Manuel Antonio has a series of astonishing small beaches and bays surrounded by luscious rainforest. When conditions are good they are safe for swimming and great for diving and exploring coral reefs, surfing and much more. Below you will find a brief description of Manuel Antonio Beaches.
The tropical rainforest hides the white sands and clear blue waters of Biesanz Beach. A secluded cove just off Quepos, you can find it by looking for the trail entrance a hundred yard after the Shana Hotel (a small dirt road leading into the forest). Although it is a short hike to the beach, make sure you take into account the tides, as the beach becomes a lot smaller during the high tide. This is a perfect spot for activities like kayaking, canoeing and snorkeling. All the equipment is available for renting so don’t worry about brining anything!
Espadilla Norte Beach, stretches for more than 2 km (1 mile) north from the rocky peak that marks the park’s border to the base of the ridge that holds most of the hotels. One of the most popular beaches in Manuel Antonio, it fills up with lots of tourists on Sunny Season weekends and holidays, but it is mostly quiet for the rest of the year. Even on the busiest days it is long enough to offer some privacy from those who tend to gather around the restaurants and lounge chairs near its southern end. Though it is often safe for swimming, beware of sudden strong rip currents.
Espadilla Sur Beach is right inside the Manuel Antonio National Park. It is an extension of Espadilla Norte, located right next to Playa Manuel Antonio. It is the longest beach within the park. Sheltered from the surf by Cathedral Point, this beach is excellent for swimming and scuba diving.
Gemelas Beach is named for its view of the Islas Gemelas (Twin Islands). Both the beach and the islands are part of the Manuel Antonio National Park. Gemelas Beach is a small beach that can only be accessed by following one of the park’s trails. It’s a fairly easy walk on mostly level ground. When the high tide comes in Gemelas Beach is completely submerged under water.
Puerto Escondido is also located inside the park. It is shaped like a horseshoe and can only be visited during low tide. It is small, beautiful and secluded. It is the most remote of the beaches and can be reached by a trail within the Manuel Antonio National Park.
Playitas Beach is a small, cozy beach that sits on the north end of Playa Espadilla beyond the rocky point. It is one of Costa Rica’s most famous gay beaches. For years it was also one of Costa Rica’s only nude beaches, but the region’s growing hotel industry has changed that. While Playitas Beach is technically still the same beach as Playa Espadilla, there is a large gap between the main public beach and Playitas Beach. The beach is inaccessible during high tide, so make sure to factor that in!