Results 11-20of 20 Reviews
by Enrique Brener
April 30, 2005
We were told the best beach was about a hundred yards down the main trail and to the left, so we went there. The beach was beautiful, with white sand, palm trees, and a serene sea. We spent a couple of hours there, just relaxing, bathing in the sea, and taking in the sun. Every once in a while, someone would point up or to the trees, and we would see all sorts of birds, sluggish bears, and yes, monkeys! We were told not to leave our belongings unattended, as monkeys are known to come down from the trees onto the beach, rummage through knapsacks, and take food and shiny objects (watches, jewelry, etc.). We saw them venturing close, but not too close to people on the beach. We also got a lesson on camouflage when a tour guide pointed 6 feet up a tree and told us to look at the bats on the bark. Needless to say, it took a little time before we could locate them, and some people never knew where they were.
After a few hours on the beach, we decided to explore the park, so we grabbed our stuff, and started walking. There are several trails that require varying degrees of physical exertion. We took two of the trails, one moderate and one with steeper climbs (not hard by any means either). Along the trails, you can spot birds, lizards, and hear all sorts of noises which you cannot always identify or pinpoint.
We took advantage of my camera’s zoom, and I definitely recommend bringing binoculars. Also, there are guides for hire at the park entrance that take you on the trails and help you locate animals, as they usually know their usual haunting spots. They also carry a small telescope to facilitate the group’s viewing.
As far as facilities, there are bathrooms in several places in the park but not many more facilities. Take plenty of sunscreen and bottled water, as there are no places to buy food or drink within the park. Finally, remember to take all your belongings and not to leave any trash behind, so as to preserve this wonderful park.
From journal Getaway in Manuel Antonio, Cost Rica
by Nanah D
March 25, 2004
This park can be enjoyed in two hours or a whole day or weekend, as it has five different beaches within the park, all different, some with tide pools and cliffs; others for swimming. All of the parks in Costa Rica are $7 for non-residents and are good for the entire day. In Manuel Antonio, you must bring a lunch or leave the park to eat. There are various places to eat in the community of Manuel Antonio right outside of the park. There are numerous trails off the beaten track where you can be alone and walk to a river crossing or a waterfall with no one else in sight (best to tell someone where you are going, as you can get lost). If you stay in Manuel Antonio near the park, you will hear the howler monkeys at night howling out their territorial rights. It sounds somewhat like a team cheering in a football stadium, and after hearing it once, you know what it is and look forward to hearing it again.
This park is south of Quepos, a larger town, from which there are numerous other tours available such as canopy tours, surfing and many water sports. However, there are many places to stay in Manuel Antonio, with some of the places being very luxurious and in the hills overlooking the bays and park of Manuel Antonio. The park is closed on Monday for cleaning and attendance is limited to 600 people per day so one should arrive close to the 7 a.m. Opening to be sure of admittance during the dry season.
From journal Costa Rica: Nature's Sanctuary
by Ben the Grate
April 2, 2003
Getting to the park involves either driving or taking the bus from San Jose (about $8). The express bus takes about 4-5 hours and leaves from Coca Cola Terminal around 7am. For the drivers, there is a parking area at the end of the road ($5, not very secure).
It can be confusing to find where the park entrance actually is. Walk down the steps and onto the beach, to your left. Where the rocky headland juts up to the right of a creek, you will find a trail that heads up over a short rise and down to the park entrance (not visible from the beach.)
$6 per person is charged (pay in U.S. or colones) per day for admission. Keep your ticket stub if you leave the park for lunch so you won't be charged upon return.
The park is CLOSED on Mondays! So don't go.
There is a quota of visitors to help keep the vegetation from being trampled, but it’s so generous they rarely exceed it. As this part of the country gets more rain than most of Costa Rica, expect it to be rainy any time of year.
Walk the main road past the beach and around to the second beach (Playa Tres). At the picnic area, monkeys sometimes gather for handouts (but don't feed them!). Playa Tres is one of the most beautiful beaches I've EVER seen anywhere. It's pretty small, hemmed in on both sides by jagged rocks, backed by thick rainforest, pale blonde sand, and blue water. Snorkeling is reputed to be good here, but I've always experienced poor visibility.
Passing the beach, turn left at the administrative center and stroll the park's dirt road. White-faced Capuchin monkeys tend to play in the trees near this junction.
Sendero Catarata (Waterfall Trail) is a great way to get rid of the crowds, but it is narrow, muddy, and slippery, and the small waterfall only runs in the wet season.
Playa Espedilla, at the end of a well-developed trail of about 2km, is also stunning, with far less people than Playa Tres.
The park closes for entry at 3pm. Everyone else seemed to leave by then, I just stayed at Playa Tres frolicking in the water and had the beach all to myself. I left at my leisure.
Visiting the national park midweek in rainy season will assure you more serenity, but will give you less chance of seeing monkeys, who hate the rain. Hiring a guide at the end of the road in the town of Manuel Antonio will help assure a sighting, and they bring large telescopes to bring the wildlife closer. It's nice if you have the $20 to spend.
From journal Costa Rica 101
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
August 23, 2002
The national park itself is phenominal and easy to trek. Do not spend all of your time on the main beach in the park. You will be missing EVERYTHING. Take the hikes and push yourself to do it all. Every one is rewarding and breathtakingly beautiful. Explore the shoreline and go into the park early - you'll have a better chance at seeing the animals then.
From journal Espanol-ing in Costa Rica
Sunny Isles Beach, Florida
May 6, 2002
You can leave and return but be sure to keep your entrance ticket. There are two good restaurants right outside the Park. My Favorite is the Argentine Grill with 6 Computers lined up on one side and free live music at night.
From journal Costa Rica - First Adventure
January 21, 2002
From journal A week in lush Costa Rica
May 9, 2001
From journal Manuel Antonio
March 29, 2001
The park is filled with a wide variety of birds, lizards, monkeys and frogs. The flora and fauna is spectacular with many very rare trees, flowers and plants. The orchids were blooming everywhere when we were there in February, which is the dry season. The park has markers by many of the plants giving information about them, which was very interesting. There were occasional bathhouses with toilets and changing rooms for the swimmers. Picnic tables and small huts that sold snacks and drinks were near the more popular swimming beaches. Be sure to take your camera because you will have many opportunities for spectacular photos. The day at the park was one I will remember always.
From journal Quepos, Off The Beaten Path
by unorthodox traveler
December 6, 2000
The trails wind through the forest, up to clifftops, and down to beaches..depending on the trail you take..you can walk through this forest in less than an hour or spend hours exploring these wonderful forests.
Along the trail, watch for bromeliads that cling to tree limbs, small crabs and iguanas. The place is full of white-faced monkeys as well as birds,squirrels and other creatures.
From journal Quepos...Home of Manuel Antonio Park
by Travelin Fools
November 11, 2000
From journal Costa Rican Odyssey