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Manuel Antonio National Park

Travel Guide Central America Costa Rica Manuel Antonio National Park

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Introduction

Manuel Antonio Beach

Manuel Antonio Beach

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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.

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Geography

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.

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Weather

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.

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Sights and Activities

Flora and Fauna

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.

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Opening Hours

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.

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Cost

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

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Getting There

By Plane

Quepos Managua National Airport (IATA: XQP) is 8 kilometres of Manuel Antonio. Nature Air and Sansa Airlines maintain daily flights from San José and Liberia.

By Car

On a paved road Manuel Antonio can be reached within 3 hours from San José via Jacó.

By Bus

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).

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Sleep

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Hotel La ColinaManuel AntonioHotel80
Hotel Villa TecaManuel Antonio National Park 3klm from Quepos VillageHotel-
Sol y Mar Backpackers Hostel50m west from the soccer field main Sq. 618 next to Restaurante D'AngelGuesthouse73
Pura Vida Hostel Manuel AntonioNext to Tango La GuachaHostel-
Hostel Vista SerenaPuntarenasHostel-
Backpackers Manuel AntonioAcross the Soccer field in Manuel AntonioHostel81
Hostel PlinioMain Road 50 Meters Before Restaurant Bamboo JamHostel-
Pura Vida HostelNext to Tango la GuachaHostel-
Hostel Vista SerenaPuntarenasHostel85
Natural Pacific Suites300 m. Este de Hotel Villa Lirio, 70m sur de Super PuntarenasHotel82
FlorticaHostelmanuel antonioHostel-
Hotel MandarinaManuel Antonio Main road kilometer 4 left side of the roadHotel-
National Park BackpackersCarretera hacia el ParqueHostel76
Ylang Ylang50 mts South of tulemar Condom in front of the Promerica BankHostel-
Hotel Villas LirioManuel Antonio QueposHotel-

There are many hotels in Manuel Antonio and nearby. You can also compare prices from Southern Costa Rica or Anywhere Costa Rica.

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This is version 9. Last edited at 8:16 on Oct 14, 13 by Utrecht. 3 articles link to this page.

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