Sunday Special – Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica

The small yet beautiful Central American country of Costa Rica is a popular destination for many travelers. It is a place that I myself want to visit one day soon. It is not just the beaches that draw people to this tropical gem. Much of the land there is protected, in fact 25% of it is, which makes tropical rain forests, local flora and fauna, and scenic landscape bucket list worthy. The Costa Rican government has set up and maintained several nation parks that showcase much of these lush areas. Although Manuel Antonio National Park is Costa Rica’s smallest park (at 1,983 ha / 4,900 acres) it is one of the most popular, mainly due to its apparent beauty.

White-headed Capuchin found in Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica – Photo credit: No machine-readable author provided. Omnijohn73 assumed (based on copyright claims)., White-Headed Capuchin Manuel AntonioCC BY-SA 3.0

Established in 1972, the park is found on the Pacific Coast some 132 km / 82 miles from the capital city of San Jose with other towns nearby. In fact there are accommodations available within the park’s area. One could actually spend a couple days enjoying the area.

The abundance of wildlife is definitely a draw for the park. Monkey, sloths, and birds can be spotted. Though that is just a part of what is available here. There are some lovely beaches to relax in or catch a sunset. With the beaches comes snorkeling and kayaking activities. Or find yourself sailing on a catamaran. If you are feeling more active you can hike some of the various trails or go zip-lining though the trees. Butterfly tours or bird watching tours are available, as well as a vanilla spice tour. Maybe a night time jungle tour piques your interest? There is no lack of activities in this popular Costa Rican paradise.

View of Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica – Photo is Public Domain (
Butterfly in Manuel Antonio National Park – Photo credit: D. Gordon E. RobertsonDiasia Clearwing (Ithomia diasia), Costa RicaCC BY-SA 3.0

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