Situated on the west coast in the heart of Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio is home to one of the most beautiful beaches and most popular national parks in Costa Rica. What this stunning beach town lacks in terms of big city excitement it more than makes up for with its amazing wildlife, serene coasts, and delicious eateries. Visitors can hike for hours through the Manuel Antonio National Park, walk on the white sand beaches and swim through crystalline water. Because of the amazing location and nature that abounds, this area can actually become quite busy with visitors in summer, but its easy to escape into the wilderness with a guided hike or to a hideaway hotel in the local village and really immerse yourself in Costa Rican life.
Whether you are looking for pristine beaches, delicious food, awe-inspiring nature, or all three, Manuel Antonio has what you’re looking for! Take advantage of this heaven on earth and come to Manuel Antonio.
Costa Rican Colón
Important dates in Costa Rica
- January 1st: New Year’s DayMarch/April: Easter WeekApril 11: Juan Santamaria DayMay 1st: Labor Day
July 25: Annexation of Guanacaste Day
Aug 2: Patron Saint Day
Aug. 15: Mother’s Day
Sept. 15: Independence Day
Oct 12 (entire weekend): Limon Carnaval
Nov. 2: Dia de los Inocentes
Dec. 24: Christmas eve
Dec. 25: Christmas Day
- Manual Antonio park is known for its sightings of exotic animals. If you are lucky you can see crocodiles, four types of monkey, sloths, arboreal porcupines and more all in the same day!
- Though the park is not that large, its home to a huge array of different plant and animal species, including 109 different mammal species and 184 bird species.
- When visiting the park, make sure to do your research about parking and location. There are some fake parking attendants who have been known to guide tourists to illegal parking zones far from the park instead of the free, closer parking lot.
Good to know
Entrance fee for the park is $16 for non residents, but free for children up to 12 years old. Make sure you bring your swim suit, towel, water, hiking boots and camera for this adventure!
Culture and Etiquette in Costa Rica
The influence of the culture for this region comes from the Caribbean, North and South America. The locals, who are endearingly called Ticos, are very proud of their heritage and enjoy conversing with foreigners about family, politics, education, peace and their homeland. Speaking of interaction between locals, when asked how you are doing, it’s common to state pura vida, which translates to full of life, in this particular instance. This word, used in many contexts, is as fluid as water. Ticos use it to answer ‘how are you?’, to reply to a ‘thanks’, and just to express joy.
You won’t have a hard time making friends with the Ticos, as they are friendly humans who take pride in their piece of paradise. When it comes to punctuality, you can expect lateness, as it is just a slice of the culture. In order to conserve the beautiful nature of ‘chill’ that exists in Costa Rica, the lack of awareness and recognition of time’s importance needs to be peacefully accepted. When traveling by bus, just make sure you are planning for a possible 2-hour delay.
If you plan to venture through the rainforests it’s best to bring bug spray, long pants and a hat. Creepy crawly bugs are not strangers to this area. For those who enjoy soaking up the rays in the beach zone, relaxed attire is very much welcome here.