"Beginner's Guide to Manuel Antonio" Top 5 Page for this destination Quepos by static1

Quepos Travel Guide: 184 reviews and 455 photos

Quepos vs Manuel Antonio

Quepos is the closest "real" town to the park. It's a little rough around the edges, and unless you're on a tight budget, it's probably not where you want to stay. A road runs from the town to the park, and this is where some of the nicer places are. Manuel Antonio is also the name of the town where the park is, but it's more a collection of hotels and bars. There are buses that run from downtown Quepos to the park (the road ends at the park). It costs about $.20 American (105 colones). I believe you can only pay in colones.
When you first arrive, you might be a little put off by the looks of Quepos, but as you head toward the park, the scenery starts looking like postcards.

Getting there

We flew to Quepos from San Jose on Sansa. It was like $45.00 one way per person and took like 25 minutes. The view from the plane was breathtaking. The planes only seat like 20 people, and it's a quick way to get your vacation started.

We took the bus back to San Jose. You most likely need to get your tickets ahead of time. I can't remember the cost, but it was like $8.00. The trip took 3.5 hours, and even though it says direct, it makes one stop about 30 minutes out of town, then a rest stop/food break a little later. The bus was comfortable (although no A/C that we noticed and no bathroom) and there's some nice scenery.

This and That

Manuel Antonio is a wonderful place. It's definitely touristy, but not so much that you can't enjoy it. I highly recommend it if you're traveling with kids. We went during the rainy or "green" season. It was in the 80s and sunny till early afternoon, then it would rain...and I mean rain. The thing is, it's still warm, you're pretty much in a rain forest, so just get wet and have fun. The rain didn't slow us down a bit. Plus, we had most of the area to ourselves.

I did find that some of the basic Spanish I learned in college came in handy. Although you could probably make do on English, do yourself a favor (and be a polite visitor) and learn some basics.

There is some wonderful food to be had in this area. Find out what the fresh catches are and go with that. There's all kinds of seafood dishes, bbq snapper, sushi, sashimi, etc. Costa Rican dishes are kind of bland but still good. Even the pizza we had was tasty. If you're picky, or traveling with kids, you can get burgers, chicken fingers, even mac & cheese at most places.

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:Quepos is grungy, but Manuel Antonio is breathtaking
  • Last visit to Quepos: Oct 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (11)

Comments (1)

  • rcsparty's Profile Photo
    Apr 17, 2009 at 1:16 PM

    good tips, we'll be there in about a week and are doing the canopy tour and horseback riding.


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