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.