If you are staying in Uvita for a couple of days and would like to visit one of Costa Rica’s most popular national parks, it is very easy to plan a one-day trip to Quepos to see exotic animals and relax at the beautiful beaches. The cheapest way to go there is taking the bus. Each day you can choose between the 5:30am and the 11:40am bus, however it is recommendable to take the early one to enjoy more time in the national park.
After about one hour and a half you will arrive in Quepos where it is necessary to take another bus to drive to the national park entrance which again takes about fifteen minutes. In order to see as many animals as possible you should book a tour with a professional guide for 20 $ in addition to the general entrance fee of 16 $, as he has large experiences with discovering wildlife and will offer you to use a telescope for a closer look, as well. During the two hours- tour it is possible to see sloths, snakes, monkeys and of course a great variety of birds, insects and flowers. Although it is Costa Rica’s smallest national park, it contains an abundant diversity of 109 species of mammals and 184 of birds on an area of 682 hectares. Moreover, the well-built trails and the appealing combination of lush forests and paradisiacal beaches make it a very attracting destination for families, too.
The guided tour will end at the famous half mile long Playa Manuel Antonio which invites you to have a picnic and to have a refreshing bath in the turquoise, clear water of the lagoon, surrounded by palm trees and small rocks. However, take care of your food and bags as raccoons and capuchin monkeys are really cheeky without hesitating to come very close to you. Later, it is a nice idea to also visit the opposite Playa Espadilla Sur where you can relax in the shadow of trees close to the sea and enjoy the view of the bay.
In the evening it is possible to have a nice snack in one of the varied restaurants and bars close to the park’s entrance and to buy some souvenirs in the numerous shops and street stands in the little town of Manuel Antonio. No matter if you yearn for a cool smoothie, ice cream or steak, the large gastronomic diversity of the place will satisfy everybody’s wishes. In order to return to Uvita there are two buses available. One leaves Quepos at 5:30 pm and the last one at 9:00 pm. Despite the fact that Manuel Antonio surely is one of the most visited and touristic national parks of the country, it is worth to see its colorful, stunning diversity of flora and fauna and to enjoy a relaxing day at its beautiful beaches.