Liming the days away as landlubbers is hard for us. We miss the water, we miss the motion of the ocean, and we miss our home. As we try to resolve our lightning strike claim, we wait…and wait. So, we try to pass the time with hikes like Reto Mae Hike.
One Sunday, Matt and I decided to go on a exploration. We had a general idea of where we wanted to end up but we weren’t sure how to get there. We walked into town, behind the marina to a beautiful little park. Don’t you love the free gym / exercise equipment?
We knew there was a trail that led to the beaches, but we did not know what it was called. Later, found ourselves on the Reto MAE Hike. We did not plan to take this hike, but we stumbled upon it and it seemed to go in the direction of the beach.
History of Reto MAE Hike
A couple of years ago, Manuel Antonio introduced a new extreme race to Costa Rica: The Reto MAE. The acronym ‘MAE’ stands for ‘Manuel Antonio Extreme’, and it quickly rose to become one of the country’s most challenging races.
The Retro MAE Hike is a 10-kilometer trail that winds along the dramatic coastline between Quepos and Manuel Antonio national park, snaking through the rain forest, over bluffs, along cliffs, and visiting seven beaches along the way
The hikers start the Reto Mae hike in Manuel Antonio and end up at the marina. However, our route was the exact opposite as we started at the marina and ended up somewhere in Manuel Antonio.
The trail started on a small, single, dirt path and we quickly came upon a fallen tree that we scurried over. Along the path we found some guides. These two dogs stayed with us for several miles.
It was a lovely trail, albeit a bit muddy since it had rained a lot the night before. Everything was green and glistening. The trail had several overlooks to beaches below, but we could not find the paths down.
We continued on and caught the trail after losing it – we came to a river crossing and debated whether or not the trail crossed the river or went around it. We went around the river to look for the trail as opposed to getting wet. Later found out that we should have gone through the river.
Ronnie’s Place for a Reward:
We ended up at Ronnie’s Place and ordered a beer and Fresca. The beverages were expensive, but they had a “captured” market.
Several of the trees were shedding bark. I had never seen anything like it, so beautiful. See above photo.
We were exhausted. Even though we wanted to make it to Playa Biesanz we were going to have to do it another day.
Return to Reto MAE a Few Weeks Later:
Fast forward, we decided to try to make it all the way to Playa Biesanz. We tried to do the Reto Mae hike and take it across the river this time.
These crazy beach goers were blocking our trail.
Shoe Surgery On the Run
We were able to go around them and continued up the hill, down a muddy path and POW – my flip flop exploded. Bummer. Luckily, we had some line with us so Matt was able to give me a temporary fix and we continued on.
We were not heading in the right direction, so we hopped off the cow path and headed up hill across the grassy field. It led to a tall barb wire fence that stopped us cold. We walked along the fence until we came upon an “opening” that we squeezed through.
Now, we are on a decent dirt trail, continuing up only to encounter a huge security fence with a young lady on the other side. I decided the friendly route was the way to go. We weren’t sure who was on the public side.
We discovered we were on private property owned by a rancher which explained the cows. There was a small opening under the fence, that we belly crawled through. We are now covered in dirt, mud, and leaves. But we carried on through a pretty resort called Tulemar Resort.
We cooled off for a bit, before hitting Howard trail where we encountered a small waterfall. Sweet, a quick opportunity to clean up and cool off.
The wildlife came out to greet us – we found an Agouti which is a cross between a rabbit and a squirrel and a few monkeys.
We hiked up and down hills, through fields, rivers, beaches, over trees and rocks, and under fences. We finally made it to Manuel Antonio, but the elusive Playa Biesanz is still calling us – so maybe another time. Our health app logged 5.2 miles and 144 flights!
Cold Beer, Pizza, and this Amazing View
We stopped for lunch at La Lambretta, mostly for the view, cold beverage and pizza. They had a local IPA called Grizzly and Matt said it was the best IPA he has had all year. I think it is the only one he has had, but either way he was happy.
Reto Mae Hike
We will have to come back to explore the beaches further, perhaps with a better map? Or perhaps we will wonder again just to see if we can get lost.