2. san gerardo de dota / manuel antonio

destination: san gerardo de dota / manuel antonio, costa rica


a friend came to visit. and considering that san isidro doesn’t have much going for it, we decided to explore the country a bit.

san gerardo is near the los quetzales national park (doesn’t it just bug the shit out of you to see ‘the’ and ‘los’ used together? doesn’t mean i’m going to stop doing it), a tropical rainforest park famous for being home to the quetzal. the los quetzales national park is great for hiking and enjoying nature. manual antonio is also a national park that contains amazing beaches and lush jungle full of wildlife.

getting there:

for san gerardo, get on a bus in san jose headed towards san isidro. then tell the bus driver where you’re going, and he’ll drop you off by the side of the highway about three-quarters of the way there. no shit. we were lucky that a passing driver drove us down the winding, narrow road into the valley below, otherwise it would have been a long walk.

fun facts:

  • sloths are one of the fastest-moving animals on the planet when they fall out of trees.


i didn’t get any writing done these five days, but it was a welcome break from my frantic work pace up to that point. five days with lots of hiking, nature, and hanging out on beautiful, pristine beaches. it was a nice reminder to take time off now and then to smell the roses, and that life is about more than work.

haha, just kidding. i was anxious and panicky the entire time about not writing. personally, i’ve found that the closer i get to finishing a book, the more uptight and impatient i get, because i just want to get it done. not like a chore i want to get out of the way. more like i’ve been building a house a small piece (or a few page) at a time, and i just want to finish it to see the whole structure, to see if it will stand up on its own or not.


  • to see the elusive quetzal, you have to get up early, hike deep into the los quetzales national park, stay incredibly still, and then maybe, just maybe, you’ll catch a glimpse of one of these hard-to-find wonders. nah, just kidding. you could do that for months and probably still never see one of these fuckers. i don’t think they even really exist. just look up a picture on your phone if you have to.
  • buy pot off the beach at manual antonio. the pot in costa rica is actually pretty decent, if you can get past the fact that it looks like the shit you used to buy in high school what with all the stems and seeds. but if you need it for writing, or because you’re sick and tired of spending time with yourself (i fall into both categories!), then it’s nice to have some weed.

don’t run over these animals. seriously, running over an iguana is like seven years bad luck, and running over a kid is like three to five in a state pen