Manuel Antonio attracts visitors across the globe for several reasons: pristine beaches, a rainforest that stretches down the coast, and an abundance of wildlife. With the scenic Manuel Antonio National Park as the backdrop, you can visit wildlife sanctuaries, discover organic spice farms, enjoy trekking excursions, take boats on rivers and through estuaries, plus kayak and snorkel in the ocean. End your stay with a sunset catamaran cruise or a surf lesson at one of the best surf spots in Costa Rica!

Getting Oriented

Enjoy one of Costa Rica's exceptional sunsets.

If you're interested in visiting Manuel Antonio, you're not alone. As one of the most popular regions in Costa Rica, this area attracts travelers from across the globe. Its vast rainforest, which stretches from the hills to the beach, is a big reason, as it houses an abundance of wildlife. You can view wildlife in the jungle and also at wildlife sanctuaries and try your luck birding in Costa Rica, a beloved pastime for locals and visitors.

One of the highlights of Manuel Antonio is its beautiful coastline. Enjoy sunset sailing, surf lessons, ocean kayaking, snorkeling, and more. When you're ready to head inland, trek through the Manuel Antonio National Park, visit organic spice farms and float through estuaries and rivers teeming with life beneath the surface.

Inland Excursions

Travelers also enjoy Manuel Antonio for its cultural opportunities. The area hosts wildlife sanctuaries, organic spice farms, and a massive national park.

Visit Kids Saving the Rainforest Wildlife Sanctuary

Interact and observe the animals that call the refuge home.

Kids Saving the Rainforest Wildlife Sanctuary is set in Quepos, the gateway to Manuel Antonio National Park. Every year, the sanctuary rescues more than 100 animals from human-wildlife interactions, the pet trade, and more. Their main goal is to rehabilitate and release the animals back into the wild, though many must call the refuge their permanent home. Your visit comes with unique experiences, such as observing and helping the workers care for the animals and meeting some of the resident species. Read More

Organic Spice Farm & Foodie Tour

Explore Costa Rica's world of spices, including its prized crop: vanilla.

Enjoy an adventure of the senses, as you visit an organic spice farm and taste delicious treats. Villa Vanilla Spice Plantation sits within the rainforest overlooking Manuel Antonio National Park and grows several varieties of spices, including vanilla, true Ceylon cinnamon, cocoa, black pepper, allspice, turmeric, and exotic fruits and medicinal plants. Tour the facilities, learn about cultivating these beloved spices and end the day savoring gourmet delicacies made by the farm's in-house chef. Read More

Manuel Antonio National Park Nature Hike

Enjoy a hike through Manuel Antonio National Park, ending at its white-sand beaches.

Explore Manuel Antonio National Park, which covers over 1,600 acres of rainforests, from the top of mountains to the area's famed white-sand beaches. With the help of a local naturalist, you'll hike through the park, which features well-maintained trails, many suitable for all ages and abilities. As you walk, keep an eye out for the park's more than 300 resident species. End the experience at the region's famed white-sand beaches. Read More

Coastal Adventures

Take advantage of Manuel Antonio's coastal location with boat tours, kayaking and snorkeling excursions, surf lessons, and sunset cruises.

Damas Island Boat Tour

Glide gently over an underground nursery created by the mangrove roots on Damas Island.

One of the area's most popular tourist experiences is gliding through the mangrove estuary on Damas Island. Underneath the surface is an intricate system of roots, which creates a nursery that harbors an abundance of marine life. As you float along the water, look down to spot oysters, sponges, majestic stingrays, baby black-tipped sharks, and large schools of fish among the mangrove roots. Read More

Ocean Kayaking & Snorkeling

Enjoy kayaking and snorkeling in some of the most beautiful scenery in Costa Rica.

Although small, Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the most popular and biodiverse protected areas in Costa Rica. It's also home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country, making it an ideal location for kayaking and snorkeling. Start your paddling excursion from the town of Quepos near Pez Vela Marina. Next, head to Biesanz Bay for a swim and picnic, followed by snorkeling above the area's coral reef. Read More

Surf Lesson at Playa Scull

Playa Scull offers some of the best waves for learning how to surf.

Set on the main Manuel Antonio Beach is Playa Scull, where the waves and conditions are ideal for learning how to surf. With the help of an experienced instructor, you'll start with a few lessons on land before heading out to catch your first waves. After the lesson, you can extend your board rental and spend as much time as you'd like practicing your newfound skills. Read More

Sunset Catamaran Cruise & Snorkeling

Sail, snorkel, dine, and watch the sun melt into the horizon.

Enjoy a catamaran sailing excursion along the coast of Manuel Antonio National Park. As you admire the coastline, your crew will point out interesting wildlife and vegetation. You might see dolphins, migrating humpbacks, sea turtles, and more. You'll drop anchor in Biesanz Bay, where you can relax, swim, and snorkel while the crew prepares dinner. As you make your way back to the dock, watch the sunset burst into vibrant colors. Read More 

How to Craft the Perfect Manuel Antonio Itinerary

The beaches of Manuel Antonio are some of the best in the country.

If you're wondering how many days to spend in Manuel Antonio, the sky's the limit! Although you could squeeze in quite a bit in just 24 hours, you could also easily spend an entire week in the region and not get bored. But because Manuel Antonio is fairly central, many travelers opt to combine a visit with other areas of Costa Rica. 

Plan for at least one week in Costa Rica if you'd like to visit both Manuel Antonio and another region, such as Arenal/La Fortuna or the Osa Peninsula. But if you'd like to see a bit of everything, strive for two weeks or more. 

Past kimkim travelers have enjoyed the following itineraries that include experiences in Manuel Antonio: