Why Manuel Antonio
Why Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio has fabulous beaches, parasailing, surfing, plenty of restaurants, nightlife, sport-fishing, and a beautiful national park with plenty of wildlife, it’s clear why this area remains so popular. Thousands flock to Playa Espadilla and its surrounding sands each year. Because Manuel Antonio is situated on rolling hills, tourists are drawn by breathtaking views of the Pacific, surrounding jungle, and pristine beaches. Although a wide variety of tourism based businesses have sprung up along the jungle forested hills, Manuel Antonio has managed to strike a fine balance between development and nature as the town still has plenty of thick tropical rainforest. Wildlife is plentiful all around town and is a highlight for most visitors. Vista Hermosa Estate might feel like you’re staying at a luxury hotel with all the amenities, but that won’t stop troops of monkeys from scattering across the top floor.
Set high above the enchanting national park, Manuel Antonio boasts world-class views and beaches. Accommodation choices are plentiful, with some of the country’s most inspired lodging options to choose from. Just imagine sparkling white sandy beaches, shimmering blue water and the fresh ocean breeze, all from the rocking chair on your patio. You’ll feel stress magically leave your body as you soak up the sun in Manuel Antonio.
From Juan Santamaria International Airport (San Jose Airport – SJO)
The beach town of Manuel Antonio is a beach town located on the Pacific side and is just a two-and-a-half-hour Drive from Costa Rica’s San Jose International Airport
BEST TIME TO DRIVE
The ideal time to drive into Manuel Antonio is during the day. It’s a wonderful way for everyone to see the countryside. A great stop to use the restroom, stretch and see your first real taste of Costa Rican wildlife is the Rio Tarcoles bridge a.k.a. The Croc Bridge. Everyone gets a kick out of it, www.AnimalPlanet.com/Tarcoles There are several great restaurants around the halfway point on the way to the house.
Shuttles are the most popular option. Depending on the size of your group, rates start at about $25 per person each way and can go as high as $40 for smaller groups. A shuttle ride is about a 2.5 – 3 hour ride. The Shuttle driver will wait at the airport exit holding a sign with your name. A shuttle will be reserved with plenty of room for your group and everyone’s luggage. We only hire shuttle companies that have late model airconditioned shuttles, very comfy.
RENT A CAR
If you are interested in exploring the area, a car is a great option. The drive time from San Jose is only about 2.5 hours. In recent years, Costa Rica has considerably improved the route from the capital to the central Pacific, so you’ll enjoy smooth travel along paved highways.
The fastest way to get to Manuel Antonio from the San Jose international airport is to take a small plane flight on one of the local carriers, Sansa Airlines. They leave directly from SJO airport and land in Quepos, just 15 minutes from Manuel Antonio. Prices range from $50 if booked in advance to upwards of $150 depending on the season. These flights are fast and a fun way to see the country since they fly at a lower altitude.
Sansa Airlines http://www.flysansa.com/en/home
TRANSPORTATION AROUND MANUEL ANTONIO
If you’re deciding whether to rent a car during your stay, everything in Manuel Antonio is located along one main road so it is possible to stay in Manuel Antonio without one. You will find that taxis and taxi shuttles are abundant everywhere in Manuel Antonio. Also, a local bus runs frequently back and forth on the main road.
Our concierge will help you decide and coordinate the transportation that is the best fit for you and your guests.
If you appreciate beautiful beaches, you will absolutely love Manuel Antonio!
Playa Espadilla Norte – The crown jewel of Manuel Antonio, it is over a mile long. This is the main beach located adjacent to the national park, an easy-to-access public beach with cheap parking nearby. The waves are wild enough for surfing but calm enough for a swimming in its warm waters. On the sand, visitors can rent chairs and umbrellas. The south end of this beach has vendors who sell water bottles, jewelry, arts-and-crafts, snow-cones, and can also find parasailing and surf lesson kiosks. The north end is much less crowded but with the same white sand and jungle surrounding. Sunsets over the water are stunning. Vista Hermosa has a private trail through the jungle that leads to the north end of this beautiful beach which is about a 15-minute walk.
Playa Espadilla Sur – Playa Espadilla Sur is just south of Playa Espadilla Norte and is actually an extension of it as it curves seaward to Punta Cathedral. This beach is within the National Park and is situated back to back with Playa Manuel Antonio. The waters are sheltered from the surf by Cathedral Point, this beach is excellent for swimming, and has a panoramic view of Playa Espadilla Norte. Cathedral Point with its forest topped cliffs is connected to the mainland by a thin land bridge that separates beaches Playa Espadilla Sur to the north and Playa Manuel Antonio to the south.
Playa Biesanz – This beach is off the beaten path and secluded. White sands with calm and peaceful water, this is a very nice beach to relax. Vendors are available for chair-umbrella rental, drinks, snorkel equipment rental, kayaks and stand up paddle board rental
Playa Playitas – Located within the beautiful resort of Arenas Del Mar and happens to be the location for the beach restaurant, Playitas Restaurant & Bar. A small but gorgeous beach, you can enjoy 1st class service with excellent dishes with your toes in the sand or just relax in a lounge chair while drinks are served. Vista Hermosa has recently established an exclusive relationship with Arenas Del Mar where guests of Vista Hermosa can utilize their private beach and enjoy beachfront lunch and drinks (with a 20% discount on all purchases). They will even come to the Villa to pick you up so no walking is involved. It is only 5-7 minute walk, if you decide to do so.
Playa Manuel Antonio – Located within the national park, this beach is on the opposite side of Playa Espadilla Sur separated by this land bridge. Playa Manuel Antonio is a picturesque half mile long, white sand crescent dissecting deep green foliage and is ideal for swimming and snorkeling.
Playa Escondido – Located within the National Park, is a wide, horseshoe-shaped beach that can be reached along the Puerto Escondido trail. The beach is situated in a cove ringed by steep cliffs. Playa Puerto Escondido is the most remote of the beaches that can be reached by following a National Park nature trail. The cove and beach can be viewed from above by following another park trail to the clifftops. On a clear day from these cliffs you can see the coastline all the way to the Osa Peninsula.
Manuel Antonio is centrally located for almost any tour you would want to do in Costa Rica. Zip lining, hiking, water falls, white-water rafting, canyoning, ATV tours, waterfall rappelling, mangrove tours, parasailing, horseback riding, stand up paddle boarding, jet skiing, sport fishing, sunset cruises, and whale watching tours are all available.
Manuel Antonio National Park
You can’t come to Manuel Antonio without experiencing its famous national park. With sloths, 3 types of monkeys, basilisks, iguanas, and exotic birds along even the main trail, you won’t have to look hard to find wildlife. The park contains a charming combination of rain forest, beaches, and coral reefs. Many trails in the park have been improved recently, so you will find well-maintained paths that lead to spectacular viewpoints, secluded beaches, and small waterfalls. You can also sunbathe and snorkel at the park’s many beaches.
Dining in Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio is one of the best places for dining in all of Costa Rica. While fresh off-the-boat seafood is a standard, the town also has dozens of restaurants with everything from authentic Italian, steakhouses, sushi, pizza, and BBQ. Most restaurants are situated on viewpoints that offer spectacular ocean & sunset views while others are in an open setting surrounded with a tropical background. Several restaurants and bars offer live music and dancing.
Marina Pez Vela
Marina Pez Vela
With the addition of the Quepos Marina, the area now has several more amazing restaurants to choose from overlooking the marina. From contemporary seafood dishes, delicious homemade pasta and great steaks. The marina also includes several shops and boutiques.