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Coming into town we were flagged down by a kid who told us that the parking lots for the park were full and that we needed to park in his lot for $2. I told him that we were going to go look anyways and found that the other parking lots were quite empty! We still needed to pay to park in the official parking areas but you to look for the guys in either the official yellow or brown shirts to avoid getting scammed.
Written Jun 18, 2005
Be careful, drivers who offer to drive you to your destination for a low price. My friend and I took one only to be dropped about a mile away from our destination because there was a police barricade in front of us. The driver did not want a ticket so he dropped us off. These drivers do not have a license. So be careful. Only take the red cabs.
Written Jun 5, 2003
Be careful when walking along the beach in the Manuel Antonio NP, especially at Playa Espadilla Sur. Here you will find the manchineel tree (manzanillo), or "beach apple" tree. The manchineel is highly toxic and possesses a sap that irritates the skin. Its applelike fruits are also poisonous. Avoid touching any part of the tree.
Updated Feb 19, 2006
if you enter the park in the morning and enjoy it till the closing hours, remember that the little ford where water reached your ankle now is a little bit higher ;-)... as far as your wait... or viceversa, according to the tide but it's not said you also have to plunge into it as I did, there is a boat service for a few bucks.
Updated May 13, 2003
the entrance fee to the national park is 8 US $ per person per day and they don't accept 100 $ note but... maybe my disadventure was only by chance anyway they tried to pretend I had given them a 20 $ and not a 50 $ note... and take not that at the cash desk there were NOT Costaricans but english speaking foreigners maybe working there...
Written May 9, 2003
Be wary of the "tour guides." They are all related and will scam you. It's better to just go to the park on your own for the $11 entrance fee instead of paying $40-$60 for a supposed private guide, which ends up being a group of 12 or so. We fell for it and then had an irate couple, completely valid since we were lied to, call the guide out and demanded their $80 back ($40 each person).
Written Feb 23, 2009
There is a sizeable crack smoking community that makes this are along the seawall their hangout. I was mugged by three locals and nearly choked to death while a Best Western employed "security guard" watched. Best Western could have cared less that I was beaten and robbed right at the entrance to their hotel since I was not a registered guest. This is the third time I have been robbed in Quepos. Beware of ex-pats as well, as all they want is your tourist dollars and in many cases, loans.
I would urge readers here to surf the internet on the tremendous uptick in crime in Costa Rica. You should be warned. Pura Vida means "hand me your wallet"
Updated May 15, 2011
Beaches inside Manuel Antonio park are calm water and whiter sand compared to other Costa Rican beaches most of which have black sand and neverending waves. And blue flag waves over the beaches of MA park, but the water gets often VERY dirty in one of the two most popular beaches in the park,with disgusting gray chemical foams. Locals say unfortunately it is often like this. Forget swimming if you care a little about your health. You get bitten by the acids in the dirt even while you just try to stand in the water to refresh a bit. And the other favorite beach (bigger one) gets invaded with stinking poisonous jelly fish,again certainly due to pollution. As water is not so calm, you can't see the jelly fish before you touch them. Use Manuel Antonio public beach instead. it is wavy, no underwater vision due to gray sands and touristy but at least clean enough,beautiful sunset and free to enter!!
Updated Nov 10, 2012
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