out at 12pm to meet Flavio and Roberto to go to Arenal. I had no idea at the time that the transfer would take 6.5 hours, including a lunch stop at Jaco, stop to look at the scarlet macaws again (we saw over a dozen this time), stop at San Ramon, and then a cheese shop, a fruit stall ... When GO! Tours does a transfer, they are not just trying to get you there, they are trying to maximize your Costa Rican experience along the way. I felt very lucky that I found this small local tour operator online.
10. We had lunch at this popular restaurant in Jaco. They called it a buffet, but it is different than the buffet in the U.S. You only got one plate, one meat choice and they placed everything on a plate for you. It cost 2,500 colones (~$5) including a drink, a bargain really.
11. I had Chicharrón which translates to pork skin, but it seems in Costa Rica, it is just pork.
12. Dave had chicken wings. The purple thing next to it was beet salad. Both dishes tasted very good.
13. San Ramon Parish Church.
15. Trying out churros (fried dough) with caramel filling at San Ramon.
16. Coffee bush.
17. Coffee cherry. The coffee bean is inside the cherry. Flavio gave us a rundown on how coffee is made. It is really interesting.
18. I think this is palm fruit boiled in water. It tasted like boiled chestnut, very dry, not Dave's favorite.
(To be continued)