Manuel Antonio/Quepos, Costa Rica: Rainmaker Conservation Project & Costa Rican Sunsets
Summary. We visited Rainmaker Conservation Project during our time near Manuel Antonio Park. Both parks are near the town of Quepos which is located approximately 4 hours by car from San Jose. This area of Costa Rica has the best of both worlds with beautiful beaches and rainforests filled with wildlife and adventures. On the day we visited Rainmaker, we spent the late afternoon walking the central district of Quepos which (no photos). In the evening, we enjoyed breathtaking Pacific Ocean sunsets.
Rainmaker Conservation Project: This educational park is located in a rainforest and features an easy hike through the forest on a well-marked path. Taking you literally through the canopy on hanging bridges, this park was especially fun for the kids. As this was our first activity on this trip, it was the perfect introduction to Costa Rica.
Getting there. As with everywhere else in Costa Rica, the best way to get around is with a rental car + GPS. Bring a bathing suit as there is a waterfall and swimming area about mid-way through the walk.
Upon arrival, we selected the self-guided tour that included a post-hike, traditional Tico lunch, for a total cost of $25/person. Next, we headed out on the trail, selecting the path that eventually leads to waterfalls. The trail itself is clear of debris, flat, and easy to traverse. The "beware of snakes" signs, though, will keep you looking down at your feet nonetheless.
The trail eventually takes you to a series of hanging rope bridges that cross high into the canopy. While initially hesitant, we found the bridges to be sturdy and safe. I mean, there were no obvious signs of someone recently plummeting to their death at least (yes, that's where my mind immediately goes when faced with heights).
Once back on solid ground, the trail becomes a bit more difficult heading down to the waterfalls. Those that cannot navigate rocks or tree roots may wish to skip this part. Down by the waterfalls, the water is clean and refreshing so we stopped for a bit to take a dip in one of the watering holes.
The trail then continues back around to the beginning, through another flat and easy path. As the total trail is mostly flat and only 1.5 miles, most kids can handle this walk/hike.
After the hike, we returned to the main building complex where we enjoyed a traditional Tico lunch. It was not fancy, but it was tasty and convenient.
After Rainmaker Park we headed to the town of Quepos and walked the central part of town. Unfortunately, we did not take any photos. Quepos seems to be fairly representative of a mid-size Costa Rican town. With a population of roughly 20,000 people, it also has any goods and services you may need for your stay in the Manuel Antonio area.
Costa Rican Sunsets. The sunsets on the Pacific side of Costa Rica are unbelievable. Photos - especially the ones on this trip which predate our purchase of a good camera - really do not do them justice. The photos below are taken from our AirBnB in Quepos, where the residence has a covered porch with hammocks. The views from here never got old.
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