Posted: 9/6/2018 | September 6th, 2018
Years later, I returned to the scene of the crime: Costa Rica. It was in that country that I first fell victim to the travel bug, a disease that would infect me for the rest of my life and lead me to where I am today. There was no place I was more excited about revisiting than Manuel Antonio National Park. Its wild jungles, deserted beaches, and bountiful animal life was the highlight of my first visit and I couldn’t wait to relive it all in this seaside town.
But then wonder turned to horror.
The quiet road to town was lined with endless fancy resorts. Hotels lined the park’s edge. Tour groups cluttered the once peaceful park. They fed the wildlife. They littered. The abundant troops of monkeys had vanished. So had the colorful land crabs. No deer roamed. And the beaches were a sea of bodies.
It was my first experience with seeing a destination shift into “overtourism.