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Quepos, Costa Rica

A busy fishing town located near Manuel Antonio National Park

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Quepos

The Quepos Vibe

The town of Quepos is a somewhat bustling spot on the Central Pacific coast. It serves as a gateway to Manuel Antonio. It is not exactly charming, but it is the perfect jumping-off point for tons of activities. We like the hilly areas surrounding Quepos for beautiful views and tons of wildlife. 

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Quepos Weather

From December until mid-April you can expect zero rain and hot weather in Quepos. Just keep in mind that this is also prime tourism time and this area tends to be one of the busiest spots in the country.

From mid-April until the end of July you can expect hot sunny days with a daily afternoon thunderstorm.

The rain usually rolls in around 2 pm and typically doesn’t last longer than a few hours. Even after the rain ends for the day it tends to stay hot here.

From August until December the weather can be a total guess. Sometimes you’ll have nice sunny days and other times you might have nonstop rain.

Keep in mind that this is also the least popular time to travel so there are fewer tourists and everything is cheaper.

Quepos Transportation

Getting to Quepos

The easiest way to get to Quepos is by flying into the San Jose airport and then renting a car. You will have a LONG drive if coming from Liberia.

From San Jose airport it will take you about four hours to get to Quepos. The entire drive is on well-maintained highways.

You will drive almost directly west and then down the coast past Jaco and then to Quepos.

Just a warning, the highway to the west is a toll road. If you do not have colones with you they also accept dollars.

We like to have a car because it gives us the flexibility of exploring more off the beaten path activities. Also, the downtown area where the national park is easily walkable, but a lot of good restaurants and beaches will require a car to get to.

We suggest using Adobe because they are the most trustworthy company in this country and we have partnered with them to get a 10% discount for you on your rental car

If you do not feel comfortable driving you can always take a shuttle.

Tip: A private shuttle is always a great option for easy transportation, especially if you are traveling with a group. Find out more here.

BOOK A PRIVATE SHUTTLE

Your other option is to fly. There is. a small airport in Quepos. In our opinion, Costa Rica Green Airways is the best option for this. 

Getting Around in Quepos

We like to have a car in Quepos just so we have more flexibility in our exploration and don’t need to stick entirely to tours. It’s always nice to be able to get around on your own. 

If you do not feel comfortable driving to Quepos, but would like a car for exploring while in the area we suggest renting a car for a few days while in Quepos and using a shuttle to get to and from Quepos.

To do this just select “Quepos/Manuel Antonio” as your car pick up location when you reserve your car with Adobe through us. In the comments section of the rental car reservation, you can specify that you need the car delivered to you at your hotel. Adobe will deliver it to you free of charge if you are within 12 miles of their office location.

After some bad rental car experiences with other companies, we have partnered with the only Costa Rica car company we fully trust, Adobe, to bring our readers a 10% discount. 

Things to Do in Quepos

Visit Manuel Antonio National Park – Manuel Antonio National Park is definitely the highlight in this area. We 100% suggest you visit since it is in such close proximity to Quepos. We have a complete guide to the park for more info.

Go on a Catamaran Tour – If you have ever wanted to enjoy the Pacific coast of Costa Rica in style, this boat tour is the place to do it. There are many catamaran tour options from trips which include snorkeling and sunset tours.

Take a Deep Sea Fishing Trip – The waters off of Quepos are great for deep-sea sport fishing. There are many experienced guides here who can help ensure you catch marlin, tuna, sailfish, and more!

Visit Nauyaca Waterfall – Nauyaca waterfall is located just south of Quepos in the town of Dominical. If you do not have a rental car it is possible to go here on a tour, but it is also completely possible to visit this spot on your own with a car. Expect an intense hike and swim under an impressive waterfall. Check out our complete Nauyaca guide for all the details.

Go White Water Rafting – It is possible to go whitewater rafting from Quepos on the Naranjo or Savegre River. The Naranjo is class III, IV, and V rapids. Stick to the Savegre if you are new to rafting and want class II and III rapids.

Try Parasailing – The beach next to Manuel Antonio is one of the few places in the country where we have seen parasailing. This is the perfect activity for those of you who are crazy about a unique adventure.

Go Mangrove Kayaking – The waterways around Isla Damas located near Quepos are perfect for kayaking with an experienced guide. Along your peaceful paddle, you may see several species of birds, sloths, monkeys, reptiles, and more!

Go Beach Hopping – Our personal favorite Pacific ocean beaches in this area are Playa Espadilla and Playa Biesanz located in Manuel Antonio. Both have white sand beaches and generally calm waters. Take a Surf Lesson – If you are new to surfing, this area will be good for you to try your hand at riding the waves. There are several beaches nearby with semi calm waters.

Go Zip Lining – In the hills above Quepos, there are a few different ziplining options. We think that a canopy tour is the perfect family-friendly activity that will get the adrenaline pumping.

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Quepos Hotels

Mid-Range Hotels

 Santa Juana Lodge & Nature Reserve – This hotel is on the upper end of the mid-range price bracket. It is located in the hills above Quepos and is just absolutely beautiful. There are only two hotel rooms and one two-bedroom house available on the property. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is included in the room rate. 

La Foresta Nature Resort – A nice clean, standard hotel. There is a pool on the property for guests to use and breakfast is included in the room rate. It is helpful to have a car if staying here because it is a bit out of downtown Quepos.

 

Budget Hotels

Hostel Plinio – A simple but dependable hostel with a pool, shared kitchen, lounge areas, game room, restaurant and breakfast included in the rate. They have 8-bed dorms as well as a few private rooms. 

Casa Quepos – Super basic but clean and affordable accommodation option. The guest rooms share a bathroom. 

 

Booking.com

Quepos Restaurants

High End

There is really only one high-end restaurant option in Quepos. For more high-end restaurants, check out Manuel Antonio

Gabriella’s Steak Seafood & PastaDelicious spot for fresh fish and seafood from lobster to mahi-mahi. This place looks out over the Quepos harbor. We suggest getting an early dinner to enjoy the sunset view. Also, during high season it is good to make a reservation here.

Mid-Range

De La Finca – The perfect place for tuna or red meat. Everything here tastes extremely fresh and of high quality. It looks like a simple restaurant from the outside, but I promise that the food is AMAZING!

Mira Olas – Amazing place to enjoy a meal with a view of the water. We suggest the ceviche and a cocktail.

Budget-Friendly

La Cocina – A great place for flavorful typical Costa Rican food and a very fair price. The portions are large and everything is excellent. 

Soda Sanchez – Great relaxed cafe that serves typical Costa Rican food as well as some standard restaurant fare. The prices are very reasonable.

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Quepos Travel Tips

– Quepos is not a bad spot to stay if you plan on visiting the Manuel Antonio National Park area AND want to take day trips down to places like Dominical or Uvita. If you plan on just visiting the national park and relaxing on beaches, you are better off staying in Manuel Antonio.

– This is very much a town and not extremely nature-y like Manuel Antonio. However, prices tend to be lower, and being right next to the Marina Pez Vela harbor is helpful if you plan on doing a lot of fishing or catamaran trips. Plus, the hills around Quepos have some great accommodations with nature views. 

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