If hiking is your thing, Manuel Antonio National Park has 6 different options for you to enjoy one of the country’s most visited parks.
It is important to underline that, as of February of this year, it has an elevated metal boardwalk that is 2.42 meters wide, designed so as to avoid impeding the passage of animals who live in the surrounding habitat.
It also has a railing designed for persons with disabilities, as well as children and seniors. In addition, the signage is also written in braille.
Find our about the main attractions:
- Trail: La Catarata: The trailhead is 200 meters from the park entrance. The trail is 900 meters long and, as its name suggests, it leads to a small waterfall (catarata in Spanish). You will see some frogs along the way, if you look closely.
- Trail: El Perezoso: This is one of the shortest trails: all visitors can enjoy it, as it runs parallel to the park’s main trail, along which visitors head to the various beaches and common areas, including showers and restrooms.
This scenic trail is favored by many of the park’s sloths, and is accessible to the general public.
- Trail: Punta Catedral: In addition to the park’s wonderful beaches, Punta Catedral is one of the most iconic parts of the park. It is 1.4 km long and takes about one hour to do the full tour. The site has several lookouts that allow you to enjoy spectacular views.
The trailheads are located at the ends of the Espadilla Norte and Espadilla Sur beaches, which it connects. Punta Catedral is a favorite among both locals and foreign tourists.
- Trail: Playa Gemelas: This short trail will take you to Playa Gemelas, and connects to the other trails in the western portion of the park. If you visit this trail during low tide, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a unique view of Punta Catedral.
- Trail: Mirador: 1.3 kilometers in length, this trail will lead you to a gorgeous lookout from where you will be able to observe the majestic beauty of Punta Serrucho, a landmark that has been given a sawtooth appearance due to numerous tectonic movements.
- Congo Trail: This short trail connects Playa Gemelas and the Mirador Trail; it can be used as an alternative return route.
- Take plenty of water if you plan on going down more than one trail.
- Don’t forget to take sunscreen, a hat to protect you from the sun, and insect repellent to guard against hungry mosquitoes.
- If you plan on exploring all of the trails, we recommend that you leave nice and early, as the park closes the trails at 4:00 p.m.
- Don’t leave the trails
- The manchineel tree, locally known as manzanillo, is toxic do not sit underneath it or eat (or even touch) its fruits.
- Enjoy nature the right way: do not touch wild plants or animals, do not collect shells.
- We invite you to experience a walk through the woods using the extensive trail network and the lookouts located in the park’s highest points, at around 160 meters above sea level. These lookouts allow you to appreciate the scenic beauty of the coast and the vegetation located in the more distant sectors of the park.
- The use of appropriate footwear is recommended while walking on the forest paths. Sandals are not recommended. Try not to make noise, do not leave the public areas and do not climb on railings or signs.
- Take care of your belongings at all times and try not to carry food that attracts wildlife. Remember that feeding wild animals is not allowed. Some products may have a serious impact on their health and lead to changes in their behavior.
- Do not interact with the animals. Keep your distance and do not leave food within their reach.
- Help keep the area clean. Do not leave trash or any traces of your visit.
- The park sees fewer visitors during the months of September and October, since this is the peak of the rainy season. If you visit during this time, it is recommended to visit early in the day and use suitable clothing.
- It is important to remember that this park does not have vehicle parking and the only road between Quepos and Manuel Antonio has very heavy traffic during the peak season.
- The park rangers only work inside the park and their uniform bears the logos of the national park system, SINAC. Always remember that you can ask them for information if you need.
- The main entrance station has feedback forms where you can leave your opinion about the park.
It is important to note that the following are NOT allowed:
- Entering with food and/or drinks of any kind under the conditions and with exceptions set out by the park administration.
- Feeding wildlife.
- Entering with pets of any kind.
- Damaging the infrastructure, plant life, animals and other items in the area.
- Taking away firewood or building fires.
- Carrying weapons.
- Causing disturbances, behaving improperly or smoking, consuming liquor or drugs.
- Posting advertisements of any kind.
- Fishing or hunting.
- Beach umbrellas, beach balls, tents and hammocks are not allowed.
Photo by Drew Sullivan on Unsplash