Red-Eyed Tree Frog emerging from a wet leaf in Manuel Antonio National Park (David Tipling)

Beach in Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica (James Randklev/Photographers Choice/Getty)

Costa Rican Beach Manuel Antonio National Park (iStockphoto)

Rainforest waterfall Manuel Antonio National Park (iStockphoto)

Tree in Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica (iStockphoto)

White-faced Capuchin in Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica (iStockphoto)

Manuel Antonio Beach, Costa Rica (iStockphoto)


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What to do in Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio National Park is Costa Rica in miniature: lush rainforest, stamp-and-send-home beaches, crazy-diverse wildlife, and gringos wrapped in colorful sarongs tumbling out of tourista minibuses. You can put together a big eco-adventure hit list (zip lines, jeep tours, horseback riding, sportfishing), but save it. People come here to drink banana daiquiris, eat ceviche overlooking the Pacific, and hire poolside masseuses. But do explore the park, a carefully managed oasis with four beaches, a dozen shaggy green islands, and nearly 100 butterfly species. Visitors are capped at 600 per day (800 on weekends), increasing your chances of snagging a primo spot on Playa Manuel Antonio. Naturalists lead easy two-hour strolls around the reserve, where squirrel monkeys share the canopy with sloths and toucans. And all trails lead to the beach.
  • Manuel Antonio National Park Travel Q&A