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Manuel Antonio

Photo © Montvalois

Travel Guide Central America Costa Rica Manuel Antonio



Manuel Antonio is in the Central Pacific region of Costa Rica. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Costa Rica due to its beautiful beaches and rich wildlife. The area that is Manuel Antonio stretches from the town of Quepos and then along an approximately 8-km road up a mountain and then back down, finishing at the entrance of the Manuel Antonio National Park and the beautiful Playa Espadilla. The road to the beach and park is surrounded by hotels and restaurants.



Sights and Activities

Must-sees include the Manuel Antonio National Park and the beautiful beaches. Don't miss the monkeys crossing the road in the afternoons or the spectacular sunsets which can be seen from many of the restaurants and hotels along the road.



Getting There

From San José, Manuel Antonio can be reached by either bus or plane, via the airport 5 min outside of Quepos. Tracopa has several direct public buses daily from San José to Quepos and Manuel Antonio for US$8. A shuttle service can be hired for about US$170 for all the places in a mini-van one way. Duration of travel is 2½-4 hours.

Sansa Airline runs several flights a day between Quepos and San Jose (SJO) airports. Price is about US$82 one way.
Nature Air has two flights daily between San Jose (Pavas) and Quepos airports. Price is about US$94 one way.



Getting Around

Buses run up and down the mountain every 30 minutes during the day stopping at many places along the way. Cost is ₡315. Taxis are also readily available at about US$8 from Quepos to Manuel Antonio. Scooters and cars can also be rented by those who feel a little more adventurous.




  • El Wagon. Hebrew National hot dogs, burgers and wood-fired pizza.
  • Salsipuedes. Tapas and beers.
  • Barba Roja. Nachos and that famous view.
  • El Avion. Good value and a large menu.
  • El Gato Negro. Very tasty Italian cuisine.
  • Dos Cocos El Meson. Great food and decent menu across the street from the Marlin.
  • Billfish Sportsbar & Grill (Byblos Sportsbar at Billfish), Main Road to Manuel Antonio Park (3 kilometres from Quepos on left), ☎ +506 2777-0411. 18:00-24:00. Billfish Sportsbar & Grill is a favorite for watching international sports are their large screen TVs. Offering the usual sportsbar fare, and dinner specialties off the grill. Located next to the Byblos Casino, it is one of the few places to enjoy nightlife in Manuel Antonio. Monday night is Ladies Night! US$3 & up.
  • Arbol Restaurant (Makanda's Arbol Restaurant), Main Road to Manuel Antonio Park, Hotel Makanda (Turn right at Promerica Bank and follow down the road till Makanda Hotel), ☎ +506 2777-0442, e-mail: 17:30 to 22:00. US$30 & up.
  • Bistro Restaurant & Pizzeria (Byblos Bistro Pizzeria), Main Road to Manuel Antonio Park (3 kilometres on left after Quepos), ☎ +506 2777-0411. 06:30-22:00. Bistro Restaurant offers Italian and international specialties in a poolside atmosphere. An excellent location for monkey sightings, with brick oven pizza. Take out orders accepted. $3 & up.
  • Playitas Restaurant and Bar, Arenas del Mar Beach and Nature Resort (Manuel Antonio), ☎ +506 2777-2777, e-mail: Situated next to Playitas beach, guests can choose their favorite drink or cocktail of the day. Has light but elegant foods.
  • Cafe Milagro, Cafe Milagro offers breakfast, lunch or dinner with dishes such as a typical Tico breakfast, the BLT & avocado sandwich, as well as an excellent wine and cocktail selection. Sit outside on the back garden under a starry night for dinner or regroup on the front patio.




  • Quepos. The disco is open most nights until about 05:00.
  • The Marlin. Excellent 2-for-1 happy hour right by the beach.
  • El Mirador Bar, Arenas del Mar Beach and Nature Resort (Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica), ☎ +506 2777-2777, e-mail: Serves a great variety of natural and Costa Rican style drinks such as horchata made with rice, milk, cinnamon and peanuts or a refreshing agua de sapo that combines the flavors of lime, ginger and cane syrup. Or try a guaro mojito prepared with aguardiente, typical Costa Rican liquor made with sugarcane. Also has a long wine list and organic shade grown coffee.




Manuel Antonio area stretches from the town of Quepos and then along a 6 km serpentine road uphill and then back down to the beautiful Playa Espadilla and the entrance of the Manuel Antonio National Park. The road to the beach and park is surrounded by a large number of hotels and restaurants, offering the visitor a selection of places to stay and eat.

The road is rather busy and lacks sidewalks in some parts. If you plan to visit Manuel Antonio National Park or go to the beach, the accommodation options located near the Manuel Antonio National Park entrance might serve you best. The beach is 200 meters away from the park entrance. From the hills you can enjoy cooling sea breeze and ocean views.

Around the Easter and New Year period, vacancies can be hard to find so it is wise to book ahead. A lot of houses and apartments are also available to rent and many come with personal chefs as well.

  • Mono Azul
  • Los Altos Beach Resort & Spa
  • Arenas del Mar Hotel, Manuel Antonio (Road to Manuel Antonio National Park take right at Hotel Mariposa), ☎ +506 2777-2777, e-mail: Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. Rooms with views of Manuel Antonio National Park, a spa, two restaurants featuring local, Costa Rican-fusion cuisine, access to two pristine beaches, a private reserve and a strong commitment to environmental stewardship and community development. Located in 11 acres of primary and secondary rain forest home to wildlife such as White Face Monkeys and sloth. Sustainable features of the hotel include the use of electric cars on property, a private reserve, solar panels to heat hot water, and the use of biodegradable cleaning products.
  • Brunxu Apartments, Between Manuel Antonio and Quepos, ☎ +506 2777-4501. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. Apartments for rent surrounded by exotic vegetation that characterize the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.
  • Casa Mono Congo (Modern Rental Villa), Pacific Canyon Dr (Main road to Manuel Antonio turn after Villas el Parque, 320 m turn down drive to home), ☎ +1-800-282-3680. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 10:00. Four-bedroom modern home with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. Six baths, private pool. Handicapped accessible. Zero-carbon footprint - solar and wind powered home. Stay in the only home that has lights when the daily electric outage happens. Free Wi-Fi internet with computer. Free safes in all rooms for you to leave your things when you go on tours and to the beach. US$75 per person/night.
  • Casa Mono Titi (Squirrel Monkey House 3 story Spanish-style home), Pacific Canyon Dr (Main road to Manuel Antonio turn after Villas el Parque, 320 m turn down drive to home), ☎ +1-800-282-3680. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 10:00. Enveloped in a horseshoe curve of the land, look out into the deep blue water of the Pacific Ocean while relaxing in the private pool. Watch the daily arrival of the playful endangered squirrel monkeys, the white-face monkeys, howler monkeys and sloths. Four bedrooms, three baths, an in-door waterfall and tub to enjoy. Fully stocked kitchen with free Wi-Fi and computer. Safes are free to use. Chef available. US$50 per person per night.
  • Hotel Makanda by the Sea, Main Road to Manuel Antonio Park (Turn right at Cafe Milagro, follow signs), ☎ +506 2777-0442. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Hotel Makanda By the Sea has 12 acres of wildlife sanctuary, 100 meters above the ocean. Villas and studios are located throughout botanical rainforest gardens with views over the 100-km coastline. Adults only. Offering all the amenities expected of a 4-star hotel. US$200 night.
  • Hotel Parador, toll-free: +1-877-506-1414. An eco-conscious, luxury destination high above the Pacific coastline on Punta Quepos, which has ocean views and is set on more than 12 acres (4.9 hectares) of wildlife-rich tropical rainforest.

View our map of accommodation in Manuel Antonio or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)



Keep Connected


It's easy to find internet access, and although you can still can find a lot of internet cafes, wifi is growing fast in the country. The further away you get from San Jose, the slower and more expensive it becomes when you are using an internet cafe. Wifi is generally free of charge at most places though and apart from off the beaten track parks, jungles and mountains, the connection generally is ok. Some internet cafés also offer international calls via either phone or IP using services like Skype.


See also: International Telephone Calls

  • The country calling code to Costa Rica is 506.
  • To make an international call from Costa Rica, the code is 00.

There are plenty of phone booths around and you will get the best rate using a pre-paid international card (can often be purchased in internet cafés and other small stores). There is usually a connection fee making short calls extra expensive. International calls are fairly expensive. The cheapest way to make them is over the internet using a service such as Skype at an Internet café. But making short calls using the domestic calling cards (you can make international calls using these but the denominations of the calling cards are quite small so your call will be short!) or the international calling cards available within Costa Rica (all from the government phone monopoly ICE) is the next best deal.

Those travelling with a mobile phone and willing to pay the roaming costs should ensure it supports 1,800 MHz GSM network. Note that the GSM phone systems in the United States and Canada use different frequencies and that travelers from there will need a "world" handset, such as a tri-band or quad-band phone, if you want to use your existing cell phone. If you want to use a local Costa Rica number, you can rent cell phone service, and of course anyone can buy a cell phone. If you have an unlocked cell phone (either one from home or bought in Costa Rica - all cell phones sold in Costa Rica must be unlocked), prepaid (prepago) SIM cards can provide a local number and service can be purchased throughout the country by anyone with a passport from any country. Try using companies like Grupo ICE under the Kölbi brand, TuYo Movil, Movistar and Claro.


Correos de Costa Rica (website in Spanish only) is the national postal services of Costa Rica. You can find post offices (correos) in almost any city and town and they are generally open from 7:30am to 5:30pm or 6:00pm Monday to Friday and 7:30am to noon on Saturdays. There are not that many mailboxes, so it's best to ask your hotel or go directly to the post offices. Services tend to be slow but generally reliable and on the whole cheap regarding letters and postcards. It costs about US$0.20 to the USA and Canada (taking about 1 week to 10 days), US$0.25 to Europe (about 2 weeks) and US$0.30 to Asia and Australia (3 weeks or even more). All in all, if you can try and arrange your mail from the capital San José as it's generally quicker from there. Small packages are also no problem, though take them to the post offices unpacked for inspection first! Otherwise, arrange things through private international courier services like UPS, FedEx, DHL or TNT.


Accommodation in Manuel Antonio

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Manuel Antonio searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Manuel Antonio and areas nearby.

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This is version 8. Last edited at 10:01 on Jan 24, 18 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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