It’s truly a jungle paradise. If someone only has time to see one place when they visit Costa Rica, it’s guaranteed to be Manuel Antonio National Park. Rain or shine there are guaranteed to be wild animals out to see!
Here’s 5 Reasons Why We Love Manuel Antonio
1. Closest You’ll Ever Get to Monkeys in the Wild
The monkeys are really thick here. Sometimes too thick!
The Howler monkeys are lazily stretched out in the trees on the way in to the park. They seem to be always taking a nap!
The White-Faced Capuchin monkeys move in packs through the trails. They make a crashing sound as they jump from tree to tree, and it always feels like we’re being followed with the trees swishing and cracking.
On the beach they are little daredevils! They saunter up to a backpack and open all the zippers looking for a bag of chips or cookies. If it’s small enough, they’ll just run off with the whole thing! Between them and the iguanas you really have to be on your guard watching the little stinkers.
2. The Water is Really Warm
The water is always the perfect temperature, year-round! The beach is in a big cove, so it’s perfect for hanging out without getting washed around by the waves. The surfing spots area bit up the road.
3. Beautiful Hike With Wonderful Views and Wildlife
There are miles of trails to explore inside the Manuel Antonio national park, and even a few waterfalls! I love being able to stop and listen to the wildlife jumping through the trees, watch the birds swoop from perch to perch, and even look at the insects running around on the leaves and ground.
The trails have awesome viewpoints of the ocean, the cove and the islands just offshore. There are even a few popular geocaches inside the park that are fun to find. Sometimes it takes some sweat to get there, but it’s worth it!
If you want to see all the animals along the trail, definitely hire a guide on your way in. On the other hand, if you only spend 2 hours at a zoo, you’ll probably want to skip them.
4. People Watching is Hilarious
This is one of our favorite pastimes when we’re traveling. There’s such a mix of nationalities with all the tourists there’s bound to be some crazy people to watch. The fashions from other countries never ceases to amaze us!
5. Nothing Beats a Picnic on the Beach
The beach in the cove is a perfect place to relax and eat lunch. We usually bring a sandwich and some snacks, but some groups bring a pile of coolers and have a feast! There are a few picnic tables, but no restaurants or snack shacks inside the park.
The monkeys and iguanas really keep you on your guard watching so the little stinkers don’t go through your backpack. Or worse, grab the food right out of your hand! Do your part and don’t feed them or let them steal your food.
Bonus #6. There’s Ice Cream Waiting For You After the Hike Out
There’s always an excuse to get ice cream! A hot hike out of the jungle is as good as any!
We hope you have a chance to explore the Manuel Antonio National Park. You won’t regret it!