The Manuel Antonio National Park
May 6, 2018
It’d be a shame to visit Manuel Antonio and not visit the stunning Manuel Antonio National Park. It is one of the smallest national parks in the country, however, it is one of the most visited due to its large variety of flora and fauna. The park is only 683 hectares, and it contains various jungle hiking trails, a waterfall, and 4 white sand beaches perfect for cooling off and relaxing after a long day of exploring. Plus, at $16 per person to enter, it’s affordable and easy to have a day full of fun and education!
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.
A wonderful option for exploring the park more in depth is by doing a guided tour. We highly encourage this option, as the guides are incredibly knowledgeable and will educate you on Costa Rica wildlife and its conservation. They also have an extremely good eye! The guides will spot sloths, monkeys, and iguanas, but beyond that they will also find tiny tree frogs, crabs, caterpillars, bats, and more, all which are very difficult to spot with the naked eye. With their telescope you can easily see the animals up close, and the guides will even snap a photo for you through the lens, so you can look like a professional nature photographer to your friends back home… In fact, the photo used in our thumbnail was shot with an iPhone through the telescope lens!
Are you more into plants than you are animals? The rich diversity of vegetation in the park will give you lots to explore. Your guide will educate you on the flora, point out interesting features, and allow you to smell – and sometimes even taste – various species!
The park has many trails, including a handicap accessible trail. The trails lead through the jungle and ultimately end up at numerous white sand beaches that are perfectly nestled in coves, so they have minimal waves and are clean and beautiful. The tour of the park can take anywhere from 2-3 hours, and you can spend the rest of the day relaxing and catching some rays, or you can leave the park and head on to your next activity. If you’re in a hurry (although we don’t recommend you are), you can easily walk through the park in 15-30 minutes!
This is a day activity we strongly suggest, and one we are certain you will enjoy.
*Park hours are 7am-4pm, and the park is closed on Mondays