Did you read all about my first day at Manuel Antonio National Park? If not, click here to read that post before continuing this one.
Day 2 of my short trip began with a bright and early 8:00 am check out. Once all students were accounted for and on the bus, we took a short bus ride to Manuel Antonio National Park.
With Angie leading the way, our whole group walked through the national park to head to the beach. The weather happened to be pretty dreary during the walk, but I was excited to relax on the beach and observe wildlife nonetheless!
Before sitting down on the beach, our group saw a whole bunch of tourists and their guides sprint up a path.
Side note: Tourists typically hire experienced guides to take them through the national parks. The guides not only provide historical context of the area, but also are experts in finding wildlife and providing information about the creatures. For example, I though I would be able to see a sloth with my naked eye, this is not the case. Sloths perch themselves at the very top of trees, so a telescope (yes telescope) must be used. Additionally, Costa Rica prides itself on ecotourism, so some of the National Parks are only accessible by using a guide to preserve the biodiversity.
Okay…back to my story!
Our group started to follow everyone running because we wanted to know what the buzz was about. Much to my surprise, a boa constrictor had killed a raccoon and could be seen holding its meal. Absolutely crazy! Once taking photos, a guide told everyone to back up and give the snake space. Even with a fence in between us and 5-10 feet of space, the snake could sense everyone which causes stress. Who knew!
For the rest of the day at Manuel Antonio, I read my book and chatted with the other Sol students. Much to my delight, some Capuchin monkeys decided to pay our claimed area a visit. They began terrorizing other tourists by stealing their food or stuff. I literally saw a monkey grab a woman’s phone and try to rip it out of her hand. Much to my dismay, I also saw tourists trying to feed the monkeys when there were signs everywhere to not feed the wildlife. For the love of all things, if you go anywhere I implore you to NOT feed the wildlife.
Around 12:00 pm, the group of students I was with wrapped up our time at the National Park to have some lunch and prepare for the bus ride home.
A fabulous short trip. I cannot wait until my next Costa Rican national park visit!
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