Not-Your-Average Beach Wedding: Wedding in Manuel Antonio National Park

manuel antonio beach wedding in the park

Would you go hiking on your wedding day?

One of the best parts of being a destination wedding photographer in a beautiful place like Costa Rica is that I get to know all sorts of adventurous people. 

Sara and Charles took things to a new level with their wedding hike in Manuel Antonio National Park. I’m being literal here, we actually went on a hiking adventure, stopping here and there for photos and to give the happy couple a chance to exchange vows. 

Check out Sara and Charles’ amazing adventure here!

Bride running along manuel antonio beach

Getting Married During COVID

As we all know, the last few months have been anything but normal. Sara and Charles are just one of many couples who didn’t get to have the wedding of their dreams because of the pandemic. 

Instead, they got married at the courthouse. They didn’t get to go on their honeymoon either for the same reason. Now that things are opening up a bit, they were able to venture out for their honeymoon — a year after saying “I do”. 

bride twirling in manuel antonio national park

Going For a Wedding Hike

But just because they had already gotten married doesn’t mean they couldn’t make it super special. So Sara traded a floofy gown for a comfortable, yet stylish, white jumpsuit.. And Charles looked great with a pair of suspenders.

Then, we took 2 hours on a beautiful morning here in Costa Rica to go hiking in Manuel Antonio National Park — one of the most gorgeous places on Earth. 

closeup of the bride in manuel antonio national park

Manuel Antonio National Park

Since 1972, the incredible flora and fauna in Manuel Antonio National Park have wowed visitors. At 683 hectares, it is Costa Rica’s smallest national park, however, the natural beauty packed within its borders has no match. 

Walk along groomed trails through lush rainforest, or step into the sun on one of the park’s gorgeous, white-sand beaches. Bring some snorkeling gear and explore the coral reefs for a glimpse into a whole other world. 

There is a plethora of wildlife to see inside the park. Sharp eyes can spot sloths, iguanas, squirrel monkeys, white-faced monkeys, crabs, and more!

the bride and groom having fun as they walk through manuel antonio national park

On an Adventure

Now that you know more about the park, you can understand more why Sara and Charles went on this wedding adventure. The stunning backdrops for the photos we got were absolutely amazing!

We strolled along El Manglar Trail. This is a newer raised platform that offers easy access for hikers of all skill levels — even those with mobility challenges. The platform also gave us plenty of opportunities to get some interesting images that strongly focus on this adventurous couple.

We also stopped at Manuel Antonio Beach, the most famous and most popular beach in the park. If you’re going to walk by a place of such renown, you have to stop and take a picture!

Sara and Charles were up for anything so we tackled some of the more difficult trails too. We sure got a great workout by the end of our time. We had a blast the whole trip and the Sara and Charles look amazing in their photographs – as you can see!

the bride and groom having fun as they walk through manuel antonio national park

Back at Makanda: A Hotel Near Manuel Antonio National Park

After our awesome trek through the forest, we headed back to Makanda, the hotel where Sara and Charles were staying. Makanda by the Sea is an adults-only hotel tucked into the rainforest of Manuel Antonio. 

The luxurious, super-private rooms —  any of which have their own little pool — are perfect for a couple looking to spend time focusing on one another. There are lots of interesting structures and gorgeous places for photo ops on the grounds, so we had fun walking around and exploring!

Getting Married in Manuel Antonio National Park

Would you ever have thought to go hiking in Manuel Antonio National Park for your wedding? For Sara and Charles, it was the perfect special memory to be the icing on the cake of their courthouse wedding last year. 

Interested in a more traditional beach wedding? Check out these photos from a recent wedding at here!

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