|Manuel Antonio / Quepos/ Jaco|
The Central Pacific Region of Costa Rica
The central Pacific region is very close to San Jose and is one of the most popular areas in Costa Rica. Several well known destinations like Jaco and Quepos & Manuel Antonio have a well developed, modern infrastructure and a variety of hotels and restaurants.
Jaco is just a two hour drive from the international airport in Alajuela (San Jose) and Quepos & Manuel Antonio are just another hour down the road. This area is filled with some the country's most famous wildlife viewing parks such as Carara and Manuel Antonio, where opportunities for up-close encounters with crocodiles (though not too close!), monkeys, sloths and lizards are readily available.
Some of the country's best sport fishing is found off shore along with Tortuga Island, an idyllic tropical island with white sanded beaches. Miles of beautiful beaches and undisturbed coastline, coupled with a wealth of activities geared toward both the adventure seeker and the casually curious, make this a region that literally offers something for everyone.
Manuel Antonio, Quepos and Playa El Rey
Lush tropical mountains rising from the sparkling blue sea combined some of the countries most beautiful beaches characterize the Quepos and Manuel Antonio area.
Quepos, one of the larger towns on the central Pacific coast is the center of commercial activity where you will find banks, government offices along with a plethora of art galleries, shops and restaurants. It is a small urban city of about 6 square blocks.
Manuel Antonio is the premier destination of this area offering a variety of small intimate hotels artistically built into the forested hillside between Quepos and the tiny town of Manuel Antonio, where the popular national park of the same name is located. The park (closed Mondays) contains beautiful beaches, casual forest trails and an abundance of wildlife.
Manuel Antonio is one of the most breathtaking destinations in Costa Rica. You can take in incredible views of the beaches and rocky coastline from the many hotels and restaurants located along the main road going up and over the hill towards Manuel Antonio. There are plenty of activites from hiking in the national park, nature tours and water sports to horseback riding, sun bathing, zipline tours, fine dining, spas and of course, happy hour.
Contact us to learn all about what there is to see and do in Manuel Antonio & Quepos.
Playa El Rey
Playa El Rey is well known to surfers as a remote surf break that is often deserted. It is also home to our turtle conservation and reforestation projects. It is located about 25kms south of Quepos off the road going to Dominical.
Beaches in Manuel Antonio
The Manuel Antonio area offers several beaches where you can laze away the day. Some of the most popular are inside the national park. But if you’re just looking for a relaxing place to spend time and enjoy the beach, the beaches outsides the national park are just fine. The main one is Playa Espadilla. This is the beach right infront of the town of Manuel Antonio.
For those interested in a more secluded beach and in good shape to climb over large rocks check out La Playita (also known as Playa Dulce Vida) north of Espadilla. It’s popular with gays and guest of Hotel Arenas del Mar. Be careful not to get caught there during hide tide.
Another beach Playa Biesanz, is known as alocal hangout and is mostly crowded on the weekends. It is located near the Hotel Parador.
Parks & Reserves in Quepos & Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio National Park
This is one of the most popular parks in all of Costa Rica, and for good reason! It is literally crawling with wildlife. This coastal park consists of a variety of habitats including mangrove swamps, primary rain forests and marshy woodlands. Over 100 mammal species including the highly endangered squirrel monkey, or titi monkey, make this park their home. It is very common to see white faced capuchin monkeys, two and three toed sloths, white bats and many lizards and many other animals.
Damas Island Estuary / Mangrove, An Aquatic Park
Damas Island is famous for lush mangrove swamps and its plethora of wildlife. Crocodiles, caimans, white-faced capuchin monkeys, herons and other birds live a good life in the estuary's canals and mangrove forests. It is reachable only by boat.
Rainmaker Conservation Project
This is a privately owned rainforest reserve located about 30-minutes from Quepos up in the mountains. Visitors have the opportunity to observe a variety of flora and fauna while here. The reserve offers a river walk and canopy bridge tour, an amphibian and reptile night tour and a morning birdwatching tour. They have hanging bridges too.
RioSPAraiso Biological Reserve
A great place to go bird watching, horseback riding, hiking, or on a canopy tour.
Waterfalls and Other Attractions in Quepos & Manuel Antonio
Most of these waterfalls are visited as part of a horseback riding trip.
We are happy to help you figure out what else there is to see and do in Manuel Antonio & Quepos.
To the north of Manuel Antonio (by about 1 hour) lies the small seaside town of Jaco (pronounced Ha-ko), known for its excellent surfing and its unique position between the dry northern regions of the country and the wet tropical southern zone. Carara National Park provides an oasis for a large number of animals due to its position in this transitional forest region. The nearby port town of Puntarenas serves as the embarkation point for picnic cruises to the idyllic islands in the Gulf of Nicoya.
So whether you’re looking for a secluded hilltop hideaway, a family-friendly ocean resort or a top surfing destination, the central Pacific region may provide just what you’re looking for.
Area activities include zipline canopy tours, estuary tours by boat or kayak, sea kayaking, rafting, sport fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, rainforest and jungle, hiking and wildlife viewing.
Playa Herradura is home to the only marina (Los Suenos) in the Jaco area. Its horse-shoe shaped beach offers calm waters that are generally swimmer friendly. The shore is dotted with excellent seafood restaurants and you can charter a full service sport fishing boat to hunt for big game fish like billfish, marlin, mahi mahi and tuna. Contact us for tour info.
Just outside of Jaco as you head north or south, you will find miles and miles of deserted coast line. Small towns like Esterillos (East, West and Central), Hermosa and Bejuco (all south of Jaco) make great quiet get-a-ways. Many of these beaches are popular with surfers, especially Playa Hermosa where the Billabong World Surfing Games were held in 2009.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 October 2009 11:47|