Quepos / Manuel AntonioA mere six miles from the Rio Palma Resort community, the towns of Quepos and Manuel Antonio are not only two of the most alluring tourist destinations in the entire country but are also home to an expanding airport, the most advanced hospital in the Central Pacific, and the Marina Pez Vela. More importantly, these towns offer an unparalleled opportunity for adventure in the form world-class white water rafting, ATV's, canopy tours, diving, biking, boating, fishing and a myriad of other activities.
QueposThe name of this town is derived from the Quepoa Indian tribe, who were wiped out by diseases brought by Europeans when they came to settle Central America prior to the 19th century. Afterwards, Quepos became the Costa Rican center of banana and then African oil-palm exportation. These oil palms can still be seen lining the road in endless rows.
While it still retains the local flavor, Quepos today is primarily a laid-back tourist destination especially for those interested in sportfishing or Manuel Antonio Park. The new Marina Pez Vela, which is looking to make a grand opening in 2010, is guaranteed to create a tourism explosion in Quepos, as it will be the only fully functioning marina of its size in all of Central America, let alone Costa Rica. Additionally, the marina will open hundreds of miles of ocean that were formerly inaccessible to sportfishing.
Manuel AntonioA true tourist town, Manuel Antonio is one of the most popular destinations in all of Costa Rica. While the curvy and hill-ridden roads provide an exciting adventure, the view offered is truly amazing: verdant jungles outstretched over mountains that ease downward into immaculate beachfronts with rocky green islets dotting the sunny horizon. With a main road that snakes its way around a variety of hotels, villas, and restaurants, living in luxury is no issue for this well-developed area. This same main road ends at the entrance to Manuel Antonio Park where visitors can experience the wildlife of Costa Rica in the form monkeys, sloths, and a variety of majestic tropical birds. While the high volume of development can be seen as a danger to the delicate bounce of life held within the park's sparse 683 hectares, several precautions have been taken to preserve this beautiful gem for its own sake and for generations to come.
For those of the sand and water persuasion, Playa Espadilla is a beautiful beach that is surprisingly quiet for most of the year. However, even on days when the beach is heavily populated, it is long enough to escape the crowds who tend to gather around the restaurants.
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