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Quepos and Manuel Antonio are two separate but completely interdependent central Pacific coast towns. Quepos is a fairly good sized town with about 7,000 permanent residents, a large hospital, banks, markets, stores, hotels, bars, restaurants and main bus terminal. Manuel Antonio to the south is much smaller and extends along both sides of the road that stretches 4 1/2 miles up the hill and them down to the Manuel Antonio National Park.

Even though there are hotels and restaurants of many nationalities on this hill between Quepos and the park. It is still common to walk along the lush green, tree lined road and see two toed sloths, bright green parrots and large iguanas. In the hills overlooking the ocean are some of the most picturesque and stunning views in the country along with accommodations from luxurious to basic.

Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio National Park is the country's smallest national park at just over 683 hectares, but it is also one of it's most amazing. Home to one of the last sizable populations of the endangered Squirrel Monkey in the region, White Faced and Howler monkeys are also common in the park. Cathedral Point with it's forest topped cliffs is connected to the mainland by a thin land bridge that separates the parks two most popular beaches, Playa Espadilla Sur and Playa Manuel Antonio. Playa Manuel Antonio is one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica and has been rated one of the top ten in the world. The beach is a half mile long, perfect white sand crescent bordered by deep green mangroves and palms. The park abounds with wildlife and in a days visit it is possible to see iguanas, monkeys, sloths agoutis, paccaries armadillos, pisotes, coatimundis and raccoons.

Getting There
You can travel to Quepos by car or on regularly scheduled flights. Natureair has three flights a day during high season. The flight from San Jose takes about 20 minutes. It is a beautiful three and a half hour drive by car from San Jose. While a 4x4 vehicle is not required, we recommend one because some sections of the road have serious potholes and the clearance and durability of 4X4s is an asset.

Manuel Antonio is a little slice of paradise that Centralamerica.Com highly recommends for beach, sportfishing and nature lovers.

Map of Quepos - Manuel Antonio Map of Downtown Quepos

Hotels
CentralAmerica.Com recommends the following hotels in this area. All are up on the hill between Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park, where you can enjoy great views and cooling breezes. If you don't have a car, there are taxis and there is a bus that runs every 30 minutes from the beaches and national park at one end to the town of Quepos at the other.
Arenas del Mar - Unique and spectacular beach resort with the highest levels of comfort.
California Hotel - Set in the rain forest and near the sea, the perfect location to experience the peace paradise.
Casitas Eclipse - Turn your trip into the fantasy vacation of a lifetime.
Hotel & Reserve Gaia - Five-star hotel featuring amenities to please even the most discriminating vacationers.
Costa Verde - The perfect destination for those seeking adventure travel, ecotourism, sportsfishing or just the tranquility of white sand beaches and magnificent ocean views.
Issimo Suites - Overlooking the majestic Pacific Ocean and the highest quality service.
La Mansion Inn - Nestled in one of the last remaining "natural zoos" of the world - Manuel Antonio.
Hotel Makanda - Just off the main road between Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park, spectacular view.
La Mariposa Hotel - La Mariposa Hotel is comprised of 35 rooms in a Spanish-Mediterranean style architecture with stunning, and magical views of the coast below.
Hotel Playa Espadilla - Located within 3 minutes walk away from the National Park of Manuel Antonio and 2 minute walk from the beach front.
Parador Hotel - In the most remote and pristine area of Manuel Antonio and just 10 minutes walking distance from a secluded bay with the most breathtaking white sand beach surrounded by tranquil turquoise waters and jungle.
Si Como No, Hotel & Villas - "Si como no" captures the magical nature of Costa Rica's incredible ecological diversity, creating a vacation experience deeply rooted in the culture and pace of this special nation.
Sirena Hotel - Located in the center of Quepos a small boutique style hotel with just 14 cozy rooms..
Hotel Las Tres Banderas - Hotel Las Tres Banderas is newly built, reasonably priced and also has the advantage of being moderately sized, permitting your needs to be personally attended to by its owners.
Tulemar Bungalows - Tulemar Bungalows let you interact with the best of Manuel Antonio National Park wildlife from your doorstep or by just drawing the curtains of your bungalow window.
Verde Mar - Just steps away from world renowned Manuel Antonio National Park.

Activities
While it's hard to beat lying on one of the world's most beautiful beaches or hiking down trails through the rain forest, there are a couple of special activities that we recommend.
Canopy Safari - Caters to the free spirit in all of us, designed to immerse you in a world of adventure and discovery.
Iguana Tours - Specializing in sea kayaking and water rafting, naturalist tours and adventure activities such as horseback riding, dolphin watch excursions and rain forest hiking.

Restaurants, Bars, Etc.
While it's pretty slow in low season, there's plenty to do in Quepos during high season.
El Banco Bar - Shows all major sporting events. Has good food and late night live music.
Wacky Wanda's Bar Central - Great little bar with air conditioning. Tell Wanda CentralAmerica.Com sent you and she may buy you a beer.

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