You might know that Costa Rica is a country where you can see all sorts of ecosystems,a ton of national parks, lots of different animal species, and beautiful black and white sanded beaches. The best part is that in some places you can see it all at once. Manuel Antonio National Park is one of those places, plus it is surrounded by lots of restaurants, luxury hotels, spas, and great nightlife. Here are my 8 best things to do in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.
To visit this area and get to know it you will need a lot more than just a short day visit. I recommend a stay of at least 2 nights in the town of Quepos. Here is where you will find most of the hotels and restaurants. Plus this town is really close to the Manuel Antonio National Park.
Popular Things to Do in Manuel Antonio:
1. Flying through the forest’s canopy in zip lines
Manuel Antonio offers some of the best ziplines in the whole country. This isn’t an option for animal lovers because the sound of the lines as you go down them pushes them away, but it will allow you to get stunning views of the forest. This is a must-do in Costa Rica, don’t miss it.
2. Surfing on one of its great beaches
The region offers a few beaches where the waves and the tides are strong. One of the best ones and less crowded is Puerto Escondido but keep in mind that this isn’t the friendliest place for beginners. If you are looking for a smaller waver you might want to stay in Manuel Antonio Beach.
If you want to know more about surfing in costa rica, here’s a post with 12 of the best spot to surf in Costa Rica.
3. Horseback riding along the beach or in the middle of the forest
This is the best option for those looking to explore nature comfortably and yet without disturbing the local animals with the nice of ATVs or motorcycles. It is also the preferred adventure for those looking for some romance in the Costa Rican beaches.
4. Hiking the trails of the Manuel Antonio National park
When you get to the park you will notice that the trails are mostly flat, making the hike easy but keep in mind that some of the stretches can have steep parts. The park is 1,700 acres of land and you can explore it all. There are many well-kept trails that you can explore. One even takes you to a beautiful waterfall where you get to relax and hang out.
5. World-class sport fishing
You can’t fish on the Manuel Antonio park but 10 minutes away in Quepos you will be able to find many of those tours available. Great fishing can be done year-round but billfish, for example, will find the peak Marlin and Sailfish bite between December and April.
The branches and water off of the coast of the park are clear, clean and filled with gorgeous animals, it is also quite relaxed, making it an awesome place to fop on a small cruise, catamaran or yacht for a relaxing day at sea. You may even find whales and dolphins between December and August
These usually come combined or as an added option to the cruising tours. During these tours, you will be taken to relatively shallow water where you can enjoy swimming along with local fish.
8. Renting jet skis
This is yet another fun way to enjoy the waters off of the gorgeous beaches of the area. You will find a few companies that are offering jet skis for ren and their guides will even give you a quick tutorial if you don’t have experience with them.
History of the Park
The story of this place started as a place filled with banana plantations, but it has evolved to become one of Costa Rica’s most popular destinations. However, the whole area is known for being home to the amazing Manuel Antonio beach, tropical forests and over 100 animal species such as monkeys and sloths. It is also the smallest national park of Costa Rica.
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