Marino Ballena National Park
The Ballena National Marine Park was established in 1990. The Park stretches from the southern end of Playa Hermosa to the northern end of Playa Piñuela and about 9 miles (15 km) seaward. Marino Ballena Park is formed by three small islands known as Las Tres Hermanas (three sisters) and Ballena island and the largest coral reef on the Pacific Coast of Central America
This National Park is named after the Humpback Whales that migrate here each year from December to April to mate before returning to the frigid waters to the north. From May to November with the peak in September and early October you can admire the Olive Ridley and Hawksbill turtle's nesting. Especially at low tide, snorkeling is good from the shore, and dive trips are available to the islands. The park is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Mondays.
Manuel António National Park
Manuel Antonio National Park was born from the desire of the people in the region to preserve their access to one of the most beautiful parts of Costa Rica.
The citizens of Puerto Quepos had enjoyed the area for generations until it passed into the hands of a series of developers. When one of them, Arthur Bergeron, began cutting trees and erecting gates on the road in preparation for constructing a private resort the locals reacted by requesting the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly to protect the area for all to enjoy. "Manuel Antonio National Park", is truly a different, tropical world and beautiful beaches. Is a heaven for wildlife lovers.
With the establishment of Manuel Antonio National Park in 1972, the people of Costa Rica decided to preserve for future generations one of the most beautiful and bio-diverse areas in the world. In 2011, Manuel Antonio was listed by Forbes among the world's 12 most beautiful national parks. Combining gorgeous beaches with a dense lush rainforests, exotic animal, bird species and exquisite coral reefs.
Although it is the country's smallest national park, the stunning beauty and diversity of wildlife in its 683 hectares is unequaled. A lush blanket of tropical green spills headlong onto several hidden and incredibly beautiful, jungle-lined beaches. Manuel Antonio is Costa Rica's second most visited park.
Manuel Antonio National Park is a gem among Costa Rica's nature reserves and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Costa Rica, easy walking trails take in sweeping vistas of Costa Rica's dramatic coastline and meander through primary rainforest with over 300 species of trees.
Within this magnificent dreamscape you may catch glimpse of whimsical monkeys, loud and colorful parrots, giant toucans, three-toed sloths, and a whole host of rare plant and animal species that inspire and overwhelm the senses. The birding opportunities are nothing short of fantastic with more than 350 species spotted in the park's small boundaries.
Four beaches are contained within the limits of the park: Manuel Antonio, Espadilla Sur, Teldoro, and Playita. Of these the Playa Manuel Antonio is the prettiest beach with silky white sand and a stunning offshore coral reef.