As you travel the road between Quepos and Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, the din from roaring buses, packs of tourists and locals hunting foreign dollars becomes increasingly loud, reaching its somewhat chaotic, climax at Manuel Antonio village. Hordes descend on this tiny oceanside village at the entrance to the country’s most visited national park. Don't show up all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, expecting deserted beaches and untouched tropical paradise. Higher primates tend to be the most frequently sighted species, especially during the congested dry season, when tour groups arrive en masse.
But come here in low season or on a Monday (when the park is closed), and you'll find a tranquil little village with waves sedately lapping at the white sand. And, when troops of monkeys climb down from the forest canopy to the tropical sands, you can get up close and personal with some marvelous wildlife.