It’s a major tourist destination in Costa Rica. What can I say that has not already been said in guidebooks? It’s so hard to write about tourist destinations because they are a little bit “canned”. The experience of going to a tourist destination is a lot like riding a train. There is never any question about where the train is going or where it will end up. There are no digressions along the way. The only great story that would be worth telling about a train ride has to do with a derailment or some kind of major discomfort that I encountered. On real trains, there are real discomforts, but at real tourist destinations, there are rarely many personal stories to tell.
That being said, I was very glad to get to see a sloth in its natural environment. They are cute animals and it’s really interesting that they only descend from their place high up in the trees once every two weeks to poop. We saw one that was on his way back up the tree to spend another lazy two weeks waiting around for his rectum to fill up again.
We also saw a capuchin monkey family swinging through the trees. The baby monkeys are adorable, but apparently, they’re aggressive little creatures. They’ll bite you without thinking twice about it. It’s unfortunately because they’re so cute that you just want to hold one, but you’ll end up in a hospital getting rabies shots if you try to get close to one.
The animals were, of course, the most interesting part of the park. The trails were well-groomed, not Indiana Jones-like at all. There was a lot of uphill and downhill walking, but we didn’t mind after the 3 hour car ride to get there. Even driving there was remarkably easy. The roads are marked in a very American-kind of way and they are well-maintained. And the beach was more interesting than I thought it would be. The waves were really mesmerizing and the ocean was a pretty aqua color.
I don’t have a lot of motivation to describe Manuel Antonio National Park. It was a good destination as far as tourist destinations go. I think I just prefer more “organic” travel experiences that happen as a result of actual need or accidental luck. I’m not easily entertained by landscapes or sights. People entertain me. And doing things that are more challenging than just walking (although walking becomes challenging if you go far enough when you’re tired or hungry) are also entertaining. For example, I would be challenged by surfing.
The older I get, the harder it is for me to be entertained. I’m more picky about investing time in entertainment, but I think that’s for lack of delusions about what actually is entertaining to me. Honestly, I was skeptical about Manuel Antonio National Park, but it turned out to be a pleasant outing. In no way did it push my limits or cause me to re-evaluate my worldview, but I’m glad to cross it off the list of Must-See Tourist Destinations in Costa Rica. Lydian was quite impressed by the sloth.
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