Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica: Day 1

Last Saturday, myself and the other Sol students boarded a charter bus to Manuel Antonio National Park for an overnight trip. Manuel Antonio is a one of Costa Rica’s smaller national park’s known for its pristine beaches and wildlife. I truly had zero expectations for this trip as I had not done any research prior to going.

During the 4-hour drive, we made two stops. Our first stop was a souvenir shop in the middle of nowhere. After everyone did some shopping, our group boarded the bus again to head to a bridge where crocodiles can sometimes be spotted. Angie, one of the chaperones/Sol coordinators, told everyone that we may not be able to walk and stop to observe the crocodiles on the bridge if the police were patrolling. The bridge that crosses over the river where the crocodiles live is a high-traffic area, so the police typically are pushing everyone along and stopping tourists from stopping to stare at the crocodiles on the bridge. Luckily for us, there were no police!

When we arrived, everyone walked single file on the narrow sidewalk on the bridge. As luck would have it, there were lots of crocodiles basking in the sun along with baby crocodiles scurrying in the brush. My photos do not fully capture the immense size of the crocodiles. There was a ginormous crocodile hiding partly below the bridge. I am 5′ 2″ and I am sure this crocodile happened to be 3x my height.

After making our way back to the bus, our drive continued for a while longer until we stopped once again for a photo opportunity.

Just a gringo girl with her Chacos and big sun hat!

Once all the photos had been taken, the bus ride continued. Eventually, we arrived at the hotel where we were welcomed with fresh fruit juice. Talk about service! Everyone checked into their rooms and immediately put on their swimsuits to head to the beach.

During the 10-minute walk to the beach, I saw monkeys in the forest! They were living their best lives playing with one another. Absolutely amazing! My pictures of these monkeys unfortunately are not great, but head over to my Manuel Antonio National Park Day 2 posts to see pictures of the same breed of monkey, Capuchin, in my blog post.

For the rest of the afternoon, I blissfully read a book on my Kindle listening to the waves of the ocean. Later on, I took a dip in the sea.

Paradise, am I right?

Once the tide started to come in, myself and the other students packed up our items and headed to the pool to hang out for the rest of the evening.

Leave a positive impression,

Sydney xo

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