Fall Break: Manuel Antonio

11th most beautiful National Park in the world.

Spectacular views. Exemplary tourist spot. Awesome beaches. Great food. Bilingual natives. Great Getaway. Awesome Adventure Tours. Do it yourself place.

Those phrases pretty much encompass this area but let me elaborate a little.

If you ever study abroad in Costa Rica and get a vacation time off of school, or even just come out to visit, this is a place you definitely have to visit. You cannot just do it in a day, you need at least a weekend to appreciate it all as I am speaking from experience. In the time that I was there, I stayed at an awesome hostel, ate at great food places, visited the National Park, saw the postcard beaches and sites, hiked through a rain forest, ziplined through rain forest, came face to face with monkeys and racoons and saw a lot of nature.

The most you would spend on a weekend trip like this is a minimum of $200. This includes the bus fares, the hostels, the food and the activities.

Bus Fare to Manuel Antonio/San Jose: 3,995 colones each way (about $8)
Local Bus Fare: 250 colones each time you get on (about $0.50)

Hostel: $15-$20 for dorm rooms or $25-$30 for private rooms
*note* highly recommend Hostel Vista Serena. great staff and facility. If it doesn’t work, visit hostelworld.com (Thanks Cari Bickel) 

Food: anywhere from 3000 to 4500 colones every time you eat (about $6 to $9)
*note* you can spend more if you eat at nice places, but that is a typical amount

National Park Entrance: $10

Adventure Tours (canopy tour, atv, sailing, mountain bike, mangroves, kayak): from $50 to $150
*note* if you stay at a hostel, book your tours through them as they offer cheaper rates especially if you are in a group. For the group I was in of 6, we paid $50 a person for zip-lining.

-get a guide by the park entrance, no guarantee of how good they are and over charge
-purchase crazy things at the stores as you will overpay, by any necessities in the city before going
-freak out when you return to San Jose when you hear/see a bunch of crazy men yelling at you to get in their taxi, just walk to the ones with the triangle on the door
-wait till the last minute to buy tickets to get to Manuel Antonio because tickets go fast 
-go on crazy hikes after a rain storm. The trail will be muddy and crazy. But if you like it then go for it, just wear proper attire and be prepared haha
- do not freak out when the monkeys get close. They are not killers, they just want your food and will follow you. 

  • If you do these things, you will have a good time. I sure did. It was a very relaxing and a true experience of what Costa Rica tourism looks like. Highly recommend it to everyone, so that means put it on your bucket list.