A Glance Inside the Paradise of Manuel Antonio

Home to one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, Costa Rica has rapidly become popular for ecotourism.

While many visitors to this slice of paradise come for the beaches, others make their way to Costa Rica for the chance to catch sight of an array of unique wildlife. Manuel Antonio National Park, a gorgeous stretch of rainforest perched on an outcrop overlooking the Pacific Coast, is a globally recognized destination for wildlife watching.

During an early morning stroll through Manuel Antonio, visitors are likely to catch sight of any number of wildlife, such as iguanas, white-faced monkeys, toucans, and more. Manuel Antonio is actually home to 109 different species of animals as well as 184 species of birds, making it the ideal place to visit if you enjoy catching sight of wildlife in their natural surroundings.

When it comes to sea life, this is where Manuel Antonio truly excels. The protected bay of pristine white sand and crystal blue ocean known as Playa Manuel Antonio has been named among the Top 25 beaches in the world according to Trip Advisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards.

Although Manuel Antonio is one of the smallest national parks in the country, it is decidedly one of the most popular. Boasting four gorgeous beaches and a wide array of activities ranging from horseback riding to white water rafting to snorkeling, Manuel Antonio has something for everyone.

Offering a minimal flight time from the United States, an expansive mix of beaches and adventure, along with an accommodating tourist visa, and Costa Rica has quickly become a favored playground for Americans.

The total landmass that comprises Costa Rica compared to the rest of the world is nominal, yet five percent of the entire planet’s biodiversity can be found within the country’s borders. Nestled between Nicaragua and Panama, Costa Rica has the inarguable benefit of facing the Pacific and Caribbean coastlines.

With more than a quarter of a century of dedication to conservation, the country has managed to preserve its unique biodiversity and convert it into a thriving tourist trade.

The locals, known as Ticos, are all too happy to welcome visitors. Self-proclaimed at the friendliest country on earth, Costa Rica makes a point of welcoming visitors from all corners of the globe.

Manuel Antonio may be well known for its luxury resorts, beaches and national park, but the quaint town of Quepos located just outside the park offers visitors with an easy introduction to what life is life in Central America. Here, visitors and locals alike can take advantage of a sundry of daily tasks and activities ranging from laundry to grocery shopping.

Take a walk along the beach and you will catch sight of fishermen hawking their daily catch. Manuel Antonio may be where tourists visit but Quepos is where the locals live. Replete with charming farmers’ markets and cheap but friendly restaurants, Quepos is the heart of the surrounding region.

Derived from an indigenous word that means rainmaker, the town of Quepos is known for its heavy rains. Situated approximately one meter below sea level, the area that is now Quepos was once wetlands. It was only after a long levee was constructed that the town was able to become established and free itself from the continual barrage of tides.

Sport-fishing enthusiasts now enjoy the new Pez Vela Marina with state of the art facilities and home to the 2014 Offshore World Championship.

From the village of Quepos, it is only about a 4km trip to the beach in Manuel Antonio. Along the way, visitors will encounter plenty to see and a selection of cafes and restaurants to stop in if one is in the mood for some refreshment. The walk itself provides the opportunity for great exercise, but a local bus is also available at the bargain price of about 75 cents each way.

A Glance Inside the Paradise of Manuel Antonio

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