Photos that make you want to visit Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica

If you appreciate pure nature, are interested in observing wildlife and love relaxing on beautiful beaches watching an incredible sunset, then Costa Rica should be on your travel bucket list.

Manuel Antonio National Park faces the Pacific Ocean in central Costa Rica. This part of Costa Rica encompasses rugged rainforests, white sandy beaches and coral reefs. Costa Rica is known for its vast diversity of tropical flowers and animals. The National Park is roughly 680 hectares huge and has a variety of different hiking trails, which lead you from the coast up into the mountains.

If you are keen on hiking through the rain forest, you want to make sure you can see all the wildlife and not missing out on anything. I, therefore, recommend booking a guided tour through the rain forest. The guides use a large telescope and know the forest and their inhabitants inside out. They spot tiny little animals you would have never guessed finding on your own.

Enjoy the journey through the rainforest in Manuel Antonio National Park:

You have the beach for yourself midin the National park of Manual Antonio. On the way to the beach you can observe the Costa Rican wildlife.
You have the beach for yourself mid in the National Park of Manual Antonio. On the way to the beach, you can observe the Costa Rican wildlife.

Costa Rica has some fascinating wildlife to see in the rainforests:

The Montezuma is a New World tropical icterid bird. It is a resident breeder in the Caribbean coastal lowlands from southeastern Mexico to central Panama.
The Montezuma is a New World tropical icterid bird. It is a resident breeder in the Caribbean coastal lowlands from southeastern Mexico to central Panama.

 

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The great Kiskadee is one of the tyrant flycatchers which can be between 21 to 27cm in length.

 

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Without the tour guide in the Manuel Antonio National Park, I would not have been able to spot this caterpillar.

 

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Who would have found this tiny grasshopper in the middle of the rainforest without the local guides and their telescopes?

 

Know when to bite your tongue.
You can see the white-faced capuchin monkeys when strolling through the rain forest. Unfortunately, this species is endangered. These two guys in that photo were fighting and chasing each other.

 

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The three-toed sloths are one of the Costa Rican locals. They are very slow in moving from one spot to another. Their faces seem to smile all day long. When you walk through the rain forest, take your time and see if you can spot them in the trees.

 

lizard
The Black Spiny-tailed Iguana is a lizard in Central America and Mexico. It is the largest species in the genus Ctenosaura and has been recorded as the fastest-running species of lizard.They have distinctive black, keeled scales on their long tails, which gives them their common name. The males are capable of growing up to 1.3 meters in length, and the females are slightly shorter, at 0.8–1 meter.

Besides the tropical animals you will notice the most beautiful colourful flowers in the rainforest:

It was raining in the rainforest near Cachi in Costa Rica. The flowers were covered with rain drops which made it so much more interesting to photograph.
It was raining in the rainforest near Cachi in Costa Rica. The flowers were covered with rain drops which made it so much more interesting to photograph.

 

walking through the rain forest in Costa Rica is paradise for flower lovers
Walking through the rain forest in Costa Rica is paradise for flower lovers.

 

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Lots of you will notice this beautiful orchid, however, to see it growing in the wild rainforest is fascinating.

Costa Rica has also plenty of options to go on boat trips for snorkelling in the coral reef. On the way you might be lucky to see dolphins and whales:

I was on a snorkelling trip in Costa Rica and was lucky to being able to see a dolphin jumping out and back into the ocean.
I was on a snorkelling trip in Costa Rica and was lucky to being able to see a dolphin jumping out and back into the ocean.

 

Being on a snorkelling trip and seeing some dolphins is what I have expected but then getting to see a humpback whale was not on my list and made the trip so much more exciting.
Being on a snorkelling trip and seeing some dolphins is what I have expected but then getting to see a humpback whale was not on my list and made the trip so much more exciting.

Now you have seen so much from this wonderful region of Costa Rica, the beautiful colourful flowers and cute, exotic wildlife. It is time to relax on the beach in Manuel Antonio National Park enjoying the sunset.

Watching the sunset in Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica.
Relax and watch the sunset in Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica.

Did the photos inspire you to travel to Costa Rica? Enjoy your trip.

What is your happy place?

A happy place can be anything and anywhere; it could be a place were you associate some important memories with; it could be your home or outside in nature.

I personally don’t have a specific place. For me it is wherever I can do things I love doing and where I can share some quality time with my friends. I love dancing salsa, so any place we go for a dance is one of my happy places.

Of course going home to visit my family in Germany is my place of memories and happiness.

sunset
blue hour in Ammersee

I also love travelling and being outdoors in nature, watching sunrises and sunsets, taking photos and watching cute animals.

Creating this list of happy places I noted that it is not about a certain place but about what you love doing. You don’t need to live in a fancy city or country. You can do anything what makes you happy anywhere in the world. In the end it is about you and your mindset and not about a place.

fog over Tamarama in Sydney, Australia
fog over Tamarama in Sydney, Australia

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Happy Place.”

Chose your attitude to create happiness

living in happiness

It is not a set of circumstances or the people you are with who make you happy. Happiness comes from your inside and your attitude.

Are you able to adopt to changing circumstances because your change your attitude?

If you ever face situations you don’t like, think about what it is you don’t like in particular. Is it very important to you or is it just a first world problem? What happens when you would change your attitude? Would you feel better?

Don’t forget: it is all in your mind; change your attitude and you will feel happiness.

“A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.” – Hugh Downs-

living in happiness
Moonshine over Bondi Beach in Sydney

Beneath your feet

beneath your feet

When we go for a walk let’s not forget to have a look down beneath your feet. Beauty is around us everywhere.

I love walking alongside beaches and looking for beautiful seashells like the one in the photo below.

beneath your feet
Shell on whitsunday’s white beaches

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Beneath Your Feet.”

Live in the now

enjoy the early morning

People spend too much time thinking about the past or worrying about the future. We keep forgetting that our physical selves are forever locked in the present. Remember to live in the now.

When our mindset is too busy with analysing what happened in the past or wonder what will happen in the future we might miss out on great opportunities right in front of us. What happened, happened for a reason, we need to learn from it and move on. Worrying doesn’t get us anywhere, we just keep attracting negative things in life. If you keep realising that you think about the past or future – stop and get your mindset back into the present.

So live in the now, enjoy each moment and celebrate you being alive.

Live in the now

enjoy the early morning
Cronulla sunrise

sunset reflections at Karekare beach in New Zealand

New Zealand sunset

When I was in New Zealand a while ago I booked a day tour to the Northern beaches and rainforest of Auckland. On our way back we had some time remaining and our tour guide wanted to show us his favourite black sand beach called “Karekare” next to beach Piha. It was the perfect time of the day. The sun was setting and the colours in the sky were amazing and beautiful. I was walking around and took photos from different angles until I saw this waterhole which reflected the sunset and the rock on the right hand side. I was so happy and excited to be able to capture that moment.

This photo is still one of my favourites and I am happy to share this with you in the half- half photo challenge.

New Zealand sunset
reflections of Karekare beach in New Zealand

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Half and Half.”

 

How to find yourself

Noosa beach

In the modern westernised world you can get pretty much everything done you need; you can buy already prepared meals, you can hire people to help you cleaning your home and fix your car, you can even hire a dog walker if you need to. Have you ever wondered how it is like if you had to do everything yourself?

I was raised in the East part of Germany (German Democratic Republic); you had to work out lots of the things you need yourself. We were not able to buy fresh fruits and vegetable unless you had your connections and you couldn’t just go and buy material for fixing up your home. We had to find your own way and improvise. My mum was growing our own fresh vegetables and fruits in the garden and cooked a beautiful tasty meal with it. My dad fixed the car and motobike or anything which needed to be repaired in the house. There was no way we had money to spend on others cleaning our house. Looking back I believe it helped me a lot to live my own life when I moved countries and had to stay on my own feet. I was never used to learn from my mum’s cooking, I wasn’t interested in it. Living on my own made me learn how to cook and now it is a hobby of mine.

Moving countries and living far away from your family makes you definitely stronger. You suddenly have to rely on yourself. Whoever has been through this knows what I am talking about. You will be amazed how suddenly you can cope on your own. Maybe you are about to make a decision to leave your family to live on your own in another country or you just would like to go for a holiday on your own but you are unsure how it will turn out? Go for it. You will develop skills you didn’t think you would be able to.  Being in that situation you will be forced to fend for yourself and to discover what really interest you as there is nobody who will influence you. Take control of areas you don’t feel comfortable with. Maybe you never knew how to cook but being on your own and not wanting to spend so much money you suddenly learn that it actually is not hard at all.

Gain confidence in yourself and your abilities. Take comfort in knowing that you can rely on yourself. It is an amazing feeling looking back and how far you have come and developed skills you haven’t even known before.

Get lost to find yourself

Noosa beach
Get lost to find yourself

Make time for things which make you happy

surfing

What do you do for your well-being?

Some people love to go shopping when they feel down and need a break. It makes you feel good and some people even use it as a ‘happiness’ therapy. Did you buy a cool new dress, a brand new fancy car or you are now an owner of the newest computer equipment? Did it make you happy? Maybe yes. You probably got excited but for how long did this feeling last? A few minutes, maybe an hour and tomorrow you realise you don’t need all this stuff and the same unhappy feeling is creeping in again?

No, don’t go shopping again. Material things don’t make you happy, you are just wasting money. Save your money and do something for your mind and body. Surely you have a hobby. For me it is dancing, excercising and being outdoors taking photographs. I know some people who don’t have a hobby which is hard for me to understand. I have too many hobbies and never get bored in my life. If you are one of them without a hobby, think about what you love doing, you might not even have thought about it. Anyways, the point is to do what brings excitement to your life and makes you happy.

Did I just hear – yes I would love to but I don’t have time? Make time! If it is something you really want to do, you will find the time slot in your schedule. If you still don’t find time, you probably don’t want it hard enough and are just looking for excuses. Leave work on time to meet friends or pursue your hobby. In fact it makes you more efficient at work because your brain needs a mental break.

Think about it – are you working to live or living to work?

Focus less on things you can buy but more on your mental well-being and do things you love doing.

surfing
Make time and do what you love doing

What does off season mean in Australia?

sunrise at the beach

What is off season in Sydney, Australia?

Off season to me is winter where temperatures are still very pleasant. The beaches are empty; literally nobody was out here early in the morning when I took the photo of the sunrise. Winter is very peaceful and quiet.

This is a HDR – photo (3 different exposures) taken in Cronulla, Sydney, Australia.

Enjoy your off-season.

sunrise at the beach
winter in Sydney – empty beaches in the morning

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Off-Season.”