Manuel Antonio at a glance
Manuel Antonio Costa Rica
Even the most discerning visitors will revel in the beauty that is Manuel Antonio. From world class beaches to stunning views that are unique to this region, Manuel Antonio is a must see.
A wide range of lodging options are available, with hilltop views of the crystal clear blue waters, or if you prefer, beach front villas, where you can take it all in, while basking in the glorious sunlight, and swaying on your hammock, as your stress is blissfully whisped away by the cool coastal breeze. For those that are more hands on, activities, such as scuba diving, snorkeling, sea kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, zip-lining can offer an exciting change of pace.
Manuel Antonio, albeit one of the smaller National Parks of Costa Rica, boasts an unrivaled 109 species of mammals and 184 species of birds. Among these is the two-toed sloth, a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Manuel Antonio is divided into three areas; the national park, the beaches, and the rolling hills. Quepos is the closest town, and it is a 10 minute drive from downtown Quepos to the nearest beach in Manuel Antonio. Those visiting Manuel Antonio, have the option of taking coast highway 34, a scenic drive, or utilizing a domestic airstrip just a few minutes away from Quepos.
All in all, Manuel Antonio is the perfect escape for travelers in search of a unique experience, ideal for a romantic getaways, weddings, or just an excuse to venture to an echanting land.
So go ahead and begin planning your Costa Rica adventure today!
|Map of Manuel Antonio |
Getting to Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio albeit one of the most popular destinations in Costa Rica, is at least a 3.5 hour drive from San Jose near the Juan Santa Maria International Airport. However, there exist many options on how to traverse the courntryside and get there, each providing a unique and pleasant experience.
A 20 minutes flight departs from San Jose to Manuel Antonio several times each day. The cost is a $53 to $77.00 one way. From Quepos regional airport, one can take a short taxi ride to their hotel.
Backpackers, and students, who really want to experience Costa Rican culture on a first hand basis, might opt to take the bus which is around $10.00 a person round trip. The express bus takes about the same time as if you rented a car and drove; no reservations are required, and the drive is truly a scenic one. The express buses depart three times a day, and are quite comfortable for the most part.
Visitors who want to explore a lot on their own, might opt to rent a car. 4 wheel drive is highly recommended, especially May thru Novemeber (the rainy season). The drive is fairly straightforward, with just a few twists and turns along the way. Below are directions from Juan Santa Maria International Airport to Quepos.
When you leave Juan Santa Maria International Airport, you will be on Highway 1 heading west. Exit when you spot the sign that reads “to Alajuela.” Do not be alarmed when this road loops back toward the airport. The road will the split, one sign will read “Alajuela” the other “San Ramon”. Take the “San Ramon” exit located on the left hand side of the highway. Now that you are on Highway 1, the remainder of the trip is not difficult at all. When you reach Atenas, be sure to exit, then drive until you get to Orotina. Keep your eyes pealed for the sign reading Jaco, and exit. At this point it is a straight shot to Manuel Antonio. Godspeed and enjoy!
Getting around Quepos and Manuel Antonio
From Quepos to Manuel Antonio buses run on a daily, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (9:30p.m. on weekends). The cost is around .50 cents a day, and the buses depart on the hour and on the half our. Additional buses, that run on a different schedule depart from Quepos at 5:45 a.m., 6:45 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. each day.
From Manuela Antonio to Quepos, buses run on a daily, 7:00 a.m. to 7:25 p.m, and depart on the hour and 25 minutes after the hour. There is also a 6:00 a.m. bus that depart from Manuel Antonio each day, and on weekends a 10:00 p.m. enroute to Quepos.
Taxis are plentiful. Official taxis are equipped with a meter and are red. Unofficial or Pirate taxis are also available and often less expensive, although the do not carry passenger insurance. A sample fare schedule is show below:
Sample Fare Schedule, Manuel Antonio
|Regional Airport to Manuel Antonio||$14|
|Regional Airport to Quepos||$7|
|Manuel Antonio to Quepos||$7|
For an official Red Taxi Reservation please call: 2777-0245 or 2777-3080.
Bikes and Scooters
Adventurous minded visitors might choose to rent a scooter in Quepos which runs $35 per day, or rent a bike with runs $20 per day. Although both are fun and economical ways of getting around, the steep roads can be quite challenging.
Main Tours And Attractions
Manuel Antonio offers many opportunities to explore the natural beauty that is unique to the region; such as the canopy tour, which allows you to explore the forest floor while situated high above. Or you might be in the mood for a challenging open ocean coastal paddle along one of Costa Rica´s most beautiful coastlines. To cool off you can enjoy the Nauyaca water fall tours, cascading 25 – 40 meters into an 8 meter pool, ideal for swimming.
Then again, you just might want to bask in the serenity of a sunset sailing cruise, in a beautiful secluded bay.