Rocky outcrops feature strongly in the headland. Punta Catedral, once an island, is now connected to the mainland by a sandy link, or tombolo, slowly deposited over time by opposing currents sweeping along the coastline. A trail climbs steeply around the point, with viewing stops conveniently placed so you can catch your breath. The former island is home to primary and secondary forest and a quiet early morning walk will find you face to face with surprisingly timid wildlife including pacas, agoutis and iguanas. As always, however, with a guide you’ll see a lot more. A couple of longer trails head east along the coastline passing the tree-fringed beaches of Manuel Antonio, heading out to Playa Escondido and beyond to Punta Serrucho and Playa Playitas. The trails are the best place to see the monkeys, which are fairly easily seen in the park, including white-faced capuchins and the rarer and endangered squirrel monkey.
The second main attraction in the park involves strolling just beyond the entrance to the park and plonking yourself on a beach. There are five beautiful, sandy beaches here, each fringed with the attractive (but poisonous) manzanillo tree and with gentle gradients that are good for swimming (but do watch out for rip currents).