We stood and watched as the monkeys slowly approached the green tree frog. We couldn’t help but hold our breath, waiting to see if we would witness the food chain first hand. The monkey slowly crept up to the frog, then turned around to find some food from people. We all gasped in relief. This was but one of the many amazing things we saw in Manuel Antonio National Park.
The day started with us taking a bus to the park, thinking the entrance fee would be only 3 USD because we are students here. However, for all foreigners, it costs 16 dollars to enter. At this point, half of the group decided to hang out on the beach while the other half of us paid the entrance fee as well as a tour guide. It was worth it. Before we even walked through the entrance we saw three squirrel monkeys crawling across the vine and an iguana laying in a tree.
Our guide found a sloth with her baby in a tree and let us use is magnifying devices to see it better. She was hanging on a tree eating leaves with her baby on her back. We also saw bats on trees and fresh water crabs by a stream. My favorite part of the trip however was arriving at the beach during lunch time. The monkeys could smell the food and lurked on the edges of the pathway. One monkey tried to open the trashcan to feast on all the food he could find. His plans were thwarted when the lid wouldn’t open and he walked away in defeat.
On the beach there was a family of raccoons searching through everyone’s bags. One opened up a fellow solmate’s backpack that was zipped shut. They are brilliant creatures that we had to keep an eye on at all times. Other than that, the views were beautiful and the ocean was fantastic. It was a great time with great friends.
Earlier in the week we took a tour of San Jose. We went through the central market and found various aspects of the culture here. We found shoes, foods, coffees, and religious aspects throughout the market. We then went to a fair trade market where crafts made by indigenous groups were sold and profits were given to the craftsmen. Overall this week I got to experience different cultural aspects of Costa Rica!