The park was reopened in May with a regular schedule from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday.
/ A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo.

Published Friday, July 31, 2020

Manuel Antonio Park can use
income to cover expenses

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

With 40 votes in favor and zero against, Congress approved Law No. 21549, which allows the use of part of the income generated by the sale of tickets to the Manuel Antonio National Park, located in Puntarenas Province, to pay the costs of infrastructure improvements, among others.

The law creates a park administration trust to manage a percentage of the resources that the park generates. Income made will cover expenses such as "the general management plan, infrastructure and equipment, control and protection, monitoring, investigation, environmental education and sustainable tourism."

The deputy Pablo Heriberto- Abarca, who voted in favor of the law, said the law is a step in the right direction to take care of a park that is one of the most visited and requires more investment.

The park was reopened in May with a regular schedule from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday.

With the support of the Costa Rica Forever Association, the park installed multiple portable sinks for continuous hand washing and containers were placed for handling waste. Also, updated restrooms with a wastewater treatment plant were installed.

Park rangers will use protective equipment such as face masks and thermometers to take the temperature of visitors before they enter the park grounds.

People can enter the trails individually, in pairs or groups of no more than 5 people. Everyone must respect a distance of 10 meters, especially groups of people in so-called social bubbles. A social bubble is defined as a group of people with whom they have close physical contact.

Hiking tours are allowed. Guided hiking services with park rangers will also be allowed for groups of no more than 5 people.

Private vehicles are not allowed.

Unlike other national parks, Manuel Antonio's cafeteria, locker rental service and the souvenir shop will be open.

Food, alcoholic beverages, or plastic bags are prohibited. Along with pets, tobacco or other gases or vapors, including the electronic cigarette, and cigarette lighters will not be allowed.

Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the more popular tourist sites on the Central Pacific Coast. The park was created in 1972.

Currently, there are 352 species of plants, 107 species of land mammals, 335 species of birds, 93 species of reptiles and 56 species of amphibians, the ministry reported.

The park receives more than half a million tourists a year, according to the Ministry of Tourism statistics.

Park tickets can only be pre-purchased online at the National System of National Parks, known as SINAC website. Park ticket box offices at park entrances will remain closed.

Should Congress allow the National Parks to manage their own income?  
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