Manuel Antonio is a charming beach town and a celebrated Costa Rican National Park that attracts hordes of tourists for its green corridor, breathtakingly wildlife and quaint community appeal. Located on the Pacific Coast at about 40 miles from San Jose, Manuel Antonio is known to be one of the most beautiful beach areas in the country. It features not just wildlife and gorgeous beaches but delicious local and global cuisine, friendly locals and spectacular ocean vistas that contribute to make Manuel Antonio a must-see for any tourist.
Manuel Antonio features a variety of world-class accommodation options on par with the swankiest beach vacation destinations in the world. While several regions of Costa Rica are still to witness development on par with the western world, Manuel Antonio has caters more to upper crust travelers with its glitzy vacation villas and snazzy beach resorts.
The region also boasts of a string tours and activities for adventure bitten travelers. Visitors can spend weeks in the region trying different adventures from hiking to jetskiing to thrilling canopy tour to ATV rides. Other top activities include off-shore deep sea sport fishing, diving, surf lessons and hiking tours. Those who want a more unruffled holiday can keep it simple turn into complete beach bums by enjoying the sun and sand on the beach.
Manuel Antonio has a vibrant and active cultural mix of foreigners and Costa Ricans, for a few decades. There are also many wealthy people here who like to eat out. So as a result, there are many good restaurants in the area.
Just a few are shown here:
Café Milagro – Café Milagro is a tiny, humble looking eatery that boasts of an incredible location for quick breakfast, snack and coffee. The food is more along the lines of an organic food culture that is prevalent in the Unites States. Health buffs and organic eaters can rejoice as there is an extensive menu of healthy preparations and there is also a nice assortment of desserts/baked goods available. There is a tiny gift shop inside with freshly-roasted coffee and other local produces. The service is prompt and friendly and bilingual waiters are quite polite. Apart from this, since the founder owners of Cafe Milagro hail from the United States, it’s an American compatible dining destination. Cafe Milagro has two locations, one is in Quepos and one is on the main road in Manuel Antonio. Though the place caters to all meals, this isn’t so much a dinner place as much as a quick breakfast or brunch place. There really is no ambiance to speak so, so best to grab a quick meal and not a slow intimate dinner.
Barba Roja – Barba Roja is located in the heart of Manuel Antonio and is one of the oldest and illustrious eating establishments in Manuel Antonio, which not just offers an excellent food spread but also spectacular beach and sunset views. Barba Roja has delectable seafood, hearty steaks and scrumptious burgers with all the trimmings. Their array of drinks is also known to be creative and refreshing. The restaurant claims to serve the planet’s “best nachos”.
Tel: +506 2777 5159 / 2777 0331
Manager: +506 8305 8624
Fax: +506 2777 5159
Bambu Jan – One of the most popular restaurants in Manuel Antonio nestled right on the route to the national park, Bambu Jam has an impressive menu of meat and sea food preparations. Their Mahi Mahi Blackened with Mango Chutney, Beef Tenderloin with Wine Sauce and the remarkable array of drinks like Mai Tai and Long Island Iced Tea are worth sampling. The restaurant is open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Live music is played here on Tuesday and Friday nights until 1 or 2 a.m.
Claro Que Si – This is the place to go if you want a ‘straight out the water’ fresh sea food. Claro Que Si serves nothing but the best quality seafood in the regionn. The chef whips up an array of inspiring preparations such as Seafood Cocktail, Mariscada in tomato sauce, Extravaganza with shrimp and lobster and many more such local seafood delicacies. You can wash down the fiery sea food with a refreshing cup of cappuccino, espresso or latte. Open from 3pm until 11 pm.
Bogarts – Bogart’s is a contemporary and upscale bar, lounge and restaurant located in the center of Quepos. It is an ideal place for discerning global travelers to enjoy the finest international cuisine and beverages, inspiring cocktails coupled with live music and a warm, friendly vine in a relaxed yet stylish ambiance. They offer an unusual Lebanese menu that includes a platter of half a dozen different dishes, main course and dessert. Bogart’s thin crust pizzas, and beverages along with their signature mimosa, frozen drinks and martinis are also much sought after by locals and tourists alike. Bogart’s is open from Monday through Saturday from 11 am until 2 am.
Sunset Bar & Grill – Sunset Bar and Grill is a casual watering hole for tired travelers to chill and swap notes on their day’s adventures. Their menu includes a mix of local and international flavors that are created to suit all palates (such as Calamari in Garlic Sauce, Shrimp in Paprika, Garlic, Lemon Sauce and the Grilled Trout with fresh local vegetables). Hailed for its relaxed yet trendy ambiance, groovy music and special event nights, Sunset Bar also whips up delectable drinks such as Napa Valley Merlot, Pina Colada and a nice selection of fine Chilean wines. The bar is open daily from 11 am to 10 pm.
So no matter what type of food you’re looking for in Manual Antonio, you’re probably going to be able to find something great. And if you stay here for a week or two, you’ll find a really good new place for dinner every night.
Manuel Antonio Rental Villas
La Miraje Villa – La Miraje Villa is a new contemporary style villa with stylish décor and a trendy appeal. It is suitable travelers who want to live right in the heart of the Manuel Antonio region while also enjoy all modern amenities.
The modern bathrooms are equipped with towels, and bedrooms with high end linens offered for sleeping. The bedrooms feature modern platform beds. Also included in it are a couple of daybeds and a couple Barcelona style futons. High ceilings give visitors a sense of spaciousness, and the large ground-to-ceiling windows allow plenty of light to light up the villa. Reflective antique white porcelain floors cool the villa and make the space look complete.
The sprawling patios are connected with a reflecting pool going along the length of the edge of the property perfect for sipping cocktails. This is truly indoor/outdoor style living. The pool will leave guests refreshed. Casa La Miraje also affords extraordinary peace and privacy while being in the center of everything within the Jungle. Frequent monkeys, occasional sloths, flocks of indigenous birds, and several spectacular reptiles may be observed about the villa. Hundreds of species of birds have been spotted from their sprawling patios in this area.
Casa Romantica – The striking new 5 bedroom, 7 bathroom estate property was created by an award winning architect and has set a new benchmark for luxury in Manuel Antonio. Nestled in a secluded region yet close to all major facilities in the vicinity, and with approximately 5000 sq. ft. of entire living space, this classy and spacious vacation home offers unmatched elegance and luxury. The property includes an independent house and a separate private Master Casita spread over 8 acres of lush forest area replete with sounds of howler monkeys and beautifully created gardens surrounding the verandah.
Casa Sandra – Casa Sandra is a beautifully designed home located in the center of one of the most popular vacation retreats in Costa Rica. This home is perfect for everyone from honeymooning couples to families and friends. Casa Sandra is nestled on one of the highest points in Manuel Antonio with easy entry to the road between Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park. Casa Sandra offers spectacular vistas of the Pacific Ocean and the Costa Rican rainforest corridor with an easily accessible and heart of the town location. Casa Sandra is a three level home with the two bedrooms divided by the prime living area. Each of Casa Sandra’s three levels has an independent veranda offering spectacular views of the surrounding rainforest and the adjacent Pacific Ocean. The master bedroom has a king size bed, en suite bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub and a pool on the veranda.
Manuel Antonio National Park: Small in Size, Big on Biodiversity” href=”http://www.costaricajourneys.com/manuel-antonio-national-park/” target=”_blank”>The Manuel Antonio Park is just south of Quepos on the Pacific Coast, 132 km from the center of San José. It is popular because of its sprawling white sand beaches complemented by a lush forest corridor that grows right up to the high tide line. The principal habitants are primary forest, secondary forest, mangrove swamps, lagoons and beach vegetation. This park offers visitors the opportunity to view a staggering variety of fauna with 109 species of mammals and 184 of aerials. The park encompasses 12 little isles just off the coast; which are often visited by a number of dolphins and, at times, migrating whales that can be seen on a lucky day.
El Santuario Canopy Adventure Tour – This is one of the must dos in Manuel Antonio if knowledgeable insiders are to be believed. Canopy zipline tour is 20 minutes from Manuel Antonio National Park and offers the longest single Zip Line in Costa Rica at more than 4,300 feet at no extra charge. The tour features 14 tree platforms, 3 towers, 6 hanging bridges, 3 nature walks, natural outdoor butterfly garden, and 1 double belay rappel. Safety is assured on their touchless lines with no braking required by the rider. Eleven double anchored Ziplines covering more than 3.6 Kilometers in length. The tour includes transportation to and from Manuel Antonio or Quepos, snacks, water, and lunch. Discounts and custom tours are available for groups.
MidWorld – Housed within more than a thousand acres, and encircled by 5 kilometers of private waterfront and primary forest, MidWorld is an adventure park that packs all the adventures available in the area under a single roof. Nestled a few minutes away from Quepos, all of activities are based within the park, giving visitors more time to enjoy their vacation and wate less time reaching different destinations. Activities offered in the park include Costa Rica’s lengthiest Superman line, the area’s high ropes course, one of the region’s newest and safest canopy and rappel course, the area’s completely automatic ATV tour, and custom tours such as hiking, photography, and biking. The thrilling Zipline and Superman tours also come with a motorized plantation/jungle tour. As part of MidWorld’s commitment to safety, all their lines are double-cabled, and meet the highest international safety standards.
Many tour companies in the area conduct guided tours of the park which generally take visitors through a hike in the rainforest along 1.500 meters of a non challenging trail in an estimated time of 2.5 to 3 hours, with an experienced and bilingual naturalist guide, certified by the Costa Rican Tourism board. The guide, equipped with a high-powered spotting equipment helps visitors locate the vast variety of flora and fauna in all their natural glory and visitors will have the opportunity to spot Howler, Cara Blanca and Titi monkeys, and even the famous Poison Dart Frog if you’re lucky, all along learning about the diet, habits, and many more facts about the large variety of species one can come across on this remarkable natural adventure.
Portasol Yoga Retreats – South of Manuel Antonio a few miles and just north of Matapalo is a beautiful yoga retreat center called Portasol. Here you can practice yoga in a setting of pure nature in a true lush rainforest. Their yoga retreats also include a daily practice of meditaion, Qi Gong/Chi Kung and hikes in the jungle.
Check their schedule for dates of their six night programs, with names such as “Go Green, Go Nature” and “Chakra Yoga and Nature Experience
in the coastal rainforest of Costa Rica”
For more information, click: Portasol – Yoga-Costarica.com
Gaia Hotel and Reserve – Gaia Luxury Boutique Hotel and Reserve, located in Manuel Antonio Beach, Costa Rica, is a charming 5 star eco-friendly adult and teen only boutique hotel and a member of “Preferred Boutique” of the Preferred Hotel Group. Visitors can enjoy luxurious tropical vacation in a secluded yet accessible location. The quaint property has managed to achieve an ideal blend of contemporary amenities and natural scenery for guests to enjoy. Housed in the insides of the coastal forests of Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, their hotel´s well-appointed, terraced suites and villas offers guests incredible views of lush and unspoilt natural surroundings. Gaia offers a great variety of top notch services such as fine dining at their on-site restaurant, room service 24/7, luxury spa, gym, pool, day tours, in addition to a range of pampering personal services.
Gaia Hotel and Reserve
Phone: +(506) 2777-9797
Arenas Del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort – Nestled within walking distance of Manuel Antonio National Park, Arenas Del Mar is a remarkable beachfront and rainforest resort property ideal for visitors looking to go beyond the typical luxury hotel experience. Arenas Del Mar’s USP is their carbon neutral property which offers sustainable, luxurious lodging, the first of its kind in Costa Rica, which went on to win Five Sustainability Leaf Award and a Five Star Award. Arenas Del Mar is the perfect starting point for discovering the gems in and around Manuel Antonio and exploring Costa Rica’s famed natural resources.
Arenas Del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort
Direct dial: 011-_506-_2777-_2777
US & Canada: 1-_888-_240-_0280
The Preserve at Los Altos – The Preserve at Los Altos is one of Manuel Antonio’s most sought after boutique resort. Designed by the prestigious Costa Rican firm, Rojas Arquitectos, the Los Altos property beautifully combines earthy tropical surroundings and contemporary amenities. This resort appeals as much to families as large group of adventure struck friends and honeymooners looking for a welcoming and uncontrived vibe. The Preserve offers 25 stunning independent accommodations, each featuring a splendid Pacific Ocean vista through floor to ceiling windows. Other pluses here include a surreal open-air restaurant, a rainforest infinity pool and relaxing jacuzzis, a rejuvenating spa, an exclusive beach and a state-of-the-art fitness center.
Their luxury, Balinese-influenced accommodations boasts of 2500 Sq. ft of remarkable, elegant furnishings and striking details. Guests can pick from 3 bedrooms (a King Master Bedroom, a Queen bedroom, or 2 Twin Beds), 2 bathrooms, 3 balconies, a fully equipped modern kitchen, and separate living and dining areas.
The Preserve at Los Altos
Costa Rica Phone: (506) 2777-8888