is well known by sport fishing enthusiasts. The blue water off this
coast provides exceptional challenge and excitement for seasoned, as
well as occasional, anglers. International bill fishing tournaments
in these waters routinely tie and break world records.
Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the most beautiful parks in the country and the most popular, with locals and foreigners alike. The hilly evergreen forest providing natural shade from the tropical sun lines two gorgeous white sand beaches sloping to the gentle surf. Several trails lead through dense jungle growth to hidden sandy coves and magnificent lookouts over the ocean and beaches.
Despite its small size and great popularity, Manuel Antonio has managed to remain
one of the premiere nature spots in the country. The rain forest and
mountains literally meet the sea here and the ecosystem is teeming with
land, sea and air species. If there is one place to visit in this country
and be assured of seeing animals in the wild, this is it. Just a couple
of hours walking the park's trails are likely to present various colorful
and majestic birds, white-faced monkeys, two and three-toed sloth, coatis,
pacas, brilliantly colored land crabs, a variety of multihued butterflies,
and interesting insects. The endangered squirrel monkey and a subspecies
of the squirrel monkey endemic to Costa Rica are also frequently seen.
In all, over 100 species of animals and nearly 200 species of birds
have been identified in this park.
The area between Quepos & Manuel Antonio National Park has dozens of
hotels and restaurants offering the visitor a wide variety of accommodations
and dining choices.
Near Manuel Antonio is Jardin Gaia. Named three years ago as Costa Rica's first official Wildlife Rescue Center, it receives injured and confiscated animals and attempts to rehabilitate them for return to the wild.