In all honesty, we only ended up staying in Costa Rica for 4 days in total. We had decided to spend longer on our beautiful private island in Honduras than expected, which set us back slightly longer than were we expected to be by this date.Now we had only 10 days to get from Nicaragua all the way down to Panama City to catch our flight to Ecuador! This was fine though, as we knew that Costa Rica is one of the most expensive countries in Central America, and we could always come back to it as a separate trip to explore fully. We decided to spend our short time here in one specific place where we would have the best chances of spotting sloths- Manuel Antonio Rainforest!
Quepos/Manuel Antonio National Park
Quepos is known as the ‘gateway to Manuel Antonio National Park’, and is filled with travel agencies which offer trips to the Park. We stayed at Widemouth frog hostel, and the staff here were also really helpful with organising a trip to Manuel Antonio.
When visiting a National Park, I would definitely recommend hiring a guide! We were undecided about this, as we wanted to save money, and fancied ourselves as wildlife spotting experts! We were wrong…Most of the animals are hidden high up in the rainforest foliage, and we would have walked straight past them without the keen eyes and knowledge of our guide! Plus, the guide has a telescope which you can use to get a closer view of the animals, and take photos through this (hence the black outline around most of my photos).
We were lucky enough to spot 5 sloths, lots of lizards, huge grasshoppers, Capuchin monkeys, and howler monkeys. Afterwards, we hiked up to a beautiful viewpoint, before spending the rest of the day sunbathing on the gorgeous beach next to the park!
And with that, our time in Costa Rica was up! We didn’t end up spending as long here as planned, but sometimes that’s just how it goes with travelling. By sticking to a rigid schedule, you may end up missing out on great experiences (such as hiring your own private island with a group of amazing friends you’ve met along the way). So, my advice to you is: be flexible, have a vague idea of places you want to see or things to do, but don’t stress if you end up with less time somewhere than planned, there’s always the option of returning again at a later date to see places you may have missed!