Manuel Antonio National Park

Next morning we visited a wonderful farmer’s market in Turialba. And most important: it was possible to take pictures and the farmers didn’t want money for being pictured. They sold all kind of local fruits and vegetables at very reasonable prices. It was the nicest farmer’s market we saw during the whole trip.

After a drive through coffee plantations we visited the coffee plant Dota. The farmers use all kind of transportation vehicles for delivering the coffee: horses, pickups, bikes etc. We have seen all the coffee production steps: sorting, fermentation etc. Interesting enough, the coffee beans are white when they are exported to the destination countries where they are roasted.



 

In the afternoon we arrived at Manuel Antonio National Park. The National Park Manuel Antonio is located on the Pacific coast close to the town of Quepos and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Costa Rica because of its beautiful forest backed tropical beaches dramatic rocks headlands with ocean and island views, prolific wild life and very good trails. The three bays within the park are considered among the most amazing in Costa Rica. However beacuse of its popularity and a lot of hotels nearby, the park is very crowded. We saw white faced capuchin and howler monkeys and sloths and a lot of birds.In the park live ca. 200 different sorts of birds. Twelve islands belong to the park too; they are nesting places for the sea birds. A trail leads around the whole peninsula. Gorgeous!

In Quepos/Marc Antonio National Park we stayed in Hotel Espadilla where a tucan greeted us. The Espadilla beach in front of the hotel is an wonderful place for admiring the sunset. Next day we started towards the Arenal volcano and the Monteverde National Park.

Next morning we stopped by an oil palm plantation. In the last year a series of oil palm plantations have been started in costa Rica. The palm oil is widely used as a food ingredient (eg as butter substitute). The work on such a plantation is very hard.

On the way to the Monteverde National Park we had a motor boat tour on the Rio Grande de Tarcoles. This is one of the Costa Rica largest rivers.A large population of American crocodiles, birds, iguana and other animal inhabit this ecosystem. Beside this it was a ‘show’ of a person feeding a ‘hungry’ crocodile, but the crocodile was not hungry at all. While most of the Costa Rican have a high awarness of the amazing flora and fauna of their country, there are some exceptions too. We saw under a bridge several crocodiles waiting to be feeded from the bridge. The tourist buses would eventually stop there for the tourists to see the crocodiles. And the souvenir shops made good business with the tourist. Not very nice.
 

The night we spent in the wonderful hotel Arenal Paraiso.

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