Manuel Antonio Travel Guide

It’s all about the beach, about the beach…

In the beautiful town of Manuel Antonio, a popular tourist, and gay-friendly area on the Pacific Coast. However, Manuel Antonio is much more than just nice beaches and spectacular sunsets. It has a beautiful national park, and it’s as biodiverse as the rest of the country. You can choose from many different activities, chill on the beaches, explore the wilderness of nature, and enjoy the bustling nightlife.

Observation platform in National Park Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

You can find out more about this tropical paradise in the following short and informative travel guide.

Things to see and do in Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio National Park

This National Park is the second smallest nature reserve in the country. But don’t let its size fool you. The park is incredibly beautiful and diverse. Get lost in the wilderness of a forest, stroll around the soft sand beaches, and admire the coral reefs. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the serenity of the place and take photos of the park’s incredible wildlife.

Taste the beaches

They make Manuel Antonio so popular. Clean white sands are perfect for sunbathing and taking some much needed time to pamper yourself. Stay there until the sunset or come back to catch idyllic, almost surreal glimpse of the sky turning into the night.

Sail into the sunset

Instead of sitting on the beach to witness the sunset, you can hop on a sailboat and admire it from there. Watch what an incredible, talented artist nature is as the skies lit in all shades of pink and orange and say hi to the marine life that will very likely come to greet you.

Damas Island

Sunset at Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica - tropical pacific coast

Damas Island  is a small island where you can find superb surfing conditions or marvel at the mangrove swamps. You can challenge them yourself in a kayak, but you’re better off taking one of the many tours, relax and enjoy the views of the raw beauty of estuaries covered in mangroves.

Travel Costs


Staying in the area can be quite pricey thanks to its touristy vibe. Many hostels, however, include free breakfast in their offer with dorm beds prices starting at $12, and $45 for a private room. Hotels offer rooms from $70 up. Airbnb is an option, although not so common. Alternatively, you can rent a cabin for around $20 per night or camp in a tent for around $10 per night.

Foods and drinks

Food is fairly expensive here! The more touristy the place is, the deeper you’ll have to reach into your pocket. A budget-friendly meal costs around $8. Staying in a hostel with a kitchen is best to save some money. A week’s worth of groceries costs between $27-35. Tap water should be safe to drink. Small, local brands of beer cost around $3, prices of alcohol can be pricey too, but luckily hotels also do happy hours.


A ticket for local bus costs around $0,50. Taxis are way more expensive with prices starting at $6. You can come to the area with a bus from San Jose for around $47, or take a round-trip flight from the capital for around $80. Another option to explore the surroundings is to rent a bike for around $15 a day.


You can enter the park for $12 or take a guided tour for $38. A trip to Damas Island will cost around $54 per person, going on a zip-line around $73, and dolphin and whales watching around $85. You can also go white water rafting for around $98.

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