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Manuel Antonio – Beaches, Wildlife, Adventure Tours
Great for Honeymoons, Families and anyone who loves a beach Available Adventures: Zipline, Canopy, Canyoning, ATVs, Hiking, Whitewater Rafting, Horse Riding, Surfing, Snorkeling, Diving, SUP, Fishing, Manuel Antonio National Park, Mountain Biking, Hiking, Jet Skis, Sea Kayaking, Sunset Cruises and more…
The jungles within Manuel Antonio National Park are full of the sounds of monkeys. Endangered squirrel monkeys lurk in the foliage, often in large bands. Howler and spider monkeys can be seen almost anywhere. Picture-perfect crescents of white sand meeting the Pacific Ocean, forested hills leaning towards the waters, rocky outcroppings teeming with nesting birds—the views at Manuel Antonio are superb. The thousands of tourists who visit each year make it the most popular national park in Costa Rica.
Discover the Beaches And Views
Hiking trails snake through the rain forest, leading to rocky hills with stunning ocean views or idyllic beaches. Playa Espadilla Sur is typically the least crowded of the beaches within the park and offers plenty of shade under tall palm trees. The water here tends to be choppy. If you’re interested in snorkeling or in a relaxing swim, make your way through the forest to Playa Manuel Antonio, a smaller beach with calm waters. At low tide, a curious pre-Columbian artifact appears in the sand: an old stone-made circular turtle trap. On the rocky islands offshore, pelicans, brown bobbies and frigate birds stop for a rest. The view, however, is much better a little higher up. Between Playa Espadilla Sur and Playa Manuel Antonio, find the trail that takes you up Punta Catedral, a tall rock outcropping that commands spectacular ocean and jungle views.
Things to Do in Manuel Antonio
Just outside the park and in the neighboring town of Quepos, there are plenty of refreshing aquatic activities available. For beginners or seasoned surfers, Playa Espadilla, very popular with local Ticos, is ideal, as surf shops and schools line the beach. Marlin, sailfish, and tuna are common catches and sportfishing tours are also quite popular. For a river adventure in Costa Rica, book a full-day or half-day white-water rafting trip on the Río Naranjo or the Río Savegre. Another option is a mangrove exploration tour, which enables you to come closer to wildlife and spend a day on quiet river water. For world-class diving and snorkeling, take a tour to Isla del Caño and its exceptional coral reefs. The boat ride to the island takes about 90 minutes, but the coral reefs are exceptional and the water is crystal clear. The island also boasts some pre-Columbian artifacts: mysterious carved stone spheres.
Something for Everyone
The Manuel Antonio area is filled with opportunities to explore the jungle and the local culture. The adventurous can try a canopy tour; observe monkeys closely and travel between high platforms on suspension bridges and zip lines, using only a hand-break to keep your speed under control. If the canopy is not high enough for you, ultralight flights are offered out of Quepos. From the skies, the views on Manuel Antonio and its forests and beaches are spectacular. To learn about rural Costa Rican daily life, book a tour to visit a farming village. Alternatively, gourmet travelers can visit Villa Vanilla, a botanical and spice garden, and learn about vanilla processing and sample treats and drinks. There truly is something for everyone in the most popular Costa Rican destination. The views themselves are worth the trip, but there is so much more!