Encounter Manuel Antonio

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The Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the most popular in Costa Rica and the nearby village of the same name is a great base from which to explore it.

The white sand beaches of Manuel Antonio’s perfect bays are bordered by lush green forests and lapped by the deep blue Pacific. It is no surprise then that the region is a trendy place to visit.

But back to the real reason for visiting Manuel Antonio… nature! In the forested National Park, you will find sloths, iguanas, and the rare squirrel monkey. There is a flurry of sea life in the pristine waters around the perfect bays, from dolphins, stingrays, and sea turtles to migrating whales and thousands of brightly colored tropical fish.


The fantastic beaches are what really draw people. The two most popular beaches, Espadilla and Manuel Antonio are separated by a narrow strip of land that stretches out from the mainland to the beautiful Punta Catedral with its dramatic wooded cliffs.

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Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio contains a charming combination of rain forest, beaches, and coral reefs. These beaches are said to be the most beautiful in the country, lined with lush forest; the snorkeling is excellent. The forest is home to sloths, iguanas, the rare and adorable squirrel monkeys, white face monkeys, and millions of colorful little crabs. The trail that winds around Punta Catedral features some spectacular views.

Rafting and Zip-lining

Rafting is a real daytime adventure for the entire family offers picturesque views of reforestation projects, small villages, rivers, and jungle vegetation. Class II rapids full of bends and excitement all year round. Ziplining is also an adventure flying above the jungle floor, through high trees of primary and secondary woodland filled with titi monkeys, two or three-toed slots, dart poison frogs, and iguanas and touches.

Tropical Snorkeling

The sea is renowned for its reefs and calm waters on Manuel Antonio National National Park, perfect for snorkeling. Giant schools of tropical fish are visited by snorkelers who are taking the dive. The shiny, neon-colored parrotfish is perhaps the most talked-about underwater surprise, which plays an essential role in the coral ecosystem, nibbling on the reef.

Sunsets and Margaritas

Happy hour is almost everywhere between 04:00 and 06:00 p.m. Enjoy tropical drinks such as piña colada or rum and coke from your beach lounge chair or head out to a lounge bar like Agua Azul, El Avion or the brand new Marina Pez Vela in Quepos for great sunset views and those sunset margaritas.

Mangrove Kayaking

Discover the wonders of the mangroves , facing Damascus’s island, and paddle under a green forest canopy along gentle currents to spot countless birds, snakes, anteaters, and monkeys. Your guide will include an account of the natural specimens found in this unusual area while watching this rich ecosystem in silence.

Sunset Sailing

Sailing off the Quepos Wharf around the coast chasing dolphins, stingrays, sea turtles and migrating whales if you’re lucky and in season. Visit a handful of islands as we sail off-coast near a lovely beach called Bizans, where snorkeling equipment will be required for a pleasant underwasser experience.

destination map

Title Address Description
San José
San José, Costa RicaSprawling and chaotic at first sight, San José is nonetheless a vibrant capital with plenty to see and do. There are still pockets of colonial gems around San José and some very fine museums and green spaces, as well as a lively cultural life.Read more…
Manuel Antonio
Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Provincia de Puntarenas, Quepos, Costa RicaIn the Manuel Antonio National Park you’ll find sloths, iguanas and the rare squirrel monkey among many other species. In the pristine waters around the perfect bays there is a flurry of marine life from dolphins and turtles to whales and colorful tropical fish.Read more…
Arenal & La Fortuna
Volcán Arenal, Provincia de Alajuela, San Carlos, Costa RicaThe presence of the impressive Arenal Volcano is everywhere. Whether strolling around La Fortuna village, canopy rappelling in the forest, boating along Lake Arenal, horseback riding or hiking the countryside…adventure lies around every corner.Read more…
Provincia de Puntarenas, Monteverde, Costa RicaHome to Costa Rica’s most stunning and pristine Cloud Forest where you can find birds, monkeys and people (zip-lining of course) flying through the trees! There are plenty of adventures from the Sky Walk to horseback riding and hiking.Read more…
Tortuguero, Limón, Costa RicaOn Costa Rica’s northern Caribbean Coast,, Tortuguero is a water world made up of canals, lagoons, streams and dense rainforest. Known as the ‘Land of Turtles’, Tortuguero is one of the world’s most important turtle nesting sites!
Read more…
Puerto Viejo
Limón, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa RicaThe laid-back pace of this Caribbean beach town is bound to win you over. Here you’ll get a taste of Costa Rica’s Creole culture and enjoy the adventures of the nearby Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Reserve as well as relaxing in its calm Caribbean waters. Read more…
Provincia de Guanacaste, Tamarindo, Costa RicaThis once small, unassuming fishing village on the Pacific Coast has become the center of Costa Rica’s high-end beach scene. Tamarindo offers designer shopping, incredible restaurants and plenty of nightlife for those seeking a not so quiet beach setting.
Nicoya Peninsula
Península de Nicoya, Costa RicaJutting out out into the Pacific, this tropical peninsula is a mountainous and sparsely populated area with an abundance of wildlife. The stunning coastline is dramatic and unspoiled with long stretches of sandy beaches backed by jungle.Read more…
Rincon de la Vieja
Volcan Rincon de la Vieja, Provincia de Guanacaste, Costa RicaThere are many ways to experience the area ranging from hiking, rappelling, rock-climbing and canopying to relaxing horseback rides and soaking in the volcanic hot springs flowing from the mountain – one of the major draws of the region.Read more…
Central Highlands
Cordillera Central, San José, Costa RicaThis region has some of the highest mountains in Costa Rica with cool, misty cloud forests and rushing rivers. It runs from Nicaragua to Panama and separates Costa Rica’s Caribbean and Pacific Coasts, creating two very different climatic regions. Read more…
Osa Peninsula
Peninsula de Osa, Provincia de Puntarenas, Costa RicaThe Osa Peninsula is an untouched natural wonderland with wildlife-filled rainforests and palm-backed Pacific beaches. Visit the Osa Peninsula’s Corcovado National Park where almost one-tenth of all the mammals found in the Americas live! Read more…
Heredia, Sarapiquí, Costa RicaPuerto Viejo de Sarapiqui in the lush Caribbean lowlands is known for its natural environment filled with tropical flora, and for the broad Sarapiqui River that flows through it. Read more…

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Best times to
visit Manuel Antonio

One of the best times to visit Manuel Antonio National Park is during the dry season (January-April), though it does get quite hot towards the end of the season and is busy throughout. The rainy season, or ‘green season’ as it is sometimes called, falls from May to December. This is an excellent time to visit the park as there are fewer visitors and you won’t have trouble getting in. Manuel Antonio has become a trendy destination, so the 600 per day visitor limit (800 on Saturdays and Sundays) is very often reached during high season.

practical information


Manuel Antonio can be reached from San Jose by plane, via the airport located 5 minutes outside of Quepos. Sansa runs several flights a day between Quepos and San Jose, while Nature Air has two flights a day between San Jose (Pavas) and Quepos. Several shuttle bus companies have daily routes that can take you from San Jose and many other cities in Costa Rica to Manuel Antonio.


Quepos is a tiny fishing town with parallel streets running through the center; most routes in Manuel Antonio wind up ending at the public beach. It makes it easy and incredibly easy to navigate your way around these two destinations. Manuel Antonio village is linked to the city of Quepos by local buses and shared taxis.


Manuel Antonio does not lack hostels, resorts, apartments, and a range of hotel options. You have several 5-star oceanview resorts to choose from whether you are here for a romantic getaway or a luxurious holiday. Likewise, budgets and medium-sized choices and hostels are plentiful. Quepos is a tiny fishing town with parallel streets running through the center; most routes in Manuel Antonio wind up ending at the public beach. It makes it easy and incredibly easy to navigate your way around these two destinations. Manuel Antonio village is linked to the city of Quepos by local buses and shared taxis.

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