It may be one of the newest National Parks, (nearly 100 years younger than Yellowstone), but it’s arguably one of the most stunning.
Manuel Antonio National Park offers everything outdoor adventurers could hope for. From rainforests to explore, to snorkeling, to white water rafting, there’s enough to keep you busy even if all you chose to do is sit back and soak up the breathtaking beach views.
So how do you decide how to spend your time? Here are 7 activities on Manuel Antonio tours you don’t want to miss.
1. Taste La Iguana Chocolate
It’s hard to find a tourist who isn’t a fan of authentic cacao flavored with fresh spices and fruits from the farm. If you have any kind of sweet tooth or are a foodie in general, this activity is for you.
Enjoy an intimate tour of this family-owned farm in the Mastatal mountains on your next visit to Manuel Antonio.
You are likely to receive a personal tour from one of the family members themselves who will give you every detail of this cacao plantation.
Experience the fun of learning to temper this delicious chocolate, see the entire chocolate-making procedure, and grind the raw cacao yourself.
All we can say is, good luck resisting the urge to taste-test everything.
2. Visit Biesanz Beach
Looking for a simple, relaxing day at the beach, but tired of the large crowds of tourists?
Put your wallet away for this one, and visit Biesanz beach for free. Playa Biesanz boasts gorgeous teal waters and fewer tourists than the more well-known beaches like Playa Espadilla.
The waters here are great for families with small children as they are calmer than other beaches in the area and create a gentle enclosed space for swimming.
To reach this serene beach you get to take a short, forested, hike through the luscious rainforest and enjoy the peace, water, sand, and sun for an entire day!
3. See Butterflies Emerge
Curious about the stages of metamorphosis a butterfly goes through before it becomes, well, a butterfly? Come witness each stage of development at The Butterfly Garden Exhibit.
You can witness caterpillars as they go from egg, larvae, to chrysalis, and then to adult butterflies.
Walk through the exhibit and see several natural species to the area and the flowers and plants they thrive among.
This exhibit is also a great choice if you’re looking for one of the many romantic activities to enjoy on Manuel Antonio tours. The butterfly exhibit is the perfect spot for proposing or taking engagement photos.
4. Explore the Jungle at Night
Get ready with your flashlight!
This is another fun adventure for families interested in the nocturnal creatures of the rainforest. Venture out after dark to see a vast array of indigenous snakes, toads, frogs, and other animals that love the nighttime jungle.
Learn all about which animals and snakes to avoid and all about their lives in the rainforest.
This unique tour also takes you through the Tropical Aquatic Gardens where you can learn the names and habits of 30 different snakes and other creatures native to the region.
5. Tour Santa Juana Mountainside
While this may be one of the longer must-dos on our tour list, it’s certainly one of the most all-inclusive experiences.
This 8-hour tour provides lunch and snacks all while you get a first-hand experience with what the region has to offer. See everything from rushing waterfalls (that you can take a dip in) to the citrus and coffee production processes.
The Fila Chonta Mountains are your backdrop as you weave through the jungle and even get a chance to fish for fresh tilapia yourself.
Witness the sugar mill oxen at work as they grind sugar cane into delicious Manuel Antonio sugar.
Yes, the Santa Juana mountain tour covers just about everything you want to see. Just be ready to spend an entire day adventuring. Children over 6 years of age are admitted.
6. Shop at the Quepos Farmers Market
This is perhaps one of the quickest ways to get an in-depth introduction to Manual Antonio culture. Fridays and Saturdays the Quepos Farmers Market features a wide range of delicious things.
Purchase some exotic fruits, delicious ice creams, home-baked bread, pie, and even artisan cheese.
Most folks at the market selling and buying are locals that are merely going about their regular business. Chat with them and learn about their hand-crafted souvenirs.
The market is a fun stop in downtown Quepos along the seawall.
7. Explore Los Campesinos
Are you into a little more hard-core adventure? Well, Los Campesinos may be just the ticket if you’re willing to travel a short distance from Manual Antonio.
Hop in a truck or Jeep and take an hour ride across some slightly rugged terrain and slopes to reach Los Campesinos in the mountains slightly North of Quepos.
Slightly lesser-known, this spot is a great getaway for some serious hikes and beautiful waterfalls. You can take a swim in the refreshing waters and wash off beneath the falls.
One trail even has a self-propelled cable car ride to take you flying over a small valley in the jungle.
Take a different turn and find yourself crossing a long hanging bridge next to a large fall with rushing water.
All this physical adventuring is sure to work up a hunger, so get ready for a truely authentic experience as lunch is made over wood-burning stoves!
Local women cook up a scrumptious meal for only $10 to get you the real tastes of Los Campesinos. What’s not to love?
Where to Stay for Experiencing the Best Manuel Antonio Tours?
With so many amazing things to experience in Manuel Antonio, there’s no question you should visit this tropical town.
The only thing left to determine is where to stay to enjoy this beautiful countryside and all it has to offer to the fullest.
Let our guest services team at Los Altos help you begin planning your Manuel Antonio visit, and adventure today. Our outstanding guest service team is ready and waiting to make your perfect vacation dreams a reality.