We started the day with a workout on the beach at our hotel. We had breakfast and then headed out to hike to Manuel Antonio National Park. We finally saw los monos as we were heading down to the beach.

The hike started right from the beach in front of our hotel and followed the coast all the way to the park entrance. Right there we saw a bunch of monkeys.

The hike along the beach was beautiful.

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Right before the park entrance we saw some more monkeys.

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We got into the park and saw a sloth, finally! She’s hard to see because she was climbing up the tree, she’s right in the middle of the picture.

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We hiked for hours through the forest and saw some beautiful views of the ocean. We exited the park and headed to find some lunch.

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We ate at this lovely restaurant where we met a waiter named Cesar, who spoke the most fluid English. We chatted with him and learned that he has taught himself English by working in restaurants for years…he was so charming, as was the spot. And he found a sloth sleeping in a tree right near where we were sitting.

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She’s sleeping there all tucked in behind a thin branch with her arm dangled above. Apparently sloths sleep 23 hours a day.

Our hike continued back to our hotel and we saw many more monkeys and other creatures. We hiked between 7 and 8 miles in total; my gps watch battery gave out before we got back so I’m not sure exactly.

It seems as if Costa Rica came alive to us yesterday. I’ve always felt like you have to give a little of yourself to a place to really see it, and hiking has been a way of getting there for me. We were exhausted and exhilarated by the day. And so very thankful for this experience.

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