Since this park was created in 1972, there was an increase in hotel development in the area. Most of these hotels established along the mountain, full of vegetation, with incredible panoramic views of the town and the entrance of the park. Many hotels sought this location because of its amazing sceneries of the ocean and its imposing sunsets.
There are many boutique hotels along the way, which are committed with protecting the environment. Even some of these hotels are pioneers in the practice of environmental sustainability, creating an excellent reputation for the country. They have small private reserves next to their properties and offer all types of amenities, just like large hotels.
They have restaurants, swimming pools, spas and tour operators. Other hotels, located a little bit further from the street that goes to the park, are usually close to Punta Quepos, Playa Macha and Playa Espadilla Norte, and have luxurious facilities that will definitely charm their guests. Here you can find different types of restaurants as well as many services. In Manuel Antonio you may also find hotels for different sexual-oriented groups.
Their sizes may vary as well as the services they offer. Due to the mountain-shaped area in which these hotels are located, they do not have direct access to the beach or are far away from it, but many offer transportation to nearby beaches. The large beach of white sands and turquoise-colored sea located before the park is incredibly beautiful, and other small group of hotels have taken advantage of it by establishing across the street.
Accommodations and gastronomy
The gastronomic offer is also very wide and the zone is proud to offer from world-class cuisine, with an exquisite variety of fresh seafood, to casual restaurants next to the beach. Here you will find restaurants specialized in blending French cuisine with tropical dishes, and others prepare the best dishes of typical Costa Rican cuisine, excellent bakeries and pastries, delicious Italian pizza, pasta and homemade ice cream.
The gastronomic offer of Manuel Antonio doesn’t end here; there are also stake houses, American style restaurants, and a large variety of Mexican dishes are served. The bars are an important part of the entertainment options of Manuel Antonio’s nightlife, and each one tries to create its own identity. Among the curiosities of this zone you can find a bar-restaurant that has a plane in its front, which everybody knows and uses for giving out directions, as well as a railroad car. The hotels also offer a great variety of delicious dishes in their own restaurants.
The Manuel Antonio National Park shelters and endless number of natural wonders, such as a large biodiversity of flora and fauna species, along with white sand beaches hidden among steep hills full of dense vegetation, which are the zone’s main attractions. This region also has a large offer of tourist destinations where you can choose from land tours to botanical gardens with butterflies and reptiles, birdwatching, serpentariums and horseback riding, to walking or biking through several natural areas close to the park. You can also choose from two canopy tours that go through the treetops, which give you the wonderful experience of seeing the forest of this zone of the Central Pacific like monkeys do. The cables will take you from one tree to another passing over rivers and canyons covered by green vegetation.
Water is the third option of adventure that Manuel Antonio offers, whether if it’s a rafting tour in the Rio Naranjo (class III or IV) or rowing in the Rio Savegre (class II or III) and appreciating the wonderful scenery along the way. At sea you can practice surfing, and you will find many schools that teach the secrets of this popular sport. There are also boat tours for fishing and diving, as well as kayaking along the coast. All of these sports offer the visitors the possibility of witnessing the beauty of the park from the sea.
According to the story, Manuel Antonio was named after a Spanish conqueror, who died in this beach by the hands of native residents. They buried the man under a tree where they placed a small bronze plate with the legend of Manuel Antonio, which is 3 cm tall and 10 cm wide. This place was later used occasionally as cemetery until it was abandoned more than 60 years ago. Nowadays there are no remains left, but the name of the place is still used.