Playa Manuel Antonio

Playa Manuel Antonio: Hours, Address, Playa Manuel Antonio Reviews: 4.5/5

Playa Manuel Antonio
7:00 AM - 4:00 PM
7:00 AM - 4:00 PM
7:00 AM - 4:00 PM
7:00 AM - 4:00 PM
7:00 AM - 4:00 PM
7:00 AM - 4:00 PM
7:00 AM - 4:00 PM
One of Costa Rica's most popular beaches, Playa Manuel Antonio frequently hosts parties and festivals, and it is an ideal destination for avid surfers.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Top ways to experience Playa Manuel Antonio
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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12,018 reviews
Very good

Bothell, WA69 contributions
Mar 2021 • Couples
We did a morning nature tour, which I highly recommend! We aren’t big “excursion” people and don’t like to pay for unnecessary things, but we would have probably only seen 5 out of the 25 animals/insects we stopped to look at. And they have scopes that they’ll take pictures through for you, which gives you 5000x better photos than you would get otherwise. Just make sure you have all your beach gear with you if you do the nature tour - once you leave the park you can’t get back in.

We have had the opportunity to visit some beautiful places, but these beaches are at the top of the list! Gorgeous white sand, warm water, beautiful landscape (I’m not a huge fan of ocean only views), and hardly anyone there. I think there was a total of 100 people on the beach and everyone was well spread out. There are bathrooms with outdoor showers for rinsing (you can’t use soap). You can’t bring food in, but the cafe inside the park is pretty reasonably priced and the food was better than we expected. I think we ended up spending $20 USD for food, drinks, and one gelato.

If you only have an hour, it may not be worth the entry price, but if you have half a day or a full day, there’s no it! You won’t regret it.
Written March 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dallas, TX51 contributions
Feb 2020
Make sure that you get to the park early. We arrived at about 9:30 and it was chaotic. People are trying to get you to park quite a distance away but we took our chances and drove almost to the park gates and got parking about 100m away. Don't hesitate to try and negotiate your parking fees.
You have to buy a ticket to get into the park and when we arrived the line was probably about an hour long and you're stuck standing in the heat and humidity.
We lucked out when we were approached by an ICT certified guide who gladly produced his government ID. He asked if we had any questions or needed help. We asked if we could hire him for a private tour which was the best thing that we did. Not only was the tour price very reasonable ($20 ea for 2 1/2+ hours) but he also had a friend who had pre-bought tickets and for the same price as waiting in line we had our tickets within minutes and we were on our way.
Our guide was like a walking encyclopedia. His English was excellent and he was a super nice kid!!! Very quickly he got us viewing all kinds of cool things through his scope. The best part was that he could take excellent photos through the scope with my iPhone.
We ran into lots of people who were wandering aimlessly without guides and they just weren't seeing anything.
One warning is that it was extremely hot. By the end of our tour we had walked about 3 1/2 miles and were soaked with sweat and exhausted by by the heat.
Written February 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Julie D
Ringwood, UK202 contributions
Feb 2022
Great park - here is what you need to know to get the most out of your visit
book your entry well in advance as they limit no of visitors
Get there early 7 am - at this time you get the park nearly to yourself. It starts filling up after 8 in the morning and can get crowded.
Take your swimming costume superb beaches some of the best I’ve ever seen.
Most of the animals are elusive and you need a guide to get the most out of the trip
Written February 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Queens, NY242 contributions
Jan 2022 • Family
Manuel Antonio is a located near the famous biodiverse jungle and a national park on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. We lived here at Villa Vigia in the end of December to the beginning of January. One thing I can tell you if you come here, you better not drive you own car as the roads everywhere are very narrow and quite dangerous by American standards. We ended up taking local taxis and Uber. Uber works here OK, it’s just it took 15-25 min to wait to a car… and locals tell me that Uber is not even legal here… I guess they don’t care.
The Espadilla beach is a local favorite. It seems we saw a lot more local Costa Ricans here than tourists. The beach is very large. It is quite dirty and not well taken care of. The water color is more like kind of grey to dark grey because of dark sand. The temperature of the water is ver warm. I think this is the warmest water I have ever experienced, even warmer than Hawaii and Aruba.
The Manual Antonio section of the beach belongs to the national park and we understood that unless one has a day tickets to the park they can not enjoy this section of the beach.
Overall, it’s worth a visit here.
Written January 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Chris D
Atlanta, GA148 contributions
Jul 2021
After touring the park yesterday, 7/22/21, I have to say it's a beautiful park, with a wonderful picturesque beach, and amazing wildlife. It's popular and seems to be a "must see" for most tourists. However, let me give you a dose of reality.

First, there are equally beautiful beaches nearby. MANP (Manuel Antonio National Park) is a bit of a hassle to access. To park, you'll pay $7.50, after running a gamut of fake parking "officials" who try to convince you to park away from the entrance. Do not fall for it. And I would certainly never give them my keys. A man named Chalo runs the only legitimate parking lot, and he is in the last lot, closest to the park entrance. He will identify himself. If you have booked a tour, the company should give you the same information.

Second, the entry requirements rival boarding an airplane. They are restrictive on anything you can bring into the park. A "gluten allergy" was not good enough to warrant bringing special food for one member of our party. (Maybe the term "Celiac" would have worked?) We had to throw her food away at the entrance. They will search any backpacks, so beware.

Third, the park entrance fee is a little absurd at $18 per person. The other nearby parks are free, not restrictive, and just as beautiful.

Fourth, it's a long walk to the actual beach from the parking lot. There's a long beautiful boardwalk leading to the beach, with scenery and animals worth seeing, but it's a bit of a walk. It was a shorter walk from our hotel to the public beach, than from the parking lot to MANP beach.

Advantages? The other beaches and parks have an annoying level of vendors (probably legitimate and illegitimate) who hound you to buy trinkets, coconuts, cigars, drinks, and so on. Resist it, no matter the offer. Be firm, and they will go away. If you show any interest (for example, asking the price), they will turn on the sales pitch more.

Overall, probably worth a visit if you plan to stay all day, swim, and enjoy the beach. But I'd much rather visit a nearby public beach.
Written July 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Phuket, Thailand90 contributions
Mar 2021 • Couples
Fortunatelly we read reviews before coming to the park. Some men dressed as park rangers will stop you maybe 1km before the park entrance and tell you to park on the right. From the reviews I read they will make you to pay 80 dollars per person for a guide, which you don’t need. The only way to go around it is to say you have a guide already waiting for you at the entrance. 200m before the entrance is another guy stopping for parking, this time we stopped there and paid 4000 for parking. I haven’t seen free parking anywhere else after that.
We haven’t seen many animals in the park and we been in the park since 9:30 until 4PM. We just heard some howler monkeys, which we also heard at our accomodation (where we also saw squirel monkeys), we saw one aguti and iguanas.
Be careful if you bring snacks to a beach with iguanas, one of them attacked and scratched my girlfriend as soon as she took out her sandwhich. I thought just monkeys are dangerous with food but iguanas are even worse, which makes me think they 100% feed them on these beaches so they stay there, same as monkeys. Therefore this park is more like a zoo.
The only plus of this park is the trails are all paved or you have wooden bridges, much better than Monteverde trails which is even worse, no built trails and even less animals than here.
The beach itself was quite nice but again, these things should be for free, without entrance fee, guides and scams. The water is too murky for snorkelling although at one point you could see some fish on the right side.
Written March 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Union, NJ644 contributions
Mar 2021 • Family
This is the Manuel Antonio beach near the girls and restaurants. Not the one inside the Manuel Antonio National Park. Really liked this beach. The locals brought their big speakers and they played music. You can rent a beach umbrella and 2 lounge chairs for $10.00 (for the day) not sure if that was the price because there were not as many people as it’s supposed to be due to the covid situation. You can order drinks and food from some of the restaurants across the street and they will deliver it to you. They had the banana boat, jet skis, and parasailing, horse riding. Lot of vendors, from souvenirs, hats, coconuts, ice cream, ceviche, and more. Not aggressive vendors, they just pass by.
Written May 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Halifax, Canada3,499 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
This is a fabulous beach and perfect place for a run or walk. Come here every morning
There are chairs with umbrellas available. We stay for 3 hour in the morning and are only charged $6.00 .
The waves are rough but perfect to soak in .

Love the views of the skyline to watch the people sky sailing.
Very safe beach with excellent life guards
Written February 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ntombi Mzansi
Cape Town Central, South Africa12 contributions
Oct 2020 • Friends
I’ve been in CR for a month and visited many of the beautiful protected areas during Covid. This has been the one negative experience thus far. It’s $18 to get in but ALL the trails are closed (and you only discover this once inside the park) - there is only beach access. The staff are disinterested, rude and unhelpful. I would definitely not recommend visiting here until they sort out the park management and get it to the same standard as the other parks in CR, many of which are privately managed. Very disappointing.
Written October 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Miami, FL93 contributions
Jun 2022 • Couples
In my humble opinion the beach is the worst part of manuel antonio park. The park itself is bubbly with animals, the guides are awesome. The beach is boring, water is not very clear, and it is not easy to get in.
The best thing of all is that it is a national protection area which means you cannot get in with cigarettes, chips or other kinds of annoyances - this is great!
Written June 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Playa Manuel Antonio

Playa Manuel Antonio is open:
  • Tue - Sun 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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