Quepos is a coastal town, originally named for the native Quepo Indians, which serves as a gateway to Manuel Antonio National Park. It is also a community designed to appeal to tourists with a number of superb options for shopping, dining, and nightlife, making Quepos one of the most popular destinations in all of Costa Rica. Stay in one of our cozy vacation rentals to experience Quepos like a local!
Quepos is located right on the Pacific Coast in the Puntarenas Province, about 65 miles due south of San José, Costa Rica's capital city. Fly into Juan Santamaría International Airport and then take a bus (the least expensive option), hire a metered taxi, or rent a car for the scenic drive down to Quepos.
Most visitors to Quepos are there to enjoy the neighboring Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio (aka Manuel Antonio National Park). While not an especially large national park, this eight-square-mile coastal refuge boasts beautiful dense forests, hiking trails, sandy beaches, and diverse native wildlife. In 2011, Forbes Magazine listed Manuel Antonio National Park among the twelve most beautiful national parks in the world. With its turquoise blue waters, lush forests, mangrove swamps, plunging waterfalls, and over 180 exotic bird species calling this park home, it's easy to see why it made the list!
While hiking brings you up close and personal to many of the impressive and beautiful natural features of the Quepos area, guests can also see it all from a variety of different perspectives including horseback, bicycle, on a Segway, dangling from a zip line, or even skydiving out of a plane!
Add a little spice to your visit by touring the Villa Vanilla Spice Plantation, a sustainable organic spice farm located about nine miles northeast of Quepos. This plantation offers half-day guided tours of the grounds, where you'll see how spices are grown and processed - and yes, you can sample some of their many products.
If you're looking for dining options in Quepos, there are a number of fantastic, five-star restaurants offering a wide range of different cuisines including Gabriella's for steak, seafood, and pasta, the Z Gastro Bar for Caribbean selections, and El Mirador Bar & Restaurant - overlooking the water - for traditional Costa Rican fare. For quick, low-cost bites, check out Sancho's, La Cocina, and the Manuel Antonio Falafel Bar.
Lastly, when the sun sets over Quepos, the town comes alive with venues like Cuban Republik Disco-Lounge and Bambu Jam, offering the hottest music, dancing, and cocktails from dusk until dawn. Stay out as long as you wish, then return to the comfortable bed awaiting you back in your vacation rental.
If you're looking for things to do just outside of Quepos, there are a number of worthwhile destinations within a short drive of downtown. Visit the Carara National Park to see one of the largest remaining populations of Scarlet Macaws, just 60 miles north. Close to this, check out the Tarcoles Crocodile Bridge, well-known for its resident population of massive crocodiles.
There are also several more phenomenal beaches up and down the coast with ideal conditions for sunbathing and swimming, while Playa Hermosa and other beaches near Jacó, about 40 miles up the coast, are perfect and even world-famous destinations for prime surfing.
If you're thinking about a Costa Rican adventure, consider staying in one of our vacation rentals in beautiful Quepos - it won't disappoint!
Photo Credit: nateClicks via Flickr