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“don't go for the animals”

Playa Manuel Antonio
Book In Advance
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$55.00*
and up
Manuel Antonio National Park Hiking Tour
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$99.00*
and up
Guided Tour of Manuel Antonio National Park from Jaco
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$59.00*
and up
Manuel Antonio National Park
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed November 13, 2012

November 12, 2012 We saw a deer (only because I pointed it out) iguanas, spiders, lizards, sloths (very high in trees). If you are here to see animals don't bother with the Manuel ANtonio Nation Park. Yes, a guide might be helpful to find these animals, but you will see them many other places without paying. If you want to pay the entrance fee, $10, to go to the beach. It is worth it. This was the only swimming beach in Manuel Antonio. Make sure you take everything you need. We paid for a tour with a bilingual guide $55 a piece. He didn't make it clear that we would quickly move through the park, see a few animals, look at the beach for 20 minutes. I was the only person who went into the water. I had assumed we would be allowed to come back and spend time on our own. Instead we left the beach saw a few more lizards and we were split out of the park in downtown manuel antonio. Now we are out of the park and can't go back. You can go back, but you need to make sure you show ID and sign a book at the entrance, before you enter the park. Very disappointing.

5  Thank fatandover50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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6,341 - 6,345 of 10,051 reviews

Reviewed November 12, 2012

The park provides an opportunity to see many animals, insects, snakes and other flora/fauna that you would miss with the naked eye. Make sure to get a guide who can point out the animals that you would never see.

Thank Heath B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2012

We stayed next door at the Hotel San Bada and came to the park two days. However, we looked out on the park all the time..... every morning and night we were basically in the park. You will be approached by some naturalist for a 130 min tour with scopes and education. They are great for many people. However if you are knowledgable enough and observant you can tour on your own. The beaches are very nice but watch your stuff. Not people thieves but monkeys and raccoons who know how to open your bags and help themselves. Make sure you dont leave on the beach and go back to do some of the other trails the overlooks are incredible. Bring water and snacks... none inside. There are grocery stores in Quepos or stands near the entrance. Wildlife we say: Two and Three toed sloths, iguanas, frogs, iguanas, monkeys-howlers, white faced capuchins.... insects.

Thank EcoAdventuretraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2012

Nice beach to sit or surf. The currents can be rather strong so stay close to the lifeguards. Lots of great shops near the restaurant that is on the beach.

Thank EcoAdventuretraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2012

Our second visit to this primeval heaven was just as great as the first one three years ago. I highly suggest paying for a guide if this is your first trip. (Ask for "George - the one with six kids," he is an incredible guide and lots of fun!) On this visit, we decided to make a day of it and pack a lunch for the beach. They are very serious about NOT feeding the animals, and NOT leaving any garbage behind. Fair enough. Your bags and back packs are thoroughly checked by security before entering and we immediately discovered - "no alcohol either!" Again, fair enough - we went back to the car and had lunch a little early while transferring our beer from the can to our insides. (Never waste a cold beer!) Be sure to pack water for the duration of the visit - you will need it.
The walk can be as strenuous or easy as you want to make it. Stop and stand quietly every now and then - you may be rewarded with finding a 'Three-toed-Sloth' or a monkey or toucan. Keep your camera handy. (The trails are excellent and you can take planned short cuts when you wish.) We took the long route this time and were in awe of the views at each resting platform. We climbed to the highest point and watched whales swim by in the distance! Inside the forest you have no problem 'seeing' what earth was like thousands of years ago - before we arrived. Everything is on a grand scale and you really feel like you are a visitor -back in time.

We stopped for a swim at one of the beaches (Playa Manuel Antonio) and they have now constructed excellent changing and shower facilities in a couple of spots. Great place for pictures because you just can't describe the scene to those who haven't been there - yet. Watch your bags on the beach - the monkeys, and lizards think you have food for them and they intend to find it, (smile).

TIP: If you are driving to the park be aware of the parking scams. DO NOT listen to the 'official looking' guy in uniform who tries to make you 'park here'. (It is up to 5 KM away from the entrance to the park.) Just say 'NO', and keep driving. We found parking along the road, right at the front entrance, across the street from the little kiosk where you buy your tickets to the park. Saved your walking energy for the park.

1  Thank valred888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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