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The Manuel Antonio National Park is located in the south of Costa Rica near the city of Quepos and is one of the most visited areas in the country. Despite the crowds, the park is a must for a visit. With an area of only 16.24 km2 it is the smallest park in Costa Rica. It has an exceptional beauty and in 2011 the leading American magazine Forbes named it one of the 12 most beautiful parks in the world.
The park has a beautiful setting with lots of wildlife, including sloth, several species of monkeys, iguanas, numerous birds including the toucan, bats, spiders and snakes. Activities include guided walks, wildlife watching and relaxing and one of many beaches inside or just outside the park.
The topography of the coastal area is rugged and has slopes of 20% or more. The altitude varies from 0 to 160 meters above sea level. Off the coast are small islands that are part of the national park. The forest-covered peninsula Punta Catedral was once an island and is connected to the mainland by sedimentation. As a result, a sandy strip has arisen, a phenomena called Tombolo. The beaches, Playa Espadilla Sur and Playa Manuel Antonio, are among the most beautiful in Costa Rica. The beaches Escondido and Playita are outside the borders of the park and can be visited for free.
The dry season lasts from December through March, but it is commonly rather humid year-round. In rainy season some of the paths can get extremely muddy, on the other hand you have the chance to experience the park rather empty. The rain makes the plants grow in all their green glory.
Manuel Antonio National Park is rich in flora and fauna. There are 352 species of birds, 109 species of mammals and 346 species of plants registered. The ocean has a great diversity of marine fauna. In the area often birds like toucans, pelicans, ospreys, kingfishers and cayenne bosral (aramids cajaneus) are observed. Iguanas, lizards and snakes are common. One of the most prominent mammals present are the raccoon, coati, agouti (rodents), sloth, capuchin, squirrel and titi monkeys. During the dry season it is more likely that animals can be observed as they go to the beaches for food.
The park is closed on Mondays and open from 7:00am to 4:00pm on Tuesday to Sunday.
There is a limit of 600 allowed (simultaneous) visitors on weekdays and 800 on weekends, but this tends only to be a problem in the Easter week and the last week of the year. At these times you might have to stand in queue and wait for someone to leave before you are let in if you arrive late.
The entrance fee for foreigners is 10 US$. The entrance fee for locals or residents is 2$. Kids under 12 years old can enter for free
On a paved road Manuel Antonio can be reached within 3 hours from San José via Jacó.
There is a bus driving the route Quepos-Manuel Antonio that leaves every 30 minutes from 7:00am-10:00pm. You can catch the bus at any of the many stops along the way. Fare 300 colones (US $0.60) each way (tel.777-03-18).
|Hotel La Colina||Manuel Antonio||Hotel||80|
|Hotel Villa Teca||Manuel Antonio National Park 3klm from Quepos Village||Hotel||-|
|Sol y Mar Backpackers Hostel||50m west from the soccer field main Sq. 618 next to Restaurante D'Angel||Guesthouse||73|
|Pura Vida Hostel Manuel Antonio||Next to Tango La Guacha||Hostel||-|
|Hostel Vista Serena||Puntarenas||Hostel||-|
|Backpackers Manuel Antonio||Across the Soccer field in Manuel Antonio||Hostel||82|
|Hostel Plinio||Main Road 50 Meters Before Restaurant Bamboo Jam||Hostel||-|
|Pura Vida Hostel||Next to Tango la Guacha||Hostel||-|
|Hostel Vista Serena||Puntarenas||Hostel||87|
|Natural Pacific Suites||300 m. Este de Hotel Villa Lirio, 70m sur de Super Puntarenas||Hotel||82|
|Hotel Mandarina||Manuel Antonio Main road kilometer 4 left side of the road||Hotel||-|
|National Park Backpackers||Carretera hacia el Parque||Hostel||78|
|Ylang Ylang||50 mts South of tulemar Condom in front of the Promerica Bank||Hostel||-|
|Hotel Villas Lirio||Manuel Antonio Quepos||Hotel||-|
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