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Manuel Antonio Costa Rica- Stay Away

Stay Away from Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica Introduction Manuel Antonio is a tourist trap- Stay Away! Plenty of nice, local, and cheap beaches in Costa Rica. There is nothing special about Manuel Antonio other than the seas of white women in bikinis. Tourist everywhere and people trying to sell you things that I do not [...]

Stay Away from Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Introduction

Manuel Antonio is a tourist trap- Stay Away!

Plenty of nice, local, and cheap beaches in Costa Rica. There is nothing special about Manuel Antonio other than the seas of white women in bikinis. Tourist everywhere and people trying to sell you things that I do not want.

Not Vagabond Friendly!

More Information

ReadTo the Beach in Costa Rica

Tourism Can be Watched on the TV Screen

Filed under: Costa Rica

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 88 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3396 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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  • Eco Interactive February 15, 2008, 5:05 am

    We just got back from a Costa Rica Family Vacation. Loved it!!!! We went to Manuel Antonio, the kids loved the squirrel monkeys, they call them Mono Titi. They are so small that they fit in your hand.

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  • Anonymous May 19, 2008, 6:52 pm

    We went for a day in February and enjoyed it, especially the 3 lovely beaches in the park which were not at all crowded. One problem were the racoons, which will steal any food you leave near the beach! The park was a nice walk and we saw quite a few animals. In town, we stayed at a hostel, Cabinis Piscis, bare-bones but lovely setting with a great, private beach. Yes, the town is touristy but we didn’t regret visiting here for a day, especially traveling with our teenage son.

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  • g January 18, 2010, 12:27 am

    Manuel Antonio is connected to its bedroom community of Quepos. M.A. is the high brow upmarket tourist trap (with beautiful beaches and nice waves), while Quepos is where the locals live and the vagabonds hang out. Quepos has its own waterfront, buts its not nearly as nice as M.A.’s. Luckily its full of $5 hotels and cheap food stalls and has $.25 buses running back and forth between the two towns constantly. I spent a week in Quepos during a 6month Central America tramp, slept there, grabbed breakfast, and then hopped the morning bus each day to M.A. for a day of fun in the sun. Not my favorite area in Costa Rica (that would be the Talamanca mountains from Chirripo down to the Panamanian border), but its not a bad place either. Quepos has some pretty cool cantinas with good live music if you’re not a teetotaler. In my opinion M.A./Quepos is a lot better than Jaco, which is probably it’s closest competitor (then again it was the rainy/off season by the time I reached Costa Rica so the country wasn’t crowded).

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    • admin January 18, 2010, 9:13 am

      Yes, I actually initially traveled to Quepos before going to Manuel Antonia. I arrived at night and could not find a hotel with a vacancy. I walked all over town knocking on hotel doors until way late, and then hopped a cab to Manuel Antonio. But I later returned to Quepos, and I absolutely validate what you said about it.

      Great tip, G!

      The beaches in Manuel Antonio are excellent. Really excellent. I know why people go there. It is just sometimes difficult to enjoy the water when you have people trying to sell you things the entire time. Though way down on the beach, way away from everyone, it is good, real good. Your strategy of staying in Quepos and traveling to Manuel Antonio for the day is a great way to get the best of everything: a cheap room and good swimming.

      Wade

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