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Manuel Antonio National Park - Costa Rica
Pictures & a video clip from a visit to the Manuel Antonio National Park located in Costa Rica, Central America.

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Manuel Antonio National Park is the smallest park in Costa Rica with 682 hectares (1,685 acres) of lush tropical rainforest and white sand beaches located on the Pacific coast just south of Quepos.

We hired an off duty security guard at our hotel in Jaco Beach (Hard Rock Resort) to drive us to Manuel Antonio and back. The driver's fee was a reasonable $80 for the entire day from 9 AM to just past 5 PM.

The trip took about 90 minutes. It would have been quicker but the bridges over the several small rivers are just one lane wide.

To get into the park, we walked across the Espadilla Sur beach and climbed up a small incline just next to the Río Camaronera lagoon. At high tide, you'll have to either wade through waist deep water or pay for one of the small boats to take you.

Construction, Water Pipes
South Espadilla Beach
Playa Espadilla Sur

At the end of a short trail through the trees, there is a small ranger station with a cashier window. The entrance fee is $10 per person for foreigners, just a few dollars for Costa Rica's locals and free for children under 12 years of age. The park is open from 7 AM to 4 PM. After 4 PM the high tide fills up the Camaronera river's lagoon at the park's entrance/exit which allows crocodiles to enter the area.

Tourists Walking
Soft Golden Sand
Manuel Antonio National Park contains four beaches which are Playa Manuel Antonio, Espadilla Sur, Escondido ("hidden") and Playita (little beach). Just off the coast of Manuel Antonio are 12 small isles and a vibrant coral reef system.
Waves Crashing
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We started our exploration of Manuel Antonio National Park by hiking through the rainforest on the Sendero Principal (main trail) and the Sendero Punta Catedral which leads up to the panoramic view at Catedral Point. The total length of the main trail is 2.2 km. and the Catedral Point trail is 1.4 km. long. There are a few other trails for the hiking enthusiast including Sendero Playas Gemelas, Sendero Mirador, Sendero La Trampa, and Sendero La Catarata (waterfall trail).
Playa Espadilla Norte
Lagoon Park Entrance
Río Camaronera
Manuel Antonio National Park is funded by the government of Costa Rica but the park also has some corporate sponsors that are listed on the map near the entrance. The sponsors include the Out of Bounds Hotel, Costa Rica Investments, Ave Natura Nature Adventures, iCards, Cafe Milagro, Portasol Rain Forest & Ocean View Community, the Crocodile Man Tour, and Amigos Del Rio.
Small Boats In Lagoon
Path To Park Entrance

There are over one hundred species of mammals and close to two hundred species of birds that reside within the Manuel Antonio National Park. Some of the most commonly seen animals are squirrel monkeys, white faced monkeys, howler monkeys, capuchin monkeys, three toed sloths, green iguanas, several species of colorful crabs, parrots, raccoons, coati mundis, opossums, toucans, pelicans, and lizards.
Park Ranger Station, Cashier
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The most popular activities at Manuel Antonio National Park are hiking, relaxing on the beaches, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, mountain biking, bird watching, boogie boarding, and wildlife viewing. There is no fishing, alcohol or radios allowed into the park.
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Fallen Tree
Tree With Spikes
Hiking In The Jungle
Pacific Ocean
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Beachgoers Enjoying The Sun
Manuel Antonio Park Map
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During our visit to Manuel Antonio National Park, I captured a few short video clips using my Canon S5 IS digital camera. I edited these clips together into a short movie. The video is encoded in the WMV (Windows Media Video) format, runs about 2 minutes long and has a file size of 32 megabytes. To download the video to your hard drive, right click and choose "Save Target As" or "Save Link As". The video features iguanas, white faced capuchin monkeys, and a three toed sloth.

Manuel Antonio National Park Video Clip
Medium Sized Cruise Ship
White Sand Beach

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