From the National Geographic Sea Lion in Costa Rica and Panama
Jan 13, 2013 - National Geographic Sea Lion
Manuel Antonio National Park & Agujitas River
Just before breakfast, Captain Dion anchored National Geographic Sea Lion in the bay just off Manuel Antonio National Park. One of Costa Rica’s smallest national parks, Manuel Antonio is also one of its most visited, and today being Sunday of a holiday weekend, we got an early start for our first day of adventures. Zodiacs whisked us to a beautiful white-sand beach, which became our launch-pad for introductions to this moist rainforest via the Punta Serrucho and Sloth Valley trails. Our hopes for wildlife sightings were rewarded many times over… howler and capuchin monkeys, two- and three-toed sloths, iguanas, lizards, agoutis, butterflies, moths, and many bird species including osprey, pelicans and frigatebirds. Upon returning to the beach many opted for a swim in the refreshing aquamarine waters.
Midday saw us back onboard for a delicious taco buffet lunch, followed by siestas and R&R, and then reconvening in the lounge for informative and an entertaining presentation entitled “Costa Rica, Nature’s Paradise” by National Geographic photographer Christopher Baker. National Geographic Sea Lion moved over near-glass-like waters in time to get us to a late-afternoon anchorage at Agujitas River, a seldom-visited place due to the need for high tidal conditions. Two rounds of Zodiac tours brought us inside this riverbank system, with rewarding views of howler monkeys, crocodiles and toucans.
Convening once again in the lounge we shared appetizers and cocktails, and stories of our first full day in this spectacular region of the world. Rich coast indeed.