July 18, 2018
The Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the most popular attractions in Costa Rica and it hosts hundreds of tourists every day. If you’re considering visiting the park there are several options for your tour, and we know that can be a little overwhelming! We are here to break down your options so you can make an informed decision on the best choice for you and your family.
First, you can choose to walk through the park by yourself, or you can hire a guide to help you spot wildlife and to educate you on the area. Your guide can either do a private tour, or you can join a small group tour. If you choose to hire a guide, this can easily be arranged by your concierge, or you are welcome to find a guide on your own via the national park website, referral, or other platform.
We recommend hiring a guide for your first tour as you will see and learn more than without one. Each guide carries a state-of-the-art telescope so when wildlife is spotted they can get you a clear view! They’re also trained professionals at finding wildlife that is easily missed by an untrained eye. Interested in seeing a sleeping bat, a baby lizard, or a hardworking caterpillar? Your guide can spot it all and give you a front row seat to the action.
If you’re not interested in hiring a guide you can still enjoy the park without one. It’s still likely that you’ll see monkeys, lizards, sloths, and other wildlife during your hike. You can enjoy the park’s gorgeous surroundings and your walk will end at three stunning beaches that are exclusive to park goers, so be sure to wear your suit and pack a beach towel!
Whether or not you hire a guide, your concierge can arrange transportation to the park for you. Your transportation will drop you off at the ticket booth right at the entrance of the park. However, if you choose to drive your own car or take the bus, we warn you that the process may be a little more chaotic and overwhelming. Expect to see many “officials” in bright vests and caps signaling for you to park in specific areas or purchase tickets from them. While they may look official, know that they are not official park attendants. You can simply tell them “no thank you” and follow the signs and crowds to the parking area and ticket booth. If at any time you feel harassed by someone claiming to work for the park, it’s likely they don’t, so same rules apply!
A few additional things to remember:
- They do not sell anything inside the park. Sodas and waters are permitted (no alcoholic drinks), and you may bring packed sandwiches or pre-cut fruit. This is to keep the impact on the environment as low as possible.
- Bring sunscreen, as well as your swim suit and towel if you plan to stay at the beach.
- The entrance fee is $16 for everyone 12 years of age and older; children 11 and younger are free. Cash or Visa cards are accepted.
- The park closed on Mondays and is open from 7AM – 4PM every other day.
Any other questions? Your concierge can help you with anything you need! We hope you have a wonderful visit to the beautiful Manuel Antonio National Park.