Costa RicaCosta Rica

Bagels, Butterflies and the Beach

Destination: Manuel Antonio

Colorful heliconiaClearly the Babaloo Inn brings out the laziness in Rayna and I. Not quite sure what it is about the place that is so conducive to sleeping in late, but it is. (It could be the beds, the lovely thick draperies that block the sunlight from streaming in, or the air conditioner which consistently kept our room at a comfortable temperature).

When we finally rose, it was because we were both hungry. We asked for a brunch recommendation at the front desk and they sent us to Cafe Milagro. Oh man, what a lovely little cafe/coffee shop. Their menu complete with fresh bagels brought a smile to our faces instantly. A toasted sesame bagel with cream cheese and fresh tomatoes and a large latte made for the most wonderful start to the day.

Having a previous reservation we headed to Fincas Naturales, a private wildlife refuge in Manuel Antonio. First of all, I need to stress the fact that this place should be on everyone's list of places to visit while in the area. Equipped with a reptile lagoon (which is scheduled to be finished soon), a butterfly garden and an amphibian aquatic garden, as well as many trails and night walks, this place is fun and educational!

Colorful hotel roomOur guide was very personable and informative, and clearly enjoys her work. She first led us through their butterfly garden, where a large blue-morpho landed on my foot. Next. we walked through the reptile lagoon and saw some crocs and turtles. Finally, we headed through the water garden, where many species of tree frogs live, many of which come out at night. On our way back to the office we saw about a dozen white-faced monkeys playing in the trees, one even had a baby with her -- how cute!

We thanked our guide and decided to stop at a few shops off the main strip and then checked into the Hotel Verde Mar. Just a short walk to the beach, this is the closest water-front beach to Manuel Antonio National Park! Verde Mar is a relatively large hotel with a small hotel feel. Twenty two rooms adorn the property, most with two double beds, kitchenettes, private bathrooms, air conditioning and fans. What a find. In addition, guests can expect to be greeted by a friendly staff, just as we were earlier today.

After settling into our new place and relaxing for a bit, we were on the road again. Excitedly, we headed to Quepos to pick up our suits from Ummara! They are wonderful, I am so glad I got both suits and can't wait to wear them tomorrow. The rest of the night was relatively quiet. Rayna and I got dinner at a little "soda" (diner) in Quepos and decided to call it an early night since tomorrow is our last full day in the area.

Bagels, Butterflies and the Beach in Pictures

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