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Tag Archives: Wildlife

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monkey manuel antonio national park

Manuel Antonio National Park Tour

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Manuel Antonio National Park

This morning I saw a Facebook post that mentioned all national park entrance fees were waived for the day for National Park Day. So...guess what we did? We decided to go to Manuel Antonio National Park!

Getting to Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio National Park is located in the city of Quepos. Quepos is approximately 58 miles north of where we live in San Buenaventura.  We had to make a stop in Uvita on our way, so we ended up getting to Quepos around 10am.

After getting into Quepos (downtown), you must cross over the mountain to get to the park.  We figured it would take longer today due to the anticipated traffic. We thought there would be a lot of people going to the park since it was free today. However, the traffic wasn't bad.  The road is one lane each way and twists and turns, but every once and awhile there is this amazing view of the ocean.  Otherwise, the view is mostly hotels and restaurants for tourists.

As you get down the other side of the mountain, you run into a public beach, which is really nice (not in high tide though).  The road along the beach reminded us of Myrtle Beach with people walking everywhere, bars, and souvenir shops--but here it is only a couple blocks, not miles like in SC!

After you get on the beach road, which is running parallel to the beach, you take a left hand turn. There was a guy with a sign when we got there, which helped.

Then you will start to see people trying to get you to park your car.  These are not necessarily with the park, so just beware.  We were able to get parking in a huge field not more than a couple blocks from the entrance to Manuel Antonio National Park. It only cost us 2000 colones (less than $4).

manuel antonio national park sign
Sign at entrance to Manuel Antonio National Park

Tour

On our way to the park, we were approached by someone asking if we'd like to take a tour.  He had on a Park shirt, so we think

Boardwalk manuel antonio national park

Boardwalk at Manuel Antonio National Park

he was official, but you can never tell down here!

Since we weren't paying entrance fees (and we've had good tour experiences) we decided to go with a tour.  The tour cost US$20 USD (12,500 colones) each person.  For an additional $10, you can have a private tour.

Due to our circumstances, we did ask if the tour was strenuous/difficult and we were told it would be accommodated by the guide, as necessary.

The tour lasts approximately 1.5 hours and is well WORTH it!  There are platform trails that will lead you around the park, but the tour guide was able to spot animals that we wouldn't have seen ourselves.

So if you are going to see animals, take the tour. If you're going to just enjoy a walk, nature views, and the beach--you don't need a tour.

Entering the Park

Upon entering the park, besides taking your ticket, they do check bags to make sure no unauthorized items are brought in.birds of paradise

Before we left, we looked to see if we could take a picnic in with us.  We found that you could take sandwiches if in paper bags or Tupperware; same with chips and crackers.

However, when we arrived with our crackers in Tupperware, they were not allowed! (We did see people who  must have snuck things into the park, like chips in original bags).

We figured out that we were looking at some tour company site, not the official National Park site, so make sure you find the official site---or just take empty water bottle like we did.  NOTE: they do have a little stand that sells some food, but we didn't get anything but assume prices were probably high!

Tour Guide

Our tour guide was really good--he spoke very good English and communicated the whole tour in both English and Spanish, as we had mixed languages in our tour.

He was amazing at spotting the animals--but also really knowledgeable about them also.  For each animal he told us something about them, which made it that much more interesting.

The guide also carried a scope which allowed closer views of the animals---and he would use the scope to take pictures with your phone if you wanted!

He was very patient and made sure everyone heard his talk, got to look in the scope, and got pictures if they wanted.

Beaches

Within the park there are three beaches; however, we only made it to two of them while we were there.  But the views were spectacular; plenty of room to lay on the sand; water not too far away to walk out.

Our tour ended at beach #3 and that beach had picnic tables to sit and eat at.  The monkeys hang out at this beach and along the early path to beach #2---just remember to not feed them or even eat by them; they have been know to grab food if you're close by!

On our way out, we went a different way and saw beach #2. Both beaches had bathrooms with shower stations to rinse off, which is really nice.

Plus throughout the park are water stations where you can fill a bottle for drinking--and the water doesn't taste too bad!!!

Beach manuel antonio national park
One of the beaches at Manuel Antonio National Park
manuel antonio national park
Beach at Manuel Antonio National Park.

Animals

Below are some of the animals we saw on our tour in the park:

Note: we did see spiders, but you won't see pictures, I'm sure you can guess why!

Iguana--which we've come to think of like squirrels back home--they're everywhere!
Iguana--which we've come to think of like squirrels back home--they're everywhere!
Agouti manuel antonio costa rica
Agouti--which is related to the guinea pig?!?

We even saw a sloth! Check out the sloth video below!

sloth manuel antonio national park

We left the park around 1ish, but stopped to do some shopping in town, so we didn't arrive home until 5pm--we were tired and exhausted, but had an AMAZING day!


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alturas wildlife sanctary tour logo

Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary Tour in Dominical

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Earlier this week, we decided to take a Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary Tour, located just a few kilometers north of Uvita right off alturas wildlife sanctuary tour logo smallHighway 34. The sanctuary is a rescue and rehabilitation center for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife. While the sanctuary tries to release the animals back into wild; there are many animals that are unable to go back into the wild, so they become permanent residents of the sanctuary.

The sanctuary was originally started up in the mountains above the town of Cortes, which is the town just seven minutes south of our house; however, the sanctuary was not able to continue at that location due to several logistical issues. However, an owner of a hotel had extra land and buildings and inquired on what he could do to help the sanctuary. So in 2014 the sanctuary was moved to it's current location between Dominical and Uvita.

The sanctuary will take in any non-domestic animal. There are five main reasons animals end up at the sanctuary:

  • Animals that have been electrocuted by the power lines
  • Animals who have been hurt on the highway
  • Animals who have been orphaned by the parents due to sickness/deformity
  • Animals who were unintentionally orphaned by people who didn't realize the parents were around (hence the need for more education)
  • Animals that have been previous 'domestic' pets.

Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary Tour Information

Typically tours are 15 people. When we signed up it was just the two us, but by the time we arrived, the tour had 17 people. The guide was extremely knowledgeable and spoke great English. We weren't allowed to go into the vet center, as they don't want any diseases to be transferred or to bother the sick animals. There was also the rehabilitation location and the baby housing, which we couldn't go see. We were only able to see the animals who permanently live in the sanctuary. These are typically animals who have been pets and now don't know how to live in the wild or they have disabilities and wouldn't be able to survive in the wild.

The tour cost: $25/adult ($32 if you want lunch), $15/kids (ages 3-12)

Below are some pictures of the animals we saw:

white faced capuchin monkey
White faced capuchin monkey

Photo below of sloths: 3 year old sloths--actually 2 there hugging each other. When sloths in captivity when they are little, they are given stuffed animals to hug, but because they were put together they hug each other all the time.

Alturas wildlife sanctuary tour sloths

3 year old sloths--actually 2 there hugging each other.

aracari toucan aracari toucan altura wildlife sanctuary
Aracari Toucan

Photo below: Spider monkeys (these two were about 75 years old, which is extremely old for them--so they don't move around munch)

spider monkey alturas wildlife dominical

Spider monkey

Photo below: The Amazon Parrot lived in a hotel for 35+ years and doesn't know that it can actually fly. There is nothing wrong with its wings and is kept in an open area, but it never flies away.

parrot at villas alturas wildlife sanctuary dominical

Amazon Parrot who lived in a hotel for 35+ years.

Below: Baby Scarlet Macaw who couldn't fly due to wing issue and does not eating the natural food, so can't go back into the wild.

macaw alturas wildlife sanctuary

Scarlet macaw (locals call them lapas)

Below is a photo of a Peccary - not related to the wild hog or any pig even though it has a snout like a pig---male was very 'angry'.peccary alturas wildlife sanctuary

Photo below: Scarlet Macaw mate for life and like a real live love story, one of the birds couldn't go back in the wild so the other one stays at the sanctuary, even though it can fly away.

pair of macaws alturas wildlife

Okay this was a white frog that was just on the side of the hotel building wall...not really in the sanctuary, right by here there alturas wildlife sanctuary frogwas a pond that had a large koi fish and at least 5 small baby turtles.

Nocturnal and Other Animals

There were a few nocturnal animals that we weren't able to see; hence no pictures. Those were a porcupine, kinkajou (also called honey bear; small and related to raccoon) and There was also a small American crocodile, but it was hiding in the water as it had just arrived a couple days ago, so couldn't get a clear picture. We did see two squirrels, but we've all seen those so I didn't take a picture! LOL.

Panama Owl Monkey

This animal is native to Panama, but it was illegally brought into Costa Rica over the boarder in a back pack when it was just a baby. Costa Rica was unable to get Panama to respond on how to get it back to them and into the wild there; so now it must stay by itself at the sanctuary since it's not native and also wouldn't know how to live in the wild now after so long. So sad really, since they are very social animals that typically roam in groups of 15+ - so sad for this guy!

Hotel Villas Alturas

I love animals, but besides the animals, the views at this hotel were AMAZING. You'll be able to see the whale's tail down on the shore (well hopefully you can see it!).

Tips about Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary Tour

A few things to note if you're going to visit: you can eat lunch there, but we didn't so can't provide any feedback on that. The volunteers were working towards the end of our tour (approx. 2PM) and it was slightly distracting and annoying as they were loud so it was hard to hear the guide. Not sure when they do the volunteer work (i.e. feed, water, clean the animals), but beware!!!

They do provide umbrellas, as you know it can rain at anytime in Costa Rica! However, they do not provide any insect repellent and there are lots of bugs that bite, so take some with you!

The path to the enclosures is a rock path which is steep both up and down, so ensure you're able to walk if you book the Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary tour.

Volunteer Opportunities

They are always looking for volunteers to help out. In fact, several times volunteering was mentioned, but it was for a full week or, even months at a time. The reason for this is that there is quite a bit of training needed. I did inquire if a local could volunteer and it sounds promising(!), so I'm going to check into that. How amazing would it be to be around these animals once a week! Fingers crossed!

Comparing Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary Tour

This is the second wildlife sanctuary we have visited while in Costa Rica. The other one was the Toucan Sanctuary and Reserve in San Jose. While we liked the Toucan Sanctuary/Reserve in San Jose, we liked this one slightly better. The main reason we like the Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary Tour a bit better was because it was more in the jungle and the animals' typical habitat. The Toucan one was in the middle of a residential neighborhood, which didn't have quite the same feel. However, both tours are well worth visiting and the entry fee is donated to the reserves to help these animals, which is the best part!

Contact Us for more information about this tour or other services

Amy & Jason | CRLiving@osapropertymanagement.com


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costa rica capuchin monkey

How Many Species of Costa Rica Monkey

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White faced/headed capuchin monkey photographed in Costa Rica (c) Osa Property Management

Costa Rica Monkey Species

According to National Geographic, Costa Rica is home to over 5% of the world's plant and animal species, and included in that amazing list is the four types of Costa Rica Monkey. 

Considering there are over 250 different species of monkey found throughout the world, the fact there are only four is surprising. By contrast there are over 1,300 species of orchids found in Costa Rica. 

The four species of Costa Rica monkey are:

  • Central American squirrel monkey
  • White-headed capuchin monkey
  • Mantled howler monkey
  • Spider monkey

There is only one location in Costa Rica where all four species of monkeys are found, and that is inside Corcovado National Park. We can help line up tours for you and your group if you are interested in visiting Corcovado National Park. 

In the Osa region of Costa Rica, it is quite common to hear howler monkeys on a daily basis. They are typically heard just before sunrise, thirty minutes before sunset and anytime in-between if they feel threatened or want to communicate. The howler monkey's "grunt" sometimes confuses first time visitors to Costa Rica into thinking they are hearing a large dog bark. 

Technically speaking, all four species natively found in Costa Rica are classified as "New World Monkeys". For more information about these monkeys please visit the Wikipedia page dedicated to Costa Rica monkey.


Dominical, Uvita, Ojochal Property Management

Osa Property Management Experts  have lived and managed homes in the region for over 16 years. Not only do we live here, but we are one of the few LEGAL property management companies in the area with legally working, full-time, and fully insured employees (this protects YOU from potential legal problems also).

Our Team will ensure your property is well-maintained and actively rented (if you want to offer your home as a vacation rental).

We are focused on Hatillo, Dominical, Playa Hermosa, Uvita, San Buenas, Chontales and Ojochal property management.

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We ensure our clients, whether renting a home, or buying Costa Rica real estate to develop, have a positive experience.

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