Are you dreaming of sandy beaches, blue skies, and some of the most crystal-clear ocean water you’ve ever seen? In the United States, it might be too cold for a weekend trip to the beach, but you can still make your dream a reality if you’re willing to do a bit of traveling. If you’re struggling with choosing a destination, look no further than the village of Manuel Antonio, one of Costa Rica’s many gorgeous coastal towns. Manuel Antonio is home to a national park with unique flora and fauna, plenty of tropical animals, and some of the country’s most beautiful beaches. With so much to do all in one spot, you’re guaranteed to have a nice break from your daily life, whether you spend your vacation reading by the pool or searching for howler monkeys in the country’s rainforests.

Breathtaking Accommodations

Manuel Antonio has no shortage of resorts and hotels, offering a range of different experiences to the country’s tourists. However, staying at one of these resorts forces you to sacrifice the privacy that you might have desired as part of your tropical experience. Staying at a resort can also be incredibly expensive, especially if you’re vacationing with a large group of family and friends. On top of this, the majority of resorts are not all-inclusive, so you’ll still have to pay for food and drinks on top of the cost of a room, which can add up quickly–and don’t forget that you’ll still want to have money left over for tours. A great way to avoid these issues is to book a private villa for you and your group. Many private villas offer the seclusion you desire, along with great views of the ocean, and some even have their private path down to the beach. Private luxury villas often offer many of the same additional amenities and services as the country’s popular resorts, but instead of having to soak in a hot tub with strangers or have your relaxing swim end up ruined by screaming children whose idea of a fun time is splashing everyone in a ten-foot radius, you could have a private pool all to yourself. Like many resorts, some villas even come equipped with a concierge to help you plan transportation and activities during your stay. Unlike the majority of resorts, private villas often come with meal services, providing professional chefs to cook healthy, local cuisine-inspired breakfasts and dinners for you and your party.

Jungle Activities

Manuel Antonio is known for the lush rainforests that surround the town and make up the nearby national park. Sure, there are plenty of guided hiking tours that can take you to see gorgeous waterfalls and increase your chances of becoming friends with one of the local monkeys, but there are alternative options you can choose from if you’re looking for a little extra bit of adventure.

Canopy Tours

The rainforest’s canopies are essential to maintaining and preserving the ecosystem, retaining the moisture of the forest while protecting it from harsh sunlight and heavy rain. You can get the chance to experience the unique biodiversity of the rainforest through a canopy tour, where you’ll take zip lines or suspended bridges between platforms in the trees, following a guide who can answer questions and educate you on the surrounding environment. These tours allow you to see orchids and other plants climbing up the jungle trees, while also offering the possibility of coming face-to-face with sloths, monkeys, and exotic birds like toucans or scarlet macaws.

Ocean Activities

Arguably one of the main attractions of visiting the country of Costa Rica is the sprawling beaches, and Manuel Antonio is known for having some of the cleanest and most beautiful beaches in the country. Sure, you can enjoy them by planting a couple of chairs down by the shore or renting a beach-side cabana for the day, but wouldn’t you love to get out on the ocean and experience the water the way the locals do?

Surf School

If you’ve always wanted to learn how to surf, then what better time is there than when you’re on the beautiful shores of Costa Rica? The fast currents create huge waves, making it a perfect spot for surfers. In Manuel Antonio, there are plenty of options for surf lessons. Some resorts will offer surf lessons, but for those that don’t, their concierges will likely have good recommendations for local surf schools. Even if you struggle with getting up on the board, you might still be lucky enough to spot some sea turtles or tropical fish during your day on the water, which will make the experience that much more worth it.

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