Quepos and Manuel Antonio - Snorkeling and Sport Fishing Area !!

Manuel Antonio is a paradise with a fantastic offer of beauty, impressive beaches, incredible fauna and flora. Also you find all kind of accomodations, hotels, villas and houses, together with the best restaurants and local bars and sodas. You want to go out ? No problem, many places to discover and to enjoy !

aerial1Puerto Quepos drapes itself across a tropical inlet surrounded by primary rainforest. The village center is a delightful six-block square of restaurants, bars, hotels, bakeries, art galleries and gift shops, all fronted by the main beach and sportfishing fleet. Quepos is growing quickly yet maintains many of its sleepy and humble beginnings.
Quepeños are great celebrators of life and seem to make dancing in the streets a local pastime. The high season runs through the drier months of December to April and explodes during the Festival del Mar, a month long party held each February that features concerts, sporting events, parades and a street carnival with dancers from across the country.

Quepos fills to the brim with families, surfers, backpackers, ecotourists, blissed-out scientists and gay jet-setters, all as colorful and intriguing as the flora and fauna surrounding the village. The ever-friendly locals take it all in stride, going out of their way to make sure everyone has a good time.


Tourism is now the area's leading employer as Quepos evolves from its banana growing roots into a premier holiday destination. After the demise of the Quepoa Indians in the late 1800's, vast banana plantations were developed throughout the region. Bananas were shipped to world markets across the docks that now service the sport fishing and snorkeling fleet.

In the 1980's bananas lost out to heartier African palms and their high quality palm oil. As Quepos diminished in importance as a banana port, it renewed itself as an ecotourism and sport fishing and snorkeling destination. World travelers are discovering the area, with many visitors purchasing homes and returning each year to enjoy the relaxing village lifestyle and natural beauty of nearby Manuel Antonio.

Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio National Park contains several short trails ( see map below ), all of which are easily accessible and well maintained; most trails are either sand, or cement. These trails provide the best opportunity in Costa Rica to see both white-faced and squirrel monkeys. The trails tend to follow the coastline, supplying beautiful views and easy access to the white sand beaches.
Some of Costa Rica's most beautiful white sand beaches, in particular Playa Espadilla Sur and Playa Manuel Antonio are located in Manuel Antonio National Park.
One particular trail, the Punta Cathedral, heads up to the tip of the point providing beautiful vistas of the ocean and islands which are situtated of the rugged coastline. This particular trail, while not very demanding, has a short quick incline to the top of the peninsula.

In addition, Manuel Antonio includes 12 islands located a short distance from shore. Most of them lack vegetation and serve as excellent seabird sanctuaries; they are an especially important nesting site for the brown booby. The pacific waters contain numerous dolphins and, at times, migrating whales are sighted.

aerial2There is a wide range of marine flora and fauna. So far, 10 species of sponge, 19 corals, 24 crustaceans, 17 algaes and 78 fish species have been identified. The parks flora and fauna is impressive, with the dominant trees being the black locust, balsa, monkey comb, bastard cedar and mayflower.
Some 109 mammals species, inlcuding two-toed sloths, raccoons, white-nosed coatis, and all three species of monkey, and 184 species of birds have been spotted within the park.

Of particular interest is the beautiful and delightful squirrel monkey, an endangered species now restricted to a very small territory in Costa Rica.

Special considerations

Map Manuel AntonioJust outside the park, several local vendors offer a wide range of activities, i.e. scuba diving, kayaking, surfing and more. In addition, rafting, dolphin and sailing excursions can all be booked through local travel agencies, or by your hotel.

Short day trips to Caño Island are available, which is popular for those interested in scuba diving. Several eateries, bars, souvenir shops and fruit stands are also situated along the beachfront. One could easily go to the beach for the day and not need to return to the hotel room until the day is over.

How To Get There

Perhaps the most frequently visited beach in Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio is just miles from the small port town of Quepos. Buses between Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park run throughout the day, covering the 8 km distance. Taxis are available and usually charge by the distance, not by the number of passengers. Therefore, it is much more economical to share the taxi with other passengers. Walking to the park from Quepos, or visa versa, is challenging, as there are several steep climbs, not to mention the tropical sun and heat.

Direct public buses depart daily from San Jose to and from Manuel Antonio / Quepos. Depending on the time of season, additional buses returning from Quepos / Manuel Antonio depart on weekends.

Sansa and Travel Air both have daily flights between San Jose and Manueal Antonio/Quepos. The flight takes approximately 20 minutes and provides spectacular views of the mountain range separating the Manuela Antonio area and the central valley. Sansa offers a shuttle to and from your hotel to the airport for a minimal fee. A similar service can be arranged by Travel Air, however, the costs tend to be a bit higher.