Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Nature Hike, Manuel Antonio

4.6 (73 reviews)
Explore the lush rainforest and stunning beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park on a guided hike

Overview

Discover the natural beauty of the world-famous Manuel Antonio National Park on a hike with an expert guide. While trekking the two-mile (3.2-km) trail, keep your eyes open for monkeys, sloths, birds, reptiles, and butterflies in the wild. The path through the lush rainforest leads you to the sandy beaches and bright blue waters of one of the most beautiful beaches in the country. 

Highlights

  • Hike through the pristine rainforest of Manuel Antonio National Park 
  • Spot monkeys, sloths, birds, and reptiles in their natural habitat
  • Splash around the crystalline waters on one of Costa Rica's most beautiful beaches

Know before you go

Duration
4 hours
Recommended for
All ages
Group
Small group
Food & Drink
A snack is included

What you'll do

The day begins with a pick-up at your hotel. Make the short transfer to the hike's starting point in Manuel Antonio National Park, where you'll meet your guide and hear an overview of the national park's wildlife and natural highlights.

Follow your guide on a two-mile (3.2-km) trail through the rainforest, spotting sloths, monkeys, reptiles, butterflies, and various birds along the way. The walk is easy with mostly flat trails—perfect for families with kids. A naturalist guide will point out the more than 300 species of mammals and birds that call this reserve home, including three-toed sloths, hawks, iguanas, and several different species of monkeys.  You'll have the opportunity to use the guides' Pentax and Swarovski telescopes if you like.

You'll end up at one of the country's most famous beaches. Take 20 minutes to relax, swim, take photos, and appreciate the scenery before being transferred back to your hotel.

Start times

  • Daily
    7:30 am, 12:30 pm
  • Tuesday
    Not available

What's included

  • Transportation to and from your hotel
  • Bilingual guides
  • Park entrance fee
  • Snacks

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Travelers often mention

Summarized by AI based on kimkim traveler reviews

Knowledgeable Guides

Many reviews praised the guides for their extensive knowledge of the local flora and fauna, as well as their ability to make the tour informative and enjoyable. Guides also helped take excellent photos through telescopes, enriching the overall experience. (37 mentions)

“The guide was brilliant.” — Andrea B.
Abundance of Wildlife

Travelers frequently mentioned encountering a wide variety of animals including sloths, monkeys, toucans, lizards, iguanas, and many birds. Guides were adept at spotting and pointing out wildlife using telescopes, making it easy for visitors to capture photos and videos. (32 mentions)

“Park itself is great and despite of the people crowds, we could spot a lot of animals, which was the main purpose of our visit.” — Milan Š.
Beautiful Beaches

The beaches within the park were frequently highlighted as a wonderful part of the visit. Many travelers enjoyed a swim or relaxed on the beach after their guided tour. (24 mentions)

“finished with swim at the beach” — neil p.
Crowded Experience

A significant number of reviews mentioned the high volume of tourists, which sometimes made it difficult to fully enjoy the experience. Long queues at the entrance and crowded trails were common issues. (15 mentions)

“Group was large” — Frank H.

Traveler reviews

73 total ratings, 55 with reviews
4.6
Feature ratings
Quality of Experience
4.6
Food
4.0
Guides, Drivers and Staff
4.7
Transport
4.8
Frank
Frank H.
Winchester, VA | Reviewed on May 08, 2024
Group was large Read more

Group was large

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
B
Brigitte D.
Kanab, UT | Reviewed on Apr 01, 2024
Wonderful place, but too many tourists and groups Read more

Wonderful place, but too many tourists and groups

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Milan
Milan Š.
Czechia | Reviewed on Mar 30, 2024
We were surprised by heavy crowds in the park - especially at the entrance. It took us at least 30 minutes to get through the gates and if we would not have a guide with us who knew what to do, we would spent there 1 hour easily. One of the reasons is that park rangers are checking backpacks and confiscating prohibited items (food, single used bottles, knifes, plastic, etc.).
Park itself is great and despite of the people crowds, we could spot a lot of animals, which was the main purpose of...
Read more

We were surprised by heavy crowds in the park - especially at the entrance. It took us at least 30 minutes to get through the gates and if we would not have a guide with us who knew what to do, we would spent there 1 hour easily. One of the reasons is that park rangers are checking backpacks and confiscating prohibited items (food, single used bottles, knifes, plastic, etc.).
Park itself is great and despite of the people crowds, we could spot a lot of animals, which was the main purpose of our visit. Our guide was making pictures and videos through his telescope and he was sharing these pictures with the rest of the group. He was also able to spot animals which we wouldn't have chance to see - so I very recommend to have local guide there.
There is one official place (in the big cage) where you can buy some meal and drinks, but everything has to be consumed inside of the cage. Unfortunately they are not very organized there and there is long queue to the cashier. Fortunately there are several spots in the park with drinkable water from the tap.
There is also nice beach in the park, so it's possible to bring swimming suit and spend some time there.

Tips for future travelers

Check carefully list of prohibited items and don't bring them with you - they will be confiscated by rangers. Multi-use bottles are OK, however plastic bottled from the shops are prohibited. There are many local sellers of the reusable bottles right in front of the park entrance, making business on people who are not informed about these restrictions.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
neil
neil p.
United Kingdom | Reviewed on Mar 25, 2024
Good sightings of monkeys, deer, birds, sloths and finished with swim at the beach. Read more

Good sightings of monkeys, deer, birds, sloths and finished with swim at the beach.

Tips for future travelers

There are hundreds of people in the park by 10am so if you can organise a private guide and go early you can miss the crowds

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Andrea
Andrea B.
Canada | Reviewed on Mar 07, 2024
So many animals!!!! Simply amazing. The guide was brilliant. You must have a guide for this walk. Read more

So many animals!!!! Simply amazing. The guide was brilliant. You must have a guide for this walk.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Bill
Bill K.
Houston, TX | Reviewed on Mar 01, 2024
The park is very nice, but very busy. They push 2000 people a day through, and at the start, it’s like a cattle call. The guides are very good at spotting (animals) to small groups of about 20 people, but they are on a time schedule (get in, get out, next group). If one group sees something, all the other groups join in, so there are 30 people pointing, talking and taking pictures. The beach inside the park is one of the top 5 in Costa Rica, and the water is a perfect temperature. Beautiful! Read more

The park is very nice, but very busy. They push 2000 people a day through, and at the start, it’s like a cattle call. The guides are very good at spotting (animals) to small groups of about 20 people, but they are on a time schedule (get in, get out, next group). If one group sees something, all the other groups join in, so there are 30 people pointing, talking and taking pictures. The beach inside the park is one of the top 5 in Costa Rica, and the water is a perfect temperature. Beautiful!

Tips for future travelers

Go early. It’s cooler. I never felt or saw any mosquitoes. A private tour may be more rewarding (and more informative). Take a bus or other vehicle. People are hawking parking spaces that they over charge for. Public transportation will take you right to the gate. You have to pay the$18 (admittance fee) if you only want to visit the beach. If you have a tour guide, let them take the pics with a spotting scope, then transfer to your phone after the tour.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
H
Harry K.
La Vista, NE | Reviewed on Feb 29, 2024
Roger did a fine job pointing out many animals and plants in this warm ecosystem. Saw toucans, sloths, 3 monkey varieties , deer, iguanas and flowers and trees of many varieties. The beach was beautiful and the walk back pretty thru the mangroves. Read more

Roger did a fine job pointing out many animals and plants in this warm ecosystem. Saw toucans, sloths, 3 monkey varieties , deer, iguanas and flowers and trees of many varieties. The beach was beautiful and the walk back pretty thru the mangroves.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
S
Steve S.
Loudon, TN | Reviewed on Feb 22, 2024
The knowledge of our guide and his ability to spot animals, vegetation and insight into the park made this a memorableexperience. Read more

The knowledge of our guide and his ability to spot animals, vegetation and insight into the park made this a memorableexperience.

Tips for future travelers

Bring your own water bottle. This park does NOT allow single use water bottles.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
L
Laura D.
Loudon, TN | Reviewed on Feb 16, 2024
First off our guide was great (wish we wrote his name down). This was a nice hike as all the trails were flat and easy to walk. It is a wonder how the guide was able to find location of critters in the trees. Read more

First off our guide was great (wish we wrote his name down). This was a nice hike as all the trails were flat and easy to walk. It is a wonder how the guide was able to find location of critters in the trees.

Tips for future travelers

Highly recommend going. It did get hot but the guide tried to stay in the shade as much as he could. We did not do the swimming as the eight of us on the tour wanted to see as much as we could in the time allowed.

Quality of Experience
Transport
K
Kiko S.
Newark, NJ | Reviewed on Feb 14, 2024
Our guide, Luis, was so knowledgeable and set the bar pretty high for the rest of our trip. He balanced giving information, addressing questions, taking photos in a great pace. The tour walk is short in distance but I felt very satisfied in what we learned and saw. We spent some extra time in the park afterwards exploring the beaches and other trails, we definitely did not see much without Luis' trained eye :) Read more

Our guide, Luis, was so knowledgeable and set the bar pretty high for the rest of our trip. He balanced giving information, addressing questions, taking photos in a great pace. The tour walk is short in distance but I felt very satisfied in what we learned and saw. We spent some extra time in the park afterwards exploring the beaches and other trails, we definitely did not see much without Luis' trained eye :)

Tips for future travelers

The tour walk itself is short in distance but you won't see anything without a guide. There are a lot of "guides" who hang out in front of the park but we had people come up to our group asking our guide if he was available after our tour to show them around cause they did not learn/see much with their "guide". If you're not in a rush, definitely would recommend staying in the park after the tour, make it a beach day, get lost on the trails, it's a beautiful park.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Luis!
Transport

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Itineraries with Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Nature Hike