A few days ago my husband and I went on vacation to Manuel Antonio, Quepos for four days. Our idea was to spend as much time as possible inside the Manuel Antonio National Park, mainly because this park is so incredibly beautiful that just by watching the ocean you relax a lot and that's what we needed, rest.
We got to Manuel Antonio on Thursday afternoon, we checked in the hotel and went to the beach to watch the sunset, it was amazing, I got to take a lot of pictures of it, there were some people with big cameras there too trying to catch that awesome moment. It was perfect, there were not so many clouds, there were not so many people on the beach, it was great. Even the colors of the sky after the sun was completely down were amazing.
The next day we got up early, had breakfast and headed to the park, it was Friday and there were a lot of tourist trying to get in. We were all set up with a cooler with cold water, fruits and sandwiches so we didn't have to go out of the park for lunch, we didn't want to leave that place, it is paradise.
In this park you get to see a lot of monkeys, raccoons, birds and different types of animals, this plus the beach, the ocean, the trees, the palms, etc. makes it a paradise for a photographer, so of course I took advantage of that and took hundreds of pictures, many of them of monkeys, they get really close when looking for food, they are cute and funny so they are great subjects for photos.
Last year I went for a day to Manuel Antonio and I got to take several pictures of the monkeys with my new camera, but a lot of them didn't come out right, it was a challenge because the monkeys are usually in the trees where there are not a lot of light, they tend to move really fast sometimes and but mainly because I wasn't used to my new camera yet so some of the photos were out of focus, underexposed, overexposed, things like that, so this time it was my chance to practice and I did, everyday I went there looking for monkeys to photograph, at the end I took more than a hundred pictures just of monkeys.
Monkeys are always running around in the park looking for food, they come and go all day. One day there was a family eating mangos and the monkeys came, so they started sharing pieces of the mango with the monkeys, but then they stopped, so one of the monkeys tired of waiting for another piece run really fast, grabbed a bag with a big mango in it and took off, on the way he dropped the bag and run with the mango, it was hilarious.
After running around looking for food they stop in trees and take a nap, usually in trees that are far from the trails so people don't bother them.
They also like to groom each other, "I scratch your back and you scratch mine" kind of thing.
I like to relax on the beach but I definitely have a lot of fun when the monkeys pass by running around.
I love this park, I love it because besides it is a natural paradise it is kept clean and well organized. In order to get inside the park everybody has to buy a ticket that is valid for the whole day. Inside the park you will find clean water, trash bins, toilets, showers and trails so there is everything you need to stay there the whole day. No alcohol is allowed which is great because that avoid many problems from happening. People go to the park to swim, get a tan, take pictures, relax and read, lots of people reading.
Besides all the obvious natural beauties I already mentioned, I took the time to photograph other things that caught my attention. Some of them are really small others are just old leaves or broken tree branches that some people might think are not too attractive, but they were interesting to me.
Manuel Antonio is a great place to visit, not only because it has this beautiful park but because they have that wonderful beach that is one of the cleanest beach in the country. Even though the town has grown a lot with lots of hotels they have managed to keep it "green" trying to preserve a lot of the rainforest, keeping the streets without trash as much as day can. A cousin of mine who lives and works there told me that when a big hotel is being built they do what they can to prevent them from cutting a lot of trees and to protect natural resources, also all the hotels are organized to send teams to the beach to pick up the garbage and keep it clean, they have free Wifi in almost all the hotels, looks like a very well-organized community.
If you want to see some more pictures I took during this trip, go to my Flickr account and check the Manuel Antonio 2011 set.