Reasons to Visit
Whilst Costa Rica is famed for its natural beauty, there are also plenty of ways to explore the country for those seeking a bit more of an adrenalin rush. Canopy zip-line tours, white water rafting, quad biking along deserted Pacific beaches, horseriding, hiking to pristine lakes and forests, mountain biking and kayaking are just a few of the options available.
Costa Rica has long been heralded as a pioneer in ecotourism, with over a quarter of the country being protected as a national park or reserve. Whilst many hotels elsewhere in the world will wave the ecotourism flag with little or no real credentials, things are different in Costa Rica, where hotels can gain accreditation from a national board for implementing green practices.
July to October is the nesting season for the endangered Green Turtle, when the turtles come up on to Tortuguero beach at night to lay their eggs. It is possible to arrange trips at night to witness this fantastic natural phenomenon, and it really is a wonderful sight to see these peaceful giants so close up.
There are over 200 volcanoes in Costa Rica, many remaining active and fascinating to explore. Their landscapes range from dramatic jagged moonscapes to verdant tropical rainforest, conical in shape to rugged and barren with ancient magma flows and crater lakes. At Arenal, in particular, you may even be able to glimpse live lava flows and hear gas eruptions.
Rafting in Costa Rica is simply spectacular and there are numerous places to try it, suitable for all levels. The Pacuare River, in particular, is the most challenging. It is a thrilling experience in a stunning setting as the surrounding tropical rainforest provides your backdrop for this adventure, complete with narrow gulleys and beautiful waterfalls along the way.
The wildlife is simply spectacular in Costa Rica and you have real chances of seeing tapirs, sloth, ocelots, coatis, caiman, numerous species of monkey, margay, turtles, iguanas, frogs, butterflies, not to mention more than 850 species of birds.
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Costa Rica’s Central Pacific coast is scattered with a diverse range of stunning beaches and protected areas of natural beauty: a fantastic opportunity to experience nature, adventure, and relaxation within easy reach of San Jose.
Just a four hour drive or a short flight from the capital, the national park of Manuel Antonio is a very important green zone, providing sanctuary for an incredible variety of wildlife. Hundreds of gorgeous butterflies, hummingbirds, scarlet macaws, brightly-beaked toucans and clambering monkeys are just some of the tropical life found here.
Manuel Antonio, with its 1700 acres of land mass and 135,906 acres of marine reserve, is the smallest of the 20 national parks Costa Rica has put aside for total protection. It is a charming combination of rain forest, beaches and coral reefs.
Even so, it is the country's second most visited conservation area, after the Poas Volcano and whilst Manuel Antonio has some undoubtedly fantastic beaches it is busy and fairly built up so not to everybody's taste.
The entrance fee to Manuel Antonio National Park is US$6 per person.
14 days from £2,745pp
15 days from £3,065pp
10 days from £1,715pp
21 miles away
22 miles away
38 miles away
47 miles away
53 miles away
Include a visit to Manuel Antonio on your tailor-made trip around Costa Rica by contacting one of our specialists...
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Further reading:Tours in Costa RicaWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout Costa RicaCountry Guides
Other countries in Central America, Mexico & Cuba:BelizeCubaGuatemalaHondurasMexicoNicaraguaPanama
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