Costa Rica – Unsurpassed Natural Beauty

Manuel Antonio & Manuel Antonio State Park

It’s a fairly small country, but one of the richest and most diverse in natural parks and preserves.  This is Costa Rica, and its commitment to nature has turned the Central American nation into a world-renowned eco-travel destination.

The phrase the locals use to describe their love of life and nature is “Pura Vida” — Pure Life — and it doesn’t take long for this attitude and approach to life to exert its influence on all who visit.

One of smallest yet most impressive of the many state parks and nature preserves is Manuel Antonio State Park on the Pacific coast, about 50 miles from San Jose, the capital city.  This is famously known as the spot where the rainforest meets the ocean, as mountains give way to two bays.

Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio

The park covers just 1,700 acres, but trust us when we say that these are some of the most incredible acres you’ll ever explore, and they lead to a massive 135,000+ acre marine preserve.  This combination of habitats will keep you happily exploring for days, if not weeks, on end.

To get to this area, you have a few options, and they all start from San Jose.  The most common option is either to arrange private transportation or to grab a seat on the many vans that make the trip from the airport in San Jose, direct to Manuel Antonio.  Take note that even though it’s just a 50-mile drive, it will take a little under 3 hours.  On the plus side, they are an extremely picturesque 3 hours.

If spending that much time on the road is not your idea of getting your exploration off to a great start, hop on a domestic flight from San Jose to Puntarenas.  This will take just 20 minutes to put you right in the middle of Manuel Antonio.

No matter how you get there, upon arrival you’ll be assured of an extraordinary adventure in a natural paradise like few others you will ever experience.