Manuel Antonio National Park

May 19th 2011
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Beaches, monkeys, and sloths

Four miles south of Quepos on the Central Pacific Coast, Manual Antonio National Park is the smallest park in the country but also one of the most visited. As many as 150,000 visitors come each year for the swimmable white-sand beaches, the lush tropical foliage, and the all-but-guaranteed sightings of monkeys and sloths.

In an effort to save the wildlife and environment from the effects of too much human enjoyment, in 1994 the Park Service began limiting the numbers of visitors to 600 per day (800 on Saturday and Sunday), and the park is now closed on Monday.

Many of the hotels, bars, and restaurants in the Manuel Antonio area are owned by Americans, Canadians, Argentines, Italians, and other nonnatives, and there is a strong gay (male) presence, with many establishments gay-owned or at least gay-friendly. "We are an open-minded place," boasts a sign in English that hangs in the doorway of an open-air bar right off Manuel Antonio beach.

Area Central Pacific Coast
CategoriesActivities, Beaches & Towns, Kid-Friendly, Parks & Reserves
Adult Price$10
Hours7 am to 4 pm; closed on Monday.