Manuel Antonio is one of the most popular beaches in Costa Rica thanks to its various natural attractions. It is located in the Puntarenas province, 132 km away from the capital city of San José.
Manuel Antonio National Park was established in 1972, and has an area of 4,014 acres (16.24 km²) (making it the smallest national park in the country). This destination receives over 150,000 visitors each year and is well-known for its hiking trails and beautiful beaches. There are four beaches within the limits of the park: Manuel Antonio, Espadilla, Escondido and Playita.
Manuel Antonio has many tidal pools which give visitors the opportunity to snorkel and have a great time in the salted waters. It is always important to remember that there are no lifeguards and precaution must always be taken.
Many hotels and restaurants are located at the park’s entrance (Playa Espadilla), and have great views of the ocean and surroundings.
Tourists are ordered to vacate in the park before 16.00 (4:00 P.M.) any day of the week. The reason of this is the incoming tide that cuts off the park’s exit and allows the entry of crocodiles into the area, turning this natural paradise into a danger zone.
Although Manuel Antonio National Park is the smallest in the country, it has an incredible diversity of wildlife in its 6.83 km² with more than 110 species of mammals and over 185 species of birds. You can get to see species such as the brown throated three toed sloth and the hoffmanns two toed sloth.
This park is also home of the manteled howler monkey,central american squirrel,the black spiny tailed iguana, the common baslik,the white nosed coati. Also this park has many snakes and bats species.
The Manuel Antonio National Park has more than 185 bird species including, toucans, woodpeckers, potoos, motmots, tangers, turkeys and parakeets. If you visit the sea you will be able, sometimes, to see dolphins and migrating whales as well.
It is the perfect place to realize extreme activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling, sea kayaking, mountain biking, and hiking, which provide active travelers the perfect opportunity to experience the tropical wildlife that enriches Manuel Antonio