This is one of those stories that makes you remember to be spontaneous while traveling. To not have a completely jam-packed itinerary for every second of the day. It begins with @sjems5 and me getting to know one of the guys who worked at our hotel just outside Manuel Antonio National Park.
Spoiler alert: it ends with one of the most amazing sunsets I’ve ever seen
Spontaneous life choices FTW!!!
Jonathan worked at our adorable little B&B, La Posada. Situated right outside the gates of Manuel Antonio, we loved our little home-away-from-home, with cute little bungalows and open-air dining (complete with tons of monkeys). We got to know Jonathan a little during our stay, and so when he offered to take us to some of his favorite places in the area on his afternoon off, we accepted! We rented a car for the afternoon and hit the road.
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A local’s guide for what to do near Manuel Antonio
After stopping at a gas station for some cans of rum and cola, we first headed to super chill Playa Linda. It’s a wide, smooth, glassy beach that’s super low-key. We just hung out and had a drink and let the gentle waves lap over us.
From there we swung by a little area that is known to have crocodiles. Jonathan told us a story about his dog being eaten here not too long before…I’m honestly not sure whether he was serious or not. This is us *not* being eaten by crocodiles.
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Next we stopped in the jungle and took a little hike (in flip flops) to this hidden tiny waterfall and pool. A quick dip cooled us off nicely.
But then. Oh then. We realized that sunset was sneaking up on us, so we stopped at a gas station for a bottle of wine and headed for Playa Coco Verde. We climbed, barefoot, over crazy sharp rocks (pitted and sharpened by all the waves crashing over them) to get the best vantage point for the sunset.
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Seriously, one of my top five sunsets ever. It’s hard for the photos (which are pretty good) to even convey how magical this was in person.
We toasted to our good decisions and watched the pinks and purples swirl.
It really was an awesome example of how leaving room in your itinerary for spontaneous decisions and getting to know locals will make your travels richer and more unique. And we got a glimpse of what to do near Manuel Antonio outside of the national park.
Jonathan offered to take us back to San Jose for our flight a few days later, so we canceled our private driver and once again hit the road with him. He took us to see Cortago, where he grew up (right by San Jose) and drove us almost to the top of the Iguazu volcano, which has an amazing view over San Jose—which my camera couldn’t do justice to, but I recommend you check out yourself if you’re staying in San Jose!
Have you made a spontaneous decision on a trip that turned out to be the best idea ever?? I’d love to hear about it in the comments, hit me up!
Other beach adventures:
- How to Spend a Chill Long Weekend in Cancun
- Finding My Happy Place…My First All-Inclusive Resort (Mexico)
- What to Listen to On the Beach: The 15 Best Full Albums
- How to Have a Super Chill Vacay in Caye Caulker
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