Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio
A place of swaying palms and playful monkeys, spakling blue water and riotous tropical birds, Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio embodies Costa Rica's postcard charms. It was declared a national park in 1972, preserving it (with just minutes to spare) from being bulldozed and razed to make room for a coastal development project.
Is Samara the black hole of happiness? That's what more than one expat has said after stopping here on vacation and never leaving. And perhaps it is more than the sum of its parts? Because on the surface it's just an easy-to-navigate beach town with barefoot, three-star appeal, and a crescent-shaped strip of pale-gray sand spanning two rocky headlands.