Playa Jacó is one of the country’s most popular and developed seaside destinations less than two hours’ drive of the capital. It is home to Costa Rica's best surfing and despite its popularity retains a laid-back atmosphere.
Midway along the Pacific coast is the very popular Manuel Antonio National Park, with forested hills and swamps, two beautiful beaches and fine hotels. It is home to many birds, iguanas, snakes, sloths, and capuchin monkeys.
Uvita started out as a small fishing village on the south Pacific coast but has been made famous by its beautiful beaches, exclusive hotels and extraordinary marine life in the Marino Ballena national park. It is one of the best places in Costa Rica to see migratory humpback whales (July to October and December to March), a variety of species of dolphins, and sea turtles. The Whale’s Tail beach, which at low tide makes the perfect outline of a whale tail, is quite spectacular.
Our preferred accommodation
Beach hotel - Playa Esterillos Este30 minutes from Jacó. A beautifully private and isolated hotel right on Playa Esterillos. The hotel is relaxed with a lovely open restaurant. There are two pools and a spa.
Beach hotel - Manuel AntonioLuxury beachfront hotel, a few kilometres from the centre of Manuel Antonio. There are 2 swimming pools (1 by the restaurant and 1 by the beach), 2 restaurants including 1 next to the beach serving lunch only and a small spa.
Country hotel - Highlands above UvitaAn exclusive design hotel set within the lush forest above Uvita overlooking the famous Whales Tail beach. The six rooms are designed with acute attention to detail with a modern finish and air-conditioning. Aimed at couples, the staff are extremely attentive and endeavour to make each stay unique.
Lodge/Hosteria - Santa Juana, Manuel AntonioSanta Juana is a rural mountain lodge just over one hour inland from Manuel Antonio. Arriving here from the coast is a different world, journeying through palm plantations and heading up into the remote hills overlooking the Pacific ocean. Hearty meals are served in the dining room which is open to the sides and has stunning views.
Beach hotel - Manuel AntonioOn the road to Manuel Antonio National Park, 4km from Park entrance with 3 swimming pools, jacuzzi and views down to the sea. The hotel has been built around the trees and vegetation, keeping the 'natural' feel.