The beautiful Manuel Antonio National Park Costa Rica was listed in Forbes Magazine as one of the top 12 of the World’s Most Beautiful National Parks. Manuel Antonio is one of 27 Costa Rica National Parks.
Established in 1972, it is one of the smallest national parks in the country. However, it receives approximately 150,000 visitors a year.
Inside Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica
There are 5 different paths or trails that you can walk along throughout the park. They will bring you through areas of extensive diversity. Walking through the vast array of flora and fauna you will see some of the 184 species of birds and 109 mammal species.
Costa Rica has four monkey species, three of which can be seen here – the Central American squirrel monkey, the mantled howler monkey, and the white-headed capuchin monkey. Sloths are another major attraction in the area. Both the Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth and the Brown-throated three-toed sloth can be seen here.
You can stop and see the views from several lookout points or relax at one of the four beaches in the park. The Manuel Antonio beach is only accessible by walking through the park. You will want to bring some snacks and some water with you.
Just off the playa Manuel Antonio coast are 12 small isles that often have dolphins visit and occasionally you can see migrating whales. Manual Antonio tours are available if you want to learn more about the park, plants, and the wildlife that live there.
The day I spent at the park was hot and humid. It is a tropical rainforest so be prepared for heat and moisture. The trails are all very well maintained and paved. The only problem with them being paved was some of them were very slippery in some places due to the rain from the night before.
There are several signs throughout the park to let you know where you are and which path you are on, so there is no way of getting lost. Due to its geographical location, there are several hills and stairs throughout the national park. I counted most of the stairs we went up and it was about 1000, so you will get a bit of workout in while you are there.
You never know what may appear around a corner in the National Park. You can easily spend the entire day there.
My recommendation is to bring bug spray, water, and some light snacks with you.
We stayed at the Hotel Plaza Yara in Manuel Antonio. You will also want to go have a drink and/or something to eat at the El Avión Restaurant. The views from the airplane-turned restaurant are some of the most stunning views I have ever seen.
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