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Manuel Antonio
General information


In Puntarenas, Pacific coast of Costa Rica, 157 km from San Jose, the capital.
Conservation Area:
It is part of the Central Pacific Conservation Area.
1.983 land hectares and 55.210 marine hectares
Tuesdays through Sundays, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m IMPORTANT: Closed on Mondays
When to go?

Dry season: December to March.

Conatct information
(00506) 2777-5155 / 2777-7185
Regional Office:
(00506) 2416-7068
(00506) 2416-5017
Send mail
Web Page:
Visit Wen Page
Camping permissions:
General information
The Manuel Antonio National Park offers many different options for nature lovers. It is located right in the middle of a green paradise, full of amazing sceneries, mountains and impressive white sand beaches. Its beautiful sceneries, along with a luxurious flora and fauna, bewitch many tourists from all around the world.

The Manuel Antonio National Park is located in the life zone named very humid tropical forest. This is the reason why it shows a great variety of ecosystems, being home for about 100 species of mammals and 180 kinds of birds.

Its area protects sections of primary and secondary forests, where the black guapinol (type of tree) and the spider monkey are found, both endangered species. This ecological sanctuary also has a mangrove swamp that covers 18 hectares and has 3 different mangrove species: mangle colorado (red-colored mangrove), botoncillo and mariquita.

This park also has a 14-hectare lagoon and a wonderful view of 12 small islands, which are an excellent shelter for unique, endangered sea birds, also providing them with nesting sites. Among these sea birds there are dark piqueros and brown pelicans, and you may also find some other species like starfish and manta rays in its waters.

It also has trails and established routes: in Quebrada La Catarata: from the entrance of the park, turn left in order to get to the beach of Manuel Antonio. In Punta Catedral: it surrounds the island, 1,4 km. In Playas Gemelas and Puerto Escondido: 1,6 km. In Mirador Punta Serrucho: 1,3 km.

Amazing sceneries and a great biodiversity make this park one of the most beautiful national parks in the country. It can be easily accessed and it’s very close to either exclusive, luxurious hotels or smaller ones for backpackers.

This area has high rainfall rates (annual average of 3.875 mm.) and high mountains.
Dry season: December, January, February and March.
Rainy season: August, September and October.

There are 350 plant species in the park. The most common ones are:

In the primary forest you may find plants like the guapinol negro (black guapinol, endangered species), the guacimo colorado (red-colored guacimo) and the ceiba. The secondary forest has: the balsa, the guacimo, the pilon, the cedro maria (“Maria cedar”), the guapinol blanco (white guapinol), the sura, the lechoso, the cenizaro and the manglillo. In the beach: the manzanillo, the almond tree, the roble sabana (savannah oak) and the coconut. There are also 18 hectares of mangrove swamp that have red, white and black mangroves, the botoncillo and the mariquita.

There have been found 109 species of mammals and 184 types of birds.

Typical animals: raccoons, coatis, guatusas (Central American agouties), sloths (two and tree-toed), white-faced monkeys, large felids and squirrel and spider monkeys (both endangered species). There are birds like the tucancillo, the pelican, the guaco, the gavilan pescador (“sparrowhawk fisher”), the martin pescador verde (green kingfisher) and the chirin coca. It’s possible to see Ridley and Green turtles, iguanas, snakes and many insects.

This park also has an exuberant marine fauna, with 10 kinds of sea sponges, 19 types of corals, 24 kinds of shellfish, 17 types of seaweed and 78 kinds of fish like moray eels, manta rays, angelfish, sea urchins and starfish. Here you can also see dolphins and whales.

Services and facilities on the Park

Inside the Park:
Walking through the trails and established routes: Quebrada La Catarata, Punta Catedral, Playas Gemelas, Puerto Escondido and Punta Serrucho.
Picnic area
Swimming in the ocean
Jet skis and kayaks are NOT allowed inside the park
Diving in Manuel Antonio
Enjoying the view

Outside the Park
Hotels, restaurants and private camping areas (in Quepos)
Rafting in clear waters
Canyoning (hiking through cliffs)
Tours in 4-wheel drive vehicles (ATV Tours) for people 15 years old and above.

Manuel Antonio
  • Recomendations
  • Interesting data
Tips para el viajero
Road recommendations
The roads are worn out and have little lighting and some holes. The trip can take more time than expected.

Access recommendations
Visit the park in the dry season: December to March.
The schedule of the Manuel Antonio National Park is Tuesday through Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Closed on Mondays.
All visitors must show an ID, like the cedula, green card or passport.
You must pay the admission fee, as well as the following rights (only if applicable): filming, diving, anchorage, photography with commercial purposes, and any other right that may apply according to the current rates.

General recommendations inside the park
Respect the park’s regulation: In case you need any help, go to the park rangers; they will be more than glad to assist you.
Ask for the tide sheet in the booth at the park’s entrance.

Clothes and accessories recommendations
Bring comfortable clothes and shoes, suitable for walking through trails and doing other activities.
Bring sandals, bathing suit and towel.
Bring binoculars and photo/video cameras.
Bring mosquito repellent.

Stay recommendations
There are many hotels, hostels, restaurants, markets and camping areas in the park surroundings.

Recommendations when walking through the trails
Trail guides are a private service not related to the park’s administration.
It is recommended that you keep yourself hydrated during the trip.

Food recommendations
There’s no food available or restaurants in the park; there are picnic tables for you to bring your own food and beverages.

Health recommendations
Bring water bottles to prevent dehydration.

Recommendations for a responsible tourist
Please do not litter.
Do not carry firearms of any kind.
Do not feed the animals.
Do not hurt or cut the plants.
Do not hunt, hurt or harass the animals.
Loud noises are not allowed (speakers, TV, car horns, stereos).
Pets are not allowed.

Recommendations with the animals
Even though there's a large variety of animal species in the park, most of them are hard to find because of different reasons, like the fact that they're night creatures, their reproductive or migratory behavior and the forest's density.

Money recommendations
Take good care of your belongings.

Datos interesantes
Datos interesantes:
Outstanding attractions:
Punta Catedral: this geographical point used to be an island located close to the park, but due to the convergence of two parallel oceanic currents, sediments began to pile up and formed an isthmus, which is a sand strip that serves as a natural bridge between the island and the park. You can walk over this land strip in low tide, but in high tide the water can even reach your chest, so you must be very careful. Here you’ll find the beach of Espadilla Sur, which is the closest one to the park’s exit, and the beach of Manuel Antonio, that has white sands, gentle slopes and clear waters with little waves. There are great viewers where you can see different islands beginning from the south border (booth at the entrance of the park): Isla Larga or Picuda, Isla Gemelas, Isla Olocuita, Isla Toro Amarillo and Isla Verde or Mogote. Some of these islands are nesting sites for sea birds of the Pacific coast.

Playa Espadilla Sur: it has an extension of 800 m. and is located between the park’s north border and Punta Catedral (booth at the entrance of the park and Punta Catedral). Here you’ll find a bay that has strong waves but no oceanic currents, so it is NOT dangerous.

Puerto Escondido: it has an extension of 880 m. The access to this beach depends on the tides because it’s located among cliffs. If you would like to visit this place, you must ask for the tide sheet in the booth at the entrance of the park. Here you’ll find the famous “Hoyo Soplador” (Blowhole), process in which a large amount of water is blown quickly through a hole in the rocks. This produces a sudden water squirt that makes a distinctive sound.
Other interesting places:

Punta Serrucho: it is located southwest of the park and has many caves that formed due to marine erosion. This place is an impressive cliff that’s surrounded by marine caves of very irregular surfaces that resemble a saw. You can take diving tours to explore the amazing marine fauna and corals that are found here.

Underwater turtle trap: of Pre-Columbian origin; it is located in the west end of Manuel Antonio’s beach, next to Punta Catedral.

There are three programs for the park’s organization:

The Environmental Education Program, which is focused on boosting the development of an environmental awareness among the nearby communities.

The Protection Program, that intends to keep the physical and biological human alterations to a minimum. It also protects the park’s visitors and its staff, focusing on the compliance of the laws of conservation.

The Administration Program, where nearby communities and public and private organizations participate in the area’s improvement.

This region was originally inhabited by Quepoas (native villagers), and during the colonial era these territories became farming lands.

Inside this biological island is where the Manuel Antonio National Park is located, and many different activities, like agriculture, animal breeding and tourism development take place. Part of the forest is undergoing a regeneration process due to wood extraction.

Manuel Antonio
como llegar?
How to get there?
Everyday in the Coca Cola’s Terminal.
Phone number: (506) 2223-5567
Nonstop from San Jose to Quepos 145 km (about 3 ˝ hours)
Departure: 6:00am, 9:00am, 12:00md, 2:30pm, 6:00pm and 7:30pm
Return: 6:00am, 9:30am, 12:00md, 2:00pm and 5:30 pm
Indirect from San Jose to Quepos (about 5 hours)
Departure: 7:00am, 10:00am, 2:00pm and 4:00pm
Return: 5:00am, 7:00am, 8:00am (2 buses) 2:00pm and 4:00pm.
From Quepos to Manuel Antonio
Buses in Quepos, office phone number: (506) 2777-0318
There’s a collective bus that goes every hour to the beaches of Manuel Antonio (15 min. aprox.)

From the Juan Santamaria Airport, follow the Pan-American Highway towards Atenas. Exit the highway when you see the sign for Atenas-Orotina, passing through beautiful mountains of the area, getting to Orotina. Keep driving through the towns of Jaco and Parrita until you reach Quepos. In the entrance to Quepos you’ll find the signs for Manuel Antonio National Park; drive for 3 km more. Once you get to the park’s entrance, you must leave your car there because driving through the park is not allowed.

Other kind of transportation
Domestic flights:
The flights depart from the Juan Santamaria Airport and the Tobias Bolańos Airport.
Nature Air:


Manuel Antonio
Hotel Villa Caletas (Hotel)

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Sus comentarios son importantes para mejorar la calidad de nuestra publicacion. Muchas gracias
Comments See all comments

Costa Rica

Una pregunta cuales son los puntos especificos interesantes del parque manuel antonio ?

Costa Rica Explorer Guide
Costa Rica

Hola Gerardo En la lista que tenés a la izquierda en la pestańa de información general de nuestra página vas a encontrar los precios que el parque cobra para acampar (nacionales ˘1600) . Los requisitos son tratar de seguir las reglas que el Parque exige y de tratar de crear el mínimo impacto posible. Es importante llamar al teléfonos 2777-5155 o 2777-7185, para preguntar por fechas ya que el parque admite una cantidad limitada de excursionistas a la vez. Espero que esta información te sea de utilidad para tu paseo. Gracias por contactarnos.

Costa Rica

Cuanto cuesta y si hay requisitos para acampar en el parque? es posible?

Costa Rica Explorer Guide
Costa Rica

Puntos importeresantes
En la pestańa Recomendaciones en Datos interesantes encontrarás la información de los puntos interesantes del Parque. Muchas gracias

Costa Rica Explorer Guide
Costa Rica

Hola Elena, En general todos los parques nacionales de Costa Rica están debidamente seńalizados. Normalmente en los puestos de entrada le pueden facilitar un mapa con los recorridos de senderos del parque, o bien solicitar un guía. Esperamos que esta información le sea de utilidad

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