Luxury Manuel Antonio National Park Vacations

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Where idyllic, white-sanded beaches meet luscious rainforest, this destination offers a unique spectacle of Costa Rican biodiversity

Manuel_Antonio_Free_Stock_Image_Unsplash_2021_CCDennis_Michel-KLWMun6dlhQ_elih5b-2 Located on the coastline of the Pacific Coast, take in the incredible wildlife that lives within the extraordinary ecosystem

On the Costa Rican Pacific coast, just 165 km from the bustling San José, Manuel Antonio National Park is ideally located and embodies the heart of Central American wildlife. This is the smallest national park in Costa Rica, which encases only 1,950 terrestrial hectares. This does not speak to the rich environment protected here. Impressive diversity in the ecosystem distinguishes visiting Manuel Antonio National Park from any other in Costa Rica, as four enchanting beaches guide you to the 55,000 marine hectares, which the park also guards. This treasure trove of biodiversity has been protected since 1972, only enabling its further flourishment.

You are welcomed into morning bird songs and a tender temperature, as an early start maximizes your chances of observing the more introverted wildlife. Meet your professional local naturalist guide for a tour along a trail of 1,500 meters, which meanders through a jungle rich in wild flora and fauna. These well-versed hands familiarise you with colorful wildlife which could go amiss without their practiced eyes. The camouflage of the ample foliage begins to transform into something even more magnificent. Tracing the treetops are booming Howler monkeys, White-faced Capuchins, and even the rare and delightful Squirrel monkey. Accompanying them, an abundance of adorable two-toed and three-toed sloths. For eager-eyed bird-watchers, a manifold of aviary life dashes a spectrum of color amongst the greenery, from the delicate Mangrove hummingbird to the cunning Crane hawk.

During your holiday to Costa Rica, combine a journey through the coastal rainforest with a connecting visit to two of the park’s blissful beaches, both overlooking glistening crystal-clear waters. Bisecting the vast ocean and the luscious rainforest, these beaches are home to plenty more wildlife, including dozens of iguanas who frequently dart across the shore. Perhaps, once your thirst for adventure is quenched, the cooling natural shade and soft, white sands of Playa Manuel Antonio are just what you need. This crescent-shaped beach is encased by thick foliage and overlooks an expansive oceanic scenery, evoking within you a feeling of serene disconnect from the rest of the world.  

Playa Manuel Antonio stretches toward the park’s centerpiece, “Punta Catedral”, a tombolo encircled by a rocky peninsula, offering stunning views from a higher vantage point. Amazing sights await you beyond the shore, as boundless, vibrant coral reefs offer astounding snorkeling opportunities. Become an undisruptive guest to the Sting Rays, Sea Horses and other thriving marine communities within the Park’s waters. For adventure travelers in need of a more action-packed encounter with these dazzling waters, surfboard rentals and lessons are offered on Playa Manuel Antonio. 

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Your Luxury Manuel Antonio National Park Trip Ideas

A trip to Manuel Antonio National Park is ideal for anyone looking for tropical rainforests, mangroves, and sandy beaches. We feature a two-night stay in our Classic Costa Rica itinerary. You'll enjoy a stay at Arenas del Mar, a luxurious eco-friendly rainforest resort, alongside experiencing a rainforest safari and swimming in the park's own beaches.

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When to go to Manuel Antonio National Park

The perfect time of year to visit Manuel Antonio tends to be the dry season, from December to April, when temperatures are pleasant and rainfall is generally low. Wildlife is the most enjoyable, with brighter, clearer scenes and skies. We are also strong advocates for the shoulder season in November, or May to July, to beat the crowds and get the park at its most untouched.   

When booking, it is worth bearing in mind that the park is closed on Tuesdays. We also advise avoiding weekend excursions to Manuel Antonio, due to its high tourism appeal and prestige which has arisen from its beautiful beaches. Whilst the Park has capped visitor numbers to around 1,200 people per day, in the cause of reducing the possibility of disrupting wildlife, we also recommend kickstarting your day trip early to avoid crowds. An early start will also maximize your time to explore, leaving you feeling relaxed and contented when the Park closes at 4 p.m.

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Find out more and tailor your perfect trip with the help of our specialist team

Lotte Nash
Lotte Nash

Luxury Travel Specialist

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