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Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio National Park Holidays

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MANUEL ANTONIO TRIP? TICK.

On the west coast of Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio National Park is a pint-size slice of paradise. It’s the country’s smallest national park, covering just 16 square kilometres – but it’s easy to see why this place has made a name for itself. On a trip to Manuel Antonio National Park, you can expect to discover luscious jungle filled with wildlife, and one of the best beaches in the whole of Costa Rica.


Brushed by the Pacific Ocean, this pocket of tropical rainforest is a popular stop during any Costa Rica holiday. The park is home to a wonderful variety of animals, and the gentle, accessible trails mean it’s one of the easiest places to see Costa Rica’s wildlife. You’ll be able to spy sleepy sloths, majestic toucans and hyperactive monkeys, as well as flamboyant parrots and buzzing hummingbirds. With the help of a local guide, you might also spot green-eyed tree frogs and shy armadillos.

As you walk along the trails, the viewpoints will have you spellbound. And the beaches are sure to be a highlight of your visit. Postcard-worthy Playa Manuel Antonio is the headline act, with its talc-like sand forming a perfect half-moon between the forest and the sea. You can swim and snorkel here, and watch white-faced monkeys playing on the beach. Prefer to take the road less travelled? Head to Playa Espadilla Sur to relax in a crowd-free sunbathing spot.

Beyond the park, there’s even more to discover. You can kayak through mangroves, join a horse-riding tour, or go on a sunset sailing. Scuba dive among rays, angel fish and white-tip reef sharks. If you dare, you can even go sky-diving to admire the landscape from above.

However you want to spend your time, our Travel Specialists will help you create the perfect trip to Manuel Antonio National Park. Whether you’re considering an escorted tour of Costa Rica or a self-drive adventure, we’ll help you plan every detail. 

Wildlife

Things to do

Beaches

Best time to go

Manuel Antonio wildlife

Wildlife-lovers will be in their element on a holiday to Manuel Antonio National Park. The tropical forest and tangled mangroves are home to a variety of animals, both big and small. You’ll see all sorts of monkeys swinging through the trees, including howler, spider and white-faced species. Lazy sloths hang from the branches, while iguanas warm their scales in the sunshine. If you’re really lucky, you might even see an anteater or an ocelot.

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And that’s not all. More than 350 species of bird can be found here, so it’s worth packing a pair of binoculars. It’s likely you’ll come across handsome toucans and parrots in the jungle and, down by the beach, brown pelicans fish for their lunch. If you’re eager to see some of Manuel Antonio’s smaller birds – such as the red-capped manakins and barred wood creeper – consider taking a bird-watching tour with a guide, as some of these feathery creatures are remarkably hard to spot. Your guide will also be able to point out other critters, such as geckos and tree frogs.

Show More
Show Less

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Despite its petite size, Manuel Antonio National Park offers all sorts of exciting things to do. You can hike the rainforest trails independently or – for the best chance of seeing local wildlife – book a walking tour with a knowledgeable guide. For a different experience, why not join a jungle night walk? The park comes alive after dark, when you’re more likely to see armadillos, ocelots, possums and tree frogs.
The coast offers more adventures, too. You can search for crabs and anemones among the tidal rock pools, and go snorkelling off-shore to discover Manuel Antonio’s underwater world. Or, if you fancy some downtime, you can simply chill out on one of the park’s sandy beaches.

Show More
Show Less

Further afield, there are endless activities to enjoy. You can go on a scuba diving trip, or join a kayaking tour to paddle through the Damas Island mangroves. Explore on horseback, or enjoy a relaxing sunset cruise. Or, to get your adrenaline pumping, go sky-diving over the stunning landscape.

Show More
Show Less

Manuel Antonio beaches

When it comes to beaches, Manuel Antonio National Park hit the jackpot. This place boasts two of the best beaches in the whole of Costa Rica. In fact, you may recognise one of them from postcards and magazines, as it’s regularly used to showcase Costa Rica’s picture-perfect beauty.

Stretching for half a mile, crescent-shaped Playa Manuel Antonio is the jewel in the crown. After a 30-minute walk from the park’s entrance, you’ll discover sugar-white sands backed by swaying palms. The calm, shallow waters are ideal for swimming, especially for children. Or you could simply relax on the shore and watch the playful monkeys scamper across the sand.

Show More
Show Less

Playa Manuel Antonio is extremely popular so, if you prefer your beaches to be a little quieter, check out Playa Espadilla Sur. With powder-soft sand, it’s the perfect place to unroll your towel and unwind after a morning hiking through the park.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to visit Manuel Antonio

Thanks to Costa Rica’s tropical climate, the park’s temperatures hover around 27°C throughout the year. But it’s best to plan your Manuel Antonio trip between December and April, when there’s less rain. January and February are the driest months of the year, so you can really make the most of the hiking trails and balmy beaches. This is also a great time to visit other parts of the country, such as Arenal Volcano and Monteverde Cloud Forest.

Show More
Show Less

August to October is best avoided, as this is the wettest time of year. But, if you want to beat the crowds and don’t mind a bit of rain, you could consider travelling in May or November. Manuel Antonio National Park is much quieter outside of peak season, which increases your chances of seeing lots of wildlife. Just remember to pack a waterproof, so you’re prepared for the occasional shower.

Show More
Show Less

Wildlife

Manuel Antonio wildlife

Wildlife-lovers will be in their element on a holiday to Manuel Antonio National Park. The tropical forest and tangled mangroves are home to a variety of animals, both big and small. You’ll see all sorts of monkeys swinging through the trees, including howler, spider and white-faced species. Lazy sloths hang from the branches, while iguanas warm their scales in the sunshine. If you’re really lucky, you might even see an anteater or an ocelot.

Show More
Show Less

And that’s not all. More than 350 species of bird can be found here, so it’s worth packing a pair of binoculars. It’s likely you’ll come across handsome toucans and parrots in the jungle and, down by the beach, brown pelicans fish for their lunch. If you’re eager to see some of Manuel Antonio’s smaller birds – such as the red-capped manakins and barred wood creeper – consider taking a bird-watching tour with a guide, as some of these feathery creatures are remarkably hard to spot. Your guide will also be able to point out other critters, such as geckos and tree frogs.

Show More
Show Less

Things to do

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Despite its petite size, Manuel Antonio National Park offers all sorts of exciting things to do. You can hike the rainforest trails independently or – for the best chance of seeing local wildlife – book a walking tour with a knowledgeable guide. For a different experience, why not join a jungle night walk? The park comes alive after dark, when you’re more likely to see armadillos, ocelots, possums and tree frogs.
The coast offers more adventures, too. You can search for crabs and anemones among the tidal rock pools, and go snorkelling off-shore to discover Manuel Antonio’s underwater world. Or, if you fancy some downtime, you can simply chill out on one of the park’s sandy beaches.

Show More
Show Less

Further afield, there are endless activities to enjoy. You can go on a scuba diving trip, or join a kayaking tour to paddle through the Damas Island mangroves. Explore on horseback, or enjoy a relaxing sunset cruise. Or, to get your adrenaline pumping, go sky-diving over the stunning landscape.

Show More
Show Less

Beaches

Manuel Antonio beaches

When it comes to beaches, Manuel Antonio National Park hit the jackpot. This place boasts two of the best beaches in the whole of Costa Rica. In fact, you may recognise one of them from postcards and magazines, as it’s regularly used to showcase Costa Rica’s picture-perfect beauty.

Stretching for half a mile, crescent-shaped Playa Manuel Antonio is the jewel in the crown. After a 30-minute walk from the park’s entrance, you’ll discover sugar-white sands backed by swaying palms. The calm, shallow waters are ideal for swimming, especially for children. Or you could simply relax on the shore and watch the playful monkeys scamper across the sand.

Show More
Show Less

Playa Manuel Antonio is extremely popular so, if you prefer your beaches to be a little quieter, check out Playa Espadilla Sur. With powder-soft sand, it’s the perfect place to unroll your towel and unwind after a morning hiking through the park.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go

Best time to visit Manuel Antonio

Thanks to Costa Rica’s tropical climate, the park’s temperatures hover around 27°C throughout the year. But it’s best to plan your Manuel Antonio trip between December and April, when there’s less rain. January and February are the driest months of the year, so you can really make the most of the hiking trails and balmy beaches. This is also a great time to visit other parts of the country, such as Arenal Volcano and Monteverde Cloud Forest.

Show More
Show Less

August to October is best avoided, as this is the wettest time of year. But, if you want to beat the crowds and don’t mind a bit of rain, you could consider travelling in May or November. Manuel Antonio National Park is much quieter outside of peak season, which increases your chances of seeing lots of wildlife. Just remember to pack a waterproof, so you’re prepared for the occasional shower.

Show More
Show Less

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Our tailor-made packages make it easy for you to discover more of the world.

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Whether you're looking for luxury or simplicity, we've got the perfect holiday for you.

Trust

Travelbag is fully protected by ATOL and ABTA, so your booking is completely secure.

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