Despite being Costa Rica’s smallest National Park, Manuel Antonio National Park remains a favorite must-see Costa Rica destination.
In fact, since Poas Volcano National Park is Closed due to recent volcanic activity, Manuel Antonio National Park is now the most visited park in Costa Rica, receiving 150,000 visitors each year, (on average, about 410 visitors each day).
In this blog post, Caravan Tours has compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Manuel Antonio Park in Costa Rica.
You can also read a firsthand account of the Manuel Antonio National Park tour as told by a recent Caravan Tours’ guest.
Where is Manuel Antonio National Park?
Manuel Antonio National Park is located south of Quepos in the province of Puntarenas, on the west coast of Costa Rica. The park consists of 1983 hectares of land and is situated within the Central Pacific Conservation Area.
How far is Manuel Antonio from San Jose?
Manuel Antonio is 106 miles (170 km) from San Jose, the capital city of Costa Rica, which is just over 3 hours by vehicle.
How far is Manuel Antonio from Jaco Costa Rica?
Manuel Antonio is just over 45 miles (73 km) from Jaco in the Puntarenas Province of Costa Rica. This is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes by vehicle.
How many people visit Manuel Antonio each year?
Manuel Antonio National Park welcomes approximately 150,000 visitors each year.
Where to eat in Manuel Antonio?
One of the reasons Manuel Antonio is such a popular Costa Rica tourist destination is because it is easy to access and offers a variety of local food and dining services. You can visit Fodor’s Travel guide to Manuel Antonio Restaurants for ideas on where to eat. On our Caravan all inclusive Costa Rica tours, all meals and bottled water are included within your tour package.
Where to stay in Manuel Antonio?
There is actually only one hotel next to Manuel Antonio National Park called San Bada Hotel. Conveniently located right at the Park entrance, this Costa Rica hotel is also only a short walk from the park’s public beaches.
There are other hotel options while visiting Manuel Antonio but most are built on the hillside and require numerous flights of stairs and walking. San Bada Hotel is the hotel of choice by Caravan Tours while in the area, as it is built on level ground and is located just short distance from the park entrance.
What kind of wildlife is in Manuel Antonio?
Manuel Antonio’s diversity of wildlife alone rivals many of the other larger parks. Manuel Antonio National Park is home to 109 different mammal species and 180 bird species including:
- Brown-throated three-toed sloths
- Hoffmann’s two-toed sloths
- Mantled howler monkeys
- Central American squirrel monkeys
- White-headed capuchin monkeys
- Green iguanas
- White-nosed coati
- Many different snakes and bat species
- Turkey vultures
Can you snorkel in Manuel Antonio?
There are four beaches within Manuel Antonio Park offering large light sand berms. Two of these beaches (Manuel Antonio and Espadilla Sur) offer tidal pools where you can snorkel at times. Beware, riptides can occur. Other popular watersports at Manuel Antonio include scuba diving and sea kayaking. From November to April, Manuel Antonio also offers world-renowned deep sea fishing opportunities.
Can you surf in Manuel Antonio?
Yes, you can surf in Manuel Antonio National Park. Although not a major surfer’s destination in Costa Rica there are some good breaks to check out near the town of Manuel Antonio. If you’re a beginner, look up some local surf schools to learn how to get up on the board.
What is the entrance fee for Manuel Antonio?
Currently the Manuel Antonio National Park entrance fee is $16 for adults. Children under 12 years old are free. Additional options for guided tours and private tours are available at adult and child rates.
What are the hours for Manuel Antonio?
Currently, Manuel Antonio National Park is open 7 am to 4 pm Tuesday through Sunday. Note the park is closed on Mondays. For those wanting to avoid crowds the park is typically less busy in the afternoon.
What should I do in Manuel Antonio Park?
Besides spending time at the beach or snorkeling, there is plenty to do on land! Explore the Park’s natural rainforests, walk through spectacular beach coves, take an aerial tram tour or zipline tour with an eco-tourism company, visit local artisan shops, visit a butterfly garden, or catch views of wonderful local waterfalls. The list goes on of what you can see and do while visiting Manuel Antonio Park.
About Caravan Tours
Caravan is one of Costa Rica’s leading all inclusive tour companies and has been offering fully guided tours throughout the USA, Canada and Central America since 1952. Our all inclusive Costa Rica tours include a one night stay at San Bada Hotel with ample time to explore Manuel Antonio National Park and the surrounding area.
For more information about Manuel Antonio National Park or to book a Costa Rica tour, please call our Caravan offices toll free at 1-800-227-2826.
Request a free Caravan Tour Brochure.