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Quick guide to Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

April 15, 2015

Costa Rica, in my mind, always seemed like one of those places that were so foreign or unusual. When I was growing up I never knew a lot of people who went there and those who did go seemed much more rugged than me. But recently I have been curious about Costa Rica. I decided to go on a quick trip with a friend and soon found out that much of the country is still underdeveloped. Of course there are high traffic tourist areas that have all-inclusive resorts where many people do not actually leave the resorts, but that was not what I was looking for.

We decided to go to an area called Manuel Antonio that was in the Southwest region of Costa Rica. This area is still continuing to develop but also has a really wonderful foundation of hotels, restaurants, cafes, and other things to do. It was extremely relaxing and even though I was only there for five days it felt a lot longer.

I stayed at the Gaia Hotel. I was able to get an amazing rate that was a lot cheaper than what was advertised. Every room is a suite of some kind (1 or 2 bedrooms) and many look over the forest that surrounds the area.
Gaia_hotel_view_03
Even if you do not have a view of the forest that borders the ocean, the restaurant at Gaia is on the top floor and provides a wonderful forest view that extends into the ocean below. The restaurant (which actually had some of the best food) also is key during the heat of the night because there is a breeze that blows through. Overall the hotel provided a wonderful experience.
Gaia_hotel_view_02

Below is a list of all the restaurants and experiences I found in the Manuel Antonio area and liked.

Spa holis or Holis Wellness Center Manuel Antonio
-Attended an aerial yoga class. It was super cheap and my body felt great afterwards.
Phone Number: +506-2777-0939

MidWorld
-Super safe ziplining. Great staff and fun experience. Definitely do the superman line!
Address: Centre Commercial La Garza, Office 01, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
Phone Number: +506 2777 7181

Restaurants

El Avión
Basically on the side of a mountain which they classify as “downtown Quepos”. Built around an abandoned U.S. military cargo plane which is pretty cool. Casual and easy.
Phone Number: 011-506-2777-1710

Emilio’s Cafe
Perfect place to pick up a sandwich, coffee, or afternoon snack. The food and dessert was great with a great view of the ocean. One place that reminded me of New York.

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