MANUEL ANTONIO NATIONAL PARK
This wilderness area is located on the Pacific coast of the Puntarenas province. It is located about 157 km south of the San José city by road and 7 km south of the city of Quepos. It was created by Law No. 5100, of November 15, 1972. Has an extension of 682.7 land hectares and 55.000 marine hectares. Manuel Antonio is a small biological island, inside an area subject to different activities such as agriculture, livestock and a high tourism development. Part of the forest is in the process of regeneration, because in the past was object of a selective extraction of timber.
This is one of the national parks with the most scenic beauty. It is the wilderness area that receives the major amount of national and international tourism. Another major attractive is the rainforest where habits flora and fauna species in danger of extinction, such as the squirrel monkey. A geomorphologic feature to note is Punta Catedral. In the past it was an island and due to the accumulation of sediments, it joined the mainland, forming a Sandy belt called isthmus. The park is located in a region of high rainfall and high temperatures. The anual average of rainfall is of 3.875 mm. The dry months area January, February and March, the months with the months with the major precipitation are August, September and October. Manuel Antonio National Park is located in the area of the tropical rain forest. Protect patches of primary forest, secondary forest, mangrove, beach vegetation and marine environments.
The most characteristic flora species in the primary rainforest are the red guacimo, pilón, cedro maría, locust, surá, the black locust that is a timber tree in danger of extinction, lechoso, arbutus, the saman and the ceiba. In secondary forest, which covers ancient cultivation and grazing areas, the more common species are the balsa, monkey comb, the guarumo, the guácimo, the white chokecherry and the garocoho. The mangrove forest covers about 18 hectares, and is compound by three species: red mangrove, buttonwood and ladybug.
In the beach vegetation highlights the manzanillo which is a tree that have a milky substance and poisonous fruits, almond, oak Savannah and the coconut.
The fauna is varied, have distinguished 109 species of mammals and 184 birds. Among the most outstanding, we find the raccoon, the coati, the agouti, two-toed sloth, white-faced monkeys, howler monkey and marmoset monkey, an endemic subspecies of the park and that is in danger of extinction due to their habitat destruction and their use as a pet . There is also frequently seen bird species such as tucancillo, el pelican or hyacinth, the grouse, the osprey, green kingfisher and the water cook. It is possible to see iguanas and lizards, snakes and many insects.
The main environmental problems of the park are caused by the poorly planned tourism development in the vicinity, causing a massive influx of visitors of the area and pollution to the sea. Moreover, large scale farming cause a deteriorate soil and sedimentation in the sea. The garbage and the feeding of wild animals by the visitors are other problems that the area faces.
There are three park management programs. The environmental education program which aims to help to develop environmental awareness among the inhabitants of the communities neighboring the park. Protection program, which aims to maintain the minimum level of physical and biological changes of human origin in the park, provide protection to the visitor and staff and ensure the compliance of the applicable conservation laws.
Finally there is a management program, which tries to involve the local communities and the public and private agencies in planning and the development of the area.
Park facilities and hours
Near Quepos Costa Rica, the Manuel Antonio Ranger Station is open for visitor attention from 8am to 4 pm, and has drinking water and restrooms.
An extensive trail system winds through the Manuel Antonio Park, see the trail map above. The Sendero Serrucho offers a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean.
Our reception desk will be pleased to answer any questions you may have about these or other tours. Tours can be booked through our receptionists prior to or during your trip.
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