I miss Manuel Antonio. Don’t you? It’s been on my mind during this strange period when tourism hotspots, normally full of long lines, are strangely empty.

It’s a hassle to get into and downright unpleasant during the high season, but once you’re inside, you can see why. It’s truly one of the loveliest spots I’ve ever seen. From my first visit as a student, watching and laughing as our grinning host dad got pummeled by the waterfall; to a rainy-season visit when the waves were unusually fierce and my friends and I got knocked to the grouund in a happy, sandy whirl; to the time an iguana came barreling after my mother in a successful attempt to get her sandwich away from her… Actually, all of those memories sound a bit violent.

But then there was the time that I floated with my mother, post-iguana, in the gentle, blue-green sea, and she said, “You know what? Maybe you should live here forever.”

And so I did.


4 thoughts on “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  1. Ahhhhhhhhh Manuel Antonio ! I have been here since the 80’s and so was fortunate enough to have experienced it before it became “unpleasant”. Back then, tourists were all but non existent .The most luxurious hotel (Mariposa) had 10 rooms ,there were 2 B& B’s priced at around $5/night, flashlights were a must ,and aircon didn’t exist . Few of us had a vehicle .You either took the local bus which was infrequent or you walked .The few cars that did exist generally offered you a ride .
    Those of us who chose to settle here back then did so because we loved it not because we thought to flip it for profit. There were no luxuries here then and somehow we got along just fine.
    Fast forward to March 2020 .If it weren’t for all the building that has taken place over the decades I could swear I have time travelled back to the 80’s. It is Paradise again! Lockdown has brought back the peace and quiet that allows one to actually hear all the different varieties of birds during the day and the frogs and insect life at night . A jaguar was spotted twice in my driveway in the last month. The monkeys are doing backflips sometimes twice a day in front of my house.The question remains: how can one possibly adjust back to the “fast food” type of tourism that this area has become known for.
    What have we done ?
    Hopefully this period of adjustment will bring about a positive change for Manuel Antonio . Not a change for more more more but rather a recognition and renewed respect for the fragile beauty of this area and the commitment to create a more sustainable and palatable way of life for all of us who call Manuel Antonio home .


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