Quepos is well known by sport fishing enthusiasts. The blue waters off this coast provide exceptional challenge and excitement for seasoned, as well as occasional, anglers. International bill fishing tournaments held here routinely tie and break world records. Manuel Antonio is one of the most beautiful parks in the country and the most popular, with locals and foreigners alike. The hilly evergreen forest provides natural shade from the tropical sun and 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. In addition to the huge variety of things to do – walking the park’s easy trails, white-water rafting, ocean cruising, and big-game fishing, to name but a few – this is one of the lushest places in Costa Rica, with spectacular white-gray sand beaches fringed by thickly forested hills home to; squirrel, white-faced, and howler monkeys, three-toed sloths, and other wildlife.
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 visitors a wide variety of accommodations and dining choices.
Near Manuel Antonio is Jardin Gaia which several years ago was named Costa Rica’s first official Wildlife Rescue Center. The Center receives injured and confiscated animals and attempts to rehabilitate them for an eventual return to the wild.