Manuel Antonio is a small town in the Central Pacific of Puntarenas, and it is one of the most beautiful and richest wildlife spots in Costa Rica, having its own National Park called Manuel Antonio. It is one of the most popular touristic attractions in Costa Rica, being visited by approximately 160,000 visitors every year. The weather in Manuel Antonio is warm and humid, with heavy rains in the rainy season months and many hours of sunlight during the dry season.
Manuel Antonio is located 100 miles south from San José, and you can get there in three hours using the Costanera Highway, that crosses the Pacific Coast parallel to the ocean, giving you spectacular landscapes and making the trip more pleasant. Once you get to Quepos, the closest town and right by the highway, you have to drive 5 miles south to Manuel Antonio. Another traveling option is to take a flight from San Jose, which takes 20 minutes to get to Quepos.
On the way to the town, you will see many hotels in the hills that surround the park. Many of these hotels are Costa Rica luxury resorts, suited for large budgets, but you will also find cheap Costa Rica hotels in Quepos and Manuel Antonio. You will find the most expensive hotels in the top of the hills, having breath taking views of the Pacific Ocean. Some of these luxury hotels offer discounts during the green season, usually between May and October.
The Manuel Antonio National Park is a small place, compared with other National Parks in Costa Rica. However, it offers a huge variety of wildlife and beautiful beaches that will impress visitors in Costa Rica ecology tours. There are four beaches called Manuel Antonio, Playita, Espadilla Sur and Escondido.
You can make Costa Rica surf tours in those beaches. There are islands close to the shoreline, coral reefs, a dense rainforest that can be crossed using the trails from where you will see several species of monkeys (like white-faced monkeys, squirrel monkeys) and other mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. It is a perfect location for Costa Rica birding tours.
Due to the small size of the Park, attendance is limited at 600 people per day from Tuesday to Friday, and 800 people on weekends during Costa Rica guided tours. The Park is closed on Mondays. Enjoy the stunning beauty of Manuel Antonio.