Manuel Antonio national park was incredible. We hired a guide for $20/person for a 2 hour tour through the park and it was the best $20 we've spent. He had the eyes of a bird and within seconds of entering the park we were looking through his telescope at sloths, monkeys, bats, toucans, a poisonous snake (pit viper family), a very rare stick bird that looked like an owl, raccoons, deer, iguanas and so many other animals. We were very lucky and usually people only see half as many animals as we did. It feels like Costa Rica is giving us a great show and is telling us we have to live here.
We ended the tour at the private beach inside the park, and swam in the water for a few hours. We watched the raccoons and monkeys trying to steal food from all the bags on the beach.
Later that evening we went to Barba Roja for dinner and drinks. We had delicious sangria, a spicy tuna sushi roll made from freshly caught tuna, and mahi mahi fish tacos, also the fresh catch of the day. The food here is some of the best I've ever had. So simple, light, fresh and healthy. We met some Texans at the bar and went to drinks with them later, they were really nice. Later we ran back to our hotel in the midst of a massive rainstorm, we were completely dripping wet when we got back to our room. It felt amazing!
The next day we rented sea kayaks and snorkeling gear. We paddled out to a great snorkeling rock and tied our kayaks up. Esteban, an employee at La Posada, gave us crackers to bring and it was incredible being surrounded by all the colorful fish, fighting to get the crackers. One of our favorite experiences so far, Then we stopped and ate lunch at Emilio's café and had more amazing food. Julia had a tuna burger, I had a salmon pita and Andy ordered some ahi poke, all very delicious. And we shared some fries. Later that evening we met some Americans who live in Manuel Antonio at Hawg N Bills. We met a crazy girl named Sarah, who we later found out owns Hawg N Bills, the bar we've been to now every night. They always seem to have good live music and 2 for 1 drinks. The people we met definitely encouraged us to move to Manuel Antonio, they said Andy could easily find work in air conditioning and that I could be successful selling my products. They all invited us to a Memorial Day party the following day, so we decided to stay an extra night. We moved from our super nice 2 BR condo to 2 bungalows, which are really cute, but much smaller.
The next day we headed to check out Uvita. Strange town, very deserted. The beach was absolutely gorgeous and we found so many colorful shells. We met a local family who borrowed Andy's machete to cut open a bunch of coconuts. We drank the delicious fresh coconut water and then she cut them open so we could eat the inside. So yummy! We talked to them for hours, and the oldest son made us animal shapes out of the palm tree leaves. We also met some Americans, one who had their backpack stolen right next to us. Apparently locals wait in the forest area behind the beach and steal your stuff when you're swimming. We didn't set our bags down after that! I got some massive bug bites on this beach, and a sunburn, so we left to head for the memorial party. The food there was not very good but we saw some people we met the night before and stayed a while.; We stopped for local pizza on the way home, which was delicious.
We got up the next morning and headed to Montezuma. We stopped over the Tarcoles river and saw at least 30 massive crocodiles! Well that saved us $100 going on a crocodile tour (although we may still do that). We ate lunch at a cool restaurant near the water while waiting for the ferry. Andy had a BBQ chicken wrap and I had arroz con pollo, which was some of the best food I've ever eaten. We took the ferry from Puntarenas to Paquera and then drove on some dirt and gravel roads to the small village of Montezuma. We found a cute little place called El Jardin, right downtown and has an ocean view and pool view, air conditioning and Wi-Fi, for $76. The woman who checked us in was saying they haven't had any rain in 6 months, which is why it was so hot, and that she was hoping for rain. As soon as we got our bags from the car we were enveloped in a massive rainstorm. Some of the craziest thunder and lightning we have ever witnessed. We took some pretty cool videos. Once it lightened up a bit we headed across the street to eat dinner at Chelo. Each place we eat at is our new favorite. Chelo is homemade Italian food and did not disappoint. We shared a favorite local dish of breaded meat covered in mozzarella, fresh tomato sauce and ham, as well as a ham & mozzarella & bell pepper pizza, which we saved some of for breakfast. I also had a homemade frozen lemonade. The food was incredibly delicious and affordable.
Next we headed down to the only bar, Chico's for some drinks. The bar was full of only locals and we were the only tourists. It's nice coming during rainy season, when the towns aren't overwhelmed with people. We are definitely liking Montezuma so far, it's such a cute little town with a very friendly vibe. We came back and swam in the pool before bed. Andy rescued a massive 7-inch bug from drowning in the pool, so hopefully that will put some good bug karma our way. I do have quite a few bites, but today I made sure to wear long pants & sleeves and have managed to avoid getting a bunch more. Now that the rain is here, the bugs will be worse, so my plan is to cover up and avoid them. Now we're researching where to go tomorrow. We want to stay somewhere really nice for 2 nights to celebrate my 34th birthday. We are aiming for Santa Teresa and possibly the Hotel Tropico Latino, which sounds perfect.
And something just ran across the roof of our bungalow. Probably a big iguana. Hasta Luego!
Kari Pinkerton Silcox
It would be a tragedy to die, having never really lived. Which is why my husband Andy and I quit our jobs, sold our house and decided to chase our dreams. We moved to Costa Rica without a plan, and this is the story of our adventure.