Can't decide if you want to spend your Costa Rican vacation exploring the magical flora and fauna of the rainforest or relaxing on pristine white sand beaches? Manuel Antonio has it all, so you don't have to choose.
Located in the Central Pacific region of Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio is a hot spot for vacationers due to its diverse and enchanting landscape. Tucked into the misty mountains along the Pacific Ocean, this district has something for everyone from the beach bum to the thrill seeker.
Though the smallest national park in Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio National Park is celebrated as one of the most beautiful parks in the world. Its spectacular beaches are excellent for sunbathing, surfing, snorkeling, and swimming - as well as taking a stroll along the unique land bridge between Playa Espadilla Sur and Playa Manuel Antonio. The dazzling turquoise waters will be calling your name.
Manuel Antonio’s jungles are teeming with fascinating wildlife, from the white-faced capuchin monkeys to the iconic scarlet macaws. As you trek along the Manuel Antonio Park Tour, you’ll be delighted to encounter some of the 109 species of mammal and 184 types of bird found throughout the park.
Near Damas Island, a swampy mangrove forest provides an eerily beautiful perspective of Manuel Antonio. Take a boat ride among the tropical trees and flowers to set your eyes on the sleepy sloths of the forest. Your guide can even point out skittering basilisk lizards and powerful boa constrictors amidst the rainforest plants. And you’ll never forget the soft yet curious touch of a capuchin monkey swinging onto your boat and climbing onto your head!
Adventure seekers will also be right at home partaking in Class III, IV, or V whitewater rafting. Experience the famous “Devil’s Mouth” of the Savegre River as you float by the lush forest with an in-water view. If you’re even more daring, paddle through El Chorro past lofty waterfalls and formidable rocky cliffs. Or pair a half-day rafting trip with a cruise around the one-of-a-kind landscape on an exhilarating ATV tour.
To get the absolute most thrill out of a stay in Manuel Antonio, Adventure Tours’ 10 in 1 Canyoning and Rappelling Adventure offers it all. Ziplining through the rainforest canopy will give you a view of the jungle that is breathtaking in more ways than one! Waterfalls and canyons await adventurers who want to add a bit of challenge to their day. Swimsuits are a must when you round out the adventure with a go on the Waterfall Tarzan Swing, dropping you into the refreshing river pool below.
Whether you are looking for a hearty meal or a snack and drink for happy hour, Costa Rican fare is at its finest among the matchless restaurants and cafes in Manuel Antonio. Many boast open-air seating and a laid back atmosphere, welcoming tourists to indulge in both delicious bites and the surrounding beauty of nature.
The city is located near some of the best fishing grounds in the world, so make sure you complete your Costa Rica adventure with the catch of the day as you take in the surreal views of the Pacific Ocean from your table. You’ll definitely be in vacation paradise sipping a tropical drink at a local bar, listening to local musicians play live music, and treating yourself to a coconut flan for dessert.
Whether you desire a laid-back beach getaway or a trip full of new sights and thrilling adventures, Manuel Antonio is a destination that will fulfill your every dream.
Per Person (2 person minimum)
Per Person (2 person minimum)
Per Person (minimum 2 people)
The park is closed every Tuesday for maintenance, but outside of that, there isn't a specific best day of the week to visit. Since most tourists who visit the park are on vacation, we’ve found that each day of the week is about the same when it comes to park volume. Regardless of the day you choose, keep in mind that early morning visits tend to offer a better chance of spotting wildlife as animals are most active during the morning hours.
Whale sharks can occasionally be spotted near Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. While not a common occurrence, there have been reported sightings of whale sharks in the waters off the coast. As the largest shark, these docile creatures are impressive to behold and completely harmless to humans. That said, their presence in the area is rare at best, and you are not likely to see one during your visit to Manuel Antonio.
People visit Manuel Antonio National Park for several reasons. The park is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, featuring picturesque beaches, dense rainforests, and diverse wildlife. Visitors come to enjoy activities such as hiking the park's trails, relaxing on the pristine beaches, and observing animals like monkeys, sloths, and exotic birds in their natural habitat.
No, you are not allowed to take food into Manuel Antonio National Park. This is to prevent wildlife encounters and to maintain the park's cleanliness and natural balance. It is important to respect the park's regulations and dispose of any trash properly to ensure the preservation of the park's ecosystem.
Crocodiles can be seen in the Tarcoles River, which is about 1.75 hours north of Manuel Antonio. The Tarcoles River is known for its large population of American crocodiles, and there are boat tours available for visitors to safely observe these impressive reptiles in their natural habitat. While crocodile sightings within Manuel Antonio National Park are virtually non-existent, the Tarcoles River offers a reliable opportunity to see them up close during your stay. Depending on the route you take, you will very likely pass by the Rio Tarcoles on your way to Manuel Antonio from SJO airport. If you have some time to spare, scheduling a crocodile tour on your way to or from Manuel Antonio can be a perfect way to break up the drive.
In Manuel Antonio National Park, you can see a variety of animals, including monkeys, sloths, iguanas, toucans, parrots, coatis, and various species of birds and butterflies. The park is rich in biodiversity.
Yes, you can see sloths in Manuel Antonio National Park. The park is home to both two-toed and three-toed sloths, making it a great place to spot these slow-moving and adorable creatures. Keep a keen eye on the treetops and branches while exploring the park's trails, as sloths are known for their ability to blend in with their surroundings. It's an exciting opportunity to witness these unique and fascinating animals in their natural habitat.
Known for its stunning beauty, pristine beaches, verdant tropical rainforest, Manuel Antonio National Park is beyond special. The park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including monkeys, sloths, toucans, and several exotic and rare species of flora and fauna. Visitors can enjoy hiking trails that lead to hidden waterfalls and scenic coastal viewpoints, making a day at the park an immersive natural experience filled with lush greenery and biodiversity. [View Full Blog Post]
When visiting Manuel Antonio National Park, wear comfortable and breathable clothing suitable for the tropical climate. Opt for lightweight and quick-drying materials, such as shorts, t-shirts, or tank tops. Wear sturdy sneakers or hiking shoes, as some trails can be uneven. Don't forget to bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun. If you’re visiting the park during the rainy season, a light rain jacket or poncho can help keep you dry.
Hiking shoes are recommended. The park features several trails that can be uneven, with rocks, roots, and muddy sections. Hiking shoes provide better traction and support, making your hike more comfortable and safer. If you don't have hiking shoes, sturdy athletic shoes with good grip can also work. It's important to choose footwear that you find comfortable and that is appropriate for the terrain.
Yes, there is good snorkeling in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. With its clear waters and vibrant marine life, the area offers great opportunities for snorkeling.
Yes, there is a possibility of encountering jellyfish in the waters of Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. While not a common occurrence, jellyfish sightings can happen on occasion. If you do come across a jellyfish, maintain a safe distance to avoid stings.
Yes, you can swim in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. The area offers beautiful beaches with clear waters, making it a great place for swimming and water activities. [Read Full Blog Post]
Deciding between Manuel Antonio and Tortuguero depends on your preferences. Manuel Antonio offers pristine beaches, lush jungles, and abundant wildlife, including monkeys and sloths. It is known for its stunning natural beauty and outdoor activities. On the other hand, Tortuguero is famous for its turtle nesting sites and the opportunity to explore the unique canals and wetlands. Choose Manuel Antonio for beach and jungle experiences, or opt for Tortuguero to immerse yourself in a remote setting.
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica is known for its pristine beaches, lush rainforests, and abundant wildlife. The area is famous for Manuel Antonio National Park, which offers a stunning combination of diverse ecosystems, hiking trails, and the opportunity to see monkeys, sloths, and a wide array of bird species. With its beautiful landscapes and rich biodiversity, Manuel Antonio is a popular destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Yes, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica is definitely worth visiting. It is a picturesque destination known for its stunning beaches, lush rainforests, and abundant wildlife. The highlight of the area is Manuel Antonio National Park, which offers incredible hiking trails and the opportunity to spot monkeys, sloths, and various bird species. The area is also known for its thrilling outdoor activities like surfing, ocean kayaking, and ziplining. With its natural beauty, adventurous opportunities, and a range of accommodations and amenities, Manuel Antonio is a highly recommended destination for travelers.
Deciding between Tamarindo and Manuel Antonio depends on your preferences. Tamarindo offers a vibrant surf town atmosphere with a lively nightlife and bustling beaches. On the other hand, Manuel Antonio is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, including pristine beaches for river rafting and other water excursions, lush rainforests, and abundant wildlife, with a more relaxed and tranquil ambiance. Consider whether you prefer a more active and vibrant scene (Tamarindo) or a peaceful and nature-focused experience (Manuel Antonio) to make your decision.
Manuel Antonio is popular for its stunning natural beauty, pristine beaches, lush rainforests, and diverse wildlife, including monkeys, sloths, and colorful birds. The area is also home to Manuel Antonio National Park, which offers incredible hiking trails and scenic viewpoints. Manuel Antonio offers a range of outdoor activities like kayak snorkeling, ziplining and horseback tours. The town itself has a lively atmosphere with a variety of accommodations, restaurants, and bars that make Manuel Antonio a sought-after destination for travelers.
No, overnight stays are not permitted within Manuel Antonio National Park itself. However, there are numerous accommodations available just outside the park's boundaries. These range from luxurious resorts to budget-friendly hotels and vacation rentals. Staying nearby allows easy access to the national park and its stunning natural beauty.
When visiting Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, it is recommended to dress in lightweight and breathable clothing due to the tropical climate. Opt for loose-fitting attire such as shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, and sundresses. Don't forget to wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun. For the evenings, a light jacket or long sleeves should be sufficient for when temperatures cool down a bit. [View Full Blog Post]
The closest town to Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica is Quepos. It is located just a few kilometers away and is often considered the gateway to Manuel Antonio National Park. Quepos offers a variety of amenities, including accommodations, restaurants, shops, and markets, making it a convenient base for exploring the Manuel Antonio area and vice versa.
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica offers a decent nightlife scene, though it may not be as vibrant as some other popular tourist destinations. The area has a handful of bars, lounges, and clubs where you can enjoy live music, dance, and socialize.
Getting around Manuel Antonio is quite convenient. You can easily travel within the area by using taxis, which are readily available. Many visitors choose to rent a car, as it provides more flexibility and allows for easy exploration of the surrounding areas. Private transportation can also be arranged ahead of time, and is a great way to explore nearby towns and local attractions without a car rental.
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica can be considered relatively expensive compared to other destinations in the country as it offers plenty of high-end options for accommodations, dining and other activities. With that said, costs can vary depending on your preferences, and there are many excellent, budget-friendly options available in Manuel Antonio.
No, swimming with humpback whales is not permitted in Costa Rica. The country has regulations in place to protect the well-being of these magnificent creatures. However, you can still enjoy humpback whale watching tours or the Manuel Antonio Catamaran tour, where you may be able to observe these majestic animals in their natural habitat.
The whale tail, or Playa Uvita, is located in the Marino Ballena National Park in Costa Rica. This unique formation is a natural sandbar that appears to resemble the shape of a whale's tail. It can be found only about 1 hour south of Manuel Antonio, along the Pacific coast in the southern region of Costa Rica, near the town of Uvita.
Yes, whales can be seen in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. Humpback whales visit the area during their migration season, which occurs between December and April. During this time, whale watching tours are available to witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. Other tours that may provide opportunities for whale spotting include the Manuel Antonio Catamaran and Manuel Antonio Jet Ski tours.
Pilot whales are not commonly sighted in the waters of Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. While they may occasionally pass through the area, it is not a guaranteed sighting.
Spinner dolphins can be seen in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica throughout the year. The best time to spot them is during their feeding hours, which is usually early in the morning or late in the afternoon. They can be observed near the coastlines, particularly in the waters surrounding Manuel Antonio National Park.
Yes! There are monkeys in Manuel Antonio. The Damas Mangroves, which are located in Quepos about 15 minutes from Manuel Antonio is a wonderous natural habitat for thousands of white-faced Capuchin Monkeys. In addition, Manuel Antonio park is home to Capuchins, Howler Monkeys, Spider Monkeys and Squirrel Monkeys. [View Full Blog Post]
Manuel Antonio National Park is located on the central Pacific coast of Costa Rica, about 82 miles southwest of San Jose. It is situated in the province of Puntarenas, near the town of Quepos.
Monteverde is approximately 4 hours north/northeast of Manuel Antonio. The distance is approximately 114 miles between these two towns. The route to Monteverde does have mountainous roads along the way, so it is important to account for up to an hour of additional travel time in order to properly anticipate your arrival in Monteverde.
Approximately 188 miles separate Manuel Antonio from Tamarindo. Tamarindo is located in the Guanacaste province on the northern part of the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, while Manuel Antonio is located in the Puntarenas province on the central part of the Pacific coast. Driving time is approximately 5.5-6 hours between the two destinations, but factors like traffic, winding roads, and stopping to rest should be considered. A good rule of thumb while traveling between these two destinations is to anticipate an additional 1-2 hours of travel time in order to correctly anticipate your arrival.
Arenal Volcano is located near the town of La Fortuna in the Alajuela province of Costa Rica. The drive from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna is approximately 5-6 hours. With factors like mountainous roads, tolls, and traffic, a good rule of thumb is to anticipate an additional 30 minutes to one hour of travel time for the trip between these two locations. The total distance between Manuel Antonio and La Fortuna depends on the route taken, but the fastest route using Carr. Pacífica Fernández Oreamuno, Costanera Sur, Route 34 and Route 702 is approximately 136 miles.
As the smallest national park in Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio National Park covers an area of approximately 1983 ha or 4900 acres. Manuel Antonio is one of the most popular national parks in Costa Rica, known for its beautiful beaches, lush tropical forests, and abundant wildlife. It is home to a variety of plant and animal species, including monkeys, two and three toed sloths, coatis, toucans, and iguanas. In 2011, Forbes named Manuel Antonio among the top 12 most beautiful parks in the world. [View Full Blog Post]
While Manuel Antonio National Park is open to the public, arranging an organized tour ahead of time will truly enhance the experience. In addition to providing access to essential wildlife spotting equipment you might not otherwise have, one of the many benefits of visiting the park on a tour include accompaniment from a dedicated naturalist guide. Naturalist guides are highly educated and have expert knowledge of the trails, plants and animals inside the park. A guide can not only provide you with in depth information about the flora and fauna you see, they can answer your questions, tell interesting stories, and provide valuable insights. In the wild, animals can be difficult to spot if you are not familiar with where to look. A naturalist guide can show visitors how to navigate the park and spot animals hidden in the canopy. In addition, entrance tickets to the park are purchased in advance of your arrival when you take part in a park tour. This invaluable service can shave a considerable amount of time off of gaining entrance to the park. (View Full Blog Post)
Yes, you can surf in Manuel Antonio. The beach at Manuel Antonio is called Espadilla Beach. The waves at Espadilla are not always consistent and the beach can be crowded with swimmers, but beginners will generally find the southern end of the beach during high tide most suitable. Advanced surfers will find bigger waves and greater challenges on the northern end of the beach. It is important to note that Espadilla can have strong currents and undertows. Surfers should be aware of their surroundings and always take the necessary precautions. [View Full Blog Post]
Manuel Antonio and the surrounding areas are generally considered safe for tourists. Costa Rica is known for its friendly people and its commitment to eco-tourism, and the park is a major tourist attraction that is well-maintained and well-patrolled. The town of Manuel Antonio has an active police presence. We recommend using trusted transportation and accommodations, practice situational awareness and avoid displaying cash or wearing expensive jewelry while traveling. Vacationers will only need to take the usual safety precautions during their time in Manuel Antonio. [View Full Blog Post]
The number of days you should spend in Manuel Antonio National Park depends on how much time you have available and what you want to do during your visit. A minimum of two to three days is recommended to fully explore the park and the surrounding areas, but you can also spend more time if you want to relax and soak up the beautiful scenery or take part in more outdoor activities. [View Full Blog Post]
Manuel Antonio is a coastal town located on the central Pacific coast of Costa Rica in the province of Puntarenas. It is situated just south of the town of Quepos.
There are several transportation options for getting from SJO airport to Manuel Antonio. The fastest and most convenient option by far is a private transportation service. This method avoids the hassle of public transport and car rentals. Late model private transport vehicles are air-conditioned, comfortable, and provide bilingual professional drivers. A slightly cheaper method is to use a shared shuttle service. These shuttles usually leave at scheduled times each day and make stops at various hotels along the way, so you should expect a longer travel time. Renting a car is another option. You will also want to consider the distances you will be traveling, the difficulty of the drive, the cost of fuel, and any mandatory insurance you may be required to purchase before determining if a rental car is your best option.
The distance between San Jose International Airport (SJO) and Manuel Antonio is approximately 160 kilometers (99 miles) and it takes approximately 3 hours to travel by shuttle or car.
There are accommodation options available in Manuel Antonio Costa Rica ranging from economy to luxury, so travelers on any budget can find a place to stay during your vacation. Luxury resorts include Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort, Makanda by the Sea, and Hotel Parador Resort & Spa. Boutique hotels include Gaia Hotel & Reserve, Hotel La Mariposa, and Hotel California. Budget hotels include Hotel Villa Roca and Hotel Playa Espadilla. Backpackers will find hostels in the area, including Selina Manuel Antonio, Hostel Plinio, and Backpackers Manuel Antonio. In addition, vacation rental homes, condos and villas are also available in the area.
Manuel Antonio is a beautiful destination with plenty of activities to keep you busy. You can tour Manuel Antonio National Park, which boasts breathtaking beaches, hiking trails, and a variety of wildlife including sloths and monkeys. The area also provides opportunities to explore the lush rainforest canopy on a zipline tour or enjoy a morning or afternoon sunset sail on a catamaran. You can go kayaking, horseback riding or rappelling in Manuel Antonio. A nearby white-face monkey habitat can be visited on a mangrove tour. Jungle night hikes in Manuel Antonio provide visitors with a rare opportunity to see nocturnal animals in the rainforest. The area is also home to three rafting rivers of increasing difficulty - the class III Savegre, class IV Naranjo, and the class IV and V El Chorro. [View Full Blog Post]
While we do not guarantee that you will see animals on any of the tours we offer, our tours have been designed to maximize your chances by putting you in the right place at the right time. The animals you might see on the tours we offer are wild. Although we make no direct promises, we enjoy a rich variety of wildlife in Costa Rica, so seeing animals and/or rare birds while you are in the rainforest is subject to the whims of nature. This applies to our tours of Manuel Antonio National Park, The Monkey Mangrove tour, Crocodile tours, ATV's, Zipline Canopy tours and any other tours that offer the chance to see flora and fauna in the wild.