Manuel Antonio National Park is the crown jewel of Costa Rica’s National Parks system. The park encompasses 1,684 acres (682 hectares) of jungle and beach, and 135,000 acres (55,000 hectares) of marine environment and islands – plus tons of monkeys and other wildlife.
Manuel Antonio National Park is home and protection to 106 species of mammals, over 180 species of birds, innumerable butterfly, insect, and reptile species, as well as the rich jungle they live in.
A walk through the park rewards visitors with frequent sightings of the White Faced and Howler monkeys, as well as two and three toed sloth, iguanas and hundreds of other exotic birds. Manuel Antonio is also one of the last two remaining habitats in the world of the small and playful Titi Monkey (Squirrel Monkey or Mono Titi). They are a common sight, especially near the entrance of the park.
Within the park are a series of crescent shaped white sand beaches, surrounded by rain forest, which comes almost to the water’s edge at high tide. These beaches are easily accessed by well-groomed trails that wind throughout the park.
The information center is located just inside the park’s entrance. Facilities include: restrooms, showers, picnic areas, and drinking water. The entrance fee is $7 and visitors can roam freely throughout the park or choose one to a naturalist guide to help you spot sloths, lizards and other exotic animals.
A day in Manuel Antonio Park is sure to be a highlight of your trip to Costa Rica. Pack a lunch, and have a picnic in the jungle or on one of the sandy beaches and be sure to take your camera.
Cathedral point is Manual Antonio Park’s most prominent feature. It is a lush jungle point, rising out of the ocean at the South end of Manuel Antonio beach, and connected to the mainland by a thin strip of land.
Park hours: 7:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
Directions: Drive to the main paved road and turn right. Go 7 kilometers till you arrive at Manuel Antonio Beach. Continue on the road till it ends and park. There will usually be a parking attendant guiding you to parking area.
Entrance Fee: $7.00/person
The most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica are right here in Manuel Antonio – a variety of private beaches and the famous “Main Beach” next to the National Park!
La Macha Beach
Follow a 25 minute shaded jungle trail hike from Casa Maravilla down to this secluded, very private cove. For maximum enjoyment try and go to the beach during low tide. We recommend secured shoes and bring drinking water for the hike.
Go out the main gate and walk toward the parking area for Villa Teca Hotel. Before you reach the parking hang a sharp right toward Villa Kristina and follow this road down until it ends. The road then narrows to a walking trail. Continue on this trail always following forks to the right all the way to the beach.
On your trip to La Macha Beach there is also an excellent hiking trail that takes you out on a ridgeline 50 meters above the beach. You will see great views of the beach below as well as further up the coast from several lookout points.
Follow instructions above to La Macha Beach. Before you get to where the road narrows there is a house built directly on the main road on your left-hand side. Directly across from this house (to your right) you will see the entrance to the path. Follow this path on to the end of the ridgeline. It’s about 1 hour and 15 minutes round trip from the house. We recommend secured shoes and bringing drinking water for your hike.
Manuel Antonio Beach
These three beaches are separated by headlands and are some of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica and quite possibly – the world. It’s a long stretch of white sand beach that offers you a great place to just relax under a beach umbrella on a lounge chair, with several waiters walking around to serve you lunch or your favorite Cocktail, or you can surf with the locals. This beach is also where you will find our local Art Street Fair. You will discover an abundance of jewelry, T-shirts and many other crafts prepared by our local artist.
Only a few minute drive away from any of our Luxury homes, this beach will be a highlight of your stay in Manuel Antonio.
Located next to the National Park, the main beach is on the main road before you get to the park. You can turn to the right down a dirt road and park at the end for free or go left and park in one of the numerous designated parking areas.
Only a few minutes drive from each of our homes, this beach is a picturesque cove with white sands and a stunning jungle view. Its calm waters are great for snorkeling, swimming, kayaking and for children.
Off the main paved road, turn toward the ocean on the road across from Café Milagro in the center of Manuel Antonio. About half way down you will come to a fork on the road. Go right, toward the El Parador Hotel. Drive about 1 mile. You will pass Issimo Suites but if you arrive at the El Parador Hotel you have gone too far. You will not see beach from parking area. Walking trail starts between two concrete posts. It’s about a 3 minute walking trail to this beautiful cove beach. Often times on your walk you will be visited by Monkeys.
National Park Beaches
Inside the National Park adjacent to Manuel Antonio Beach, you will come across numerous cove beaches to choose from. Playa Espindilla is just one of these beaches. With its stunning jungle backdrop this beach is full of wildlife and its calm waters truly makes this beach Paradise on Earth.
Drive to the National park and continue on the road till it ends and park. There will usually be a parking attendant guiding you to parking area.
$7.00 per person.
***Park is Closed on Mondays***
Las Palmas Beach
Off the beaten path drive 30 minutes outside of Quepos through an African Palm Plantation to this very secluded palm lined beach.
Go back through Quepos and out the same road you came in from San Jose. Past Café Milagro (in Quepos not in Manuel Antonio) over the small bridge driving North up the coast. (Toward Jaco) Drive about 25 minutes and you will cross a big metal bridge and enter the town of Parrita. Go through Parrita and a few minutes outside of town. Passing a soccer field on your right, turn left on a dirt road before the Autocolor Los Angeles Auto Body Shop. The road will wind you through the African Palm Plantation. Right past the restaurant Kay Camiones the road curves to the left, a ways up to the right, and then a left again. Follow the curves and tire tracks staying on the main part of the road. You will drive through a small town and follow the Cabina sign turning left. This road ends at the beach and you can drive right up and park anywhere among the palms. Stopping at Las Brisas Del Mar Restaurant, if you with to enjoy a typical Costa Rican meal. The road paralleling the beach goes for miles in either direction. Making this a great site seeing route with numerous beaches, a small river and restaurants.