Things to Do in Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio is an idyllic place. Costa Rica’s smallest national park, it is the second-most-visited conservation area in the country, attracting around 150,000 vacationers on a yearly basis. And, when you consider the exciting list of things to do in Manuel Antonio, its popularity comes as no surprise. The national park incorporates both beach and rain forest, which means Manuel Antonio attractions such as white-water rafting and fishing are never far away. What’s more, with the lively town of Quepos included in the area, more-urbanized Manuel Antonio attractions such as dining out and clubbing are also possible, which gives you plenty of possibilities when planning your activities in Manuel Antonio.


Manuel Antonio is a fisherman’s paradise. From December to April, fishing opportunities in the area are immense, and whether you’re a novice or a seasoned pro, the chances of catching a truly big fish remain high. Billfish are the primary target out to sea, although sails and marlin often find themselves the prize capture of proud fishermen. Further inland, meanwhile, tuna, mackerel, and snapper all populate the waters.

Eco Tours

One of the things to do in Manuel Antonio that is becoming increasingly popular is eco-tourism. Costa Rica’s government has attempted to place the country at the forefront of such tourism, and, as Manuel Antonio is a prime conservation area (it features 1,700 acres of land and nearly 140,000 acres of marine reserve), it has been part a major part of the countrywide project. Eco-tours take can take either the form of environmentally friendly sightseeing or more educational programs. The Manuel Antonio attractions of monkeys, raccoons, sloths, and hawks are always high on the list of these eco-tours’ priorities.


Activities in Manuel Antonio often center on the park’s array of beaches, which boast of beautiful white sands and alluring warm water. The infrastructure here is excellent, and one of the most popular things to do in Manuel Antonio while on the beach is take part in water sports. Sailing is often high on the list, as are snorkeling and scuba diving, and small Canos Island is especially good for the latter.

Adventure Activities

The Manuel Antonio attractions heralded by the rain forest are truly exciting. Aside form the obvious animal-spotting activities, hiking, horseback riding, and white-water rafting all prove popular. Another one of the favored activities in Manuel Antonio is canopy-walking, with an impressive route set up amid the trees.


Quepos is the urban base for trips into the deep rain forest. It’s a tourist-friendly place, featuring many of the best hotels in Costa Rica, and corresponding dining, drinking, and clubbing opportunities. This is not a place that has completely given itself over to temporary guests, however; the government has restricted access to Manuel Antonio to 600 people a day, and as such Quepos has been saved from becoming overly filled with resorts. Still, this is a lively place, and its nightlife stands out for travelers looking for more luxurious things to do in Manuel Antonio.

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