This well-known beach spot is located about 150 km south of Puntarenas on the Pacific coast. The place got famous thanks to the nearby Manuel Antonio National Park with its beautiful and wild beaches. It is one of the most visited national parks in Costa Rica and protects a large area of rainforest in which lots of animal species live, including the endangered Squirrel Monkeys. To allow nature some breathing time, the park is closed on Tuesdays, but you will also find an excellent 3 km long and bright sandy beach outside the park. Near the park entrance, some restaurants, souvenir shops and small luxury hotels form the tiny village of Manuel Antonio.
The main town in the area is called Quepos and is located about 6 km north of Manuel Antonio. There is a road connecting Manuel Antonio and Quepos, leading through hills mostly covered by virgin rainforest. Almost all hotels in the area are located on the left and right-hand sides of this road and many of them offer an excellent view of the Pacific Ocean. It is unusual to find hotels directly on the beach. Many of the hotels offer shuttles to and from the local beaches, as well as transfers to Quepos, where you can find many cabs available. Quepos used to be a small fishing village and it gradually became a popular tourist destination during recent years. Restaurants, bars, discos, shops and supermarkets ensure a perfect infrastructure and there is quite busy nightlife all year round. The local airstrip of Quepos is located about 5 km inland from Quepos. SANSA and Aerobell offer several daily connections from and to San José. The flight only takes about 35 minutes. We also offer transfers from the airstrip to all the hotels in the region.
As in any beach located on the pacific coast of Costa Rica, you should always be careful when swimming in the ocean. Sea currents can appear at any moment. Therefore you should always be able to touch the bottom of the ocean while swimming. Thanks to the quality of its waves, Manuel Antonio also became a hot spot for surfers. There are several excursions that can be booked through ARA Tours or directly at the front desk of your hotel: boat rides to observe dolphins, white water rafting, horseback riding, canoe trips, sports fishing and visits to the palm plantations between Jacó and Quepos. Of course, guided excursions to the Manuel Antonio National Park are also offered. The dryer months go from December until April, with temperatures ranging between 25-30°C. The rainier months are September, October and November. During this period, it mostly rains during the afternoon only. The temperature stays above 22°C year-round. It only drops a bit in the evening.
The Pacific getaway Jacó is only a 1.4-hour drive away from San José. Thanks to its proximity to the capital, it is the favorite beach destination of the Costa Rican locals and therefore quite busy on the weekends and during the summer break (December – February). Countless hotels including multi-storied compounds, as well as vacation homes, restaurants, bars, clubs, casinos, supermarkets, and souvenir shops almost form their own city. The dark volcanic beach is around 6 km long and very wide. The quite powerful surf attracts water sports enthusiasts from around the world.
The current can be strong, so swimmers should be very mindful when going out into the water. Check your hotel for more information about current conditions and be sure to heed all warnings. Jacó is great for fun beach vacations. Various excursions into the surrounding area such as horseback riding, a visit to the Carara National Park, boat tours with crocodile sightings on the Rio Tarcoles, and various water sports are offered by the hotels. About 50 minutes north of Jacó located Carara National Park represents an especially interesting side trip. Thanks to the transitional climate conditions, evolution has developed an interesting jungle here. It is a mix of tropical rainforest and tropical dry forest, something that doesn't exist in many places on earth. That's also why quite a number of endemic plants and animals can be found here. Rare Orchids and bromeliads can be admired and, regarding the world of birds, the large Scarlet Macaw can be observed here as one of the main attractions. About 30 minutes north of Jacó, the beautiful light-sanded beaches Playa Mantas and Playa Blanca are found. During a stay at Hotel Punta Leona, you have easy access to both of them. Playa Mantas is the northern one, its calm waters are nice for swimming and it offers good shade.
To the south, there is Playa Blanca, with its white sand, its beautiful blue-colored water and the palm trees in the back one of the most beautiful beaches in the Central Pacific area. The long beach of Playa Esterillos with its three sectors Oeste, Centro and Este is located around half an hour south from Jacó. It is especially known for its great surfing conditions. Here, you can perfectly relax while enjoying long walks on the beige-brown-sanded beach. The canton and village Parrita is located a bit south of Esterillos on the way to Quepos/Manuel Antonio and surrounded by palm oil plantations.
Apdo 799 – 1007
San José, Costa Rica
Licenced by the Costa Rican Tourist Board: Lic ICT OT 294
Liability insurance: Instituto Costarricense de Seguros (INS) Coverage: Territory of the Republic of Costa Rica