Baby and mom sloth Manuel Antonio National Park Costa Rica


4 Things to Do in Quepos Costa Rica


Quepos, Costa Rica is a quiet little fishing town hugging the Pacific Ocean.


This is usually a quick stop off on the way to Manuel Antonio National Park but there’s a bit more to do there than on first glance.


Although you can book a charter in town for some deep sea fishing, land lubber types can try these 4 activities on for size.


1: Head to Manuel Antonio National Park


If you are visiting Quepos you probably booked a trip to Manuel Antonio National Park.


This smallest of Costa Rican national parks is perhaps the most diverse, tiny park on the face of the earth.


We saw such a wide range of animals you’d have believed we spent 2 days traversing thousands of acres to enjoy such a bevvy of creatures. Not so.


Kelli and I spotted:


  • 2 toed sloths
  • 3 toed sloths
  • titi monkeys
  • Capuchin monkeys
  • caiman
  • iguanas
  • various small lizards
  • land crabs
  • Hercules frogs
  • ibis
  • army ants
  • wasp nests


during a 3 hour, quick, easy as pie tour through the park.


You are met with the most brilliant beach views at a secluded, peaceful cove near the end of your walk. Note; expect to be harassed by Capuchin monkeys here. Don’t forget to secure your wallet or jewelry either, as these little buggers have learned how to pick you clean and sprint into the canopy, leaving hapless gringos on the ground, flummoxed as to what to do.


Depending on if you leave at high or low tide you can either boat across (for a tiny fee) the water to get back to the main beach or wade across. Make sure to bring a backpack and flip flops to store your sneakers and to be wading-ready.


Book a guide. Unless you have a powerful telescope or intimate knowledge or where and how to look for local flora and fauna, even though wildlife is abundant you will miss 8 out of 10 animals without a guide.


Drop the entrance fee and tour guide fee. Well worth it for a fun, fascinating experience in this gem of a national park.


2: Cruise over to Espadilla Beach


Espadilla Beach is a scenic, palm-fringed beach that lies just north of Manuel Antonio National Park.


The Pacific makes for good swimming when the surf isn’t too wild but I preferred to watch wildlife on the beach.


We saw:


  • sloths
  • iguanas
  • Jesus Christ lizards
  • titi monkeys
  • Capuchin monkeys
  • ibises
  • flocks of vultures
  • shore birds


during our month long stay in the region.


I vividly recall an iguana wandering by my beach towel to consume a split open, fermenting mango, nibbling as he stared warily at me.


Kelli and titi monkey Quepos Costa Rica


The beauty of staying in this region – or throughout Costa Rica for that matter – is that the wildlife doesn’t tend to have an intense fear of humans. Leave them alone and they will carry on with folks in the area, unlike many parts of the world where wildlife is scarce.


3: Stroll Around Town


Stroll around the port town of Quepos to laze away an afternoon.


Make no mistake; the place is quiet, chill and quite small. The heavier tourist stuff lies to the south in Manuel Antonio. But you can enjoy a few peaceful hours in Quepos by working your way up and down the blocks in town, sampling a batido (fruit shake), grabbing a bite to eat (see below) or just cruising down to the waterfront.


Have a drink, or do some shopping at one of the supermercados in town. Or maybe you can watch a soccer match on the local pitch.


This is the type of Catholic town that closes down entirely on Sundays. A blast from the past in many Western circles, or a typical/tipico Tico town in Costa Rica.


If you like a slower pace of living, Quepos will work nicely for you.


4: Grab a Bite to Eat


You will have no shortage of spots in Quepos for Tico feasting. Costa Rican fare is ample here. As would be expected in this sleepy little town.


My favorite: Soda Sanchez. I would stop by every few days for my beloved casados vegetarianos.


Platanos, rice, beans, eggs, mixed with my favorite hot sauce made for a meaty – but vegetarian – dish that stuck to my ribs.


I pretty much subsisted off of one casados vegetarianos for the day whenever I headed on down to Soda Sanchez.


We also visited a darling, genuine, excellent Italian restaurant in Quepos, but did so in 2013.


After looking up the place recently I did not see it listed in Quepos. Perhaps it is closed but ask around. One of the best Italian spots we have enjoyed outside of the United States. Yep; we’re picky with Italian having grown up in New Jersey, with its thousands of excellent Italian restaurants.


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