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Manuel Antonio

This is a national park famous for its beaches with white sand derived from coral, surrounded by the exuberant forest. The combination of an abundant wildlife, beaches, and small hills make this National Park unique. It is is one of the few remnants of forest in the central Pacific area. The park represents the the northern limit in the distribution of the squirrel monkey (tití, Saimiri oerstedi) which has unofficially become a symbol of the park. Manuel Antonio is an exclusive place where the visitors can enjoy the wildlife while refreshing in the sea water.

Barbilla Corcovado Carara Barra Honda Barra Honda Brauillio Carriollo Brauillio Carrillo Cahuita Cahuita Carara Chirripo Chirripo Corcovado Diria Diria Guanacaste Guanacaste Irazu Volcano Isla del Coco Juan Castro Blanco Juan Castro Blanco Isla del Coco La Amistad La Amistad Irazu Volcano La Cangreja La Cangreja Los Quetzales Los Quetzales Manuel Antonio Manuel Antonio Marino Ballena Marino Ballena Marino Las Baulas Marino Las Baulas Palo Verde Santa Rosa Piedras Blancas Tanpanti Turrialba Volcano Poas Volcano Tenorio Volcano Ricon del la Vieja Tortuguero Palo Verde Santa Rosa Tanpanti Piedras Blancas Tenorio Volcano Poas Volcano Tortuguero Rincon de la Vieja Turrialba Volcano


This park is one of the most visited of those in the Central Pacific Conservation Area (ACOPAC), and in the country. It was created in 1972, and was one of the first national parks created by the government. It has an extension of 1.983 hectares in the mainland, and 55.210 hectares in the marine zone.  It is located at 7 km from Quepos town.

The park is in the middle of a highly agricultural area, and even some parts of the park had wood extraction in the past. Nonetheless, the biodiversity in the park is as abundant as in other parks, and animals like the white-faced monkeys and sloths are easily seen. The park has more than 350 species of birds, including those who live in the coast. There is also great variety of marine invertebrates that can be appreciated in the rocks during low tide, and a coral can be found offshore.   The vegetation found in Manuel Antonio National Park corresponds to a transition between rainy and wet forest; mangroves can also be found here.

There are three months of dry season, and the annual rainfall is 3900 mm. A noteworthy feature of the place is the Punta Catedral, which was originally an island but now it is connected to the mainland by a narrow extension of land made of accumulated sediments (tombolo). The park has four beaches: Espadilla Sur, Blanca, Escondido and Playita, all of them of incomparable beauty.

Sources: Harmon P. 2004. Árboles del Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. INBio, Costa Rica. 400 p.;  IUCN Commission on National Parks and Protected Areas. 1982. IUCN directory of neotropical protected areas. 436 p.;  Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación (SINAC)


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