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“Beautiful Beach - But below average snorkeling”

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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$94.99*
and up
Manuel Antonio National Park
Certificate of Excellence
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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 January 21, 2013

This is an absolutely lovely beach, with wonderful shaded sitting areas. It is a small bay with nice scenery everywhere. Our only disappointment was we had determined this was the best snorkeling area in Manuel Antonio NP region, and it turned out too murky to see much. Four days later booked a 3-1/2 hour snorkeling excursion which basically brought us back to this same beach, but a little further out near some large rocks...the visibility there was better, but not that much. The weather during our entire stay was sunny and warm, so it wasn't a weather issue. After being there, I think the snorkeling in Costa Rica is just is not as good as other places like the Caribbean, Hawaii, etc. Pity.

Thank travelj60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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6,157 - 6,161 of 9,966 reviews

Reviewed January 21, 2013

This beach is a such a wonderful reminder of sweet beach towns before they became too commercial. Spend a few hours walking the beach and playing in the waters then grab a beer and people watch.

Thank michael p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2013

Plan an cool morning too spend about 4 hours and you will see monkeys, sloths, birds and waterfall that you will not believe. There is a reason people flock to the parks so do not miss it.

Thank michael p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2013

We went to the park on our own - there were 10 of us - but based on advice here, we did engage a guide for our time there. I would agree with other raters that a guide is very helpful in terms of finding wildlife - the jungle is quite dense and many of the animals are nestled in trees so are difficult for an unpracticed eye to spot. Having said that, the park was VERY busy on the day we visited, and we came across endless groups of people grouped around their guide looking at identified animals. If we had been on our own, and had brought a pair of binoculars or a telescope, we may well have been able to scope the animals ourselves. I titled this review Not so Natural because while we enjoyed the park, it was so crowded, and the tour path so much like a road, that it didn't feel at all like we were in a wilderness area. It felt quite commercial. To be fair, we did not venture off on our own down some of the trails that apparently lead to more desolate and interesting sections, but we were a large group with an infant so we stuck to the main tour.

All in all, the animals seen - 2 and 3 toed sloths, lizards, White Faced Monkeys, Hawks, frogs, crabs - were interesting, the tour had a feel of being "posed" to me. I would say the park is a nice feature, but it didn't rise to a "must do" activity for me.

1  Thank Thomas G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2013

1) This is a really nice beach, lots of the same wildlife you see all over Costa Rica, birds, monkeys, sloths, trees. The Guides take you on the same short path everyone uses to get to the beach. Everyone sees the same animals. These are the worst guides in all of Costa Rica. It is really a scam. Just trust me. Also it seems that many people go to this park for free by just walking in the EXIT! 2) The first beach is really crowded. Follow the trail and you will find you are on peninsula. With water on both sides you have more beach on the other side! It is easy to find a very private area on the other side.

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

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