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Manuel Antonio National Park

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24.429 (26/07/95) Aguirre Puntarenas 683 ha land
55,000 sea

Central Pacific Conservation Area, Puntarenas

This is one of the most beautiful areas in the country. In this park, four very interesting geomorphologic units can be distinguished. The first is tombolo of Punta Catedral; in other words the sand between between the point and the continent formed by sedimentation which, behind the point, diffracts the waves as they break against the point.

The white sand beaches called Espadilla Sur Beach, and Manuel Antonio Beach have gentle slopes with clear waters and little wave action. The third unit is the Puerto Escondido blow hole, which can be made out when the tide is rising. The third is Serrucho Point an awesome cliff with a very irregular shape reminiscent of a saw. The fourth is the underwater turtle trap of Pre-Columbian origin located at the western end of Manuel Antonio Beach.

The main habitats in the park are: primary forest containing trees like the black locust(Cynometra hemitomophylla), a commercial species endemic to Costa Rica and threatened with extinction, and the Santa Maria (Calophyllum brasiliense); secondary forests with species like balsa Ochroma pyramidale) and the bastard cedar (Guazuma ulmifolia); mangrove swamps and herbaceous lagoons and free water lagoons that cover small areas in the interior.

On the beach, there are trees like machineel (Hippomane macinella) and the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera). In total, 350 species of vascular plants have been identified in the park.

The wildlife is varied; 109 mammal species and 184 bird species have been observed. One mammal that is very interesting for its small distribution range and the fact that it is threatened with extinction is the beautiful and amusing squirrel monkey (Saimiri oerstedii citrinellus), endemic to Costa Rica.

Other mammal such as the two fingered sloth (Choloepus hoffmani) and the three fingered (Bradypus variegatus), the crab eating racoon (Procyon cancrivorus), tree squirrels (Sciurus granatensis) and white faced capuchin monkeys (Cebus capucinus), often appear in the picnic areas. Some of the birds found there are: brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis), black-collared hawk (Busarellus nigricollis) and fiery-billed aracari (Pteroglossus frantzii). From the beach it is easy to see ctenosaurs (Ctenosaura similis) and basilisks (Basiliscus sp.).

Manuel Antonio is located on the Central Pacific Plain. the park offices are 7 km south of Quepos on an asphalted road (it is not possible to enter the park in a vehicle). Within the park there are the following paths: Perezoso, Puerto Escondido, Mirador and Punta Catedral, and two picnic areas on Espadilla Sur Beach and Manuel Antonio Beach with tables, toilets and drinking water. Bus services operate between San José and Quepos and Quepos and Manuel Antonio. Around the park there are hotels, boarding houses, restaurants, markets and private camping sites.

For a hotel in Manuel Antonio click here
For public bus services click here
For private bus services click here click here
Manuel Antonio National Park Costa Rica Nature ParkManuel Antonio National Park Costa Rica Nature Park
Manuel Antonio National Park Costa Rica Nature ParkManuel Antonio National Park Costa Rica Nature Park