Costa Rica is an incredible travel destination, and there are enough activities to entertain the adventuresome traveler for years! So when you only have a little bit of time, you definitely need to know what you want to do before you go! On Costa Rica’s western coast is a city called Quepos. It is an adorable little town that is authentic enough to be absolutely delightful while being Americanized enough to be easy to navigate. There are tons of fun shops and delicious restaurants in Quepos. Right next to Quepos is the Manuel Antonio National Park. It is actually one of the best national parks in all of Central America.
So if you love hiking, looking at wildlife, and hanging out on the beach, the Manuel Antonio National Park is the place to go! There is a ton of local wildlife, and you can see a lot of it in the park, but not all of it. There are actually dolphins and whales right in Quepos, and I really wanted to see them, so we decided to take a Planet Dolphin Cruise.
What to Expect
There are different kinds of cruises available, but we did the Planet Dolphin Cruise’s sunset tour. You get on a nice and comfortable catamaran that holds about forty people. The boat takes you of a tour to the islands off the shore and up and down the coastline a little bit. At first, we didn’t see anything, so I thought I was going to get bored. Every once in awhile they take a tour out that does not see any dolphins. But then just seeing the view up and down the coast ended up being incredible! The coastline had all these pretty rock formations along the edge of the water that you obviously cannot see from just any old beach. It was just so pretty! After I got home, I read online that Costa Rica has some of the prettiest coasts in the world! I did not expect that!
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As we went, though, a pod of dolphins caught up with us and we got to watch them play in the wake the boat was making. There were some younger kids on the boat who were in love with the dolphins; it was fun to watch them, too. Finally, we got to a spot where the snorkeling was supposed to be good, and so you could dive off the side of the catamaran if you wanted to and go swimming. I did not do it, but the other people who did said they saw some really cool fish.
Finally, the sun started to set and we just got to relax and watch it go down! They actually feed you, too, so we enjoyed fruit, grilled fish skewers, pasta salad, and drinks as we watched the sun melt into the ocean. All in all a really great experience, and I would recommend doing a Planet Dolphin Cruise to anyone!
Tips for Visiting
If you are going to go, here are a couple of tips to make it even more fun for you! I do not like snorkeling, so I had not intended to go. I did not wearing a swimming suit on the cruise, but I wish I had worn just because I was pretty warm from the sun by then. If I had to do it again I definitely would have at least hopped in the ocean. And don’t forget your towel for when you are done snorkeling!
And finally, do not expect to see everything! Planet Dolphin Cruises advertise that you can see dolphins, whales, and sea turtles, but seeing a sea turtle or a whale is more rare than seeing dolphins. Some people were really disappointed that we did not see the whales and turtles, but it is a real life tour! It’s not like you are at a zoo. These are wild animals! So you can’t expect them to just always be hanging around for tourists to spot them.