10 Fun Photos of Manuel Antonio National Park Costa Rica
Manual Antonio National Park is the smallest but perhaps most bio-diverse park in Costa Rica on a pound for pound basis.
The range of wildlife we saw during a short stroll for a few hours stunned us.
From 2 different types of sloth, Hercules frogs, caiman, monkeys, land crabs and other fascinating creatures, we were treated to an endless flow of critters in this quiet park by the Pacific Ocean.
Note; we did not see any Jesus Christ lizards at the park. But we spied these lizards – which can actually run on water – down on the adjoining public beach a few times.
This was the impressive looking Hercules frog. We saw one by our apartment too, wondering what this waxen, pale, vampire-shade-skinned creature was doing stuck to our window.
When the frog folds up it looks like a bat.
Note; we snapped many of these images through a telescopic lens. No way to get close enough for a clear shot with our camera. Even if this is the smallest national park in Costa Rica you still have plenty of real estate and dense vegetation to deal with for awesome shots.
The featured image green lizard has made another cameo.
Because he can.
We snapped this guy as soon as we entered the park.
The shade on this dude was eye-popping, like many of the colors in this vibrant, pristine country.
Army Ants Attacking Wasp Nest
Before we saw a huge colony of army ants invade the hut in the jungles outside of Bribri this was our first interaction with the feared insect hoard in Costa Rica.
Save a quick spot by the apartment in Quepos, we go to see these guys systematically butchering a wasp colony, focusing exclusively on the protein-rich larvae.
The full grown wasps cannot defend the larvae. Save some light pestering, the adults pretty much fly off or stick around and may or may not begin a new colony in the same nest.
2 Toed Sloth
Doesn’t this dude or dudette look funky?
All sloths look stoned. But the wavy, Sonic the Hedgehog type hair on this sucker and the serene look in its eyes scream “I am a Midnight Toker.”
Love these guys, whom we also saw in the jungles around Bribri.
The 3 toed sloth seems more common in Costa Rica as we spot them quite a bit around the country.
All sloths have that Muppet feel to them, between the texture of their skin and placid, easy-going demeanor. Although admittedly, some Muppets are not placid. Quite over the top. Like Super Grover.
Technically this is cheating.
This vendor hangs out on the outskirts of the park. OK he is outside the park. But he does cater to folks leaving the park as not too many people wander down the public beach to this point.
Vendors in the area tend to sell cool, sweet treats to take your mind off of the heat and humidity present in a beach front jungle. A bit too sweet even for my taste, although I have been known to indulge in a Pinguino or 14,000 during my days spent in Central American countries.
This guy is definitely in the monitor lizard family.
I saw him spying some rotten fruit.
Note the more angular face, the frill on his back and impressive looking claws. Monitor lizards are rugged guys who I see regularly in places like Bali and Thailand. Tough chaps who do well everywhere for their not too picky diet.
Carrion, live animals, rotten fruit, rotten whatever. I even recall one sprinting to the top of the temple altar in Lodtunduh, Bali to steal a rotten egg that had been placed out in the sun for a few days.
These cheeky monkeys were all over the park and are omni present in Costa Rica too.
Smart but wary, bold but retreating, daring but cautious, the Capuchins regularly steal tourist possessions from wallets to glasses to jewelry. They like shiny stuff. The like bling. They like gringo colones.
I enjoyed watching these aerial wizards pull off impressive acrobatics in the canopy above the apartment in Quepos, followed up by monkey-business on the water tanks on the roof.
3 Toed Sloth
This is the classic 3 toed sloth so many folks know and love in Costa Rica.
We saw solo acts and moms with babies high in the canopy of the national park.
3 toed sloths move at the speed of a snail stuck in molasses on a cold winter day after drinking 36 glasses of milk (sleepy). They have no particular place to go and do not hurry trying to get there.
This particular sloth seems to be smiling at the camera as its baby clings to its right side (see the little face to your left?).
Park visitors like to kick back, relax and enjoy a swim in the beautiful cove near the end of the park trail.
We preferred to snap a few images and stay dry but this is a pretty, clean, clear area that can be enjoyed in or out of the Pacific Ocean.
Note; watch your stuff. Capuchins have been know to cagily pilfer clothes, wallets and other goods left on the beach as unsuspecting swimmers frolick about in the water.
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