This past weekend, I ventured from my Costa Rican hometown of Heredia to the beach paradise of Manuel Antonio. Despite the overbearing heat and copious amounts of sand, it was definitely worth the trip.
With Fridays free of class, four friends and myself set out for Manuel Antonio early Friday morning. My host mom graciously woke up early just to fix me breakfast before heading back to sleep, and I began my journey to paradise.
Five hours, three buses and one taxi later, we arrived. The sweltering heat made our clothes stick to our skin as we stumbled to our hostel. After checking in and dropping our stuff, we went in search of cheap food to sustain us through our day at the beach.
And as it turns out, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches did get us through 5 hours at the beach. The five of us took turns laying out on the sand and jumping in the refreshing ocean, running to the water to avoid burning our feet on the hot sand.
While a few of our friends took a walk along the beach, another girl and myself stayed behind to watch our bags.
Unexpectedly, a high school aged boy asked us if we would ride on a banana boat with him and his cousin since they needed four people, free of charge.
We accepted, and almost regretted the turbulent 20-minute ride in which we fell off five times.
After a full day of sun, we headed back to the hostel for a full night’s sleep. The next day, we woke up early and headed to the national park in search of hiking trails and beautiful beaches.
Luckily, we found both. We also encountered some interesting animals, which included an iguana lying on my beach towel, a monkey climbing a tree and three raccoons trying to steal our jar of peanut butter.
After two days of sun, we headed back to Heredia with darker tans and lighter hair. While the weekend was a bit expensive due to its touristy inclinations, it was definitely worth the time.