If you are visiting Costa Rica, Manual Antonio is a must-see destination. Though small in size, this national park is a treasure, offering one of the most attractive and scenic natural environments in the entire country. In fact, Forbes listed Manuel Antonio as one of the most attractive national parks in the world in 2011.
Located along the Pacific ocean, and about 1,700 acres in size, the Manuel Antonio National park is just over 80 miles from San Jose. Founded in 1972, the park is designed to offer safe harbor for a number of different endangered species.
There are many reasons why you should make the time to visit Manual Antonio National Park while in Costa Rica. Here are 7 reasons you’ll enjoy this special national park.
- Surfing anyone? Manuel Antonio is a great place to enjoy clear water and a great surf. Competitive surfers can even take advantage of various surfing tournaments. If you’d prefer to explore the water some other way like scuba diving, sea kayaking, snorkeling or just swimming, you can certainly do all of that too.
- Bird watchers delight. If you like bird watching, this is the place for you! You’ll have a great opportunity to see over 150 different bird species at this national park. Some of the birds you may see during a visit include tanagers, parakeets, toucans, potoos and motmots.
- Wildlife you read about. How about an afternoon with a two-or three-toed sloth or a day watching troops of squirrel monkeys swing tree to tree? The variety of animals you’ll see at Manual Antonio is sure to delight people of all ages.
- Walking in clean white sands. The beautiful beaches in Manuel Antonio are covered in clean white sand… making for a gorgeous contrast with light blue skies and deep blue ocean. This special park includes four beaches – Payita, Teloro, Espadilla Sur and Manuel Antonio.
- Catch your dinner! Fishing is a favorite activity for many at Manuel Antonio. The best time to fish is between November and April.
- Take a hike in lush forests. The rich tropical forests in Manuel Antonio make for beautiful hiking scenery.
- See some history. Enjoy a blast into the past with a peek at some ancient traps for turtles made from stone.
Whether you are traveling to Costa Rica for business or pleasure (or a combination of the two), a trip to Manuel Antonio will not disappoint. Before you visit, it is important to be aware of some of the park regulations. Early morning tends to be one of the best times to visit to avoid tourist congestion at this popular destination. Also, there are some rules in place to restrict the number of visitors each day. There is a small fee for adults to enter the park but children 12 and under are free.