- Summary: Sandy beaches; family-friendly destination; great for nature enthusiasts
- Landscape: Beaches, rainforest, mountains
- Attractions: Adventure Tours, Damas Island Mangroves, Manuel Antonio National Park
- Activities: Bird & wildlife watching, nature tours, parasailing, swimming, surfing, zip lining
- Caters to: Budget travelers, couples/honeymooners, families, wildlife enthusiasts
- Quick Facts: 110 miles from San Jose ; 69-89°F ; from zero to 82 feet
Manuel Antonio Snapshot
Lush coastal rainforest trees arch over the ivory sands and blue opal waters of Manuel Antonio's coast. Their branches quiver and their leaves shuffle like a wave rolling through the jungle canopy as troupes of monkeys pass overhead. The playful titi monkeys swing upside down to land flat on the beach searching for fruit and scampering past visitors at the most popular park in Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio National Park.read more close
In Manuel Antonio, the jungle meets the ocean.
The tides of the Pacific have worn Manuel Antonio's serpentine coastline into jagged cliffs, rocky archipelagos, long, sandy beaches like Espadilla and intimate coves lined with tropical flora like those of Manuel Antonio and Biesanz. Behind them, hotels draped in rainforest hide in the folds of the hills that encompass Manuel Antonio.
Places to stay
The road through Manuel Antonio is lined with hotels and restaurants. Wake up in your hotel room to monkeys passing through the trees while enjoying ocean views, just three hours from San Jose. Stay on the coast, beside the national park or close to marina in Quepos at one of the more than 50 hotels in Manuel Antonio. Whether you're looking for a luxury hotel or travelling on a shoestring budget, Manuel Antonio has something in every price range.
Things to do
Mangrove tours, zip-lines, canyoning, parasailing, whitewater rafting, snorkeling and horseback riding are a few of the ways to explore Manuel Antonio and the outlying area. Jet Ski tours lead visitors around the coves, crags and cliffs of the coastline while deep sea fishing excursions offer some of the world's best sport fishing. Relax on one of the beaches, cocktail in hand, or spend a day hiking through the Manuel Antonio National Park.
Fiery-billed toucans, two- and three-toed sloths and red-eyed tree frogs dwell in the canopies of the national park alongside three different species of monkeys – capuchin, howler and titi. In fact, Manuel Antonio is the only place in Costa Rica to find the squirrel-like titi monkeys that make chirping sounds and eat insects. Not limited to the park, the monkeys swing through trees throughout all of Manuel Antonio, making it just as likely to see them at your hotel as in the national park. Off the coast, pelagic sea birds nest among the rocky islands while spotted-nose dolphins, humpback whales and sea turtles swim in the warm Pacific Ocean.
Manuel Antonio's dry season (Dec- April) averages between 81 and 86 degrees making the most popular time to visit. The average annual rainfall is 151 inches, most of which falls during the wet season (May-Nov.). Don't be discouraged to visit during the wet season however, as hotels have lower rates and the rain generally falls only for a few hours during the afternoon and at night.