5 Things You Have to Do When Visiting Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio is an incredibly dynamic destination that offers visitors a wide variety of activities, While famous for its beaches, Manuel Antonio is rich in landscapes and entertainment. Mountains, rivers, waterfalls, and rainforests offer visitors a myriad of options to have the vacation of their dreams, all in the same place. If you’re planning on vacationing in Manuel Antonio, be sure to do these 7 things to enjoy your trip to the fullest!

1. Snorkeling

The beaches in Manuel Antonio are some of the most beautiful in the world. White sand, turquoise waters, and lots of trees providing shade create the perfect setting for an afternoon stroll or sunbath. But one thing you can’t miss when visiting the beaches is snorkeling. No matter if you decide to book a tour or venture out yourself, the experience is guaranteed to be one of the best of your life. Our personal recommendation is to visit Playa Manuel Antonio,  situated inside the national park. The beach is set inside a cove with cliffs on either side and volcanic rock below the water; you’ll find that brightly colored fish and numerous other species are easy to spot near coral reefs.

2. Guided hike in Manuel Antonio Park

Hiking in Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the best things you can do when visiting the town. While going by yourself will surely be an exciting adventure, hiring a guide will enhance your experience to a league of its own. Guides have a great eye for wildlife spotting and know all the ins and outs of each species. Plus, the national park offers universal hiking trails with wheelchair access, signs in Braille, and fun vantage points with amazing views of the coastline. 

3. Sportfishing in the Marina Pez Vela

Manuel Antonio is one of the best destinations in Costa Rica to practise sport fishing. Quepos is known as the Billfish Capital of the World, so booking a sport fishing tour will guarantee you the affair of a lifetime. No matter if you’re a beginner or an expert angler, the amazing flatwater fishing on this side of the Pacific Coast will surely amaze you.  You’ll find plenty of options with well-equipped fishing boats that can take you on charters for half a day and even an entire week.  Don’t miss out on the fun!

4. Visit the Rainmaker Reserve

The Rainmaker is one of the must-see destinations in Manuel Antonio. This reserve offers hiking trails, hanging bridges, and platforms that meander through and hover over the lush rainforests. Filled with all types of wildlife, the hiking trails sprawl over 4 kilometers, reaching all the way to the ridgeline of the Fila Chonta mountain range. The pathway continues until you reach a lookout point and then drop into the canyon, and by the end, you’ll enjoy a refreshing plunge in the waterfall pool. The Rainmaker is also a project geared towards conservation, so your visit will contribute to the preservation of this natural beauty.

5. Parasailing

Not for the faint of heart! If you’re looking for adventure and adrenaline, then make sure you include a parasailing tour in your itinerary. There is no experience that can compare to flying 600 feet over Manuel Antonio’s coastline, and taking in some of the most impressive views you’ll ever lay your eyes on. One cool thing about parasailing in Manuel Antonio is that you get the chance to take off from the beach and not a boat, which makes the experience that much more thrilling!

Are you ready to experience the best of Manuel Antonio? Contact us to book your luxury vacation rental! 

Manuel Antonio National Park: Visitors’ Guide

Discover why Manuel Antonio is Costa Rica’s Most Popular National Park!

Situated in the Central Pacific Coast, Manuel Antonio is home to one of the world’s most beautiful national parks. This protected area garners more than 600,000 visitors every year who are looking for the ultimate tropical paradise: white sand, warm waters, and astounding natural landscapes.

The Manuel Antonio National Park spans over 1,983 hectares of land and 55,000 hectares of sea surface. Exuberant rainforests embedded between towering mountains meet the sea in a setting that is the home of more than 109 species of mammals and 352 species of birds. Universal hiking trails, paradisiac beaches, and myriad wildlife sightings characterize any visit to this conservation area. Continue reading to know what to expect when visiting the Manuel Antonio National Park.

Beaches at Manuel Antonio National Park

  • Playa Gemelas: This beautiful beach is called “Gemelas” which is the word for “twins” in Spanish. It is divided in the middle by a rocky formation that sprawls into the ocean, and due to the marine currents and the movement of the tectonic plates, Playa Gemela is unique in its kind as it never stops changing. 
  • Playa Manuel Antonio: Manuel Antonio Beach is perhaps the most beautiful beach in the conservation area. The reef and rocky formations on either side of the stretch of sand are ideal to snorkel and witness the richness in marine life. 
  • Playa Espadilla Sur: This beach is known for having a stronger tide which makes it the least visited of the national park. Nonetheless, it is still strikingly beautiful and perfect to sunbathe thanks to its width.

Lookout Points at Manuel Antonio National Park

  • Punta Catedral: This area of the national park was once an island. Nowadays, the accumulation of sediment has created a natural bridge of sand. Walking to Punta Catedral you’ll find three different vantage points that overlook neighboring islets. 
  • Punta Serrucho:  This lookout point is poised over a tectonic fault, and due to constant movements, the shape resembles a saw, which is the literal translation of the word “serrucho”. 
  • Puerto Escondido: This is one of the best lookout points of the park and showcases a lovely phenomenon during low tide. Head out here if you want to see the surrounding islets connected by natural sand bridges.

Other Attractions at Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio also features other bodies of water including the mangrove swamp and a small waterfall. The swamp is a combination of sweet and salty water that spans over 18 hectares and showcases three different species of halophytes. Moreover, the waterfall is a phenomenon that happens only during the green season. 

There is also a site called  “La Trampa” (The Trap) which can be found on the right side of Manuel Antonio Beach, next to Punta Catedral. Archeological remains form a circle that can be appreciated during low tide, which legend says was used by the indigenous people to capture fish.

Services at Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio offers universal trails with signs, which are easy to follow and enable children of all ages and people with disabilities to enjoy the beauty of the site. There are essential services like potable water, showers and dressing rooms,  and restrooms. Additionally, you can also hire the services of a tourist guide, and there are a few shops selling souvenirs, snacks, and even lockers.

Do you need help booking a tour to Manuel Antonio National Park? Book one of our vacation rentals and let us plan your dream vacation.

December is here!

December is here, and that means our summer season is just around the corner. As the Green season rains recede in the Quepos/Manuel Antonio area, the tropical sun takes over. Blue skies and warm breezes are a welcome daily occurrence, topped off with an array of picturesque sunsets. The surrounding rainforest is at its peak, lush and green, and colorful scarlet macaws and toucans grace the skyline. Down below, monkeys frolic while sloths hang out in high perches. The palm-studded Manuel Antonio beach hosts small groups of families, enjoying their surroundings responsibly, along with the usual assortment of surfers and sunbathers.

While there is of course no snow, nor roaring fires in fireplaces, Christmas is still a festive celebration in Costa Rica. A tropical Christmas has its own unique vibe– decorated cypress trees, home made tamales, and plenty of rompope (eggnog), all under the warm summer sun. While most years would see families thronging to the beach, this year is different and celebrations will be more at home with one’s own family bubble.

There is plenty of action off-shore as well. For the anglers, the recently concluded Marina Pez Vela open kicked off our 2021 fishing season. Numerous sailfish and blue marlin were caught and released, and plenty of mahi mahi and yellowfin tuna were reeled in and taken to local restaurants to be prepared and eaten. Next up is the Pelagic Rock Star tournament on January 16th and 17th, followed by the ladies only Pescadora tourney in February, as we thankfully put 2020 behind us and look to brighter days in the coming year.

If you have ever wanted to experience a Costa Rican Christmas celebration, flight prices are drastically reduced for this time of year. For families and groups we still have space in some of our luxury houses for the week of December 19-26. It is not too late to escape the cold dark days of the north and head down for some sunshine and a warm Costa Rica welcome. Feliz Navidad!