Manuel Antonio National Park picture
Manuel Antonio National Park
1 of 3
Marco Simoni/Getty Images

Key Info

Central Pacific

Price & Hours

Prices vary
Tues-Sun 7 a.m.-4 p.m.

Details

Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
4.4scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Manuel Antonio National Park is one of Costa Rica's smallest protected green spaces, but don't let its size throw you off. Within the park's 3 square miles, you'll find untamed beaches, secluded coves, nature trails and a thick rainforest. You can stretch out on the park's coastline or wander along one of the walking paths to spot rare birds, camouflaged iguanas and purple-and-orange crabs. If you're a lover of furry creatures, you'll be pleased to discover that this park contains so many monkeys that the park built a suspension bridge to grant them free reign of the area.

Travelers recommend visiting Manuel Antonio's remote white-sand beaches in the southeastern tip of the park where visitors can relax under palm trees. Reviewers also recommend bringing a picnic lunch to enjoy. However, you'll want to watch your food closely as the monkeys have been known to steal food. To enjoy the park's untouched landscape without the crowds, consider arriving right when the park opens at 7 a.m.

Manuel Antonio National Park is set in Costa Rica's Central Pacific region, about 100 miles south of San José. You can reach the national park by bus or car from San José; the ride takes roughly two to three hours. Some guided tours may offer transportation to and from the park. Public buses also offer service between San Jose and the park, though you'll want to make sure you're taking a directo (direct) bus to avoid a long trip with multiple stops. Visitors are welcome daily Tuesday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets cost $16 for visitors over age 12. Admission is free for kids 11 and younger. Guided tours are also available, starting at $51 for adults and $35 for kids. For more information, visit the park's official website.

See all Hotels in Costa Rica »

More Best Things To Do in Costa Rica

Nicoya Peninsula
Arenal Volcano
Type
Time to Spend
1 of 15
#1 Nicoya Peninsula

The Nicoya Peninsula's sparkling 80-mile shoreline boasts beach-centric towns with cream-colored shores and dense forests. Half of the peninsula is found in theGuanacasteprovince, while the other half sits in the Puntarenas province. Nosara Beach's powdery sands line the Nicoya Peninsula's western edge. You'll also find fishing and cattle-ranching communities east

Read more
Matteo Colombo/Getty Images
See full list of Best Things To Do in Costa Rica »

Explore More of Costa Rica

Recommended

The 20 Best Michigan State Parks

Two peninsulas, four Great Lakes and innumerable natural highlights elevate Michigan's state parks.

Zach WatsonApril 18, 2019

50 Awesome Vacation Ideas for Every Type of Traveler

Consider these vacation ideas for your next getaway.

Holly JohnsonApril 11, 2019

The 13 Best National Parks in California

You won't regret adding one of these national parks to your California itinerary.

Rachel CenterApril 10, 2019

10 Beautiful Places to Visit in the South of France

Plan a getaway to these special destinations to soak up culture, cuisine and quaint atmospheres.

Gwen PratesiApril 8, 2019

Best Carry-on Luggage of 2019

U.S. News rated the best carry-on luggage, considering recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerApril 3, 2019

The 11 Best Utah National Parks and Monuments to Visit

From birding to bouldering to boating, Utah's national parks have it all.

Zach WatsonApril 2, 2019

The 30 Best Zoos in the U.S.

Get an up-close look at wild creatures in natural settings at America's top animal parks.

Kyle McCarthyMarch 28, 2019

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019

10 Excellent Educational Vacations for Families

Make sure your next getaway is both enjoyable and informative.

Holly JohnsonMarch 14, 2019