Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, Park, nature, travel, photography, TS76

Connecting with Nature at Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica

 “Nature has always had more force than education”

– Voltaire

Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, Park, nature

Manual Antonio National Park is one of the most famous and visited on the Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica and for many good reasons.

Did you know that it was listed as one of the most beautiful National Parks in the world by none other than Forbes Magazine? Don’t believe me? See the following!

Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, Park, nature, Manuel Antonio National Park, Map, travel, photography, TS76

Now it may not be large in size (It’s actually the smallest in the Central American nation) but it has so much to offer to visitors, both local and foreigners!

White-sand beaches (among the best in the country) are surrounded by lush rain forest. Hiking trails are adapted for all types of explorers. Moreover its impressive flora and fauna as well as its incredible biodiversity make it a great place to visit. To sum it up, Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio is simply spectacular and frankly one of the best I have ever been to!

I was super excited to learn that besides visiting a primary school and going zip lining, I was going to go on a four-hour tour of the park with Quepos Verde Aventura Lead Guide, Elias Mora and also with my fellow travelers: Mia, Lydia and Vanessa. The dynamic chicas 🙂

Our journey started early that Friday. We first had breakfast (fuel for the day) at Parador Resort & Spa to prepare for the adventure. Their buffet is quite something and should NEVER be missed!

At precisely 8 a.m., our driver José and our guide Elias were waiting for us at the main entrance.

We got on board the modern and super comfortable mini-bus which is equipped with air conditioning. Although it was early, it was quite hot & humid!

We waited a few more minutes for a couple of guests who were heading towards the beach. The hotel offers a free shuttle service to the beach at several intervals during the day and it is only 10-15 minutes away!

Once we were all on board, we hit the road and what a beautiful morning it was. The views of the surrounding areas are just breathtaking!

After dropping off the guests at the first beach, we continued until we reached the entrance of the park.

Karla at Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, travel, photography, TS76

It is important to mention that the number of visitors is limited per day. This helps protect the ecosystem and maintain balance. Entrance fees to the park only cost $10 USD for foreigners.

After getting the tickets, we proceeded to the entrance and started our tour.

 Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, Park, nature, travel, photography, TS76

Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, Park, nature, travel, photography, TS76

Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, Park, nature, travel, photography, TS76

Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, Park, nature, travel, photography, TS76

Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, Park, nature, travel, photography, TS76

As I mentioned earlier, some new trails were built to accommodate everyone including mobility reduced persons and it’s in complete harmony with the environment.

Hiking trail, Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, Park, nature, travel, photography, TS76

Hiking trail, Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, Park, nature, travel, photography, TS76

Our awesome guide, Elias Mora, has been a certified nature guide for many years.

Elias Mora, Certified Guide, Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, Park, nature, travel, photography, TS76

Not only he is quite knowledgeable, he is also a wealth of information. Elias lives and breathes nature, science AND photography which is another of his passions. His explanations are very clear, concise and thoroughly researched.

Elias Mora, Certified Guide, Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, Park, nature, travel, photography, TS76

What truly struck us from the beginning was his amazing ability mimic animal sounds so accurately and they responded back! He is like the Animal Whisperer simply because he speaks and understands their language 🙂

Moreover he possesses an incredible vision, almost eagle eyes. He can spot species without the help of binoculars or a telescope which he brings with him on every tour! Those are his work tools and they come pretty handy, especially when it comes time to take pictures. Trust me I learned a few photography tricks from him that day!

Learning about all different animals and flora is like having a science and history class outdoors! Who needs to watch Animal Planet, Discovery Channel or National Geographic when you can see it live and in living color?

Instead of telling you all about it, how about I take you for a walk on the wild side through Manuel Antonio National Park? After all photos speak a thousand words right?

All photos by Elias Mora were taken by using my Samsung Camera.

Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, Park, nature, travel, photography, TS76

Short-Tailed Hawk

Casque headed lizard, Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, Park, nature, travel, photography, TS76

Casque-headed lizard.  Photo credit: Elias Mora

Tent Making Bat, Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, Park, nature, travel, photography, TS76

Tent Making Bat. Photo Credit: Elias Mora

Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, Park, nature, travel, photography, TS76

Monkey see, Monkey do.

Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, Park, nature, travel, photography, TS76

Colorful grasshopper. Photo credit: Elias Mora

White-faced Capuchin Monkeys, Monkeys, Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, Park, nature, travel, photography, TS76

White-faced Capuchin monkeys.

Believe it or not, you are so immersed and so focused that time flies by and next thing you know, the beach calls you and that’s precisely where we headed to in order to rest and recharge batteries for our starting point.

Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, Park, nature, travel, photography, TS76

On the way down to the beach

A nice surprise was waiting for us!

We finally got to see a sloth in action 🙂

Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, Park, nature, travel, photography, TS76

Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, Park, nature, travel, photography, TS76

Three-toed sloth

It was so much fun to watch. He (because we all agreed it was a male) kept going up and down on the same branch in order to grab a few leaves, his meal of the day 🙂

After admiring the cute creature we needed to sit down and refuel. What better way to end our tour (which really went by fast) than enjoying fresh fruit and drink cold water.

Light snack at Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, Park, nature, travel, photography, TS76

Light and healthy snack

After a short break, we went straight to the water! This is the gorgeous

Playa Espadilla, Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, Park, nature, travel, photography, TS76

Playa Espadilla Beach

Playa Espadilla, Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, Park, nature, travel, photography, TS76

Did you enjoy the photographic tour? It was great to connect with Mother Nature in all her glory right?

You now understand when I say that someone spent a little more time on Costa Rica 🙂

I invite you to check Quepos Verde Aventura http://www.hotelparador.com/tours and learn more about all the tours they offer.

Also make sure to head over to Elias’ Facebook fan page, give thumbs up to

Elias Mora Photography https://www.facebook.com/eliasnature

where he shares some of his brilliant, colorful, powerful and spectacular captures! It left me speechless and was inspired to take better photos.

If you are ever in Costa Rica, I highly recommend visiting Manuel Antonio National Park and truly feel the power of nature! The feelings, images and stories will remain with you for a long time!

Now over to you!

Tell me,

What is your favorite National Park?

Where is it located?

I can’t wait to read all about it.

Until next time

Pura Vida!

Karla 🙂

More adventures in Costa Rica to read:

https://travellersoul76.com/2014/10/31/epic-adventures-in-manuel-antonio-costa-rica-with-canopy-safari-tours/

https://travellersoul76.com/2014/10/26/travel-to-do-good-parador-resort-spa-and-pack-for-a-purpose/

https://travellersoul76.com/2014/10/16/destination-of-the-month-parador-resort-spa-in-quepos-costa-rica/

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7 thoughts on “Connecting with Nature at Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica

    • traveller soul says:

      Thank you!

      Aren’t they amazing? I must say that if it wasn’t for Elias, I would have never been able to capture them!

      Being a visitor and admire nature at its purest state is a privilege. Sometimes we need to just disconnect and observe Mother Nature 😉

      If you have a favorite park let us know!

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