Enjoying the warm breeze, the sun, the trails and contemplating the scenic beauty that the Manuel Antonio National Park houses will again be possible.
The Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) and the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC), in coordination with the Ministry of Health, established the measures that officials and visitors must abide from next Monday, May 18, when that national park reopens public visitation.
Regular hours for receiving visitors will be Tuesday through Sunday, 7 a.m. at 4 p.m., with a maximum capacity of 1,300 people per day, which may increase in the following weeks, according to the evaluations carried out by the personnel of this protected wild area and the state of the pandemic in the country. Only this first week will open Monday too.
Pamela Castillo, deputy minister of Natural Resources of MINAE, indicated that the reopening of this national park is possible thanks to a quick and agile organization within MINAE-SINAC, the commitment of officials, the support of the community and organizations such as the Costa Rica Forever Association.
“We are committed to providing a safe visitor experience while supporting the site’s conservation efforts and the economic revival of communities near the park,” said the hierarch.
Preventive measures. With the support of the Costa Rica Forever Association, pools were installed in the park to wash visitors’ hands and containers were placed for the waste generated from that process. In addition, acrylic screens were located in the area where officials receive tourists.
Likewise, protective masks for the personnel, thermometers for taking the temperature of the visitors and implements, such as ropes and paint, were purchased to demarcate the spaces enabled for public use.
“The donation of this equipment complements the improvements that we have been supporting in the Manuel Antonio National Park in sanitary issues, such as the installation of a wastewater treatment plant to end the problem that the park had for many years”, said Zdenka Piskulich, executive director of the Costa Rica Forever Association.
Indications. People can enter the trails individually, in pairs or in groups of no more than 5 people, respecting a distance of 10 meters between social bubbles. They will be able to walk the enabled trails, however, access to the sea is not yet enabled and staying on the beach is not allowed.
Because the beaches are closed to avoid crowds, the showers are not enabled and an established route must be followed for all people: it begins on the El Manglar elevated trail, then continues on Espadilla Sur beach, concluding on the Manuel beach trail Antonio.
The return will be made by the vehicular road or the parallel path El Perezoso to the exit gate of the park. The other sites, due to their characteristics, will remain closed for the time being because the tourist traffic is bidirectional. The tour can only be done on foot, since private vehicles are not allowed.
Entry restrictions. Those who visit this natural paradise should keep in mind that they can only enter with a bag, in which they can carry: bottle with water, sunscreen, insect repellent, personal documents, hand sanitizer, personal medications, telephone, camera, diapers and a bottle for infants and other essential items for the visit, which will be verified by the Park Administration.
They will not be able to introduce food, alcoholic beverages or plastic bags. In addition, they must take with them the solid waste generated during the visit. Pets are not allowed.
The entry of tobacco and its derivatives that emit smoke, gases or vapors, in any of its forms or in devices, including the electronic cigarette and the hookah or hookah, will not be allowed either. Cigarette lighters and devices will not be allowed.
“It is important for people to remember that they are entering a national park, which is why we must also ensure the health of ecosystems and the flora and fauna present in the place. They should not get close to the animals, or feed or pet them, “said Grettel Vega, Executive Director of SINAC.
Engine of economic and social development. This national park, created in 1972, protects 352 plant species, 107 species of land mammals, 335 species of birds, 93 species of reptiles and 56 species of amphibians, so the activities carried out must contribute to the actions of its management plan to safeguard the functionality of its ecosystems.
In addition, it is a pillar for the economy of the area, since it receives more than 500 thousand visitors a year, which translates into profits for the local economy such as shops, hotels, food services, transportation and tours, among others.