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“Must do with a guide” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Manuel Antonio Nature Park & Wildlife Refuge

Manuel Antonio Nature Park & Wildlife Refuge
Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
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Book ahead on Viator
$114*
and up
Manuel Antonio National Park Day Trip from San Jose
Certificate of Excellence
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Royal Oak, Michigan
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Must do with a guide”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

We are independent travelers and prefer to do things on our own. Friends recommended to get a guide and we are so happy we did. Our guide, Estella, was amazing and saw so many things we never would have seen. The beaches are beautiful. We stayed and hung out on the beach for a while after the guided tour, this is a beautiful park. We saw sloths, monkeys, tree toads, lizards, racoons, and birds.

Visited December 2012
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San Pedro, California, United States
Level Contributor
6 reviews
“Perfect half day trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

This park is small but packs a good punch for it's size. Go with a guided tour for optimum results. The tour guides bring gigantic scopes to view wildlife off the beaten path and even take photos with it for you to show folks back home. The guides show you things you would never see alone and assist in making sure you get into the park before it reaches capacity. The can be done by yourself, but you will miss so much.

On my 3 hour tour, I saw a few golden orb spiders, sloths 2/3 toed and babies, cappuchin monkeys, raccoons, rainbow grasshopper, monkey lobster...grasshopper, green anole, lesser white lined bats, white tail deer, jesus christ lizard, iguanas, exotic butterflies, giant termite nests, humming birds, land crabs, tree crabs and lots of poisonous plants to look out for. This is a short walk packed with wildlife. Don't miss it!

Visited December 2012
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Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
19 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Monkeys all around”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

The wild life refuge is filled with wild life. Getting a guided tour is boring and too much time is spent looking at one animal before the group moves on. I suggest buying tickets and going by yourself, bringing binoculars is also a necessity.

Visited December 2012
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Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
31 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Nice but crowded and beware river scam...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

Firstly there are many good things about this park and it is hard to deny the amazing beauty of the beaches and forest surrounding. I have to say though that it is a real shame that in a National Park in Costa Rica that you are totally ripped off at the end by having to pay some people on boats to cross a supposedly croc infested river to get out of the park even after having paid $10 to get it. Speaking to some locals afterwards this is apparently a scam by them to rip off tourists and there are no crocs at all and even if there are this should be included in your entry ticket. I can understand this if it is happening outside the park where trying to get scammed is part of travelling in some countries but this is inside the park itself so where is the regulation of such actions. I also saw a lot of locals get on a boat and pay nothing to cross. This ruins a day to the park and is such a shame that this happens and does nothing for the reputation of the way they run their national parks in Costa Rica.
The park needs more bins around the beaches as they are so incredibly crowded and bins are all open so the monkeys can just grab whatever they want. Im not sure what the $10 entry goes to but surely this should be a priority.
I couldnt help but feel that my $10 to enter the park does not get used in the right way and having seen all of the people there and the amazing number of hotels around the park that I am concerned for the future sustainability of the park and the animals within which is a real shame.

Visited December 2012
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California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Interesting but not a destination.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

My wife researched Costa Rica and planned a great itinerary for our trip. We spent the last few days in Manuel Antonio and went to the park the second morning we were in town. Get there early because it is incredibly popular. We hire a guide and joined a group of 13 people. The guide was excellent but we were underwhelmed by the park itself. It was so crowded it felt mor like a zoo or wild animal park. After being at Monteverde and Arenal, I would place this as a distant third. It is too commercial and though interesting not worth the price of admission. Walking in the nearby beaches and Forrest was more enjoyable. This is probably a good choice for a family with young children since it is safe, well maintained and does offer views of wild life ( monkeys, interesting insects, sloths and cayman). Definitely hire a guide otherwise you will miss much of the wild life.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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