It is one of the most popular attractions for holidays in Costa Rica and considered by many to be one of the most beautiful parks in the world.

When you look at its luscious greenery, crisp white beaches and majestic mountains, that view can be pretty hard to argue with.

However, Costa Rica’s Manuel Antonio National Park is much more than a pretty face, as beneath the beauty there’s plenty of hidden depths waiting to be uncovered. In order to get the most out of this amazing natural wonderland, here’s some things you’ll need to know.

1. It is one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth

This one may seem a little obvious.

After all, it doesn’t take many qualifications to figure out that Manual Antonio National Park is overflowing with life. However, you might not realise just how much there is here.

It is home to over a hundred species of mammals, including four types of monkey, several species of iguana and, popular favourites, the brown-throated three-toed sloth among many, many others.

There’s even more types of bird, clocking in at 184 species. If you’re lucky, you can also catch sight of dolphins and the occasional migrating whale here too.

2.  You’ll want to take advantage of the trails and the map

We know that when you gaze upon a scene as epic as Manuel Antonio National Park, sometimes wanderlust can take over. However, we’d advise you to reign your wilder side in just a touch.

Take advantage of the trails available and consult your map regularly.

The truth is that these trails have already been laid out to take you to the most beautiful views around, so you can trust in them. Not only will your day be easy, straightforward and safe, but you’ll also see the best that the park has to offer.

Better yet, as most people come here for the beach, you’ll rarely have to worry about the trails getting crowded.

3. Go at the right time

One thing that never changes about Costa Rica holidays is that choosing the right time weather wise is always vital to getting the most out of your trip.

While there’s no doubt that the park is busiest during the dry months between the end of December to early April, there’s honestly good reason for it.

The weather is simply much better and although we wish we could tell you there’s a secret week or two where no one is around and the weather is perfect, it’s just not the case.

So, unless you really, really hate crowds, we’re going to have to recommend you visit during peak season.

4. You cannot bring food in and attempting to feed the animals is a very bad idea

While the idea of some cheeky monkeys running off with your lunch might seem amusing, the fact is that our food can be greatly harmful to the wildlife.

For this reason, food is now banned in the park and your backpack will be checked upon entry.

Honestly, sneaking snacks in can really do huge amounts of harm to the natural environment they work so diligently to protect, so wait until after your visit to refuel.

5. Get the right guide

Getting a guide is a wonderful idea: it really helps you get the most out of your visit and learn a lot about your unique surroundings.

However, if you do so, make sure your guide is certified by the ICT to avoid being ripped off by fakes who may try to charge you a lot of money.

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