Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Our Honeymoon - Day 21 - Monteverde to Manuel Antonio

Today we were transported from Santa Elena to Manuel Antonio where we would relax at a ritzy resort for the remainder of our Costa Rican experience.  Along the way we spotted howler monkeys, a pair of toucans and stopped to see tons of crocodiles along a river bank below the Panamerican Highway. When we got to our resort we settled in and then headed towards the private beach to relax and enjoy a beautiful sunset over the Pacific.  Click the title to read on...

Today we were picked up at 8:30am by Antonio who would drive us the 4.5 hours from the Rainbow Lodge to the Tulemar Buena Vista Suites where we would be staying for the next 3 nights in Manuel Antonio.  Before we left we had a nice chat with Christian's wife Anna whom Emily got to practice her Spanish with.  There were 5 other people in the transfer bus besides us, an older couple from Canada who spoke Spanish well, a couple from LA, and a lone traveler from NY City.  It was a pleasant ride and Antonio was very nice chatting with all of us the entire way.  

Along the way we stopped to see some birds and monkeys in the trees outside of Los Angeles, CR.  We then stopped at a river crossing to view about 40 crocodiles in the river below.  We passed through beautiful Jaco where we lost the traveler from NY and then it was just about an hour to Quepos and Manuel Antonio.  Both other couples had found their lodging through Air B&B and had to phone their hosts at the police station in Quepos to find out where to be dropped off.  Emily and I were then taken directly to Tulemar and dropped off at the reception.  Antonio gave me his business card to email for our transfer to San Jose on Saturday which would only cost us $90 vs the $160 the resort was going to charge us for the transfer....

Reception was very nice and we were brought to our rooms via the resort van down the steep hillside by Brian who we would see throughout the days there.  When we reached our room we were both blown away.  Yes, we certainly paid enough for this luxury but still... blown away.  We were on the first floor of a two floor raised villa on the hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean below us.  There were ropes strung up from the trees for monkeys and we could hear birds all around us.  Inside the air-conditioned room was a large king size bed, and bathroom with a rain shower and regular shower head as well.  We had a fridge, microwave, sink, sunning bed under the window and a porch with chairs, table and a hammock.... This place would be wonderful for the next 3 days.

After we got settled in we headed down the south beach trail to the resort's private beach.  The trail was steep and passed a small waterfall but was well maintained.  As we got closer to the beach we could see many monkeys in the trees and got our first good views of the elusive squirrel monkeys jumping from branch to branch above our heads along with howler monkeys and even a couple capuchins when we got to the beautiful beach.  

Danny was the host at the beach and Luis was the friendly bartender.  I was a bit shocked that pina colada's were $9 each but I guess that comes with a luxury resort.. we would be buying our beer prior to the beach from then on....  The water was simply amazing.  Easily 85 degrees.  We stayed on the beach through a beautiful sunset and then returned to our room to clean up for dinner.  

We called for the van and Michael the driver told us to ask for his friend Steven at Barba Roja who would take care of us well at Barba Roja just up the street that TripAdvisor suggested.  It was a very nice open air restaurant and when I saw they had a 24oz USDA ribeye I ordered it but unfortunately they ran out.  Steven clearly felt really bad so when I ordered a sushi roll and the trout dish he definitely hooked me up.  I'm pretty sure I got twice the trout on the dish that it usually comes with because despite how hungry I was there was no way I could finish it.  

On the way back to the resort after the delicious meal we stopped at the nearby supermarcado for breakfast, snack foods and 6 packs of Bam Boo and Cuba Libre which are basically just cans of rum and coke.. at 8% each.   On our van ride back to our bungalow Michael told us about a sloth just above the main pool of the resort so we both took some time to go check it out and take some photos as it slept peacefully about 10 feet above our heads.  It sure felt good to climb into our comfy bed with down mattress top for a good night of sleep.

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