One of the country’s natural treasures, ManuelAntonioNational Park, is celebrating 35 years this week, and several events are planned in its honor.
This central Pacific national park receives about 300,000 visitors per year, making it one of Costa Rica’s most visited protected areas and an important source of income for local residents, according to a statement from the 35th Anniversary Celebration Committee.
The park was established by law Nov. 15, 1972 after residents expressed concern that the land could be bought by foreigners and developed for tourism.
Since then, it has been expanded twice, in 1980 and 2000. The park has 1,930 hectares of land and 42,016 hectares of water and includes primary forest, secondary forest, mangroves and beach vegetation.
It is managed by the Central Pacific Conservation Area, part of the National System of Conservation Areas.
Events planned today to celebrate the anniversary include a photo exhibit called “Quepos Just Yesterday” at the city’s Banco de Costa Rica, running through Sunday and a sand sculpture contest for kids will be held at Playa Espadilla from 9 a.m. to noon.
Saturday the beach volleyball championship will be held at Playa Espadilla from noon to 3 p.m. and an exhibition of martial arts will be going on at the KoreanSchool from 7-10 p.m. Saturday night, fireworks will light up the sky over nearby Quepos beginning at 7 p.m.
Sunday wraps up the celebration with a dance performance called “Dulce Trópico” by the NationalUniversityDanceSchool in the KoreanSchool gymnasium at 7 p.m.