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The blue water of this coast provides exceptional challenge and excitement for seasoned, as well as occasional angles. International bill fishing tournaments in these waters routinely tie and break world records.
Either by bus, by car, or by plane, getting to this small town should be one of the most exciting travel experience, as you will pass through various picturesque towns such as La Garita, Atenas, San Mateo, Orotina, Jaco, Parrita, and the intriguing African Palm plantations.
Manuel Antonio is home to one of the most famous sites of Costa Rica: Manuel Antonio National Park. This park has been described as a tropical paradise. It is one of the most beautiful parks in the country and the most popular, with locals and foreigners alike. The hilly evergreen forest providing natural shade from the tropical sun lines two gorgeous white sand beaches sloping to the gentle surf. Several trails lead through dense jungle growth to hidden sandy coves and magnificent lookouts over the ocean beaches.
Despite its small size and great popularity, Manuel Antonio has managed to remain one of the premiere natural spots in the country. The rain forest and mountains literally meet the sea here and the ecosystem is teaming with land, sea and air species. if there is one place to visit in this country and be assured of seeing animals in the wild, this is it. Just a couple of hours walking, the park's trails are likely to present various colorful and majestic birds, whit-faced monkeys, two and three-toed sloth, coatis, pacas, brilliantly colored land crabs, a variety of multihued butterflies, and interesting insects. The endangered squirrel monkey and a subspecies of the squirrel monkey endemic to Costa Rica are also frequently seen. In all, over 100 species of animals and nearly 200 species of birds have been identified in this park.
Manuel Antonio National Park is located 132 kilometers from San Jose and has 682 hectares. Lying on the Pacific Coast, 7 kilometers south of the town of Quepos between Damas and Matapalo, was created in November 15, 1972, at a time when the area was poised with massive tourism development, funded primarily by foreign interests. The land constituting the park had, by then, gone through several different foreign owners. Today, the park protects a beautiful remnant piece of the tropical forest that once covered a wide variety of marine life.
The area between Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park has dozens of hotels and restaurants offering the visitor a wide variety of accommodations and dinning choices.
With one of the most stunning picture-postcard backdrops in the country, this is one of the places with the most lushness in Costa Rica, with spectacular white-grey sand beaches fringed by thickly forested green hills. There is a huge variety of things to do -walking the Park's easy trails, Whitewater rafting, ocean cruising, horseback riding, fishing, sea kayaking, to name but a few.
Manuel Antonio is one of Costa Rica's best known and most often visited park, despite the fact that is also the smallest. The park is an island of verdant wildness in a rapidly developing area with a relatively intact wet tropical forest and abundant wildlife.
This park has remarkably long list of species inhabiting it: brown pelicans, tyrant hawk-eagles, gray-headed chachalacas, solater's ant bird, coatimundis, two and three toe sloths, toed anteaters, ocelots amongst others.
The scenic bus ride from San Jose has proven to be an unforgettable experience for students. You will witness everything from mountainous coffee plantations to crocodiles sunning themselves on the river's edge. Along the way you will also experience the charm of small town life nestled gently in the tropical jungle.