Just south of the small coastal town of Quepos along the Pacific Ocean lies Costa Rica’s Manuel Antonio National Park. The smallest of Costa Rica’s national parks, stretching over 1700 acres of land and nearly 136, 00 acres of marine reserve, it is nevertheless one of the most stunningly beautiful parks with a diversity of wildlife that is unmatched.
Tiny it may be, but Manuel Antonio embodies the very best Costa Rica has to offer: A breathtaking setting with offshore islands, pristine sand beaches, close up encounters with wildlife galore and a network of wide welcoming trails leading into a swathe of tropical rainforests where you may see marmosets, ocelots, river otters, sloths and rare monkeys. Howler monkeys Languidly clamber from tree to tree while iguanas scramble up trunks. Wild parrots ablaze with red and yellow feathers and toucans and scarlet macaws screech loudly as they flap by.
The lush forest cliffs rise sharply from the shoreline where capuchin monkeys abound and even rare squirrel monkeys can be seen. Butterflies, as well as wild flowers and plants intensify the forest’s colorful setting, offering spectacular scenery unique to Costa Rica.
To the backdrop of the lush mountainous tropical forest reaching to the water’s edge, the park features idyllic white beaches. Gazing down from the quickly rising hillsides, you’ll gasp in awe at the breathtaking vistas expanding beneath you. Connected by trails meandering through the rainforest, the near perfect beaches of Espadilla Sur, Playita, Escondido and Playa Manuel Antonio pave the setting for snorkeling, water board surfing and great swimming. A small coral reef and 12 offshore islets add to the beauty, where dolphins and whales can sometimes be spotted.
Whitewater rafting, kayaking and fishing are also core water activities in the park. Hiking and nature walks through the jungle abound and horseback riding and mountain biking trips provide unparalleled excitement. The latter take travelers on day-long expeditions to the mangroves, and shorter explorations through the forests and along the coastline.
The awesome views, the pristine, unspoiled sandy beaches, the exciting trails and tropical rainforests not only offer a great adventure opportunity, but the wealth of wildlife of every kind make this a scene for great family travel vacation. Bringing together this charming combination in a unique and exotic setting, Manuel Antonio National Park is a fabulous adventure destination with a wealth of activities and attractions for all types and all ages.