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Manuel Antonio National Park, Quepos, Costa Rica

We arrived in Quepos, Costa Rica, this morning. Mel and I ate breakfast in our suite at 7:30 and prepared for our shore excursion to the nearby Manuel Antonio national park. Our guide Anna was great, and knew lots about the abundant flora and fauna of the park.

Manuel Antonio is, I believe, the first state park to have been created in Costa Rica. There are many more in the country, but this one is prized. It is the one most visited by Ticos. It is small and consists essentially of an offshore island that is no longer offshore, having been connected to the mainland by the accumulation of sand between it and the coast. It is now named Punta Catedral (you do the translation!). The coves, beaches and rocky points covered with lush forest are home to many creatures, among them troops of howler and white-faced monkeys, black and green iguanas, American crocodiles, caymans, sloths, and countless species of birds and butterflies. We saw a few of these:

White-faced monkey in Manuel Antonio
White-faced monkey in Manuel Antonio National Park, Quepos, Costa Rica

Black Iguana in Manuel Antonio
Black Iguana sunning at the beach in Manuel Antonio

Crocodile in Manuel Antonio
American Crododile – Manuel Antonio National Park, Quepos, Costa Rica

As we returned to the entrance of the park I took a couple of shots from the trail along the beach:

Cove with boats at anchor
Cove with boats at anchor – Manuel Antonio National Park, Quepos, Costa Rica

Islet just offshore
Islet just offshore – Manuel Antonio National Park, Quepos, Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio is suffering from its popularity. Camping in the park is no longer allowed and the number of daily visitors is limited to 600. In addition, parts of the park today were closed. We were told this is done to give the natives a breather from the hordes. But it is a remarkable place – put it on your list of things to do!

We were again invited tonight to join a table at dinner hosted by the assistant cruise director. We begged off, wanting to dine alone and relax a bit.

Tomorrow we have a day at sea enroute to Panama City and the canal transit the following day. We need the rest!

-Steve

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