How to visit Manuel Antonio Park; your complete guide…
Before getting into the details of visiting this incredible park, have you figured out the route you’ll follow to travel around Costa Rica? If not, I got you, here’s the 18-day itinerary that we used for Costa Rica.
How to get to Manuel Antonio
Buses from San Jose to Manuel Antonio leave daily at 6:00 am, 9:00 am, 10:30 am, 12:00 pm, 1:15 pm, and 2:30 pm. To find the station, search Tracopa, it’s about 10 minutes by car (taxi or Uber) from the Capital Hostel de Ciudad.
It’s a good idea to be at the bus station at least 40 minutes before departure because you cannot buy the tickets online, only there at the bus station.
A one-way ticket to Manuel Antonio from San Jose cost us €7.38/5285.00 Costa Rican each. Remember to bring cash they don’t take cards!
If you’re traveling up from Panama or Uvita etc buses run daily to starting early in the morning, just ask in your hostel they all have bus timetables. I also found this website super handy for checking bus times.
Where to stay in Manuel Antonio
Teva Jungle Hostel It’s only like 10 minutes from the park, has jungle trails in the hostel itself where you see all the animals and good wifi!
Hostel Plinio and Hostel Vista Serena are also recommended here 👏
🗺️ What to do in Manuel Antonio
- Visit Manuel Antonio Park. €16.99 each. Pay online before.
- Chocolate tour
- Jungle night tour
- Zip lining
- Parasailing tour
- Surfing lessons
- ATV tour
🍽️ Where to eat and drink in Manuel Antonio
- Ronny’s Restaurant
- Baldi’s Fresh for a milkshake after the park
- Cafe Milagro Coffee Roosters for breakfast
- Soda el Angel
✅ Extra tips
- Always have Costa Rica Colones for the bus, they don’t take cash or dollars!
- If Manuel Antonio is booked up, Quepos is the next town over to stay!
How to get to Manuel Antonio Park
Hop on the bus from Quepos to Manuel Antonio and it’ll leave you right outside the park! In typical Central America style, there’s no designated bus stop just a particular spot outside the 3-floor apartments just 300m from the Jungle Teva Hostel where you flag down the bus and it’ll stop for you!
One way is 355 colones or €0.50 👌
Manuel Antonio is quite spaced out so depending on where you’re staying you could walk it, if you don’t mind walking up to 45 minutes! Quepos is the next town over and is even further from the park so you’ll definitely need to either take the Uber or a bus if you’re staying here 👏
⏰ What time to go at
The earlier the better! The park opens at 7 am, even during the off-season it gets pretty crowded. The more people there, the more the animals are scared off so get there as early as possible. We went at 9 am and saw everything we hoped to see 👏
💵 How to visit Manuel Antonio Park: How much it costs
Entry is €16.50/11832.75 Colones. Then we paid €18 each for a tour guide.
Beaches in the park
🌊 There are 5 beaches, three of them are within the park and two are just outside the entrance. The beaches are often numbered
- Playa Espadilla (outside the park)
- Playa Espadilla Sur (inside) 😍 Our favorite it was the quietest
- Playa Manuel Antonio (inside)
- Playa Puerto Escondido (inside)
- Playa Playitas (outside)
How to visit Manuel Antonio Park: What to bring to the park
🐜 Insect repellent
🏊 Towel and swim gear
❌ No food
❌ Drones are not allowed due to animal protection.
☀️☔️ What time of the year to visit
Unlike most attractions, the rainy season is the best time to see all the animals in the park. The rainy season in Costa Rica (May to November) is when the animals come out during the day so you’ll see more in the park!
Extra tips for Manuel Antonio Park 🏞
✅ Hire a guide. It is an extra 20 US dollars but it’s 100% worth it. Without one you’ll more than likely miss half the animals and they’ve so much knowledge. They use the spotting scope cameras to get a close-up of animals you wouldn’t see as well without it!