I had long wanted to go to Costa Rica but always figured I should go to attend some yoga retreat, vegan cooking workshop, or beachside music festival. However, due to some fantastic flight deals and a week free, I decided to just go. I’m so glad I did, as it really is a special place worthy of many repeat visits.
I started in San Jose where I met up with a fellow vegan yoga enthusiast for a yoga class, lunch at a vegan restaurant, and a lot of walking and talking. We had a great day walking all over the San Jose city center.
We ate at a restaurant called Mantras veggie restaurant and later had a drink at a restaurant in a trendy area. I enjoyed wandering around San Jose and checking out the local fruit markets.
The next day I took a San Jose Guided City Bus Tour of San Jose and saw some sites including museums, the theatre, the stadium, and various neighborhoods.
San Jose to Quepos Puntarenas takes almost 3 hours and 164 km. The bus tickets are less than $20 US and the bus station is located in central San Jose.
There are frequent buses that leave daily and weekly as Quepos is a bustling town on its own, but also the gateway to Manuel Antonio National park.
You have some options. Quepos is a bustling small city that feels more like a town. As much as it caters to tourists this is a community with regular services, schools, and businesses.
I have to mention the schools because they have an incredible marching band that happened to be practising one evening. It was so much fun to dance along on the street to their catchy tunes.
Aside from the main commercial area there is also a marina with nice shops and restaurants.
I stayed at a hotel with really cute rooms and a swimming pool that was on the edge of Quepos at the bottom of the road heading up to Manual Antoniao.
So, how did I get I couand be close to restaurants, services, and the bus, and the marina or you can head straight up to Manual Antonio National Park.
There you will find a tourist, holiday maker paradise. From luxury hotels, budget backpackers, to holiday homes, it’s a true vacation oasis.
There is a commercial area and a handful of restaurants but it’s also where you will find the entrace to the National Park.
I recommend taking some guided tours of the Manuel Antonio National Park. You will see monkeys jumping around everywhere as sloths high up in the trees. As well, you will see some impressive birds, lizards, and large worker ants carrying materials back and forth.
Tips! Make sure to bring water! At least, when I went, there was no where to purchase water in the park…and believe me, it gets hot!
Day trip to the Arenal volcano area, wildlife rescue center, or the Monteverde cloud forest.
Another option: San Jose has some great Vegan and Vegetarian restaurants.I highly suggest grabbing a coffee, a map, and wandering around the city in search of vegan/veg restaurants. You won’t be disappointed.
Check out Happy Cow San Jose, and Happy Cow Manuel Antonio for veg options. It seems there is only one vegan restaurant in Manual Antonio, but a good selection of places with veg options.
As well, I ate in Quepos a few times and found some great good. A lot of places offer a traditional breakfast that consists of rice and black beans, fruit, and veggies. Enjoy the Pura Vida!