Posted on April 11, 2009
The Trip To Manuel Antonio
Sansa Flight To Quepos
The flight from San Jose to Quepos (Manuel Antonio) was really short; just about 30 minutes. I think it was the first time I took such a small plane. The take off was a little sketchy and we felt like the pilot (a woman) was gonna crash the plane before even taking off.
Landing in Quepos was so trippy. We landed in the middle of palm trees. The aeropuerto of Quepos was so small that you could never tell it was an aeropuerto. At best, it looks like your Dad’s garage. Not bigger.
Looking for a place to stay
We then took a $5 each ride to Manuel Antonio. We didn’t really know where to go so we asked the driver if he knew of a cheap place. He dropped a few names and Tina recognized the name Piscis, a place where she stayed before. So we asked the driver to take us there. There was a room available for $40/night. We took it and went surfing right away.
First day in Manuel Antonio
Our first surf session was fun. There were a few local boogieboarders and a couple surfers. The level wasn’t high at all so I felt confident. The water is really really warm: about 84 degrees.
We surfed for a while and went to have lunch at an overpriced place on the beach. I didn’t like it much but that filled us up.
A little later we went back for another surf session but the tide was too low and it wasn’t as fun as it was earlier that day.
We could see a bunch of guys with surfboards walking a few hundred yards north of where we were surfing. It looked like there was a good spot over there but we didn’t check it out until the next day.
That night, we went in town to have dinner at what I guess is a nice place here. The service was great, and the food was pretty good too. We ate for $17 which to me was more than reasonable given the quality of the food and of the service. Turns out they forgot to count some of the stuff we ordered. I asked Tina if we should say something. She said no so I didn’t say anything and paid, then we left.
We bought a couple large cans of Imperial, a bottle of water and we hang out on the patio of our place. I was a little tipsy 😉
Our second day in town
We had a good night sleep and although Tina got up a little before me, I got up around 9am. We went to town to get some water and inquire about the boat rides to Montezuma. We also had a nice breakfast and then we went home to grab the boards and go surf.
I asked the hotel guy what was the good spot and he confirmed that the spot where we saw a bunch of surfers walk to the day before was actually the place to be. It’s called Bajos. We went there but we didn’t have much fun. I actually didn’t have fun at all. the nose of my board kept digging in the water, making me fall like some beginner. The wave was really fast and closing out a bit. It was about 4 to 5 feet with overhead sets. Everytime I tried to catch a wave, something went wrong: either my nose digging in, my hands slipping on the board, the leach wrapping around my toes, etc…
I got out of the water really pissed. It was one of these sessions where I should have stayed on the shore looking at others surfing. Nobody didn’t really get good waves, except this one guy. I’m amazed that we haven’t seen good surfers yet. I thought that this place would be packed with top notch surfers, but nope. I totally fit in this place.
After this failed session, we went and have lunch, then we went back to the cabin and took a nap. We woke up around 5.30pm and went for a late session. The tide was low and it was crap but it felt really good to be in the water for the sunset.
That night, we had planned to go have dinner at El Avion, a restaurant built around an old plane that looks like a B-52 (I’m probably wrong on the model of the plane) but the girl of the hotel told us that her sister was making spaghetti if we wanted to. We decided to have dinner at the hotel instead of going to El Avion.
The food was very basic but it was good. I assume it was cheap too (we’ll only see the bill tomorrow). Tina didn’t feel great which is probably due to dehydration and the bad wine she had for dinner (which I am finishing as I am writing this). She went lay down and I am having one more drink while telling our stories.
The hotel Piscis is ok. We have our own bathroom which might sound a given one, but no, it’s not in latin american countries for that price. The few people that work this place are really nice. I think it’s a family owned business. The cabins are a few steps away from the beach, which is our main concern.
We have a couple noisy guys next to our cabin tonight. I’m not sure but I think they are Argentinians. They are listening to bad music and singing along: terrible!
Tomorrow, we’re gonna be traveling (traveling puffins!) a bit to Mal Pais. Definitely not looking forward the boat ride as I am sea sick but it will be nice to see other places.
Misc. thoughts about Manuel Antonio
Before coming here, Tina had told me of Manuel Antonio as the La Jolla of Costa Rica. She was right. There are a bunch of wealthy people here; well, wealthy for Costa Rica… I still haven’t seen any of them show up to the beach in a Porsche…. A lot of women have fake boobs and look somewhat superficial.
The gay population is huge here. My friend guy would feel like a fish in water in this place. All these guys are walking around in there Speedos or tights little shorts. It’s funny.
This place is too touristic. It doesn’t feel authentic and I’m definitely looking forward to going to Mal Pais where the Costa Rican feel is supposed to be more preserved.