Finally ! My time in Manuel Antonio was by far the most amazing (very hard to commit to saying that when everywhere there is amazing), but since I’m obsessed with sloths this place had my heart. They were absolutely everywhere !!
The area was the perfect combination of jungle and beaches and we stayed at the most fantastic resort called Buena Vista Luxury Villas. They had a huge gated and security-monitored property, with their own private beach, 4 pools, a restaurant and their own free shuttle service because the hills are insane. We had an extremely comfortable hammock on our balcony where you could sit in the morning and watch the White-Faced Monkeys as they climbed in the trees and on your balcony ! Our concierge’s name was Andres and he was such a nice, helpful guy. He iMessaged us here and there to see if we were doing ok and made sure he said goodbye when we left. He was also the one that helped me spot 3 sloths in the span of 10 minutes when we first arrived because we were a few hours early before check-in time.
We walked down to the restaurant and got our welcome cocktails and then walked down to the beach to hang out there for a bit. The beach was perfect for swimming and there were hermit crabs all over the place (I had a lot of fun with that).
Our first morning there we were up early to go on a guided nature hike through Manuel Antonio National Park. Our guide’s name was Johan Chaves and he is hands down the best guide out there and one of the funniest people we met. He came to pick us up and brought us on a short 5 minute drive to the park. The second we entered the gates he was using his scope to show us animals we would have never in a million years seen if it weren’t for him. He knew his stuff really well and never rushed through anything. He ended up extending the tour another 3 hours for us because we were so interested in everything he had to say and we wanted to make sure we saw everything (which we definitely did). He went out of his way to allow us the best videos and pictures possible of the wildlife and even took us to a nearby restaurant built inside an aircraft because we wanted to see it. At the end of the tour my camera got a little wet because my water bottle spilt all over my bag and he even cleaned it up and made sure it was ok!! I never expected so much from someone and he continually surprised us with his kindness. If you’re ever in the area you absolutely NEED to do this tour with Johan! This took up almost all of our day and we got back to the hotel in time to enjoy the beach and then go to the restaurant to watch the sunset. While at the restaurant a sloth decided to try to climb into the pool, so that was definitely the attraction of the night!
Unfortunately we only stayed for two nights and I really regret that, but our time spent there was absolutely amazing and I’m so glad we did what we did there! If I go back, this will be the first place I go, 100%.