Sunday, December 15, 2013

Manuel Antonio

Aaron and Ashley arrived at the hilton in Punteranas to pick us up as planned (love when a plan works). Luckily they had already dropped off their luggage as only one of our big bags and our small stuff would fit in the back of the jeep so we had to fit one big suit between Donna and I in the back seat of the jeep - not exactly comfortable! Not sure how we are going to get all the luggage back to San Jose - another days problem.

Our first stop was at the crocodile bridge - lots of scary crocs down there - some of the biggest I have ever seen. As we were leaving the bridge I heard someone call my name - and there were a group of Sean and Michelle's friends who were also on their way to attend the wedding and they also stopped to take a look at the crocs. Lucky for us they had rented a bus and offered to take the back seat suitcase off our hands making the rest of our journey to manuel Antonio much more comfortable.

We arrived at manuel Antonio and checked into the Mango Moon Hotel - nice place (not great for what it costs) but a lovely view. Although it says restaurant the restaurant is not actually open - oh well good opportunity to enjoy eating establishments in the area.

Manuel Antonio National Park, in Spanish the Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, is a small National Park in the Central Pacific Conservation Arealocated on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, just south of the city of Quepos,Puntarenas, and 132 km (82 mi) from the national capital of San José. Established in 1972 with a land area enumerating 1 983 ha (the smallest of any Costa Rican national park), it is the destination of as many as 150,000 visitors annually and well known for its beautiful beaches and hiking trails. In 2011, Manuel Antonio was listed by Forbes among the world's 12 most beautiful national parks.

It has a large land and marine biodiversity with beautiful coral reefs.

For its excellent climate and scenic beauty is visited by large number of national and international tourism, for which it is currently developing an adequate infrastructure, with emphasis on harmony with nature, of quality but mimicked this to reduce the visual impact and under strict environmental protection, works designed by renowned architects bioclimatic Ibo Bonilla and Rafael Víquez, among which are the Visitor Centre, the Casa de Guardaparques, Lookouts and supporting infrastructure and Trails Master Plan that includes trails : Punta Catedral, Waterfall, Lookout, Beach Espadilla, Beach Manuel Antonio, Congos, Beaches Gemelas, Puerto Escondido, Manglar y trail Perezosos, with universal accessibility facilities, rest areas, scenic overlooks and scientific interpretation.

Near the park abounds all trade with facilities at all levels for tourism including typical regional and international food and lodging for all tastes and economic conditions.

Approximately 40 people were here to attend Jen and mike's wedding - Sean the best man and Michelle a bridesmaid (Sean and Michelle actually introduced the couple when they were all living in London Ontario).

The wedding party stayed at a beautiful 5 story Art Deco villa where the wedding took place on December 9th. The villa is located on the side of the mountain overlooking the ocean.


Sean and Hannah enjoying the view from the hot tub on the 5th floor
One of the many incredible sunsets
Relaxation and sun!


Hannah with uncle Aaron
Sean and Molly enjoying the pool

A number of the wedding goers took a guided tour of manuel Antonio park which ended at the beach.

Poor daddy had Hannah on his shoulders for most of the walk in the blazing heat!
Sightings on the tour:





GG and Hannah in the ocean


Grandma and Hannah in the ocean
Visitors on the beach - Costa Rican racoons - much skinnier than ours!





Bride to be on the right



The waves are great - one day we went boogy boarding - had not done this in years but it was like riding a bike - what fun!

Sloth sighting outside the Mango Moon Hotel


Sloths are medium-sized mammals belonging to the familiesMegalonychidae (two-toed sloth) and Bradypodidae (three-toed sloth), classified into sixspecies. They are part of the order Pilosa and are therefore related to anteaters, which sport a similar set of specialized claws. Extant sloths are arboreal (tree-dwelling) residents of the jungles of Central and South America, and are known for being slow-moving, and hence named "sloths". Extinct sloth species include many ground sloths, some of which attained the size of elephants.

Sloths make a good habitat for other organisms, and a single sloth may be home to moths, beetles, cockroaches, ciliates, fungi, and algae.

We found some fabulous restaurants to eat!

Emilio's with its homemade breads, sandwiches, bake goods and coffee not to mention the view.
A place called Ronny's that Aaron and Ashely found the food not only looked good but was delicious.


My chicken kabobs covered with fresh fruit salsa
View from restaurant
Aaron and Ashley
Monkey's visiting us one morning at the Mango Moon



Molly and Michelle at villa pool
Hannah contemplating life!

Molly exhausted from all the activity!

Don't miss tomorrow's blog - dedicated to The Wedding!

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