A trip to Manuel Antonia National Park, Costa Rica
by tobert on July 20, 2011
We took a tour of Manuel Antonio National Park arranged through our hotel (Costa Verde). It was AMAZING! I highly recommend a guided tour as there were many animals we never would have spotted on our own, they camouflage in very well, but our experienced guide was able to spot them.The park is stunning, heavily forested, and shady, and then at times, just opens up onto beautiful white sand beaches, with clear blue water as far as you can see. Amazing to see these two worlds come together!On our tour, we saw monkeys (3 different types), bats, iguanas, turtles, 2 toed and 3 toed sloths, ant eaters, hummingbirds, and a lot more wildlife. We even saw a deer running around on the beach! It is truely an amazing place, and I highly recommend a visit to anyone!
During our stay at Costa Verde, we had lunch at the Parador Hotel. This hotel was at the end of a long dirt road perched up on a hill overlooking the ocean. Since we weren't staying at the hotel and had no other reason to make the trek down the road we asked security if there was a restaurant. The view was spectacular and the burger was too. Oddly enough it wasn't even overpriced!
We tried El Avion for dinner one of the nights during our stay at Costa Verde. This restaurant is owned by the hotel. The food was good and the menu was large. The restaurant surrounds a large cargo airplane that has been turned into a bar. Very cool! The view from El Avion is spectacular as it is at the top of the hill.
We ate at Anaconda for dinner the first night of our stay at Costa Verde. The food was great (perfect filet mignon) and service was exceptional. Unfortunately we went after it was dark so the view couldn't be appreciated. We chose to watch the sunset first at the pool bar so we got to see the view from there.
We just got back from a stay in the 727 suite at Costa Verde. Overall our stay was amazing. The proximity to Manuel Antonio and the views from the property couldn't be beat. We rented a car to get from San Jose to Manuel Antonio, but once we got there we really didn't need it much. The tours pick you up right at the hotel and the restaurants are all within walking distance. We did drive to the beach however. Although it is close, it would have been a long walk in the hot temperatures.The room itself was very cool with two large decks with tables, chairs and rockers. There were views of the ocean, but not as good as the rooms next to the adult pool. Those rooms had amazing views of Manuel Antonio and the sunset. Still, the 727 room did have nice views of the jungle and through the trees the ocean could be seen. One thing that would be appreciated would be the addition of ceiling fans out on the porches of the 727. It was very hot in Costa Rica when we were there. At all the restaurants and even in the poolside tent/bar there were ceiling fans. The heat was never an issue. But, without a fan on the deck of the 727 it definitely got sticky. Still, the sounds from the jungle and the surf were great and hours could be spent out on the deck just taking in nature.There were two bedrooms and two bathrooms inside the 727. The interior is meant to look "islandy" so it doesn't mesh well with the contemporary airplane. We are airplane enthusiasts and would have preferred a more "airplane" looking interior. Still, it was clean and useful space and definitely reminded you of the tropical surroundings. The water pressure wasn't amazing and the light switches were all over the place. One of the bathrooms is not air conditioned as it is open to the jungle via a large screened hole. This was actually pretty cool. No other area "inside" the airplane had screens or even windows that opened, so the only time you could hear the jungle was out on the deck or in the back bathroom.Service was pretty good, but not as amazing as one would expect from a $500/nt. room. But, most of the rooms at Costa Verde were far cheaper, and I think the service was in line with those costs. The check in staff was very friendly, but when walking around the grounds no other staff said hello or even smiled. The staff in the gift shop wasn't overly friendly. It is possible this is due to the difference in language, but I was surprised that not even a smile was offered.Wi-Fi was not free and I don't believe is available in all of the rooms. Our room was close to the main building and so we were able to get wi-fi from one of the porches. We paid $10 for 240 minutes. We didn't think that was too bad. Without a laptop the internet could be accessed by some terminals that were set up above the gift shop. I believe those were the same cost per minute as the wi-fi.We ate at Anaconda for dinner the first night. The food was great (perfect filet mignon) and service was exceptional. Unfortunately we went after it was dark so the view couldn't be appreciated. We chose to watch the sunset first at the pool bar so we got to see the view from there.We had dinner at the BBQ restaurant across from the hotel (also owned by Costa Verde) the second night. The food was good but I most enjoyed the overall atmosphere and and live music. If I didn't want to try different places, I would have enjoyed going back there again. Next visit!We also tried El Avion for dinner one of the nights. This is also owned by the hotel. The food was good and the menu was large. The restaurant surrounds a large cargo airplane that has been turned into a bar. Very cool! The view from El Avion is spectacular as it is at the top of the hill.Other than the hotel restaurants we also ate at Aqua Azul, which had an amazing view and excellent, friendly service. We also had lunch at the Paramor Hotel. This hotel was at the end of a long dirt road perched up on a hill overlooking the ocean. Since we weren't staying at the hotel and had no other reason to make the trek down the road we asked security if there was a restaurant. The view was spectacular and the burger was too. Oddly enough it wasn't even overpriced!We took a nature tour of Manuel Antonio that we booked through the hotel. The tour left early (before the real heat started) and was great. The guide spotted sloths, monkeys, anteaters, etc. We wouldn't have spotted any of them if left to ourselves. Well worth the money in order to get the most of your Manuel Antonio experience.Overall we had a great stay at Costa Verde and can't wait to go back to Costa Rica.
I just got back from a trip to Costa Rica. I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express right across from the airport the first night after my flight landed. The next morning I was able to WALK next door to Thrifty to get the car that I rented. There was a Denny's attached, a pool and a nice breakfast. All in all I was very impressed with this hotel, especially for the price. The room was large and well laid out. The furniture didn't even seem to be from a hotel chain. There was no closet, but a nice armoire. The bathroom was functional with some nice touches such as granite countertops and a three-way mirror. I didn't use the pool, but I did enjoy the complimentary breakfast. This consisted of eggs, muffins, cereals, yogurts, etc.All in all I was a very satisfied customer.
©Travelocity.com LP 2000-2009