Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio Map

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Location


The beautiful and exclusive Manuel Antonio region is located on the central Pacific coast of Costa Rica, south of Jaco. This easily accessible region is well-known as many visitors are drawn to the main attraction - the Manuel Antonio National Park.

The town of Manuel Antonio began as a small village that was a portal to the national park. It wasn't long before the stunning panoramic views began to attract the most discerning visitors, and a number of gorgeous hotels now dot the hills above the shoreline.

Manuel Antonio is the best place in Costa Rica to see the endangered squirrel monkey, and you are sure to see many other species of wildlife such as howler monkeys, white-faced monkeys, two- and three-toed sloths, iguanas, dozens of exotic bird species, and even deer!

Nearby Quepos also offers a number of shops, restaurants, and an active nightlife. This town also boasts its own small airport and is known as the sportfishing capital of Costa Rica.

History & Culture


The popularity of the Manuel Antonio National Park has transformed this area in recent years into a posh destination. However, the local charm can still be seen in the hospitality shown by the resorts, shops, and restaurants in the town and region.

The region was originally discovered by Spanish explorer Ponce de León in 1519 during his futile search for the fountain of youth. Centuries later, in 1972, the national park was established.

Lodging & Dining


There are plenty of hotels to choose from in Manuel Antonio, built to blend into the rainforest surroundings. We have done the hard part for you, and highlighted the very best. These resorts feature stunning views, impeccable service, and immaculate accommodations. You'll be thrilled by any of these fine resorts.

From the stunning vistas of El Parador, lovely Timarai on Playa Palo Seco, the exclusive bungalows found at Tulemar Bungalows, or the laid back Si Como No, you'll find a place to love.

Equally impressive are the ultra-private, well-hidden accommodations at Buena Vista Villas, the spectacular views and tropical gardens surrounding accommodations at La Mariposa and Costa Verde Hotel, the beautiful La Mansion Inn, or the plush Arenas del Mar.

The area also boasts two adults-only resorts: the stunning and uniquely designed Gaia Hotel and Reserve, and the luxurious Makanda by the Sea.

This area features a number of restaurants from seafood and Italian to Mexican and Asian. El Gran Escape is a popular seafood choice which features reasonable prices and fresh-off-the-boat fish. Great places to enjoy a drink or a casual meal are Barba Roja, El Avión, and Karola's. More formal dining can be found at Le Papillón or Claro Que Sí. If you need a latte fix, be sure to stop by Café Milagro, with locations in Quepos and Manuel Antonio.

For wood-fired pizza and delicious pasta, try Escalofrío, which also serves a variety of espresso drinks as well as homemade Italian ice cream. Dos Locos is a Quepos landmark located in the middle of town featuring American-style Mexican cuisine.

Activities


This area is the perfect destination for enjoying both jungle and beach activities. Here, you'll find an abundance of lush rainforest and miles of pristine beaches waiting to be discovered. When you're not out exploring your surroundings, the gorgeous resorts offer the perfect setting for relaxing poolside with a tropical drink in hand.

There are plenty of tours available from this region, suitable for all activity levels. Boating or kayaking tours are peaceful ways to enjoy the coast. Deep sea fishing is incredibly popular in this area, and common fish captured include marlin, sailfish, tuna, and dorado.

Another popular option is surfing. Don't worry if you've never tried this thrilling sport, many surf shops are found in the region and are more than happy to arrange a lesson or rent a board.

Hiking and horseback riding are great ways to explore the jungle and rainforest floors while canopy tours are great for treetop flying. All three activities are a great way to get close to nature and search for exotic wildlife.

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