Iguana in Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica

Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio

Top choice in Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio & Around

Featuring lush jungle, picture-perfect beaches and craggy headlands, this tiny park (1680 acres/680 hectares) absolutely brims with wildlife (and often visiting humans). As you wander its lovely trails, you'll catch a glimpse of dangling sloths, squawking toucans and playful monkeys, and stumble on breathtaking views of the sea and nearby islands. To beat the crowds and maximize wildlife sightings, arrive early and make the most of the beach in the afternoon. The beaches and trails inside the park close at 4pm but you can still access the public beach outside the park after this time if you haven't had enough fun in the sun.

How much does it cost?

Adult tickets are $18 and kids under 12 are admitted for just $5.65. You can only purchase your tickets online, so get them the afternoon before and walk straight in the following day. The park is open every day except Tuesday. Guided tours are also available to book online.

Dos and don'ts

  • Non-alcoholic drinks are permitted but single-use plastics are not (this applies to bags too). 
  • Taking any kind of food into Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio is forbidden. There is a small kiosk within the park if you fancy a snack but that's all.
  • No pets are allowed in the park.




Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio & Around attractions

1. Playa Espadilla Sur

0.45 MILES

A half-hour hike from the park entrance, the exposed Playa Espadilla Sur is to the north of Punta Catedral and gorgeous with pinch-me scenes of white sand…

2. Playa Manuel Antonio

0.64 MILES

With its turquoise waters, this lovely forest-backed beach fronts a deep bay, sheltered by the Punta Catedral on the west side and a promontory on the…

3. Playa Puerto Escondido

0.72 MILES

Visitors may visit a lookout over this gorgeous horseshoe-shaped beach, but the access point via the Sendero Puerto Escondido was closed indefinitely in…

4. Playa Gemelas

0.78 MILES

Clasped by volcanic rock and jungle, Playa Gemelas is smaller than the other beaches, but no less spectacular: this place could be a desert island beach…

5. Turtle Trap

0.79 MILES

At the western end of Playa Manuel Antonio you can see a semicircle of rocks at low tide. Archaeologists believe that these were arranged by pre-Columbian…

6. Playa Espadilla

0.81 MILES

This wide stretch of white sand is found just outside the park entrance, in front of Manuel Antonio village. It's a popular place for families and beach…

7. Punta Catedral

0.83 MILES

Geography fun fact: this isthmus, which is the centerpiece of the park, is called a tombolo and was formed by the accumulation of sand between the…

8. Greentique Wildlife Refuge

1.23 MILES

Biologist Jimmy Mata leads magical one- and two-hour sojourns through the Butterfly Atrium, Reptile & Amphibian Water Gardens and Crocodile Lagoon, as…