This stretch of the coast is one of the more popular spots for surfing and snorkeling. Manzanillo boasts a pristine white-sand beach with excellent offshore snorkeling.
The village is a bit out of the way but well worth the trek if you are looking for non-touristy Costa Rica vacation ideas. Development is kept tightly controlled because the town is surrounded by a national wildlife refuge.
You won’t find high end resorts here but there are plenty of comfortable beach accommodations. You can rent a nice cabin with a private terrace at Cabinas Something Different.
At the Congo Bongo you can stay in a beautiful secluded home surrounded by forest (and wildlife) and with a trails leading down to the beach.
Or take a room at the El Colibri Lodge where the terrace looks out over the surrounding gardens and the beach is just a short walk along the forest trail.
Many people come here to snorkel the reef or tour it on a glass bottom boat. The village has accommodations which allow easy access to the beach. Cabinas are inexpensive are typically big enough to allow three or four people to share the expense making it great for families.
Alby lodge feature thatched roof wooden cabins with easy access to the beach and the national park. It’s not unusual to spot monkeys in the trees while lounging on the porch or in the hammock.
There are two good resort choices, Tango Mar Resort and Playa Tambor Beach Resort and Casino. Sport fishing is a big draw for Tambor as wells as whale watching, horseback riding, scuba diving and golf. There’s a nine-hole course at the Tango Mar Resort plus another eighteen holes at the Barcelo Los Delfines Golf and Country Club.
The Tango Mar Resort is popular as a honeymoon spot and travelers rate the resort high. The Playa Tambor Beach Resort and Casino is a luxury hotel that features, of course, a casino and several all-inclusive programs.
There are two places to stay here, Luna Lodge and the Corcovado Lodge Tent Camp. The Luna Lodge has a mountain view of the ocean and forest. You can arrange for guided hikes to local waterfalls and swimming holes, watch the sunset from the lodge’s wooden pavilion, relax to the sounds of the jungle while practicing yoga.
The Corcovado Lodge Tent Camp offers luxury tent accommodations. This is an eco-friendly lodge on 400 acres of forest that faces the beach. Naturists will love it here and the lodge has guides to help you explore and learn.
Tranquility and quiet are found here. A short walk takes you to the national park. Nearby Quepos has some wonderful restaurants. Nature's Beachfront can arrange for local activities such as sunset tours, waterfall tours, sport fishing excursions, butterfly and bird watching excursions.
#6: Visit an Active Volcano - The Arenal Volcano has been active for some 400 years. Back in 1968 it really blew its stack. Today you can still typically see small eruptions every 15 minutes and lava flowing in multiple directions. The heat produces the nearby Tabacan hot springs where you can enjoy the hot baths, massages, and some great local food.
#7: Enjoy a Family Rafting Trip down the tranquil Corobici River. The water is calm enough for children and senior citizens to safely navigate. Bird watchers will love the opportunity of seeing some of the 300 species of birds that make this area their home. Some of the other wildlife typically encountered are spider monkeys, iguanas, caimans, toucans, and parrots to name just a few.
Vacation Ideas to Costa Rica #8: The Costa Rica Tourism and Travel Bureau is offering a Rural Railbike Adventure Tour that's great for the whole family. Railbikes are special bicycles designed to ride on abandoned railroad tracks. This makes for an easy and enjoyable experience as you travel about the beautiful Costa Rican countryside.
The tour takes up to 6 people and you will be accompanied by a professional tour guide. This is an excellent way to visit the small communities and out of the way spots that most tourists do not get to experience.