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.
JUNGLE TRAILS MEET TROPICAL BEACH PARADISE
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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WHAT NOT TO MISS IN
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.
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.
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.
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.
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|Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Provincia de Puntarenas, Quepos, Costa Rica
|In 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
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|Provincia de Puntarenas, Monteverde, Costa Rica
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|Tortuguero, Limón, Costa Rica
|On 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!
|Limón, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica
|The 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 Rica
|This 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.
|Península de Nicoya, Costa Rica
|Jutting 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 Rica
|There 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…
|Cordillera Central, San José, Costa Rica
|This 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…
|Peninsula de Osa, Provincia de Puntarenas, Costa Rica
|The 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 Rica
|Puerto 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…
Depending on your client’s preferences, we can help you determine the best experiences tailored for your clients. From where to visit, when to go, what to do and how to get there safely, our travel experts will help you create an experience your clients will love.
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.
HOW TO GET THERE
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.
WHERE TO STAY
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.
More highlights of Costa Rica
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