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Manuel Antonio Snorkeling

A few miles from the town of Quepos on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica lies Manuel Antonio Park, the most visited National Park in Costa Rica. Though small, the park holds an impressive array of wildlife - from howler monkeys to sloths and many colorful birds. The wildlife isn't only found in the forest however, as the nearby waters have a variety of marine life.

The park itself features several beautiful white sand beaches. Playa Manuel Antonio (located to the left as you walk far into the park) offers the best snorkeling opportunities and even a large sunken boat to view. Although the water here can be a bit silty (it definitely isn't the crystal water of the Caribbean) you still should be able to see many interesting fish up close.

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On the right side of Playa Manuel Antonio (as you face the water), you can see a large group of rocks jutting out into the water. These rocks hold many interesting fish including parrotfish, triggerfish and colorful butterflyfish. The left side of the beach also has some rocks with fish and about 50 yards offshore a small buoy marks the location of a surprisingly large sunken boat set on its' side in 15+ feet of water. It isn't terribly interesting, but is certainly worth the short swim to look at.

Just outside the park lies the public beach, filled with vendors and beach chairs. On the beach and along the nearby street a number of providers offer snorkeling tours directly from the beach. Some of these tour operators have boats, while others take visitors out on short trips on the back of jet skis. The cost for these trips is about $39 for 90 minutes. Larger, more traditional snorkeling tours are available from Quepos. These trips are generally 4-6 hours and often include a view of the sunset as well as food and drink.

Offshore Rocks - Snorkeling in Manuel Antonio National Park

Offshore Rocks - Snorkeling in Manuel Antonio National Park

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