La Playita

Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio & Around

At the far western end of Playa Espadilla, beyond a rocky headland (wear sandals), this former nude beach remains one of Costa Rica's most famous gay beaches and a particular draw for young men. The beach is inaccessible around high tide, so time your walk, or access via the ultra-luxury Arenas del Mar hotel.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio & Around attractions

1. Playa Espadilla


This wide stretch of white sand is found just outside the park entrance, in front of Manuel Antonio village. It's a popular place for families and beach…

2. Greentique Wildlife Refuge

0.79 MILES

Biologist Jimmy Mata leads magical one- and two-hour sojourns through the Butterfly Atrium, Reptile & Amphibian Water Gardens and Crocodile Lagoon, as…

3. Playa Espadilla Sur

1.48 MILES

A half-hour hike from the park entrance, the exposed Playa Espadilla Sur is to the north of Punta Catedral and gorgeous with pinch-me scenes of white sand…

4. Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio

1.51 MILES

Featuring lush jungle, picture-perfect beaches and craggy headlands, this tiny park (1680 acres/680 hectares) absolutely brims with wildlife (and often…

5. Punta Catedral

1.53 MILES

Geography fun fact: this isthmus, which is the centerpiece of the park, is called a tombolo and was formed by the accumulation of sand between the…

6. Turtle Trap


At the western end of Playa Manuel Antonio you can see a semicircle of rocks at low tide. Archaeologists believe that these were arranged by pre-Columbian…

7. Playa Manuel Antonio

1.72 MILES

With its turquoise waters, this lovely forest-backed beach fronts a deep bay, sheltered by the Punta Catedral on the west side and a promontory on the…

8. Playa Gemelas

2.03 MILES

Clasped by volcanic rock and jungle, Playa Gemelas is smaller than the other beaches, but no less spectacular: this place could be a desert island beach…