The 5 Best Manuel Antonio Beaches

Are you thinking of planning a trip to Costa Rica? The beautiful beaches of Manuel Antonio should be at the top of your bucket list. 

One of the top Manuel Antonio beaches

If you’re not familiar with the area, Manuel Antonio is located off of Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast. The area is famous for having one of the most popular national parks in the country. It also has plenty of biodiversity, which attracts lots of nature lovers and adventure seekers. 

However, after a day of hiking or other adventurous activity, there’s nothing better than a long beach walk to unwind and relax.   While all of Costa Rica is famous for its beaches, the Manuel Antonio beaches have something for everyone. If you’re just visiting, all of the different beaches can be confusing. This means that it’s important to educate yourself before arriving.

Many of the beaches in the area are known by a few different names. It’s always wise to know which beach you’re on since some aren’t safe for swimming. Of course, it’s advisable to pay attention to lifeguards and park rangers warnings before swimming at any beach. 

To make things easier for you, we’ve developed a list of our favorite beaches in Manuel Antonio. In this post, we’re showing you the highlights of each. Here are five of the best beaches in the area to add to your must-see list: 

1. Playa Espadilla 

If you’re planning on bringing the family on an adventure to Manuel Antonio, this is one the best Manuel Antonio beaches for you. This beach is commonly known as Playa Espadilla. It is also known around town as Playa Primera or Playa Numero Uno. 

It is a large public beach that’s located near the entrance to Manuel Antonio National Park. So, it’s also a great place to stop after a long day of adventures in the park. 

The family-friendly nature of this beach makes it perfect for just about any activity such as swimming, soccer or just laying around with a good book. It features a sandy beach that stretches out for nearly a mile, so it’s also a great spot to wind down with a long, leisurely beach watch. 

This beach is well known among tourists, so it can get busy at times. It is also the closest beach to downtown Manuel Antonio, so it’s not the most secluded and private on our list. 

There are lifeguards on hand during daylight hours. Still, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for the rip currents that often occur off the shore of this beach. 

2. Playa Espadilla Sur 

You might recognize that the name of this beach simply means south of Playa Espadilla, and that’s exactly where it’s located. Again, it is commonly known as Playa Espadilla Sur, but can also be known as Playa Dos or Playa Segunda. 

It also happens to be inside of Manuel Antonio national park. While this is a beautiful and relaxing beach when the weather is clam, it is also one of the most dangerous and prone to currents in rough weather. This means that you’ll need to be on your guard when in the water.

3. Playa La Mancha 

If you’re looking to avoid the crowds of Playa Espadilla, Playa La Mancha is the perfect spot for you. It’s famous for being one of the quietest and most serene Manuel Antonio beaches. 

You have to be willing to put in a little work to get this beach, though. The trail that leads to this beach is tricky and difficult to locate if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. 

Once you reach the beach, however, the hike is well worth the trouble. You’ll find tons of beautiful scenery and the perfect spot to sunbathe in total peace. This is the perfect spot for honeymooners or anyone else just looking for a little rest and relaxation. 

4. Playa Biesanz 

This beach is another public beach that is slightly more hidden than Playa Espadilla, but again it is worth the extra work to find it. 

A short trail hike will lead you to beautiful soft sandy beaches. As one of the public Manuel Antonio beaches, this one can get crowded. Thankfully, there’s a hidden gem that’s not too far away. 

For some extra privacy, head over to the nearby Punta Quepos. This peninsula is equally beautiful but much more private than Playa Biesanz. 

We recommend checking out this beach early on in the day. The beach is lined with high cliffs that tend to block out the sun in the afternoon hours and make the beach dark. 

While this isn’t ideal for sun bathing, the beach is just as beautiful any time of the day. 

5. La Playita 

The name of this beach literally means “small beach” so, as you would expect, this beach is one of the smaller ones on our list. However, even though it’s small, it still shouldn’t be missed. 

This small but relaxing beach is located on the northern end of Playa Espadilla.

It is particularly popular among the gay community in Manuel Antonio. This beach used to be nude, however the booming hotel and tourist industry has since changed it to be more family-friendly. 

One thing to note is that this beach is only accessible before or after high tide. This means that it’s important to plan your trip ahead of time. It’s also a good idea to wear proper footwear, because the hike to it is very rocky.

Learn More About Manuel Antonio Beaches 

As you can see, the Manuel Antonio beaches are beautiful, and these are just a few. In order to explore all that this town has to offer, we recommend planning a trip to come and see for yourself.

Are you ready to start planning your trip? We encourage you to visit our website and get in touch with us to learn more about what we have to offer. 

Our hotel is just a short distance away from all of these beaches and so much more. We offer fully-equipped, condo style suites that are family friendly and feature beautiful views of the ocean and jungle. Book your stay with us today! 

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