M: Good day sir or madam. We recently spent a week in Quepos and Manuel Antonio and we have reached a level of expertise that can only be described as extreme. Please consider our findings and compare them with your own.
- We stayed at a place called Hotel Malinche. You may or may not know La Malinche as the Nahua woman who betrayed Montezuma by becoming translator and lover to Hernan Cortés. The hotel was cheap and clean and they even folded our towels into the face of a traitorous woman.
- There is an electronics store in the middle of Quepos called El Verdugo, or The Executioner. Their logo is a muscular man with a black hood on who is known for busting prices, though we can only assume that his main job is still executing human beings.
- According to the guides in front of Manuel Antonio National Park, hiring a wildlife guide for $20 per person will enable you to see 80% more animalitos than you would otherwise see. This figure apparently doesn’t take into account that everyone else hired a guide and their job is to stand there pointing, and looking at someone else’s guide pointing is free. Also the fact that it is very difficult not to see a howler monkey that is howling at you.
- It’s a good idea to make sure your bus is going where you think it is going so that you don’t accidentally get on one heading, say, into the heart of darkness, which happens to have been ironically named La Immaculada.
- If you are looking for Hotel Sirena, tread lightly with your taxi driver because they may mishear you and take you to either Sirenas, which is a whorehouse, or Serena’s, which is a delightful restaurant. I guess, in retrospect, that the second one is less of a warning.
- If you are bored and want to get discouraged about the prospects of objectivity in human beings, read the online reviews of a hostel in Quepos called Wide Mouth Frog. Half of the ratings describe it as a utopian microcosm where one can form life-changing poolside friendships in a cozy, family-style atmosphere. The other half claim that it is a bed bug infested hellhole with employees that are not only cruel but that savor their cruelty in a weird, Notes From Underground kind of way.
Ultimately, we decided to avoid Wide Mouth Frog because its reviews sound a little too much like the side effects of Ambien. Regardless, Quepos is filled with friendly people and delicious, inexpensive food, and Manuel Antonio is extremely beautiful and filled with monkeys.
Overall, we give these two towns two golden thumbs up each, with plusses on the tips of the extended thumbs and a noteworthy fireworks display in the background, topped off with a disembodied avuncular voice chanting “Great Job” long after it has ceased to be relevant.