The first thing we notice along the way was the increasing heat and humidity as we left the relative comfort of the northern climate in Guanacaste. It's perfect that the drive allowed us to climatized as we went. And don't be fooled, the 365-km journey took us a good day to drive. Read: Driving and Car Rentals in Costa Rica.
|Gaia Hotel & Reserve|
When we visited Manuel Antonio, we were lucky enough to stay at the chic, boutique Gaia Hotel & Reserve, an amazing eco-friendly 5-star boutique hotel experience. This gorgeous terraced property offers gourmet dining and 24/7 room service, as well as a spa, a gym and an inviting outdoor pool, which we had to ourselves every evening. Heavenly! And since award-winning Gaia is located on a private nature reserve, we also took the complimentary guided tour to explore the properties trails while viewing orchids and wildlife.
|Gaia Hotel & Reserve Studio|
Although Manuel Antonio National Park is the country's smallest national park, it packs a big punch into a small space of 1,983 hectares (7.66 square miles). It's rugged natural beauty and 4 beaches tucked beneath the lush green mangroves is as about at pristine and gorgeous as it gets. The only thing that really got to me was the incredible heat after having been in the north and then in an air-conditioned vehicle for hours on end. There were families having picnics, hikers everywhere and just a few people actually enjoying the ocean waters including a handful of surfers.
|Manuel Antonio National Park|
Quepos is a bustling, former banana-driven town that's a seaside neighbor to Manuel Antonio. It's streets are full of restaurants, including popular sodas, along with shops and casinos. There's also a new marina full of huge to-die-for yachts. The only tricky part we experienced was consistently finding the turn off road to get to our hotel on the hillside, which took more than a few attempts on one occasion but of course, was more than worth our temporary confusion.
For more information or to make your reservation at Gaia, visit Gaia Hotel & Reserve and Manuel Antonio National Park.
Ed & Connie