9 Mistakes to avoid when visiting Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Overall, don’t worry about mistakes to avoid when visiting Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica; remember you are on vacation and, after all, you are visiting a place, so things are bound to happen. This article is a great way to improve for future trips, and it’s even better if they didn’t cost you too much money!

We frequently have interesting memories and stories to share as a result of those mistakes. Overall, don’t worry along the way; after all, you are visiting a place, so things are bound to happen. Making mistakes is a great way to improve for the future, and it’s even better if they didn’t cost you too much money! We frequently have interesting memories and stories to share as a result of those mistakes.10 Mistakes to Avoid for First-Time Visitors to Costa Rica

If you’re considering visiting Manuel Antonio for the first time, you might be unsure of what to expect and how to make the most of your stay.

Although Costa Rica is a well-liked tourist destination, there are some common errors that newcomers frequently make that can negatively affect their trip.

In order for you to have a memorable and pleasurable trip to Manuel Antonio, we will discuss these blunders here and offer you advice on how to avoid them.

So let’s get started!

9 common mistakes to avoid when visiting Manuel Antonio


1. Are you flying to the right San Jose?

First and foremost, you need to make sure you are booking your flight to the right country and airport. It may sound silly, but it can be an easy mistake for first-time visitors to Costa Rica and Manuel Antonio.

When searching for flight prices, be sure that you are looking up SJO for Costa Rica’s  Juan Santamaria International Airport.

Mistakes to avoid when visiting Manuel Antonio

The distance from Manuel Antonio National Park to Guanacaste International Airport (LIR) is approximately 232 kilometers (144 miles), and it takes about 4 hours and 30 minutes to drive there.

The distance from Manuel Antonio National Park to Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) is approximately 156 kilometers (97 miles), and it takes about 3 hours to drive here.

Please keep in mind that the estimated driving times may change depending on traffic and other factors.

The other airport that it is often confused with is in San Jose, California. This could end up costing you a fair bit of cash if you end up not double- and triple checking your destination.

2. Don’t avoid booking a trip in the rainy season.

After reading the reviews on the internet, are you unsure whether you should plan that trip for the rainy season? Remember that everyone will have an opinion about something, so come and find out for yourself. Microclimates can be found throughout Costa Rica.


Additionally, it might be raining in one part of the country but not the other, or it might be cloudy in one town but sunny in another nearby one in the morning. Yes, there is a rainy season in Costa Rica, and depending on where you are and what month it is, some days it can really pour.

But at this point, Costa Rica revives.

The greens are the deepest and most beautiful greens you have ever seen, and the colors are breathtaking.

3. Don’t let the size of the country fool you 

Even though you might think the country is small, Google Maps only predicts it will take 1.5 hours. But in practice, it might take at least an additional half-hour, depending on where you’re driving. It typically takes a lot longer. Always allow extra time for your drive, especially if you’re traveling on a weekend or a day with heavy traffic.

Everyone is on the road, especially during Semana Santa and the final week of the year, trying to get away from the city and usually heading to the beach! There always seems to be road construction taking place, and occasionally you may wonder why there isn’t any.

On Costa Rican roads, you’re likely to encounter landslides, potholes that feel more like craters or makeshift swimming pools, slow-moving vehicles hauling cows, and anything else you can imagine. It should go without saying that you should take your time and enjoy the view.

4. Thinking You Will Wait Until a Better Deal Comes Up

When it comes to peak travel season, you shouldn’t just “wing it” when you get to Costa Rica if you plan to go there during that time.

Because if you just wing it, you won’t have anywhere to turn. Don’t assume that the busy season lasts from December to Holy Week.

Mistakes to avoid when visiting Manuel Antonio

Even after April, tourists still flock to Costa Rica because the country’s lush season brings the natural world into bloom and keeps its rivers and waterfalls flowing. Avoid the error of waiting until you believe you will receive a better offer because there may be no deals left and you will end up with nothing.

Particularly when it comes to car rentals, which are frequently reserved months in advance. It is always better to book your car rental as soon as possible to ensure availability and secure the best rates. Additionally, many car rental companies offer free cancellation or modification, so there is little risk in booking early.

5. Do not believe everything you read on Google Maps.

Although Google Maps is a useful tool, it might not be your best friend in Costa Rica, particularly when traveling on unpaved roads and during the rainy season. You might want to have both your offline map download and the widely used Waze app in Costa Rica. When you come across heavy traffic and accidents, you will be grateful for them. Following Google’s directions can sometimes lead you to a strange road in the middle of the woods, where you wonder if the water is too deep for you to cross. You would be surprised to learn how frequently it occurs.

6. Be flexible and pack some patience.

You’ve heard the saying “tico time”, and it is, in fact, a real thing, not just a saying. So bring along a little patience, and it will go a long way toward having a good visit.

Don’t take the word “ahora” literally when you are in Costa Rica. Ahora may mean now, but not to those that use the word, and it could have you waiting until nightfall, sitting in your room, waiting for those extra towels to be brought up to your room.

Plans can change depending on the weather, from rain making certain activities dangerous to washing out roads. Waterfalls can become even more dangerous to enter, or trails can become closed, such as Volcan Poas in the past, for safety reasons. It all comes with learning to go with the flow of things here in Costa Rica, so have some backup ideas ready.

7. Not using available free apps

You can get by with the aid of Google Translate to a great extent. With the camera feature, it’s a fantastic tool for reading product labels in stores because it switches the language automatically. For menus without an English translation, it can also be useful in restaurants.

Even though sopa de mondongo is a popular dish in Costa Rica, some people might not be quite ready to dig in. Additionally, the translator can assist you in understanding whether to order a plate of lengua en salsa or an ensalada de lechuga.

8. Crime in Paradise

Do not, and I must stress this again. Leave none of your valuables in the car. especially if you are parking in tourist areas or in a spot reserved for a popular attraction. You could easily lose it, even if you locked it. You read about vehicles losing their suitcases, backpacks, and laptops so frequently online in the social media groups of the town.

And all the remarks that follow, such as “Sorry this happened; it seems to happen every day now” and “We need to put up a sign to warn the visitors.” Instead of wasting time checking that the doors are locked twice, you might as well just hand over your belongings when you head out to the beach or the park. Because someone is hiding there as you arrange the blanket to cover your valuables invisibly.

Additionally, it is a terrible idea to take it with you to the beach. Those waiting for you to jump in and cool off on the beach while you leave your belongings and bags there are treated to an all-you-can-eat buffet. Because it is so accessible and easy to steal, tourist destinations are high-theft areas like anywhere else in the world.

9. Carry more than one form of payment.

It’s a good idea to carry some cash with you at all times, preferably in coins. There are some places where you can only use cash, so it’s obviously not something you want to be pulling out all at once and flashing around. Among them are parking lot attendants, roadside stands, and some food vendors you may come across while traveling.

Mistakes to avoid when visiting Manuel Antonio

Those large coins shouldn’t be thrown away either; they can add up quickly and prove to be very useful. Simply begin placing them in a small plastic bag with the rest of us.


Overall, don’t worry along the way; after all, you are visiting a place, so things are bound to happen. Making mistakes is a great way to improve for the future, and it’s even better if they don’t cost you too much money! Because of these mistakes, we often have interesting memories and stories to tell.


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