The pool of the Hotel Parador in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. A life-size bronze Aligator guards the shallow end.

Costa Rica Road Trip (Part 1) Manuel Antonio here we come…

In Costa Rica, Our Journeys, Road Trips, The Americas by JanisLeave a Comment

A tranquil paradise on the Pacific Coast

- Up bright and early
We leave San Jose and set off on the road for the start of our Sloths & Mojitos road trip, which begins with a fairly relaxing 3 to 4 hour drive to Manuel Antonio.
A panoramic view over the sandy, isolated, beach of Playa Biesanz, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.  Surrounded by the lush green vegetation that Costa Rica is renown for.

A panoramic shot of Playa Biesanz, Manuel Antonio

We pass by vibrant, lush vegetation, bustling little towns and over rickety bridges.

Costa Rica is such a beautiful country and has so much to offer the traveller, a true asset to Central America.

I'm not too sure what I was expecting the road conditions to be like; however, the main roads were reasonably well maintained along our journey.

Quick Links

Hotel Parador

On our arrival at the Hotel Parador, we were greeted by smiling faces and a refreshing glass of fruit juice.
A view of the Pacific Ocean, through palm trees, from the lobby of the Hotel Parador in Manuel Antonio on Costa Rica's western coastline.

The view from the Hotel Parador lobby

The hotel is surrounded by a tropical rainforest and the views across the Pacific Ocean are stunning.
A view through the gardens of the Hotel Parador to a lush green island in the Pacific Ocean, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

A view through the gardens

We just couldn’t wait to drop our bags off and take a stroll around the hotel’s beautiful gardens. Little lizards scurrying across your path, tropical birds tweeting in the palm trees high above, It just felt like paradise.

Further Reading

If your heading off on your own Costa Rican adventure, than grab a copy of this DK Eyewitness book.

I love planning trips and these guides are so helpful.

I find them extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.

Before heading to Costa Rica

I really wanted to see a Sloth, I didn’t even mind if it was two or three toed, some would say I’m easily pleased. Well I thought this was going to be a difficult mission, I was expecting at least a week into the adventure, but no.

A 3 toed Sloth hiding in the canopy of the bush in the grounds of our hotel in Manuel Antonio , Costa Rica

Our first Sloth in Costa Rica

We headed down in the direction of the perimeter of the grounds and snuggled between the branches of an overhanging tree was a sloth fast asleep (or just very slow moving), absolutely wonderful.

The pool of the Hotel Parador in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.  A life-size bronze Aligator guards the shallow end.

The pool at the Hotel Parador

It was such an idyllic location and after our drive from San Jose, we felt we deserved a lazy afternoon around the infinity pool. You could never tire of the magnificent views across Pacific.
What a perfect location to enjoy your favourite cocktail.

Don't just take our word for it!

If you're tempted by the enchanting rainforests full of incredible wildlife or the golden sandy beaches, take a look at the 'Visit Costa Rica' official website. The local Ticos know what they are talking about.

The ‘secret’ beach

We had two nights at Manuel Antonio, and we’d heard about the beautiful beach of Playa Biesanz. So, we thought we would take a wander out and see if we could find this secluded bay.

A sandy beach, Playa Biesanz, in a bay in Manuel Antonio on the Pacific side of Costa Rica.

The secret Beach, Playa Biesanz, Manuel Antonio

The bay was just a short stroll from the hotel down through some narrow woodland paths. It was a tranquil paradise.
Best of all it was devoid of people, we saw a handful of others enjoying the incredible scenes across the cove; however, we were all rather outnumbered by the exotic wildlife.

A Brown Pelican flying inches above the water, its bill down, dripping with water after it had taken a scoop out of the water in the bay by Playa Biesanz, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

A Brown Pelican - Looking for lunch, Playa Biesanz, Manuel Antonio

After spending a few hours at Playa Biesanz, we headed back to the hotel in the late afternoon and took another stroll around their colourful gardens. All the while not knowing what is looking down on you from above.

A beautiful orange flower, caught in the sunlight while walking around Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

A beautiful orange flower, caught in the sunlight

A white flower sits atop a red husk, caught in the sunlight in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Red & White Beauty in Manuel Antonio

Although, we knew the Howler Monkeys were there as we could hear them.
Golden orange tones of the sunset, set against the lush green vegetation at from our room at the Hotel Parador, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

The sunset view from our room at the Hotel Parador, Manuel Antonio

The evenings were just as enjoyable and relaxing too. After quaffing an exceptional Mojito, we headed to the open-air veranda of the hotel, for a delicious meal. All the while being accompanied by the sounds of the rainforest wildlife settling down for the evening.

Have You?

Visited Costa Rica? or are you planning too? It’s a wonderfully diverse country with so much to offer – go on, you know you deserve it.

Inspired to visit Costa Rica?

Why wouldn’t you? It’s a great way to see many ecological wonders of the world.
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Have a peek at the latest offers from, our preferred hotel booking website.
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