The beach at Manuel Antonio is of white coral sand and one of the nicest in Costa Rica. The Manuel Antonio National Park features three more lovely beaches, each somewhat different: Espadilla Sur, Escondido, and Playita. The best known is Playa Manuel Antonio, with a small coral reef. The walk to the top of Punta Catedral along steep and sometimes muddy paths takes about an hour from Playa Espadilla Sur (Second Beach). They offer tidal pools and good snorkeling opportunities, especially during high season, when the water is clean.
Olive ridley and green turtles occasionally come ashore. One can also explore the park's network of wide trails, which lead into a swatch of humid tropical forest. You might see marmosets, ocelots, river otters, pacas, and spectacled caimans in more remote riverine areas. Howler monkeys move from branch to branch, iguanas, toucans, scarlet macaws and about 350 squirrel monkeys live in the park, another 500 on its outer boundaries. Capuchin (white-faced) monkeys are abundant and play at the beaches and might steal your sandwich. They can become aggressive. It is illegal to feed the monkeys, if you're caught, you may be ejected from the park. There are riptides on Playa Espadilla. Watch your children, as there are no lifeguards and as everywhere else, watch your blongings.
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