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Manuel Antonio National Park


Manuel Antonio National Park is the smallest of the parks in Costa Rica but one of the most popular. Located just 80 miles from San Jose and   just 10 miles south of the town of Quepos on the Pacfic Coast, it is popular because of the three spectacular white sand beaches: Espadilla Sur, Manuel Antonio and Puerto Escondido.  THe beaches are fringed by a lush forest that  supports a varied fauna and it is not unusual to see iguanas and monkeys on the beach. There are also 12 small islets off the coast.

The park's forest, mangroves, lagoons and beach vegetation support 1009 species of mammals and 184 species of birds, with migrantrs bringing the bird species to some 270. Among the inhabitants that can be easily seen are sloths, iguanas, agoutis, armadillos, coatimundis, raccoons and the adorable squirrel monkey.

Manuel Antonio contains a charming combination of rain forest, beaches and coral reefs. This beaches are the most beautiful in the country, lined with lush forest, and the snorkeling is excellent too. The forest is home for sloths, iguanas, the rare and adorable squirrel monkeys and millions of colorful little crabs. And the trail that winds around Punta Catedral affords some spectacular views. The park is easy to reach, south of the town of Quepos, and is near a good selection of hotels and restaurants.

Quepos:
Quepos is the support system for visitors to Manuel Antonio.  Originally a banana exporting port, today endless rows of oil-producing African palms have replaced the bananas. Quepos is a main sport fishing center and tourism has become a main means of income for the area.

Getting there:
By acheduled auir service, approximately 20 minute flight.   Luggage weight limit 25 lbs. per person.
By car, a drive of around 3 1/2 hours.

WHAT TO DO IN THE AREA:

Birding:
More than 270 species, including migrants, can potentially be observed in the park and the surrounding area. There are 15 different types of hummingbirds, including purple-crowned fairies, violet-crowned woodnymphs, white-crested coquettes, and blue-throated golden-tails; Magnificent Frigate birds, parakeets, parrots, 4types of tanagers, 3 types of euponias and 3 of honeycreepers.

World Class Fishing:
Marlin - Best in Octover but also good in September and November.
Sailfish - December through the end of April is rated the best season.
Tuna - Found throughout the year they most abundant from about June through September.
Dorado - Best with the winter rains that start in late May
Roosterfish - Best during the summer months, from June through early September.
Snook - Best months July through November during the heavy rainy season.

Other activities in and around Quepos:
  • River rafting
  • Kayaking
  • Surfing
  • Snorkeling
  • Mountain Biking
  • Horseback Riding