Four hours from the unremarkable capital San Jose you’ll find a beautiful natural paradise in Manuel Antonio National Park.
We are staying in Quepos, a small town just 7km from the park entrance and an array of wonderful dark sand beaches.
Public buses run every 20 minutes to a public beach outside the park. There’s a vibrant beach culture but without over-development. Capuchin monkeys climb over the buildings and amongst the trees fringing the beach.
Nearby Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the smallest but most popular in Costa Rica, a country that boasts some of the highest biodiversity in the world, and some pretty solid green credentials for a developing country.
Park entry is $16 USD but spend money on a telescope-equipped guide who is sure to find more animals than you will spot on your own.
In two hours we saw numerous sloths, monkeys, spiders, crabs, frogs, snakes and even a small deer.
End your jungle walk with a refreshing swim at MA’s private beach – much less busy than the nearby public beach.
You could spend the rest of the day hiking numerous trail in the park, or you could do as we did and hop on a small yacht for a relaxing sunset cruise.
We stopped for ocean swimming and some snorkelling. Dinner was included and it was a great finish to a truly idyllic day.