It's not really off the beaten path, but right by the beach in Manuel Antonio, next to some of the souvenir stands, is an outdoor restaurant that consists of some benches under a tarp. They cook up local fare with either fish, pork or chicken on an outdoor grill, along with vegetables and some fruit. This stuff was tasty. I believe it was about $5 or $6 for a decent size meal.
Follow your nose just before the park entrance.
We stayed in Quepos but were a short taxi cab ride from the beaches and cloud forest of Manuel Antonio.
We were able to then book some rooms right on the beach where the surfing and whale watching excursions are top notch.
in the national park Manuel Antonio, at the end of the service road, before the last bend going left, on the right there is a not signed path which ends only in the little waterfall in the pic but it's very refreshing on a hot day and in a discreet point where you can even change your dress to enjoy it...
only don't expect more than a few inches of water in the river under you...
Can you spot me under this Ceiba Pentranda, a 70 meters high tropical tree considered sacred at the time of pre-Colombian.
The Ceiba symbolizes life, continuity, greatness, buity, strength and union.
It's considered a natural monument dedicated to Margarita Black de Mora for having greatly contributed to the creation of the natural park Manuel Antonio.
All this is written on a plaque under it and it's on the only street climbing the hill.