Are you looking for a way to escape the stress of your day-to-day activities? You should book a vacation! Getting some distance between yourself and your stressors can help you to relax and recuperate, which can have great benefits for both your mental and physical health. There are plenty of great destinations out there. France has incredible history and architecture, and Italy has unbelievable food and drinks, but with the cold weather we’ve had recently, you deserve to escape to somewhere a bit more tropical. Popular spots include Miami Beach or Cancun, but both of these spots are guaranteed to be swarming with spring breakers this time of year, so you should opt instead for something a bit more remote, like Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. No matter what your vacation style is, this town has plenty to offer to ensure that your visit is unforgettable.
For the Beach Bum
If your dream vacation includes spending every day by the beach, you’re in luck! Manuel Antonio is home to some of the most pristine beaches in Costa Rica, and there are plenty of places to stay, just steps from the beach. Some local beaches are better for surfing with their big waves, while others are more secluded and therefore better for relaxing with a good book. Here are some of the top recommended beaches in the area:
Playa Espadilla is the most popular beach in Manuel Antonio–and for a good reason! This long, beautiful beach has clear blue water and soft white sand, making it feel like the perfect island paradise. Because of its popularity, there are also plenty of nearby vendors that offer beach chair and umbrella rentals, specialty cocktails, and food and drinks like fresh fruit and whole coconuts. In addition to all of the nearby vendors, there are plenty of activities that you can choose from, like parasailing over the beach, renting paddleboards and kayaks, fishing, or learning to surf. Playa Espadilla is considered one of the best surfing spots in Manuel Antonio because of its big waves. Of course, if none of these activities pique your interest, you can find just as much enjoyment cooling off in the ocean or sunbathing on the shore and enjoying the beautiful scenery of the surrounding rainforest.
If you’re looking for something a bit more relaxing than Playa Espadilla, then you might enjoy Playa Biesanz. This beach is much more secluded than some of the others in Manuel Antonio. To get to it, you have to take a five-minute hike through the jungle, which can give you the exciting opportunity to see monkeys and sloths but could also be tiring, especially on the way back up to the road. Because it’s more difficult to get to, there are fewer vendors, and there are no amenities like restaurants or parking. The waters are also calmer at this beach, making it less suitable for surfing. All of these factors tend to make Playa Biesanz a less desirable spot for tourists, but if relaxation and privacy are something you value as part of your beach experience, then it might be perfect for you.
For the Thrill Seeker
In addition to its pristine beaches, Manuel Antonio is also well-known for its expansive jungles. Plenty of tours are offered so that visitors can explore the unique environment and learn about the wildlife that inhabits it. A few options for tours include:
- Canopy Tours, where you’ll take ziplines to different platforms in the trees to learn about the ecosystem of the canopies.
- White Water Rafting Tours, where you’ll paddle downstream to take in the beautiful views along local rivers.
- Waterfall Tours, where you’ll get to visit some of the most breathtaking sites around Manuel Antonia and have the opportunity to both climb up and jump from some of the local waterfalls.
- ATV Tours, where you’ll spend the day driving through the thick of the jungle, going from site to site, and getting to swim in secluded, natural watering holes.
- Hiking Tours, where you’ll spend the day trekking through the jungle and exploring caves and waterfalls.
While it might not be as commercialized as some of the more popular travel destinations, Manuel Antonio has a diverse variety of options for things to do during your visit, making it the perfect spot for anyone to travel to. Whether you’re an adventurer or prefer to spend your vacation relaxing on the beach, Manuel Antonio is sure to leave you feeling impressed when it’s finally time to pack up and go back home.