The area of Manuel Antonio, on Costa Rica's Pacific Coast, is home to one of Costa Rica's most popular and scenic national parks. It has beautiful white sand beaches backed by dense lush rainforest, a well marked trail system and prolific wildlife, such as toucans and several species of monkeys. It's easily accessible by road from San Jose in just a few hours and is a beautiful stretch of coastline that remains unspoilt due to its national park status.
There are registered naturalist guides at the entrance to the Manuel Antonio National Park who can take you wildlife spotting along the trails. You can choose to stay in the area, either around the town of Quepos, along the coast near the park or up in the cliffs overlooking the coast. There are some very comfortable options.
Manuel Antonio National Park is a wonderful place to include in a Costa Rica itinerary and is also popular with Ticos (locals) who drive down from San Jose at weekends. However if you visit early in the morning or mid-week you should avoid too many fellow travellers.
If you are starting your tour at Corcovado National Park, you can fly from Palmar Sur in the west of the Osa Peninsula to Quepos in order to then stay near Manuel Antonio National Park, instead of returning via San Jose.
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