Manuel Antonio National Park
Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio © Alexander H.M. Cascone
Manuel Antonio is the smallest national park in Costa Rica but also one of the more popular ones. With beautiful white beaches and rocky headlands, backed by tropical rainforest, mangroves and estuaries, it is easy to see why. Among this varied landscape are typical Costa Rican animals like sloths, agoutis, monkeys and iguanas. It has a well-developed trail system to facilitate independent exploration, but knowledgeable local guides are also available at the park entrance. Picnic areas are situated along the coastal trails, and from cliff top lookouts visitors can admire the stunning coastal views. Quepos is the nearest town to the park, a pleasant and friendly place, and it is also the sport-fishing centre in the region. Sailfish and marlin are the sought after deep-sea prizes. Apart from fishing, there are zip line tours of the jungle canopy in Manuel Antonio which are thrilling and fun and there is even a surf school located in the park. There are also a few spas located on the outskirts for those who want some pampering after an active day in the jungle.
Transport: Public buses run regularly between Quepos and Manuel Antonio
Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday 7am to 4pm. Closed Mondays.
Admission: US$10 for adults, children under 12 free.