The park fee of $16 is well worth the incredible beach time, and I'm not even a big beach person. At the park's entrance you walk by a morbid sign warning not to feed the monkeys displaying a picture of a dissected monkey stomach with junk food. Here's the reality: no one feeds the monkeys, the monkeys feed themselves. These monkeys can work zippers and backpack buckles. Nothing is safe from the monkeys, so carry it with you to keep them alive. They have adapted to get the food, but their stomachs haven't adapted to digest your Doritos and Slim Jims.
Despite protecting our belongings from the wildlife, our afternoon at the beach was ideal. We relaxed in the shade and enjoyed the unbelievable warm crystal clear water. I rarely enjoy ocean water, but when it's the temperature of a cool bath, I can appreciate it. This national park really was tropical paradise.
We took a bus from the San Jose bus station to Manuel Antonia, about a 3.5 hour trip. There are buses about every hour there and back. When we finished up in the park, we enjoyed the shops right outside and some amazing seafood.