Sometimes, a great way to travel and see the world is by avoiding the most popular spots and looking for the road less traveled. Costa Rica is one of the most famous vacation destinations in the world, but many travelers are unaware that there are still plenty of hidden gems and old-world village charm left to be discovered in this amazing country.
Costa Rica is blessed with two coasts, one on the Pacific Ocean and the other on the Caribbean Sea. Warmly welcoming to LGBTQ travelers, Costa Rica’s unofficial queer capital is the small town of Manuel Antonio on the Pacific Coast. With a beach perfect for swimming, surfing, or just relaxing in the sun, the town lies just a few miles from the Manuel Antonio National Park, one of Costa Rica’s smallest parks but also one of its most popular thanks to its diverse abundance of wildlife, bird species, and gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean.
The town of Manuel Antonio can be reached overland by car in about two hours from the capital of San Jose or about 15 minutes’ drive from the airport in Quepos. The epicenter for queer culture in Manuel Antonio is the “Playa” (Spanish for “beach”) Espadilla Beach. Just a few steps from the town center, Espadilla Beach is a long stretch of pure white sand and picturesque palm trees. Another gay-friendly beach in Manuel Antonio is the Playitas (“Little Beaches”) Beach. Originally a clothing-optional beach, Playitas is still a great place to meet other people. For travelers wanting to sunbathe al fresco, head for Playa Machas. It’s a bit hard to find as you’ll have to follow the trail from Ronnie’s Restaurant, but it is a great place to relax and feel free.
Manuel Antonio Surf School and Camp
The Manuel Antonio Surf School and Camp (MASS) based in the town of Dominical on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast specializes in teaching surfing to beginners and experts alike. MASS uses a team of expert coaches to apply advanced wave motion and video capture techniques to help beginning surfers learn to master the art and expert surfers to take their skills to the next level. All of the MASS coaches are licensed professionals trained in expert water safety.
MASS warmly welcomes LGBTQ surfers and offers a number of complementary activities in the region, including horseback riding, canoeing, whitewater rafting, hiking, bird watching, stand-up paddling (SUP), trips to the nearby waterfalls, and deep sea fishing. MASS also organizes holistic activities to accompany surfing, including professional massage services and yoga performed right on the beach.
For reservations or any inquiries please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do our best to answer you as quickly as possible.
CR Phone: +506 8555 3470
US Phone: 603 801 0600