Walking and Hiking Trails in Manuel Antonio National Park

Walking and Hiking Trails
From the entry station where you wade the shallow Quebrada Camonera (small boats are available at high tide) the main trail skirts Playa Espadilla Sur to the park information office on Playa Manuel Antonio at the tómbolo (land bridge) of Punta Catedral where there are picnic tables and fresh water showers to rinse off the beach sand. From here you can access the 1.2 km loop around Punta Catedral that features a number of viewpoints and the pre-Columbian Quepoas turtle traps built in the rocks at the western end of Playa Manuel Antonio (only visible at low tide).

capuchin monkey

White-faced Capuchin, Cebus capucinus (Spanish-Mono Carablanca). The gregarious capuchins interact with humans much more than the other three Costa Rican species of monkeys. They often follow hikers, scolding and even launching projectiles from the treetops. (contributed by Cezary Doda ©2004)
Continuing east from the information center the first turn on the left is the 1.3 kmsendero perezoso (sloth trail) along an access road that  leads up, and out of the park to the hotel area above the parking lot.

A left turn at the next Y in the trail puts you on the sendero mirador (overlook trail) which climbs a further 1.3 km onto the headland behind Playa Puerto Escondido to an impressive overlook. Although the lookout point appears to be very close to the beach on the map, you cannot access the beach from the top of this nearly vertical drop-off. To reach Playa Puerto Escondido return to the Y and take the right hand branch.

No trails are necessary for some other interesting walks in the park. Along the beaches you’ll discover small tide pools in the rocks that hold dozens of species of sponges, corals, crabs and other crustaceans and more than a hundred different types of fish. Snorkeling is allowed for more extensive investigations, but you should be aware that any recent rainfall reduces the visibility significantly.

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