The park is a real natural jewel, one of the most popular in Costa Rica, but despite being very touristy and therefore often crowded, I still recommend that you visit it, as it is possible to admire many animal species.
The added value of Manuel Antonio National Park it is given by its fascinating white beaches, among the most beautiful in the country, to conclude the walk in nature with a relaxing bath in crystal clear waters is priceless.
You can choose whether to visit the park independently or rely on authorized guides.
We chose the first option, which I fully recommend, as the paths are well marked and easy to walk. It is easy to spot animals even alone, but if you can't, just “peek” among the groups of tourists following the expert guides, stationed under some trees.
Those who want to admire the flora and fauna of the park even better can rely on a guide, who will accompany you along the way and explain everything you need to know. The Rangers are equipped with professional binoculars, which combined with your smartphones, will give you incredible photos.
The cost of the official guides is around $ 20 per person and you will find them near the ticket office.
In any case, remember to bring binoculars to observe the animals even better.
The cost of entry to the park is $ 16 per person and is open every day except Monday from 7:00 to 16,00, (in high season it closes at 17,00).
Among the animals that populate the park, the ones that you will most easily see are: sloths, monkeys (cappuccino and howlers) and cute raccoons, in Spanish mapaches. But there is no shortage of snakes, various species of lizards, iguanas, crabs and particular fawns.
I sloths they are usually found at the top of trees, but if you are as lucky as we were, you can also see them up close.
Le monkeys and raccoons instead they populate the splendid beach of Manuel Antonio, attracted by the tourists' food, be careful not to leave the backpacks with the food unattended on the beach.
Among the various paths in the park, there is a very simple one, which leads to a waterfall in the middle of the jungle.
As I said, the top of the Manuel Antonio National Park, is to conclude the excursion on one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica, white sand, crystal clear sea and many animals.
Manuel Antonio is also easily accessible by bus, it is 160 km from San Jose, from where buses leave for Quepos or Manuel Antonio.
My partner and I arrived in Manuel Antonio by car, coming from Montezuma, a pleasant journey, also passing through the Rio Tarcoles, where there is the famous bridge with the crocodiles.
Hotel Where to Stay in Manuel Antonio:
The advice is to sleep directly in the village of Manuel Antonio and not in Quepos, so as to stay very close to the park entrance.
We stayed one night at the Mango Moon and one night at Hotel Coco Beach.
L‘Hotel Mango Moon it is located about 3 km from the Manuel Antonio National Park, offers a beautiful swimming pool overlooking the ocean.
The Hotel has a private beach reachable with a pleasant walk in the middle of the jungle.
Private Mango Moon Beach
Our room was elegant and clean with stunning sea views. In the morning we woke up with the monkeys jumping from tree to tree in front of our room, beautiful!
We could not try the restaurant, as it was Sunday, the chef's day off, however near the Mango Moon you will find various options for dining.View Price on Booking
View from our room at the Mango Moon
THEHotel Coco Beach has the great advantage of being only a 10-minute walk from the entrance to the Manuel Antonio National Park.
The Hotel definitely needs a makeover, the rooms are clean but smell a bit closed. Overall, given the price and proximity to the park, I'd say Coco Beach is a good choice for a short stay.
The upstairs rooms have incredible views.View Price on Booking
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