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Manuel Antonio: The Jewel of the Pacific

Why buy real estate in Manuel Antonio?


Manuel Antonio is a special place in many ways.  In terms of real estate it behaves like an island: To the north it is bounded by Quepos and the Pez Vela marina, to the east by a sprawling flood plain covered in African palm plantations, to the south by Manuel Antonio national park, and to the west by the Pacific ocean.  There's one way in and one way out--through Quepos, and all roads lead to Costa Rica's most visited national park.  There is a limited amount of land in Manuel Antonio, and much of it is protected.  


Furthermore--search the coast at your leisure.  There are many beach towns on the Pacific, and none has the perfect combination of elements that gives Manuel Antonio its unique appeal:


  • Several gorgeous public beaches (for every taste...)
  • A world-reknowned national park (more beaches!)
  • A healthy rainforest rife with wildlife (three species of monkeys!)
  • A new high-end marina (bringing in lots of investment to the area).
  • A domestic airport (puddle jumpers only).
  • Restaurants & Bars (Manuel Antonio is known for its gastronomy!)
  • Quepos (convenient for supermarkets, banks, farmer's market, etc.)
  • Access to activities in the Talamanca Mountains (rivers, waterfalls, etc.)
  • Activities galore (everything from surfing to paddle boarding in the mangroves...).


Even within the unofficial borders of Manuel Antonio there is a wealth of activities and amenities, from some of the country's best restaurants to a handful of diverse beaches.  The area thrives with tourism from December through April, and slows down for the 'green season', from May through November.  For the locals, the best months to live here are during the green season.


Much has changed to make Manuel Antonio an attractive place for investment, also.  Since 2000 the government created a new coastal highway and replaced several major bridges leading to the area.  It also paved the road south of Manuel Antonio, creating a major thoroughfare for the coast.  The Pez Vela Marina was built and began attracting more boats and investors to the area.  Several major projects have been made to improve Quepos and Manuel Antonio, including replacing the bridge at the north entrance, creating a gorgeous waterfront boardwalk and parks, a new farmer's market, etc.


In short--Manuel Antonio, already a beacon of natural beauty, has become the Riviera of the Costa Rican Pacific coast.  It has a promising future for real estate and investment--but is also simply a great place to live!

Costa Rica Map

Looking at the relief map above, it's easy to see why Manuel Antonio is so wel positioned.  The topography and climate up north (Guanacaste & Nicoya Peninsula) tend to be low, rolling semi-dry tropical forest, and gets very dry in the high season (Jan - Apr).  To the south there is rainforest, but also becomes more and more off-the-beaten-track, with few services and amenities.  Manuel Antonio, in the central Pacific, is positioned close enough to the mountains to enjoy a rainforest environment, but far enough to create a rain shadow--ie less rain than down south.  Manuel Antonio's proximity to San Jose also means easy, quick flights, or a shorter drive.

Manuel Antonio Map

Manuel Antonio is stretched out along the 5 mile road that leads to the national park and main public beach (Playa Espadilla).  There is an enclave of lower-end restaurants, hotels and shops at the beach near the park entrance--however, most of the nice hotels, best restaurants, and luxury homes are up in the hills, allowing for fantastic ocean views, a slightly cooler climate, and fewer biting insects.  There are only a handful of offshoot roads that lead to sub-neighborhoods in the area. 


Quepos is the district capital and commercial center of the area, compact and convenient. It has all of the modern day necessities and conveniences--banks, supermarkets, shopping, the marina, a domestic airport, and hospital.  Within an hour drive are countless other beaches, towns, rivers, waterfalls, and activities.  


And--no, there is no live volcano in the area. ;)