Manuel Antonio Beach ( Playa Tres / Playa Blanca)
While the central Pacific coastal region of Costa Rica may not rank uppermost for its beaches, the four found in the Manuel Antonio National Park are definite exceptions. Manuel Antonio Beach is the best of them from a safe swimming view and is certainly one for your beach bucket list. It is a short and scenic drive south of the regional city of Quepos.
Picture a dazzling white sandy beach of around a kilometre long, contrasted by the shimmering blue Pacific gently caressing a pristine shore while you feel the cooling effects of the gentle sea breeze. A beautiful natural rainforest forms a green fringe right along the beach upper area, offering natural shade from the tropical sun.
True, getting from the small town of Manuel Antonio to its beach involves a half-hour trek, and there is a modest entrance fee. What you will find on arrival is definitely heaven sent. Where else can you think of where you end up sharing this idyllic setting with some of the permanent residents of the park? This is a one-on-one with nature opportunity and the cast includes the likes of tree sloths, squirrel and capuchin monkeys, brilliantly coloured toucans and even some raucous racoons.
The usual beach facilities are on offer. These including rest rooms, catering outlets and hire kiosks. Remember to leave your valuables back at you accommodation and don?t be alarmed if some of the park animals arrive to investigate your tasty morsels while you are cooling off in the sea. The white face monkeys are certainly not shy in coming forward. Manuel Antonio Beach can get quite hectic on a fine day, so staking out your patch early makes good sense.
Pursuits range from various forms of water sports ? superb snorkelling on offer - to quiet frolicking in the warm, virtually wave-free ocean. Most visitors prefer to soak up the gorgeous sun on the gently sloping sand. Remember to be on your best behaviour when encountering the inquisitive locals and do resist the urge to feed them ? the rangers will soon remind you of the rules if you step out of line. A lifeguard program operates and beachgoers need to be aware that rip tides do occur.
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