Costa Rica: Manuel Antonio

Back to reality. There is always a bit of culture shock after coming back from somewhere other than US or Europe. Life couldn’t be any more different overseas. In some ways, that is really good, in some ways that is really bad. However, I am thankful to come home and be able to drive on paved roads and place toilet paper in the toilet again. It’s the little things!

If you follow me on instagram or facebook these pictures will be repetitive, so I apologize! While I’m excited to document our trip, unfortunately this is going to a multiple part post since I don’t have time to do it all at once.

Our first stop was Manuel Antonio which is located on the Pacific Coast, 80 miles south of San Jose. After flying into San Jose and staying the night, it was an easy drive down. Easy as in I wasn’t driving, but Colby managed well!

Our Trip : San Jose & Manuel Antonio : Day 1 – 4

Day 1: Fly to San Jose and stay the night

Flight to Costa Rica!

Flight to Costa Rica!

San Jose!

San Jose!

Day 2: Drive down to Manuel Antonio & Beach

After the two hour drive and stopping a few times along the way for gorgeous lookouts and groceries we checked in at our hotel.  We then spent the afternoon at the local beach. We were thankful it was very quiet with not many people around. The water was luke warm water and we were happy it was warm enough for us to enjoy!

Manuel Antonio

Drive from San Jose to Manuel Antonio

Drive from San Jose to Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio Beach Manuel Antonio Beach

Day 3: Manuel Antonio National Park & Beach

We hiked through the local National Park in the morning. While many people choose to get guides we walked all the trails on our own. The trails weaved in and out through rainforest and the beach. We saw a ton of wildlife including monkeys, sloths, and iguanas. There were lots of gorgeous miradors (lookouts) that overlooked the beach. After 2-3 hours of hiking and completing all the trails we enjoyed an afternoon by the beach. We learned the monkeys and raccoon’s know how to open backpacks and while we were in the water they stole and ate our food!

Manuel Antonio Park

Manuel Antonio Park

Manuel Antonio Park

Manuel Antonio Park

Manuel Antonio Park

Manuel Antonio Park - Monkeys everywhere!

Manuel Antonio Park

Manuel Antonio Park

Manuel Antonio Park Beach

Manuel Antonio Park Beach

Day 4: Canyoning Tour & Beach

We spent the morning doing a Canyoning Tour. This was super fun and something I had always wanted to do. It’s similar to zip-lining, except instead you are repelling up and down instead of going side to side. The best part was Colby and I were the only ones on the tour so the guide was more flexible! He took several videos of us and even let us repel upside down! After repelling we were fed a local meal, walked across a very scary suspension bridge, and then headed back to town where we enjoyed the afternoon at the beach.

Canyoning Tour

Canyoning Tour

Canyoning Tour

Canyoning Tour

Canyoning Tour

Canyoning Tour


Canyoning TourCanyoning Tour

Canyoning Tour

Canyoning Tour

Canyoning Tour

Canyoning Tour

Canyoning Tour

Manuel Antonio BeachOur tips:

  • We stayed at Jungle Creek and loved it. Hosts were very helpful and are from Canada so know English.
  • The monkeys and raccoon’s know how to open you backpacks and take your food. Make sure to have it locked up, if possible
  • There is no food/water in the park so make sure to bring your own
  • The park is $16 per person.
  • There is no fee to use the beaches outside of the park
  • There were three options for the canyoning tour, but we ended up using Xtreme tours and really liked it
  • You do not need a guide for the park (unless you want to use their telescopes and hear all the history). It’s a 10 minute walk straight to the beach, but we did all the hiking trails first which took a few hours.
  • Manuel Antonio is VERY humid. Very. Consider this your warning.
  • Everywhere takes US dollars. You will always get change in the local currency.

I didn’t start sharing our traveling adventures on the blog until the end of 2013, but you can see some of our trips below as well as how to travel on a budget here.

The rest of the trip is to be continued…….

  • Sheryl
    Posted at 06:14h, 22 May Reply

    I loved following along with you on Instagram. It looks like a fantastic trip!

  • Cheryl Smith
    Posted at 06:38h, 22 May Reply

    So thankful you two had a wonderful time and a safe trip! I can’t get over those monkeys and raccoons!! They must have thought they were having a feast…the little rascals! That is so funny. It looks so beautiful there….and now you have more happy memories to add to all the rest. God bless you both! 🙂

  • Rebecca
    Posted at 07:10h, 22 May Reply

    Loved the pictures on Instagram! It looked like you had a wonderful time!! 🙂

  • Elena
    Posted at 07:39h, 22 May Reply

    I love your travel posts because you are so informative and really give great tips and advice, plus you dump like a million beautiful photos!! Hiking the rainforest and zip lining. It all looks soo fun!!! Can’t wait to hear more!

  • Erika B.
    Posted at 09:03h, 22 May Reply

    So fun!!! This trip seems way more to my liking than your last hiking trip, hahaha. But really I need to know more about the pink lipstick you’re wearing in the first few pictures- it looks awesome!!!

  • Jessica
    Posted at 09:12h, 22 May Reply

    This looks amazing! Looks like you had SO much fun! I bet the jungles are incredible! What an awesome vacation…will have to go someday!

  • Courtney
    Posted at 09:16h, 22 May Reply

    Absolutely breathtaking! Added to my visit list for sure!

  • Kara
    Posted at 09:28h, 22 May Reply

    those monkeys are the cutest!! I can’t believe they broke into bags and stole food! The repelling looked awesome too 🙂

  • Kat |
    Posted at 09:47h, 22 May Reply

    I love your photos <3 Costa Rica is definitely pretty far on the top of my to travel list in the Americas. Our next trip is most likely going to Guatemala, probably even this winter already. You said they take US Dollar everywhere – did you feel like you got screwed over with the exchange rate in stores (if you used Dollars)? I remember when I traveled in Mexico last winter, lots of tourists were using US Dollars, but oh my, they paid so much more for everything than we did!

  • Biana @Blovedboston
    Posted at 10:14h, 22 May Reply

    I LOVED seeing all the photos popping up on instagram and how sweet are those two little monkeys – so cute!! Looks like it was an incredible trip and I’m adding Costa Rica to my list of travel destinations ASAP! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

  • Amie
    Posted at 10:53h, 22 May Reply

    It always looks like you guys have such a great time on these trips!!

  • Rebecca Jo
    Posted at 10:57h, 22 May Reply

    Oh wow… such a beautiful trip!
    You both look so happy 🙂
    That bridge… no…. just no….

  • Jojo
    Posted at 11:53h, 22 May Reply

    Darn those sneaky monkeys. Lol Looks like u two had a wonderful adventurous trip. Pictures are lovely!

  • Alexis
    Posted at 12:27h, 22 May Reply

    I’m so excite that you’re posting about the trip! It looked like SUCH a fun trip. I’ve always wanted to go canyoning — which looked like it was just as much fun as I’ve imagined. I can’t wait to hear more about it!

  • Cole
    Posted at 12:43h, 22 May Reply

    Gorgeous photos! Love those monkeys 😉

  • becky
    Posted at 13:33h, 22 May Reply

    So pretty!!!!! My brother in-law is marrying a woman from Costa Rica and there are talks of a wedding down there in the near future so this post got me super excited to possibly visit soon! Those sneaky monkeys stealing your food are just like the marmots here in CO! If you leave your pack anywhere while hiking, they’ll open it right up and take all your food haha! Glad you guys had a fun time!

  • Holly Housewife
    Posted at 13:57h, 22 May Reply

    omgosh beautiful photos!!!! It looks like a dream trip!
    Lol to the monkeys and raccoons being able to open zippers! They’re so smart!
    Can’t wait for trip part 2! 🙂

  • Amanda
    Posted at 14:10h, 22 May Reply

    You guys seriously take the best trips together! It all looks like so much fun!

  • Robin
    Posted at 19:35h, 22 May Reply

    Great photos! It looks like you had an amazing time!

  • Angela
    Posted at 15:51h, 23 May Reply

    That tour looks like such a blast! I have loved living vicariously through your Insta pictures. 🙂 Plus those monkeys!! Too cute!

  • Michelle O.
    Posted at 16:44h, 24 May Reply

    I loved costa rica when I went and seeing iguanas everywhere. It was so cool. These pictures make me want to go back. A shock to me was the toilet paper in the trash and when I told people that you couldn’t flush toilet paper a lot of people didn’t believe me. WHY would i joke about something like that haha.
    xx, Michelle

  • Jessy
    Posted at 17:38h, 24 May Reply

    Beautiful photos, Caroline! I’m so happy you guys had a great time. But, I still can’t get over the monkeys stealing your food! That is crazy!

  • Susannah
    Posted at 10:33h, 26 May Reply

    Oh my goodness, it looks like you had an amazing trip!!!!

  • Elle Spann
    Posted at 10:45h, 26 May Reply

    CR is so fun and Manuel Antonio is awesome! The white faced monkeys are my favorite- they are so cute and playful. Some of my favorite memories there are with those furry creatures!

    Southern Elle Style

  • Kristi Case
    Posted at 10:47h, 26 May Reply

    Looks like so much fun!

  • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom
    Posted at 14:32h, 27 May Reply

    What gorgeous photos and it looks like you had such a lovely vacation. It is hard to return to life afterwards, isn’t it?!

    I love that picture of you jumping off of that big driftwood. You have such a playful spirit!

    Wishing you a lovely day.

  • Ashley
    Posted at 08:44h, 28 May Reply

    This looks so fun! I love, love ziplining.

  • Kelly @ SoKo Blog
    Posted at 15:27h, 29 May Reply

    Goodness what a beautiful place! Love that ya’ll had a chance to get away 🙂

  • Laura @ Making Baby Provence
    Posted at 10:52h, 03 June Reply

    How can you charge those adorable monkeys with theft?!

    I love reading about your travels. This looks like a place we should put on our bucket list! I should also consider blogging about our vacations, so I can remember what we did when I’m old and too feable to travel. 😉

  • Tiffany | A Touch of Grace
    Posted at 12:31h, 03 June Reply

    We absolutely love Costa Rica! We didn’t visit this area, but it looks beautiful! So glad you guys had a great trip and I can’t wait to read more!

  • Krystal
    Posted at 12:28h, 08 June Reply

    I could look at these pictures all day! I just booked our first post-baby vacation in September and although we won’t get to do all the adventurous things that you’ve done in Costa Rica, I am looking forward to it. ou look like you had a great time!!!

  • Kelli {A Deeper Joy}
    Posted at 13:07h, 09 June Reply

    You are so cute! I love all of your colorful sunglasses! And canyoning is THE BEST! Looks awesome!

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