’s sublime sands are powdery as confectioner’s sugar, but not quite as sweet. The sparkling shore runs directly into thick rain forest speckled with sloths, macaws and troupes of adorable, though endangered squirrel monkeys. The entire area is visually gorgeous, immaculately clean and brimming with wildlife. With such intense natural beauty, it’s no wonder why this town and national park combine to form one of the most beloved destinations in Costa Rica.
Visitors generally pilgrimage to Manuel Antonio
to surf, add exotic bird and animal species to their spotting list, and simply enjoy the warm tropical sun. Views from the high altitudes surrounding the bay are unparalleled, making it perhaps the best destination for parasailing in the country. Thanks to the warm, clear waters of the Central Pacific, this is also a prime spot for snorkeling, scuba diving, jet skiing and most other water activities. An impressive array of tour operators can be found both here and in the nearby fishing village of Quepos, just a few kilometers north.
Villa Vanilla Spice Plantation
Lovers of the culinary arts – or those that just love to eat sweets – simply cannot miss out on a visit out to this organic and sustainable spice farm. Guests can taste, touch, see and smell the many stages and processes required to harvest various oils and spices like vanilla, cocoa, tumeric, black pepper and pure ceylon cinnamon. Tours will teach you about the history and origins of these exotic seasonings, saving the very best for last: a tasting session called Flavors of the World, which includes succulent pastries, typical drinks and homemade treats made almost exclusively from farm ingredients.
You just haven’t lived until you’ve parasailed high above Manuel Antonio
and its postcard-perfect bay; this is an experience that is downright impossible to forget. Adventurers of all shapes and sizes can partake – you are physically fit enough to stand up and put on a life jacket, you are capable of soaring like an eagle (or in this case, like an ocean-dwelling frigate bird). Watch beachgoers become tiny little specs right before your eyes as you glide hundreds of feet above the earth. Flights last for about 15 minutes, making a gigantic arc around the rocky islands in the middle of the cove. At the end, the speedboat captain delicately plops you into the ocean and then totes you back to shore.
Just four miles north of Manuel Antonio
you’ll find the small town of Quepos, known for its relaxed atmosphere and phenomenal angling opportunities. Inshore and offshore sport fishing tours depart from the Quepos marina by reservation only, seeking out enormous game fish like sailfish and marlin. At the end of the day, choose any one of the outstanding seafood restaurants downtown to cook up your catch a su gusto, and enjoy a fresh feast of champions. Various wellness spas, scuba diving outfits and canopy tours can also be found in central Quepos, catering to visitors with a comprehensive range of interests. Quepos / Manuel Antonio Vacation Rentals