Manuel Antonio is one of Costa Rica’s top destination sites. Though it houses the smallest National Park in the country, the beautiful, untouched beaches, which border the rainforest, continue to draw visitors from all over the world. This guide will give you a list of all you need to know while exploring the majestic land of Manuel Antonio.
Located in the Central Pacific region, between the charming city of Quepos and the protected Manuel Antonio National Park, lies the small town of Manuel Antonio. The town stretches about 6 km, with most attractions located along the main road. You’ll find a variety of accommodations, from five-star luxury resorts to shoestring budget backpacker hostels, and bars and restaurants serving everything from local cuisine to falafel, burgers, and seafood.
Visitors flock to Manuel Antonio not only for the beautiful beaches, but also for the variety of wildlife you’ll be sure to spot during your visit. From white-faced capuchin and titi monkeys to free roaming lizards, scarlet macaws, toucans, and even sloths, you’ll be greeted by nature at every turn.
Manuel Antonio National Park. Manuel Antonio National Park consists of 680 hectares crossed with easy hiking trails throughout. One path leads to the private beaches exclusive to park goers, while the other leads to the Manuel Antonio waterfall. There are over 100 species of mammals and almost 20 distinct species of birds. Through the park you will see a number of white-faced capuchin monkeys, lizards and coatis. For more variety, make sure to hire a guide who will provide compact binoculars for the wildlife in the thick jungle.
Rafting. Surrounding Manuel Antonio are two rapid sections and a river for all-level rafters. Savegre River for Class II and III rafters, Naranjo River for Class III and IV, and “El Chorro” for Class IV.
Surfing. Surf breaks are easily found up and down Manuel Antonio beach. Lessons for beginner, intermediate, or advanced students can bring you to exclusive beaches in the area.
Hiking Trek the trail along the Manuel Antonio coastline through 5 miles of steep rolling hills, monkeys, and secluded beaches.
To maximize your beach and sun time, visit during the dry season from December-April. The temperatures are hot, humid, and sunny. That being said, the waterfall in the Manuel Antonio National Park will probably be dry. So, if that’s on your list, try to visit when rainy season is ending in December.