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.

 

see http://www.photographybyalexk.com
The great Kiskadee is one of the tyrant flycatchers which can be between 21 to 27cm in length.

 

see http://www.photographybyalexk.com
Without the tour guide in the Manuel Antonio National Park, I would not have been able to spot this caterpillar.

 

see http://www.photographybyalexk.com
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.

 

see http://www.photographybyalexk.com
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.

 

see http://www.photographybyalexk.com
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.

Live in the now

Live in the here and now. Do not postpone your goals and things you love doing for later. It might be too late. Pursue your goals now, make a decision, commit and you will find a way and time to pursue your goals. Life is too short. Never postpone pursuing happiness for the future. Start now and you will see once your mindset shifted, everything will just fall into its place.

Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present. – Jim Rohn –

tulips in spring
tulips in spring

The way to happiness

rain drops

Don’t we always worry to much about what could happen. Stop right there. Some things are just out of our control and we cannot change it. It might not meant to be that way and this is fine because something better is waiting for us.

Let’s stop worrying about things we cannot control as it doesn’t get us anywhere. Worry less and expect the unexpected. Whatever happens, happens for a reason. Deal with your worries when it actually happens which might not ever be the case.

Worrying can make you sick and depressive. If a situation doesn’t turn out the way you thought it would be, make the best out of it. It is not always sunshine but you can still have a great day. You never know but you might discover things you wouldn’t have thought of it in the beginning.

Stop worrying and live in the moment.

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will” – Epictetus

rain drops
water drops

Be happy and see the good in everything

orchid in Black and white

I took this photo of an orchid in the rainforest in Costa Rica when it was raining all day. I could have been annoyed about the rain and unhappy about my trip but instead I was talking to myself – ‘well, there is a good in everything, you just need to look for it’. So I went out and took photos of the flowers. The freshly-laid raindrops added some additional sparkle and glimmer to the orchids. Now I was happy to be in the rain.

When reflecting on that, not everything in life is always positive but if we look closely we can see the good things. I believe everything happens for a reason. Sometimes we were meant to learn a lesson which leads us to a better path in life.

Be happy …not because everything is good, but because you can see the good in everything.

orchid in Black and white
the magic orchid in the rain

Being happy when skies are grey

Flower in the rainforest

Even though skies can be grey on a rainy day, there is always beauty around us if you open your eyes.

I travelled to Costa Rica and stayed in an eco lodge (Hotel Quelitales) near Cartago last year in December. Unfortunately when I was there it was raining all day. This hotel is located in the rainforest. It is a really nice place and the chef cooks fantastic fresh food from the garden.

When the rain stopped for a while I immediately took my camera to take some photos of the colourful flowers. I love the fresh look of flowers when raindrops are sitting on the petals which highlight the vibrant colours. Even though the sky was grey you could see the beauty in nature.

When reflecting on that – Life is not always sunshine but when you look deeper you can see the positive things in life and move on.

Life can be amazing and colourful when skies are grey

 

Flower in the rainforest
walking through the rain forest in Costa Rica is paradise for flower lovers

The power of positive thinking

orchid in the rain

Nowadays everybody talks about positive thinking but what are the benefits of it and what does it really mean. How do you think positively? Can you just press the button and there you go? Well, it is not that simple.

A positive mindset focusses on the bright side in life. People who are positive, seem to have more energy and attract a lot of other positive people around them; they are optimistic. On the other hand there are negative thinking or pessimistic people. They are mostly perceived as being toxic and people stay away from them. Have you ever been in a situation where you had a great and happy day until you catch up with your ‘negative’ friend. After that you go home feeling depressed?

Having a positive mindset is very powerful and has a great impact on our health:

It reduces stress. We all know that stress makes us sick, so being positive improves our health.  We are dealing with stress situation in  a more effective way. We are staying focussed and positive about an outcome which helps us in dealing with it in a calm manner.

When being positive our voice becomes more powerful and our body language shows the way we feel.

Positive people get more physical activity, such as exercising or dancing, they follow a healthier diet, don’t smoke or drink alcohol in excess. Some health benefits could be connected to them:

  • people with a positive mind live longer
  • they are unlikely to suffer from depression
  • they show lower levels of distress
  • having greater resistance to the common cold
  • better psychological and physical well-being
  • reduced risk of getting cardiovascular disease
  • coping better during hardships and stressful times

Positive minds are attracting positive things in life. It seems that everything is just flowing without greater effort.

What actually does it mean to be positive, what exactly do we have to do:

  • It starts with our self-talk. How many times do we realise that we stop believing in ourselves and started the doubt talk…”oh I am sure I won’t be able to achieve that…they don’t want me…’I am not good enough….etc”. I am sure we all do sometimes. That’s were we need to step in. Believe in yourself. You can do and achieve everything you put your mindset to. In order to start the positive self talk, use positive words such as I can do it; I will do it, there is an opportunity and get rid of ‘no’, ‘not’, ‘cannot’ etc.
  • Believing in everything happens for a reason: Sometimes things happen in our life which makes us feel unsettled and upset. Once you start believing in ‘everything happens for a reason’ you will see it from a positive point of view. You might not find out immediately what the reason was but in the end you will. Don’t get too upset and instead look at the bride side. Maybe it was not meant to be. For example in case you lost your job due to redundancies in your firm it could have been a good thing for you. Maybe you didn’t like that job anyways and you would have stayed there forever being unhappy because you are afraid of changes. Sometimes we need that push from the outside in order to follow our real purpose in life and finding happiness.
  • Having a sense of humour helps. Instead of getting mad at certain situations, it is good to laugh about it. That way we create positivity and it might not be as bad anymore. Sure we all have been in situations where you wait at the airport and the plane is getting delayed for hours. It might be annoying at that stage but once you have a laugh about it you feel better. When I was in South America I experienced it quite frequently. However, we started joking about it, laughed and felt good. Have a cup of coffee and chill out.
  • Exercising increases the level of endorphins in your body which leaves you with a happy feeling.
  • Listen to your favourite music and sing (if you are like me and you cannot sing then only sing where nobody can hear you:))
  • Surround yourself with positive people. Stay away from negative, toxic friends.

Positive minds attract good things. Nevertheless you still might have to encounter unpleasant situations in your life but the way how you deal with it makes the difference. With a positive approach you see the good in everything, you learn your  lessons in life, improve and move on.

Remember after rain is always sunshine and where there is a dark side there is always a bright side. You just need to open your eyes.

Always look on the bright side.

orchid in the rain
Even in the dark you can see the light