Take care when choosing your lodgings in Quepos/Manuel Antonio. You won’t have much luck finding a hotel where you can walk directly out of your room and onto the beach, because Manuel Antonio has very few true beachfront hotels. In fact, most of the nicer hotels here are 1km (1/2 mile) or so away from the beach, high on the hill overlooking the ocean.
If you’re traveling on a rock-bottom budget, you’ll get more for your money by staying in Quepos and taking the bus to the beaches at Manuel Antonio. The rooms in Quepos might be small, but they’re generally cleaner and more appealing than those available in the same price category closer to the park.
Tulemar Resort ★★ ((tel) 800/518-0831 in the U.S. and Canada, or 2777-0580 in Costa Rica; www.tulemarresort.com) features a wide range of private villas and bungalows in a gated community; each unit has access to its own secluded and protected bit of beach.
If you’re coming for an extended stay with the family or a large group, consider Escape Villas ★ ((tel) 888/771-2976 in the U.S., or 2203-4401 in Costa Rica; www.escapevillas.com) or Manuel Antonio Rentals ★ ((tel) 985/247-4558 in the U.S., or 8913-9415 in Costa Rica; www.manuelantoniovacationrentals.com). Both rent a broad selection of large and luxurious private villas and homes, with all the amenities and some of the best views in Manuel Antonio.
You might also check out Byblos Resort ★ ((tel) 888/929-2567 in the U.S. and Canada, or 2777-0411 in Costa Rica; www.bybloshotelcostarica.com), which features a mix of rooms, suites, and jungle bungalows.
The Best Western Kamuk Hotel & Casino ((tel) 2777-0811; www.kamuk.co.cr) and La Sirena Hotel ((tel) 954/493-5144 in U.S. and Canada or 2777-0572 in Costa Rica; www.lasirenahotel.com) are two dependable options in downtown Quepos. Both are popular with sportfishing enthusiasts, while La Posada Private Jungle Hotel ★ ((tel) 2777-1446; www.laposadajungle.com) is a clean option a few blocks inland from the beach, right near the main entrance to the National Park.
True budget hotels are hard to come by in and around Quepos and Manuel Antonio. Those on a tight budget should look at Widemouth Frog ★ ((tel) 2777-2798; www.widemouthfrog.org), a hostel in downtown Quepos, which offers everything from basic dorms with shared bathrooms to cozy double rooms with private facilities, plus a swimming pool.
A Romantic Escape
Prana Rainforest Retreat ★★ ([tel] 2777-6724; www.pranarainforestretreat.com) caters to just one couple at a time in a cushy villa directly on the border of Manuel Antonio National Park. You’ll have your own pool with a day bed suspended above one end, and can take morning yoga on a private deck beside a waterfall as monkeys and toucans frolic around you. Pick vanilla, cacao, and passionfruit right off the trees to spice up your meals. With weeklong stays starting at $1,950 per couple in the off season it’s not cheap, though when else will you have an entire hotel to yourself?
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.