Day 7: Beachin it

Today was a dream day on this whirlwinded-pace trip: Eat, swim and lay at the beach all day. I'll take that. :)

The Manuel Antonio National Park is a protected beach in the SW portion of Costa Rica-- about an hour south of Jaco. Manuel Antonio was a leader in Costa Rica committed to making stretches of land rich in biodiversity and wildlife protected parks, and this particular area of the coast was one of his first successes. This park contains the biggest concentration of white-faced Capuchian monkeys, who are known to be among the smartest (and ugliest!) breed of monkeys in the world.

The monkeys at this park would run down off the trees and steal lunches from people if you weren't carefully attending your belongings at all times. They are actually smart enough to lift up bags and towels, and unzip backpacks in search of food. One particular monkey we spotted ran down to the beach, grabbed a package of crackers, darted up the tree with crackers between its legs, and used its fingers to literally open the package and start eating! That monkey opened the bag enough that some spilled down from the trees and the other monkeys were able to eat also. :) There were all sorts of monkey families, and a few really cute babies, too.

We came back around 3pm, took naps, and are winding down for the night before we have to get up early tomorrow and head back to San Jose for two days. Tomorrow's agenda: shopping!

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