Manuel Antonio is a national park, located on the mid-Pacific coast, close to the town of Quepos. The park is open daily, except on Mondays, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and is one of the most popular national parks in Costa Rica. It’s advisable to plan your visit early in the day. Entrance to the park costs US$10 and you can hire a guide to show you around.
Before reading about what you can do in Manuel Antonio, make sure to also read about the Things to do in Quepos , as this is where you’ll most likely be looking for accommodation.
Here is a list of some of the things to do while visiting Manuel Antonio
Spend some time at the beach
There are quite a lot of beaches within the national park where you can spend your time but Playa Manuel Antonio is ,by far, the best within the park The waves are gentle and the current is not strong. You can spend some time soaking up the sun or enjoying a picnic after you’ve hiked in the jungle. Just make sure that someone is guarding the backpack all the time as the coatimundi really like to try to get to any food you might carry.
Hike in the jungle
There are four short trails (1-3 km) which can be tackled easily by anyone. Just make sure you wear comfortable and appropriate shoes.
Take a wildlife watching tour
Such tours cost from US$20 per person and the guide will tell you more about the animals you spot.
However, it is possible to see the animals on your own. The Capuchine Monkeys are known to move fast from one place to another , while the arboreal porcupines are high in the palm trees (use the zoom option for best photos). You may even spot some iguanas in some logs near the beaches.
Try some water sports
You can book an adventure trip and enjoy whitewater rafting on Rio Savegre or Rio Naranjo. Or if you’d rather stay away from the extreme sports, try snorkeling or sea kayaking.
Take a horse ride on the beach…or mountain
Horse riding on the beach can be a lovely, romantic way to explore the nature. While riding a horse on a mountain gives the opportunity to see views you might have not experienced otherwise.
There is a ranch located about 40 km from the park where you can book such tours. You don’t even need to have riding experience to try this.
A day at the spa
There are quite a lot of spas to choose from , all located close to the National Park. After a day exploring the park, you can invest some money for you own pleasure and relaxation.
Learn to surf
Kids and adults alike will have a lot of fun learning to surf. There are several companies which offer surf lessons.
If you like to spend your time waiting for a fish to bite, then the park is a perfect place to nail a marlin or a sailfish. There are tour companies which offer sport fishing options.
There are companies which offer the possibility of sailing at sunset. The boat makes a stop along the way and you can swim or snorkel in the calm waters. The sunset sail also includes dinner. So you can easily turn this activity into a romantic escape with your loved one. Such a sunset cruise costs US$75 for an adult.
Ziplining in the rainforest
There are four companies which offer such activities. For example, Canopy Safari’s adventure includes 17 platforms, 19 zip lines and 3 rappels. The 5 hour safari costs US$75 for both adults and children. A meal is included in the price. Along the safari you’ll be able to spot different tropical birds, plants and flowers. A visit to the butterfly farm and serpentarium are also included in the price.
Photo credits:Playa Manuel Antonio , Wildlife , Horse ride on the beach , Surf lesson , Zip line