Once home to the fierce Quepoa Indians, the beautiful and lush Quepos – Manuel Antonio Area has now become Costa Rica’s most popular tourist destination for nature and fishing enthusiasts alike. Apart from the tours and activities described in the “Tours” Section of this web page, the area has a lot more to offer.
The nature in the area is overwhelming and not just limited to the borders of Manuel Antonio National park. Close to the hotel are some nice hiking trails and waterfalls and there are various private reserves where one can go hiking and wildlife watching. Wildlife is all around, even at the hotel!
Manuel Antonio National Park was established in 1972 and is Costa Rica’s smallest national park with 683 hectares. It contains a charming combination of rain forest, beaches and coral reefs. The beaches are among the most beautiful in the country and are lined with lush rain forest. The trails inside the park are well maintained and the trail that winds around Punta Catedral offers some spectacular views. The park is easy to reach, south of the town of Quepos and Manuel Antonio and just 5 minutes by car from Hotel Las Tres Banderas.
Although Manuel Antonio National Park is Costa Rica’s smallest national park, the diversity of wildlife is unequaled with 109 species of mammals and 184 species of birds. Sloths and three of Costa Rica’s four monkey species; the Mantled Howler monkey, the endangered Central American Squirrel Monkey, and White-faced Capuchin monkey are major features. Black Spiny-tailed Iguanas, Green Iguana, Common Basilisk, White-nosed Coati and many snake and bat species are also common in the park. Included in the 184 bird species are toucans, woodpeckers, potoos, motmots, tanagers, Turkey Vultures, parakeets and hawks. Dolphins can be observed there, as well as the occasional migrating Humpback whale.
Cathedral Point, with its forest topped cliffs was once an island, but is now connected to the coast by a thin strip of island. This land bridge now forms the spine separating the parks two most popular beaches, Playa Espadilla Sur and Playa Manuel Antonio. The southern facing beach, Playa Manuel Antonio, is a picturesque half mile long, white sand crescent bisecting deep green foliage to one side and a private, secluded cove to the other.
Marina Pez Vela annually hosts the Offshore World Championship and several other fishing tournaments, bringing hundreds of fishermen to the coasts of Quepos.
With its first class restaurants and shops and activities going on every day, it’s definitively worth a visit for everyone visiting the area!
One can enjoy spectacular ocean sunsets in Manuel Antonio and after seeing the sun set on the horizon while sipping a cold cocktail and savoring a tasty dinner, it’s time to go out and discover the area’s nightlife!
A number of bars offer live music in the evenings (some also during the day) varying from Latin to Rock. Quepos – Manuel Antonio also has some disco’s and few casino’s such as Kamuk and Byblos, lots of different bars of which Wacky Wanda’s and Dos Locos come recommended in Quepos. Dos Locos has a quiz night called “Drinkin’ & Thinkin” every Thursday evening and live music on Wednesday evening and Saturday afternoon.
Furthermore, the area has many great restaurants from which the Gondola Gourmet Restaurant at Hotel Las Tres Banderas and Agua Azul towards Manuel Antonio come highly recommended!