With the establishment of Manuel Antonio National Park in 1972, the people of Costa Rica decided to preserve, for future generations, one of the most beautiful and bio-diverse areas in the world. Although it is the country's smallest national park, the stunning beauty and diversity of wildlife in its 683 hectares is unequaled.
Standing with your feet dug into the sand and watching the waves crash against the rocks on either side of the lagoon, it is easy to believe that you are in paradise a thousand miles from anywhere.
Manuel Antonio is a true ecosystem surrounded by rain forest and lush mountains that literally meet the ocean. Its great popularity is well deserved as it is one of the richest natural places in Costa Rica to enjoy wild life. It is the home of the titi monkey (which is at risk of extinction), white faced monkeys, two and three toed sloths, lapas, colourful butterflies and a huge variety of birds.
Within the park there are more than one hundred different species of animals and over two hundred species of birds. There are several marked trails inside the park and they all lead back to a centre point. There is a map board in the park and there are guides that vie for your custom at the entrance. Expect to pay around $15 per person. You should be able to get a good discount for larger groups.
Take everything you need for the day with you. You cannot buy anything inside the park. Do not forget water or sun cream. Flip flops are not recommended but sandals are usually fine unless it is wet.
Get there early to avoid the heat and the masses. To walk every trail would take between 2 and 4 hours. Finish before midday and chose one of the stunning beaches to relax on for the afternoon.
The Manuel Antonio National Park entrance fee is US$10 per person. Children under are 12 free. Hours: 7am - 4pm. Closed on Monday.
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From Quepos it is a 7km dead end road to Manuel Antonio. In between is a very steep hill that is long and dangerous to walk, especially at night. Please make sure you know where you are going first (every place along this road claims to be in Manuel Antonio) and always take transport.
To service the ever increasing number of tourists as you would expect there are a very large number of hotels, restaurants, bars, casinos etc., the so called Manuel Antonio Village, all spread out along this road. Ask our receptionist where to go and when.
After dropping down from the mountain road back to sea level again you will find there are several restaurants and bars actually in Manuel Antonio itself right on the beach. Expect to pay a premium here for your proximity to the beach and the park.
Buses run from Quepos to Manuel Antonio every 20 minutes all day, take 15 mins and cost around 35 cents. Taxis cost around $5.
Manuel Antonio Map