Travelers see the unique side of Costa Rica in Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio National Park
Manuel Antonio National Park

Travelers heading south to Costa Rica know that they are in store for a fun and beautiful vacation, though many may not know how to spend their time. Do you head to a white sand beach to lounge in the sun and relax? Do you trek through a tropical jungle to try and see some of the native and migratory wildlife found throughout the region? Fortunately for visitors to the pacific coast of the Central American nation, a visit to Manuel Antonio National Park can satisfy both of these needs.

Manuel Antonio National Park

Spanning more than 4,014 acres (16.24 square-kilometers), the relatively small national park is an increasingly popular tourist destination that welcomes an estimated 150,000 travelers each year, according to the park's website. The park was created in 1972 and is a popular spot for picnics and exploration for both local and international travelers.

One of Manuel Antonio National Park's key attractions is its beaches, the Manuel Antonio beach, Espadilla Sur and Teldoro. The glittering coasts are clean and the water is clear and gentle, making these beaches ideal for those vacationers seeking a relaxing swim or just some calming white noise for a nap in the shade. The beach is also home to a number of unique and interesting animals, including raccoons, ghost crabs and numerous sea birds.

Abundant Wildlife

Wildlife is a big part of the adventure at Manuel Antonio National Park, as the surrounding area is teeming with unique wildlife that tourists should not miss. The park houses a total of 109 different species of mammal and 184 kinds of bird, not even speaking of the innumerable fish, crustaceans and other sea creatures located just off the shore. Animals that tourists are likely to see vary wildly from white faced capuchin monkeys and toucans to black iguanas and dolphins. Guided tours of local wildlife are available.

Great Hiking

Tourists hoping to break a sweat in the park will also find several hiking trails of varying difficulty that will guide a party through many of Manuel Antonio National Park's more interesting locales and can make for a great way to spend one's day.

While food and drink are not allowed in the park due to the hungry and curious coatimundi and the white faced capuchin monkeys that roam the park, there are a number of quality restaurants, markets and cafes in Manuel Antonio, the area surrounding the park, and the nearby city of Quepos, just a short drive away.

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