Beach Weekend in Costa Rica: Manuel Antonio
Happy Sunday Wanderers! I hope everyone is having a great week. In this post I will be detailing how to have an amazing beach weekend in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. I hope you all enjoy!
To travel from San Jose to Manuel Antonio you take a bus from the Tracopa Station, the price is ₡4,935.00 colones which is roughly $8.11 USD per way. My tip is that you buy the tickets at least a day in advance to secure a decent seat and your desired time. It is also important to note that only cash is accepted for purchasing tickets, so plan accordingly. The bus first drives out East to Jaco and then continues south along the coast. The entirety of the bus ride takes about 3 hours.
Once the bus passes through and stops in Quepos (the next town over) it will continue onto highway 618. If you have booked a hostel or hotel in Manuel Antonio it is likely along this road. It’ll be important to know ahead of time where your staying along this road so you can request a stop. It would suck to have to walk backwards on the steep hilled road because you accidentally rode all the way to the beach.
Speaking of accommodations, Andrew and I stayed at a Hotel called Hotel Colibri, that we found on HostelWorld. It was fairly close to Quepos and only $60 per night for a decent room with a queen bed. They also had a pool onsite that was refreshing after a long bus ride.
On the first day we walked to Biesanz Beach. It was quite the hike, but we were down for the adventure. To find it on foot turn right between the Thai food restaurant and the ATM (caja) and continue right down that road. You will pass a couple of really nice hotels and eventually find a parking attendant. From there, turn to your right to hike down to the beach. Alternatively, you can take a cab since it is quite a hall.
On our way back from Biesanz Beach we decided to stop at Issimo Suites for their happy hour which goes from 4:00pm to 6:00pm, perfect sunset viewing time! Make note that you don’t have to be a guest to enjoy the view, however it is adults only. Also, if you would like to enjoy the beautiful infinity pool it is a $30 minimum per non guest (spent on food or drinks). Although pricey, it might be worth it if you were in Manuel Antonio for a while and wanted to enjoy a relaxing pool day with an amazing view! Lastly on day one, we enjoyed dinner at Ensō Sushi which had a variety of vegan options.
On the second day we headed to Espadilla Beach, which is the main stretch of beach across the street from Manuel Antonio Nacional Park. It was much busier than Biensanz Beach but had more amenities such as beach chairs for rent, surf lessons, parasailing and grocery stores just across the way. To avoid walking for over almost an hour we hoped on the Quepos to Manuel Antonio bus. The buses goes every 30 minutes starting at 6:00am and then every hour after 7pm, the price was 335₡ (55 cents). At the beach, we spent ₡5,000 ($8.21) on renting two beach chairs with an umbrella for the day, totally worth is to (try to) hide from the sun. If I went again I would definitely like to do a surf lesson as the waves were calm and the bottom was flat and sandy. We made sure to bring our things as the bus back to San Jose departs near the cul de sac down by the end of the beach.
Of course, their are many more things to do in Manuel Antonio than we accomplished in two days. Especially, visiting the National Park. Entry costs is $16 USD for tourists and ₡1,600 ($2.63 USD) for Costa Ricans and residents. Children under 12 are free and the park’s hours are from 7:00am-3:00pm every day. I have heard it is best to go early in the morning to hike and spot wildlife. Also, zip-lining is available in town if you’re into that!
My number one tip for traveling to Manuel Antonio is that you bring cash (colones)! It will be useful for caching the bus, taxis, purchasing beach chairs, etc. Thats all for now! I hope you enjoyed my weekend recap and recommendations for traveling to Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.
Wander often & wonder always,