Lifestyle and Culture
Although Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the smallest parks in the country, it makes a powerful impact with sandy beaches, lush forests, sparkling blue water, exquisite coral reefs, and a wide variety of wildlife. There are approximately 109 species of animals and 184 species of birds in the park, examples of which include sloths, iguanas, squirrel monkeys, crabs, dolphins, whales, snakes, bats, toucans, woodpeckers, hawks, parakeets, turkey vultures, and tanagers. Visitors can take private tours of the park, or explore on their own. Because the park is such a popular destination, the number of people allowed in at any given time is limited to ensure an enjoyable experience and to lessen the impact on the natural environment. Besides hiking and taking tours, other activities in the park include surfing and snorkeling.
Sport fishing in nearby Quepos is also a popular activity in the area, and the waters here are home to fish such as snapper, sailfish, dorado, yellow fin tuna, big eye tuna, marlin, roosterfish, amberjack, and wahoo. Several charter companies operate in the area, and those who enjoy angling can fish inshore or offshore, as well as do some fly-fishing. Guides are useful when looking for fish breeding hotspots in the area. The town of Quepos has a new marina called Marina Pez Vela, which has 200 wet slips that can accommodate boats up to 200 feet in length. The marina also has a dry rack that can accommodate boats up to 38 feet in length.
Other activities enjoyed in and around Manuel Antonio include canopy tours, kayaking, boating, surfing, horseback riding, water rafting, scuba diving, swimming, going to festivals and events, visiting the farmers’ market in Quepos, shopping at local boutiques and gift shops, learning about the area’s history and culture on tours, and dining at restaurants that feature a variety of local and international fare.