Things to do in Manuel Antonio – Top 12 Activites
Wondering what to do in Manuel Antonio? Well, in this post we have listed the Top 12 things to do in Manuel Antonio. We will be talking about the following tours and activities you can do while staying in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.
There are many activities to choose from within the area of Manuel Antonio as well as a lot of things to do near Manuel Antonio. You can spend hours and hours researching online trying to find different tours and activities and you might get overwhelmed because there is way too much information online, you don’t even know where to start.
Fortunately, we have taken the time to make a detailed list of the Top 12 things to do in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. All of the activities mentioned in this List have been favored amongst travelers. We hope you find this list useful and remember that with our company, Things To Do Manuel Antonio, you have instant access to booking all of the activities in Manuel Antonio and near by areas.
Here is our list of 12 Fun & Amazing things to do in Manuel Antonio
1. Explore the very diverse Manuel Antonio National Park
The Manuel Antonio National Park is part of the Forbes Top 12 Most Beautiful National Parks in the World, so this alone should give you a great reason to come and visit this diverse land.
When you arrive at the National Park you will have to purchase a ticket to enter which cost $16 per person for foreigners. I recommend paying in Cash as you will be charged a fee if you pay with a credit card.
There are multiple Tour Guides around the Park. We recommend hiring a guide so you don’t miss sightseeing the amazing wild life that the Manuel Antonio National Park has to offer.
During your visit at the Park you can expect to encounter a wide variety of animals such as: sloths, iguanas, snakes, white face monkey, capuchin monkeys, howler monkey, frogs and over 350 types of birds. Read more about the Costa Rican Monkeys
The Park is closed on Mondays but is open every other day starting at 7:00 a.m. If you are planning to visit Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica between May to November, we highly recommend you visit the Park from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Much of the afternoon time is packed with rain during this time of the year in Costa Rica.
We recommend you bring fresh clothes, bug spray, can be comfortable tennis or tight flip flops, a camera to capture all of the animals plus the beautiful scenery, and sun block if you plan on swimming in the gorgeous beaches that are found inside the Park.
2. Visit the less crowded beach in Manuel Antonio called Playa Biesanz
The main beaches that are near the Manuel Antonio National Park are beautiful and we definitely recommend you give them a visit. However, if you are looking for a less crowded beach to have more privacy, then Playa Biesanz is your best choice.
Playa Biesanz is Located in the area of Manuel Antonio and it is also a great place to do some snorkeling. You can find the location of Playa Biesanz by using Google Maps or Waze. Once you arrive at the beach you will have plenty of room and privacy to enjoy and relax.
If you have a car there is parking on the side of the entrance to the beach. There is a guard there to look after your vehicle. You will have to walk down to arrive at Playa Biesanz. The walk is very short but we do recommend you take your time.
There are local people at the beach selling delicious coconut water as well as fruits such as Pineapple and Watermelon.
3. Relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery on the Catamaran Coastal Cruise
Out of the ocean activities, I have to say one of the most popular is the Catamaran Manuel Antonio Coastal Tour. A fantastic opportunity to take in some sun and to relax.
The tour takes you around the Manuel Antonio National Park and a visit to Playa Biesanz Reef where you will enjoy a fun time snorkeling using the gear that they provide on the boat. They have masks, flippers and life jackets for adults and kids.
You have the option of booking a morning tour from 8:30 to 12:30 or an afternoon tour from 2:00 to 6:00 now this afternoon tour we recommend you book it only from December through April, any other month is part of the rainy season in Costa Rica, so you want to go in the morning to avoid the afternoon rain showers.
The price per person is $65 for the morning boat cruise and $75 for the afternoon sunset tour. This rate applies for kids above the age of 6 and those under come free on the tour.
If you have never seen a Dolphin before this will give you the best chance of viewing them up close as many of the dolphins are very playful and actually come close to the boat while jumping out of the water, a true show for the passengers on the tour.
The total duration of the catamaran boat cruise is between 3 hours and 30 minutes to 4 hours.
Included is round trip transportation, a complete meal prepared on the boat with all fresh ingredients, fruits, drinks, snacks and all the snorkeling gear.
4. White Water Rafting in the rivers of Naranjo & Savegre
There are two main rivers to go white water rafting when you are vacationing in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. Those 2 rivers are Savegre & Naranjo. These rivers provide different level of rapids for beginners to very advanced rafters.
El Chorro is one of the most upper parts of the Naranjo River and this is for those looking for an extreme rush of adrenaline as that is exactly what you are going to get when you go white water rafting in the El Chorro.
If you are looking for a fun rafting tour but with a little less dosage of adrenaline, we highly recommend a half day trip to Savegre River.
Costa Rica is a tropical place, which means that half of the year we get rainy days. It doesn’t rain all the time but very frequently. This causes the rivers to become filled with more water and faster rapids.
You can still go white water rafting during the summer time but its more extreme during the rainy season (May through November).
For the white water rafting adventure, you can book a Half Day, 3/4 Day, or a Full Day Rafting Tour.
The price can range from $75 per person to $95 this will depend on wether you decide to book a half day or full day rafting adventure and also which river you select.
There really is a wide variety of levels to choose from, so let us know what type of rapids you are seeking to explore and we will then provide you with the best rafting option.
The tour includes round trip transportation from Manuel Antonio to the rafting spot, all the gear, 2 guides, fruits, drinks and lunch (applied only for 3/4 day and full day trips)
We recommend you bring comfortable tennis, and fresh clothes.
5. A Exciting Jungle Night Tour in the Costa Rican Forest
The jungle night tour near Manuel Antonio has to be at the top of the list for the most adrenaline and fun activities with the opportunity to see a wide variety of animals which are harder to see during the day time.
When you hike or walk in the Costa Rican Jungle during the day time you will get to see several animals but what you probably did not know is that these animals are more active during the night. This provides you with the perfect opportunity to take the jungle night tour and view more animals than you would see during the day.
This is an all around fun adventure for kids and adults. It is with a doubt, one of the most unique activities you can do near Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.
The professional night tour guides will provide you with 2 LED lights which is one for the head and the other light is for the hand, to get the maximum visibility.
Also included is round trip transportation, entrance fee, a nature guide, a local dinner and drinks after you are done with the jungle night tour.
The tour is done in the Rain Maker Reserve which is roughly a 40 minutes drive from Manuel Antonio.
During the jungle night tour you can expect to see the following animals:
Bats, Jesus Chris Lizard, Spiders, Owls, a large variety of frogs, snacks and many interesting insects.
Price: The cost is $60 per person.
Tour Time: The tour starts around 5:10 p.m. The total tour time is 3 hours.
We recommend you bring: camera, comfortable hiking shoes, long pants, insect repellent, and bottle of water.
6. Drive ATV Four Wheel Drive through Costa Rican Dirt Road!
Talk about a fun packed activity, I had to mention the ATV Tour near Manuel Antonio as this tour is a great adventure with a lot of fun and adrenaline.
You get to drive your own Top of the Line ATV through the lush and rustic tropical of San Antonio de Damas which located roughly 15 minutes from Manuel Antonio, so its a very short drive.
The tour is guided by professional and bilingual guides who will give you a complete explanation on safety and how to properly drive the ATV.
The best part besides driving an awesome Four Wheel Drive through the Costa Rican Forest is that you get to visit a beautiful Waterfall and Natural Springs, where you can swim and take in all the beautiful scenery.
You also pass through several plantations, such as teak, rice, African Palm and Papaya. During the entire tour, the guide gives you interesting and unique information about the area.
Half way through the ATV Tour you will being a short walk through Nature where if you have some luck, you get to view Toucans, Sloths, Tropical Birds and Titi Monkeys.
The total length of driving the ATV is a 12 mile adventure through dirt roads of San Rafael and La Parcela, all part of Damas, a small Village in Costa Rica, very close to Manuel Antonio.
After you visit the first waterfall, you drive the ATV to the Rain Maker Park where you can swim and enjoy even more waterfalls and natural pools of water.
The total tour time is 4 hours.
Included is round trip transportation to and from your Hotel or Villa, a complete Costa Rican Lunch, beverages, fruit, snacks, and the Four Wheel Drive of your choice.
The cost is $105 for a Single ATV and $135 for a Double Four Wheel Drive.
Pick up time 7:00 a.m. 10:30 a.m. 2:00 p.m.
Minimum age to drive an ATV is 16 years old and to ride the ATV is 5 years and above.
7. Ride through the Costa Rican Jungle in the Zip Line Adventure Tour
Near Manuel Antonio, there is one of the Longest Zip Lines in all of Central America. This canopy platform is located about 35 to 40 minutes from Manuel Antonio and the drive is well worth it. When you arrive to the Zip Line Location you will have several Canopy Lines to enjoy the adrenaline rush and a fantastic view of the lush tropical jungle.
The price is $75 per person and there are 3 different departure times. You can select the 7:30 a.m. 10:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. (this one is recommend from December through April).
The canopy zip line tour is extremely safe with a doubled line and a touch less system ensures your safety during the entire activity.
Again, there isn`t a specific age limit but you do have to be at least 4 years old to ride the Zip Line.
We recommend you bring fresh clothes and comfortable tennis shoes. The tour is around 4 hours long and everything is included in the price from round trip transportation to a complete and delicious meal.
8. Kayaking in the Damas Mangrove Day Trip & Night Tour
There is a town called Damas which is about 20 minutes from Manuel Antonio which is has a very rich estuary or mangrove as it is also called, that provides a great opportunity to view wildlife.
The kayaking tour is easy because in the Mangrove there are no waves so there is little to no movement in the water. When you are kayaking in the estuary you don’t hear anything but the animals that habit the mangrove so it is a very peaceful place to be.
The rate is $65 per person for the day trip and $75 for the night kayaking tour. Kids under 6 years are Free.
You have the option of booking a single or a double open seat kayak.
The activity includes round trip transportation (Manuel Antonio area), professional guide, all the gear, drinks and food.
The mangrove kayak tour is a great adventure for individuals, families or groups and the best part is anyone can go kayaking as long as you are relatively fit you should be all set.
We recommend you bring comfortable clothes, sun block, towel, camera, a hat and water shoe if possible.
9. World Class Sport Fishing Charters near Manuel Antonio Costa Rica
Did you know that there were actually two main reasons why Quepos & Manuel Antonio got to be such a popular tourist destinations? What are those two reasons?
Well, the National Park and the Amazing Sport Fishing. The fishing departs from the Marina Pez Vela, located in downtown Quepos which is about a 7 to 9 minute drive to Manuel Antonio (depending on traffic).
How great is the fishing? Quepos is home to the OWC Fishing Tournament in which more than 70 boats participate each year to try and break world records for most bill fish released in one day.
There is a wide variety of species living in the inshore fishing grounds as well as in the deep sea offshore waters. These species range from size and how tough they fight. For example, inshore you will find smaller species of fish such as Rooster Fish, Snook, Red Snapper and Spanish Mackerel. For the offshore fishing you will have the chance to fight Bill Fish like Sailfish, Marlin, Mahi-Mahi and Yellow Fin Tuna.
The boats range in size and price. There are boats from 26 ft to 60 ft. The price also depends if you are going inshore or offshore.
You will have several options for booking a fishing trip as there is a half day, 3/4 day and full day inshore fishing but only 3/4 day and full day for offshore charters.
Get in touch with us and let us know how many anglers are in your group, as well as what type of species you are interested in targeting and will then send you the Best Boat Options with the Lowest Rates.
10. Go Parasailing and view Manuel Antonio from unique angles
Parasailing in Manuel Antonio gives you a unique view of the entire coast which consist of several beaches and very lush mountains. Be at the same level as the beautiful birds which fly around the beaches in Manuel Antonio.
You will reach heights of up to 600 ft so this will definitely be an activity for those who love an adrenaline rush. A lot of the customers ask how safe is it to go parasailing? Well with the Newest Safety Equipment which consist of an extremely durable line and tight harness, you will feel safe and secure while being up in the air.
You are probably wondering what is the age limit for the parasailing activity? Well, to be honest, there really isn’t a specific age limit as the tour has been done by kids as young as 3 years old and folks in there late 80`s.
By the way, the parasailing tour has a full insurance that covers you.
Regular Parasailing Tour is about 12-15 minutes. Includes transportation from hotel or Villa in Manuel Antonio and Quepos.
SINGLE: One person flying: $85
DOUBLE: Two people flying together: $140
TRIPLE: Three people flying together: $185
Luxury Parasailing Tour is about 30 minutes. Includes transportation from hotel or Villa in Manuel Antonio and Quepos.
SINGLE: One person flying: $140
DOUBLE: Two people flying together: $210
TRIPLE: Three people flying together: $260
11. A day trip to the Beautiful and Amazing Nauyaca Waterfalls
This is one waterfall that you won´t want to miss during your vacation to Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.
Nauyaca Waterfalls is located in Baru, going south towards San Isidro. The waterfall location is about a 45 to 50 minute drive from Manuel Antonio. If you are thinking that the ride is too long, we highly recommend you take the time to visit Nauyaca Waterfalls.
What to bring? For the waterfall tour we recommend you bring sunblock, towel, bathing suit and comfortable walking shoes.
There are 3 different options for you to arrive at the waterfall without walking.
You can select an economic 4×4 tour for $28 per person and this involves getting on the back of a pick up car provided by the waterfall tour and getting straight to the waterfall. The total waiting time at the waterfall is 2 hours which is more than enough time to enjoy and take in this beautiful paradise.
This includes the round trip transportation to and from the waterfall and the right of admission.
There needs to be a minimum of 2 people to reserve the economic 4×4 tour. Below is the schedule from Monday to Saturday:
7:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
A horse back riding adventure for $70 per person rate. This option takes more time but it gives you a unique perspective of the location as you get to access unique areas. This includes a guide, horse, light breakfast, lunch, and ticket.
The weight limit for the horseback tour is 220 pounds for those who have no experience riding horses and 240 pounds weight limit for those who are experienced riders.
A Private 4×4 Pick Up Tour for $70 per person. The tour starts at 8:00 a.m. and ends around 1:30 p.m. It includes a guide, light breakfast, lunch, and the admission ticket.
Here is how you can get to the waterfall destination from Manuel Antonio:
If you don’t have a rent a car, you can get one for just 1 day and it will cost you between $40 to $120 depending on the vehicle that you choose.
You can take a bus from Quepos to San Isidro and ask the driver to stop at the waterfall spot which is on the side of the road so its very easy to find and most of the bus drivers will know where it is, if not all will know as its a very famous tourist attraction. The bus ticket will cost between $5 to $7 per person. The bus has two departure times we recommend you take which are the 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. The actual bus ride will take roughly 1 hour and 30 minutes to arrive at Nauyaca Waterfalls.
You can also hire a van which will take you to the waterfall and wait for you up to 2 hours and 30 minutes from the time you get to the waterfall. The price for this can range from $200 to $300 depending on the size of the group.
12. Swim in a beautiful natural pool of water with a small waterfall
Manuel Antonio can often get crowded as it is one of the most visited places in Costa Rica, so people are often looking for something to do that involves getting away for a while from all the crowd and that is why we recommend visiting Portasol. This beautiful forest area has an amazing pool of water with a small waterfall where kids and adults can enjoy a great swim and a fun day outside of Manuel Antonio.
This is actually one spot that people who visiting Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica don’t visit because you won´t find that many travel websites talking about Portasol and its great pools of water but we have been living in Manuel Antonio for more than 23 years and are local Costa Ricans and since we love to travel in our Country, we know a lot of the hidden treasures this tropical paradise has to offer.
Portasol is located in Portalon which is a town roughly 24 minutes from Manuel Antonio.
You can find the driving directions of Portasol by using the Waze Navigational App.
The best part of going to Portasol is that its completely free. Yes, that is right, the access to the natural pool of water and waterfall is Free.
We recommend you bring good walking shoes, a camera, towels, and insect repellent.