Costa Rica’s most popular national park is switching up its hours.
Starting April 1, Manuel Antonio National Park will remain open on Mondays in an effort to promote economic reactivation of the region. The park’s hours will be Wednesday through Monday (closed Tuesdays) from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“This is another effort by the Government of the Republic with a view of supporting the economic reactivation of coastal areas and promoting responsible visits to the national parks and protected wild areas of the country,” said Andrea Meza, Environment Minister, in a statement issued by the Presidency.
Currently, Manuel Antonio is closed every Monday for trail maintenance.
In addition, the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) says tickets to Manuel Antonio will soon be added to its online reservation platform. Until then, tickets can be purchased on-site or online at the Coopealianza website.
Established in 1972, Manuel Antonio National Park helps protect 352 species of plants, 107 species of land mammals, 335 species of birds, 93 species of reptiles and 56 species of amphibians, according to SINAC.
“The magic of the beach and the greenery of the forest come together in one place, and the result is a natural paradise,” the SINAC description reads.
More than 513,000 people visited Manuel Antonio National Park in 2019, according to data provided by ICT. Typical capacity is up to 2,700 guests each day.
The entrance fee to Manuel Antonio is 1,600 colones (about $2.70) for citizens and residents, and $16 for foreigners and non-residents. Children under 12 are free.
Manuel Antonio attractions
Below is the list of attractions at Manuel Antonio National Park, as shared by SINAC:
• The Waterfall: A small waterfall, observable only during the rainy season.
• Mangroves: A body of fresh and salt water covering about 18 hectares is observed along the trails parallel to the beaches.
• Gemelas Beach: A beach divided in two by a rock formation that over the years has come to meet the sea.
• Manuel Antonio Beach: A beach known for its scenic beauty and recognized as one of the best beaches in Costa Rica. Ideal for snorkeling, mainly to the sides where visitors can see lots of marine life and some corals.
• La Trampa: Next to Punta Catedral, where at low tide you can appreciate archaeological remains. This Trap (Trampa) was a tool used by indigenous peoples to capture turtles and fish.
• Espadilla Sur Beach: A wide beach at low tide. Although it is in a bay, it presents some strong waves in some seasons and is less crowded than Manuel Antonio beach.
• Punta Catedral: This site was formerly an island that due to sediment accumulation joined to the coast by a sandy strip called “Tómbolo.” On the trail you will find three sightseeing places, where you can see several small islands.
• Punta Serrucho Sightseeing place: A volcanic type or chalky (calcium) rock formation, whose name references its broken and irregular shape due to the movements of the earth’s crust.
• Puerto Escondido Sightseeing place: Allows you to appreciate one of the most beautiful park coastal seascapes.
• Flora and fauna: Manuel Antonio has great flora and fauna richness. Among the most outstanding species of wildlife can be observed the titi monkey, white-faced monkeys, howler monkeys, 2 and 3 fingers sloths, raccoon, coati, birds like the toucan and many others.