Manuel Antonio
Costa Rica
By Jennifer Levin

Around 25% of Costa Rican land is protected by the government, so it’s no surprise that the main destination point in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica is the Manual Antonio National Park. The park’s beautiful beaches, lazy weather, exotic wildlife, and relaxed atmosphere make it the ultimate vacation spot. Manuel Antonio is accessible through the vibrant city of Quepos. In this beautiful region you can go horseback riding, scuba diving, and watch a sunset on a white sand beach all in one day.

To reach this Central American paradise, you will most likely travel through the San Jose airport first, then hop on a short plane ride to the Quepos airport. When you have picked a time to visit Manuel Antonio, book your flight with WhatsCheaper.com here (http://www.whatscheaper.com/flight.php). There are various places to stay while you visit here; consider booking an oceanfront villa or staying in a beachside resort, or check out one of the area’s small and intimate hotels. Book a room with WhatsCheaper.com here (http://www.whatscheaper.com/hotel.php).

The Manuel Antonio National Park is truly a wonder. The park is home to four lovely beaches: Playita, Espadilla Sur, Manuel Antonio, and Escondido. The Manuel Antonio and Espadilla Sur beaches are among the most popular in the country. Their white sands contrast starkly with the deep blue of the boundless Pacific, and both the white and the blue are brightened by the accompanying icy cool rainforest green and brilliant aqua of the shallow waters and lagoons.

The beaches are just one of the attractions this park boasts; others are swimming, snorkeling, and of course hiking through the rainforest. Your trip will not be complete without a trek through the beautiful greenery in search of inquisitive monkeys, brilliantly scarlet macaws, and sloths. The Mono Tiki monkey is one of the most playful (and, sadly, endangered) creatures that calls the forests here its home. You may even see one of these monkeys as you wander your resort. Be careful not to leave your valuables on the beach when you go a-hiking or a-swimming – a primate thief is as likely as a human one here!

Other outdoor activities offer in the area include surfing, sea kayaking, river rafting, and mountain biking. Consider hiring a local guide before setting off for the ocean or the mountainous forests for a truly Costa Rican adventure. Visitors of all ages will be awed by the famous landmark Punta Catedral, a rock formation that towers above the Pacific. The Catedral is separated from the mainland beach in Manual Antonio National Park by a small, sandy strip of land upon which you can wander to see the magnificent attraction more closely. Or, if you are feeling particularly adventurous, book a Canopy Tour: you can spend the day observing the rainforest while suspended from cables and harnesses in the rainforest canopy – a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

If your tastes tend more toward shopping, dining, and taking in local culture, WhatsCheaper.com recommends visiting one of the seafood restaurants in the area. The seafood in Manuel Antonio is among their specialties; you could also try one of Quepos’ fusion restaurants, such as a French-Costa Rican combo or perhaps even a Japanese-American fusion. Shopping in Manuel Antonio and in downtown Quepos yields souvenirs and surprises – be sure to make time in your trip to wander the towns and see the man-made sights against the backdrop of endless natural beauty.

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica is home to the country’s small but beautiful Manuel Antonio National Park, dozens of pristine and luxurious hotels and resorts, and countless exotic plants and animals living in the lush rainforest. Go there to rest, tan and read or go there to surf, bike and hike – either way you will have a wonderful time!

MUST SEE IN Manuel Antonio LIST:

  • 1. Manuel Antonio National Park
  • 2. Tulemar Beach
  • 3. ADR Adventure Park
  • 4. Quepoa Expeditions
  • 5. Tropical Surf School
  • 6. Espadilla Beach
  • 7. MidWorld
  • 8. Holis Wellness Center & Spa
  • 9. Matapalo Beach
  • 10. Costa Rica Jade Tours

Manuel Antonio EVENT CALENDAR:

  • 1. Festival de la Mar - February
  • 2. Costa Rica Central Pacific Art Festival - May
  • 3. McKee Jaco Costa Rica Dinner & Dancing Party - October
  • 4. Tropical Adventure Series - November

PHOTO GALLERY