Despite being a smaller country, Costa Rica has numerous National Parks, each deep in the jungle, on the beach, or high in the mountains. One of the most popular National Parks is Manuel Antonio. It has a perfect trail to spend the day strolling through the jungle and onto the beach, but you may miss the abundance of flora and fauna by taking this hike on your own. Luckily, Iguana Tours runs nature walks through Manuel Antonio National Park to make sure you spot all the hidden treasures within.
You can choose to meet at the National Park for the tour at 7:00am or 11:00am or choose to be picked up from Jacó or Dominical at 7:00am. The tours leave early so you can make the most of your day at Manuel Antonio! The tour price includes the entrance fee to the park, so you have nothing to worry about once you arrive.
The tour will take you on a meandering walk through the jungle. During the walk, you will stop frequently as your guide spots some wildlife or plants that make up Costa Rica’s diverse ecosystem. The foliage of Costa Rica’s jungle is full of different species of plants, and your guide will point out some of these and describe the growth and origins.
Wildlife you can expect to see includes sloths, monkeys, reptiles and several different species of birds and insects. Your guide will discuss their habits and how they live, and you’ll be amazed at how easily he or she will spot them as they travel through the tree canopy above you or hide among the plants off the path.
Your guide also carries a telescope for viewing animals in the distance. They will set it up so everyone in the group can get a chance to see. You can even take photos through the telescope. Along this walking tour, visitors are encouraged to ask the guide questions about Costa Rica’s eco-system as well as their culture and history. Manuel Antonio especially has interesting stories around the history of the Quepoa Indians.
The nature walk lasts two and a half hours and accommodates all levels of physical fitness and abilities. Due to the amount of biodiversity observed on this tour, there will be many chances to rest while you peer into the jungle. This excursion is perfect for families, even with young children.
The walk ends at the beach where tourists are given some local fruits and refreshments. Even though the tour is done, there is still so much to see in Manuel Antonio! You can choose to go on a hike through other trails in the jungle, ranging from easy strolls to more challenging hikes. Or you can relax on the beach and go for a swim. Just be careful of raccoons or monkeys that may try to steal your bags!
For your trip to Manuel Antonio, pack a day bag with a camera for all your wildlife spottings, sunscreen, bug spray and a water bottle. Wear supportive and comfortable shoes, and if you plan to take advantage of the beach, bring your bathing suit and towel. Food is not allowed in the park, but there is a restaurant on the premises.
Supporting Iguana Tours is supporting local and sustainable projects, as they are owned by a family group and strive to preserve Costa Rica’s natural resources and treasures. All their guides are certified, and they try to employ as many locals as they can.
The regular Manuel Antonio National Park tour starts at $59 USD per person and depends on where you meet or get picked up. Iguana Tours also operates other excursions through the park which you can find out about at www.iguanatours.com/
Photography by Mackenzie Boers
Lead Photo by Wallpaper Flare