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Manuel Antonio worth a side trip from Ojochal?

Bethesda MD
Level Contributor
1,813 posts
16 reviews
Manuel Antonio worth a side trip from Ojochal?

I realize this is a subjective question with no right answer, but I thought it would be worth fishing for opinions. If our family of 4 goes to MA, it would have to be as a day trip from further south on the coast, during a week there following a week on the Osa Peninsula. (All this in August.) So, the question isn't whether MA is worth visiting, it's whether its scenery or wildlife make it worth driving up instead of spending a longer beach day at, say, Marino Ballena or Playa Ventanas.

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
11,079 posts
23 reviews
1. Re: Manuel Antonio worth a side trip from Ojochal?

If you are first spending a week in the Osa I would not recommend a side trip from Ojochal to MA but would instead stay put, visit Ballena and be sure and check out Hacienda Baru. MA is a beautiful little park but a great deal of its value to tourists is that it allows them to see wildlife easily without foregoing the AC, luxury accomodations and lots of tourist infrastructure. IMO that would be highly redundant for your family after seeing all that wildlife in the Osa.

Bethesda MD
Level Contributor
1,813 posts
16 reviews
2. Re: Manuel Antonio worth a side trip from Ojochal?

Thanks -- you've put your finger on one of the main reasons we're thinking of skipping MA. On the other hand, we already are thinking of visiting Hacienda Baru (see my prior post re comparing its "Flight of the Toucans" to the Osa Canopy Tour; we'll probably try one or the other, as we try to replace the natural excitement of the Osa with more constructed forms), and a morning at MA combined with an afternoon at Hacienda Baru seemed doable.

california
Level Contributor
11,773 posts
169 reviews
3. Re: Manuel Antonio worth a side trip from Ojochal?

MA if you like crowds of people and haven't seen sloths or thieving monkeys and racoons during your stay yet...kind of guaranteed at the beach..

Hacienda Baru is great for hiking trails, too, although some may still be a bit muddy, but they do have rubber boots.You can self guide, but I had an excellent experience with a guided walk with Pedro Porras. Not only is he great at spotting wildlife (we saw a currasow and crested owl as well as some more typical birds, also does excellent interpretation on natural history). Highly recommend calling and requesting him as they may need to arrange in advance a day or two.

You can read the guide bios on the website, which I did after my tour,

love that place (HB) one of my highlights so far.

Edited: 11:14 am, November 14, 2010
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
52,351 posts
119 reviews
4. Re: Manuel Antonio worth a side trip from Ojochal?

I think is a good idea...go to Manuel Antonio...nice opportunity to see wild life...well of course some people there but really not that crazy!

roadadvisor

california
Level Contributor
11,773 posts
169 reviews
5. Re: Manuel Antonio worth a side trip from Ojochal?

I heard this morning (Tuesday) that the park was closed again today. There is still a lot of repairs needed. Be sure if you plan a long excursion to call first.

As an alternative I again recommend Hacienda Baru, $6 admission for self guiding, call ahead if you want to arrange a guide or one of their other activities. Their best guide is Pedro, but they have others.

www.haciendabaru.com

Bethesda MD
Level Contributor
1,813 posts
16 reviews
6. Re: Manuel Antonio worth a side trip from Ojochal?

Thanks, all. mlgb, we're very likely going to HB; I think the question boils down to whether to spend all day there or spend that morning at MA. All this in August so damage from Tomas is hopefully irrelevant. We'll play it by ear next summer, but I figured it would be easier to pose the question now while I'm planning and have easy web access than to try to do so then.

Marathon, Florida
Level Contributor
10 posts
28 reviews
7. Re: Manuel Antonio worth a side trip from Ojochal?

MA is beautiful just as is the rest of CR. If all you want to do is hike then stay on the peninsula, but MA has some of the BEST restaurants in CR, with amazing views. I like both, although my favorite place in CR is Golfito.

8. Re: Manuel Antonio worth a side trip from Ojochal?

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