From Montezuma to Manuel Antonio Park
It took us 1 hour to go from Montezuma to Paquera to take back the ferry to Puntarenas at 9:00am. The area around the ferry is not so pretty, so even though we were hungry, we waited until getting into the ferry to eat something (Ferry cost: 13020 colones for 2 adults and 1 car).
The ferry ride took 1.5 hours and then it took us 2.5 hours to go from Puntarenas to our hotel (Hotel Mandarina) in Manuel Antonio plus the time we spent having quesadillas and fried fish in the road, delicious. Also, in the way we stopped at Río Tárcoles Bridge to see the crocodiles (a must!). In summary, we end up arriving at our hotel around 14:00 and had enough time to visit the beach in the afternoon.
Manuel Antonio Park
Hotel Mandarina was OK for just 2 nights, the pool and breakfast were decent.
The first night we went to have dinner to El Avion, which is a restaurant built around a C-123 cargo plane. The whole plane idea was nice, but the food was regular and the place is packed of tourists. If you want to find out how this plane ended up in Manuel Antonio, I recommed you to read this article.
Next day, our tour guide picked us up at 7:45 to go to Manuel Antonio National Park. We booked the tour at our hotel the night before for 46$ (included the park entrance, the guide, some fruits and water or ice tea) per person, paid in cash.
We went with our car to be able to spend some time at the beach in the National Park at the end of the tour.
During the tour we saw sloths, howler monkeys, titis, frogs, different birds, etc. All the tour guides in the park have a telescope to see the animals. You can also go by yourself by paying only 16$ for the entrance but I don’t recommended at all, you probably won’t see anything.
The walk is very easy, all paved. You just have to be very careful of monkeys and racoons at the beach, they steal everything very fast, so even though the beach is beautiful, do not leave your stuff alone.
We then went to El Wagon pizzeria (37$ for 2 pizzas, 2 beers, coffee and tips) to have some pizza with an american couple we met at the tour.
In the afternoon we went to Biesanz beach which I really like it because it is a calm beach, maybe not the best one to surf. To get to this beach, after you park your car (2000 colones), you have to walk like 300m to get there.
If you are short on time in Costa Rica and you like the nature, I would recommend to go to Drake Bay instead of Manuel Antonio Park. You will probably see more animals in Drake Bay and find less tourists.
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