The big attractions to Manuel Antonio are its idyllic beaches, park,  and scenery. Manuel Antonio's beaches have been rated among the best  in the world. The Pacific Ocean water is very warm, clear and clean.  Surf is usually very moderate, although as with all ocean beaches one  must beware of rip currents.

The main beach is  Playa Espadilla and it is the largest, several kilometers long. Playa  Playita is at the far north end of the main beach. Other smaller more  secluded beaches include Playa Beisant, Playa La Macha, Playa Vacas,  and Playa Doctor's. In the National Park you will find Playa Manuel  Antonio and Playa Escondido. 

During day trips  from Manuel Antonio you can encounter many isolated beaches at Playa  Matapalo, from Baru national Reserve to Dominical, and Playa Ballena  near Uvita.

The Gay Nude Beach, Playa La Macha

If seclusion and loosing their tan lines is what you want then Playa La Macha (9.41592, -84.1646)  may suit you. 


To  find this beach, from the main road walk or drive in from the  road, in from Tico Tico and toward the ocean, go past the restaurant on your left and take the next left at Bongo Hostel, then take an immediate left. Once you get to the top of the hill, then a walking trail begins (some people take a taxi to here). The path hits a T and go right, you will then get to the beach. Walk past the clothing optional sign and take the walkway to the left.

Playa Espadilla

Playa Espadilla is Manuel Antonio's largest and most crowded beach.  It has the National Park and restaurants and stores at south end and  surfing and Playa Playita at the north end. The north end is much less  crowded.

Near the National Park  you can find food  and drinks, plus a wide variety of beach rentals, such as chairs, sun  umbrellas, surf boards, parachute rides, and seadoos. 

The Gay End of Espadilla Beach

 Most LGBTQ people gather away from the park at the far north end of the  beach (9.39587, -84.15774),  just to the left of the large rock, or in  front of the surfing area. There are no restaurants or services at this  end of the beach and it is far less crowded than near the park. From  time to time, a few regular peddlers will offer you drinks and snacks.  During weekend, Christmas, Easter, and other holidays it can become very  crowded with gay partiers. 

Playa Playitas

Playa Playitas (9.39703, -84.16425) has long been known as another  gay gathering point. Playitas can be found by walking north past the end  of Playa Espadilla and crossing over two sets of rocks. Gay people  typically meet at the far end of this beach. At one time Playitas was a  clothing optional beach, but since a hotel opened on the beach nudity is  rare. If loosing your tan lines is a must, then some people now go past Playitas and past the point over the far rocks to a nude point (9.39642,  -84.16676) or go to Playa La Macha.

Crossing the  rocks to Playita or the rocky point can be dangerous at high tide. It is  recommended to only cross or return at low tide. Check the  tide times before you go.

Area Beaches

Other beaches can be reached via a short drive including:

Marino  Ballena National Park (9.1641, -83.75949), in Uvita. A park worth  seeing with natural secluded beaches. 

Baru National Reserve (9.26215,  -83.88027) where you can walk for miles on undisturbed beach  while viewing wildlife and birds.