Favorite thing: The Manuel Antonio National Park was closed when we were there (on Monday) so we didn't see as much wild life as we would have seen had it been open.
We did do a free fall segment of the Canyoning/Waterfall Rapelling adventure which was called the Monkey Drop, and on that segment, we did see some spider monkeys.
- National/State Park
- Adventure Travel
- Jungle and Rain Forest
No need to pay $20 for a guide in Manuel Antonio
Favorite thing: We were warned that we would miss on seeing monkeys and other wildlife while in the park if we didn't hire a guide to point them out. We found that while walking along the trails whenever we saw a group of people with a guide pointing at something we just stopped and looked along with them and took pictures
Favorite thing: Manuel Antonio has three good beaches.
Playa Espadilla Norte lies in front of the small town of Manuel Antonio (outside the park). It's a good place for surfing, there are eateries and gift shops nearby. Be cautious while swimming as rip currents can be dangerous, especially in the rainy season. This beach is always crowded.
Playa Espadilla Sur and Playa Manuel Antonio can be found in the park (so you need to pay an entrance fee). These are two of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. At Playa Manuel Antonio (also called Playa Blanca or Playa Tres) you will find picnic tables, showers and toilets. At this beach the water is quite calm.
Favorite thing: Manuel Antonio is a small place on the other side of the hill from Quepos (about 8 km) that is famous for its national park and beaches.
The best hotels are found up the hill between Quepos and Manuel Antonio, restaurants, gift shops and cafes can be found down the hill in front of the entrance to the national park. It's a lovely place to hang out, during the day for its beach and during the night for its nightlife.
Favorite thing: Quepos is a medium-sized fishing town. The village center is full of restaurants, bars, hotels, art galleries and gift shops. You will also find a supermarket, bank and pharmacy.
Quepos used to be an important port for the transportation of bananas, but in the 1980's bananas were replaced by the African palms for its palm oil. As Quepos got less important as a banana port, it renewed itself as an ecotourism and sportfishing destination.
Quepos is the town to stay when you are on a budget. For the more expensive hotels you have to drive a little further up the hill between Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park.
There are no nice beaches in Quepos, but you will find them on the other side of the hill in front of or in Manuel Antonio NP.
Favorite thing: My mom and I were standing at the bus depot wondering about where we get a room. She asked an elderly man where she could find a tourist information booth. He took her to the laundromat and there were dozens of discarded guide books (ie. lonely planet) on Costa Rica. She also found La Guia, a free 2005 booklett that has a map and local restaurants and hotels for Quepos and Manuel Antonio.
Fondest memory: be careful. i bought a coconut from a man at the bus depot and it had gone bad and was sour. also, he gave me a used and very dirty spoon to scoop out the coconut flesh!
- Budget Travel
Feeding the monkeys
Favorite thing: We fed White-Faced Monkeys left over bananas. They were so cute until they became aggressive when we ran out of bananas. I don't think they would have harmed us, but they did get a little crazy knocking over tables and chair on our porch.
- National/State Park
- Family Travel
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