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Hike Manuel Antonio National Park

The famous hike of Manuel Antonio National Park is similar to visiting the TajMahal in India and having been to both I can tell you that they both give you a moment of WOW! but they also both give you a moment of rubbing elbows with what feels to be every other tourist in the country.

Unlike the Taj Mahal, Manuel Antonio is in its natural state and is a vibrantrainforest that rubs the edge of the beautiful beaches of the park. It is well worth spending the day and although not a must see, it is the perfect option for those looking for a more relaxed vacation.

At the little town of Manuel Antonio you can find a bit of everything. I would compare the actual area to a ski resort town filled with seasonal visitors and all your places to eat, tours, and shops in one stop. We only mention this in the description of the hike to Manuel Antonio National Park, because all of this structure and commerce is located just outside of the park and the park is essentially locked into a corner with a small corridor allowing for its animals to come and go. The animals in the area have been semi-domesticated and it will be interesting to see how this all unfolds in the coming years if construction continues to grow in the area.

The hike in the park is made up of different trails some of which open to different viewing points of the beautiful beaches and different rock structures in the ocean. The park has optional trails that will be more challenging at times or a chance to just stay on flat trails with still plenty of wildlife to see. Entering the park with a naturalist guide can be a bit of a drag if you enter with a large group and take turns of seeing a sloth, monkey, or toucan through the lens of a telescope. Your private Costa Rican Resource guide can take you down some of the side trails which at times are still crowded but offer a chance for you and the family to get a great look at the different species.

Reasons to Go?

  • Wildlife (Although they are more tamed then some kids)?
  • Some of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica
  • Enjoy crowds and people watching
  • Easy hiking
  • This is a National Park

Reasons NOT to Go?

  • Large Crowds
  • Ranger Vehicles on main hiking trail (Its a road)
  • Large Hotel built by China at park entrance (Similar to needles in your eyes)
  • Long lines to see an animal if park is crowded
  • Closed on Mondays