If you enjoy diving then doing a day trip to a few of the 10 or so dive sites at the Manuel Antonio National Park is worth a look. It's best to find a centre before you go as they are scattered along the beaches such as Puntarenas and Drake Bay, our site can help you find the closest dive centre to you.
There are sites for all levels and you can see great rock formations and underwater landscape from the volcanic islands along with sea life such as octopi, moray eels, reef fish such as angelfish and butterfly fish and maybe a turtle or reef shark if you're lucky. You might see a manta ray from December to May.
The area of Isla Larga (Long Island) is a volcanic island with some great caverns to explore. Las Gemlas is perfect for your first discovery dive, with calm conditions and nice sea life such as pufferfish, eels and maybe an octopus. Beginners can also enjoy El Aquario, a shallow underwater pinnacle with lots of fish.
Sites a little further out from the coast can be subjected to currents and surge so certification is recommended. Sites such as Canyon Reef and Punta Quepos where you can dive a little deeper, also out at Ola Quinta where you can search for lobster, octopus and eels in the rocky bottom.
So be sure to rate your favourite sites in the Manuel Antonio National Park area and if you've got some great photos of the area, we'd love to see them.
(By Kelly Luckman)
The Manuel Antonio National Park is a hidden gem in Costa Rica, with a combination of rain forest, beautiful beaches and coral reef, it's a great escape from the big city so you can get back to nature.
You can get there by flying from San Jose, which is only a 20 minute flight. Buses leave from San Jose three times a day from the Coca Cola bus station, or it's recomended you hire a car (4x4 is advisable due to road conditions) and drive the few hours to the park. The entrance is $10 per person and the park is open from 7am til 4pm and closed on Mondays.
Spend the day lazing on the beach or walking the trails looking for wildlife such as sloth, iguanas and the very rare squirrel monkeys. There are thousands of little, colourful crabs running the beach or enjoy the fabulous views on Punta Catedral. The best beaches are Playa Espadilla Sur and Playa Manuel Antonio.
You'll really enjoy your time exploring the park.
(By Kelly Luckman)