Manuel Antonio is known as the gay mecca of Costa Rica.
Manuel Antonio is on the pacific coast of Costa Rica and best known for the beautiful Manuel Antonio National Park. It’s a relatively small seaside town, immersed in lush jungle and with lots of of adventure activities.
The locals consider Manuel Antonio as a gay mecca by accident. It was not planned to open several gay hotels but it just happened by coincidence and so did the high population of LGBT tourists.
The area is a popular destination for foreign tourists looking for sun and nightlife combined in there vacation.This combined with the fact it is a truly beautiful place, makes it a must visit while you are in Costa Rica.
Manuel Antonio is on pacific side of Costa Rica approximately 80km south west of San Jose. As a small seaside town it is safe to walk around or just take local buses or taxis.
Manuel Antonio as a relatively small seaside town immersed in lush jungle the main sightseeing is lots of adventure activities. This combined with the fact it is a truly beautiful place, makes it a must visit while you are in Costa Rica.
Bars & Clubs
It has a few gay bars, gay Sunday events, gay tour operators and even a gay sailing trip. Many of the businesses are cafe style bars catering for LGBT customer on holiday or locals. Majority of the businesses in the area can be considered to all be LGBT friendly.
Cafes & Restaurants
The cost of different food is good. From cheap “cantinas” or small cafes to family restaurants called ' Sodas' to more up market healthy choice of places to eat.
All the cafes and restaurants in Manuel Antonio are LGBT friendly service a variety of local coffees, drink and food as well as Italian, Pasta, Pizza along with cocktails and wines!
Playa La Macha
The main gay nude beach is Playa La Macha. It is in a secluded area and to find the beach take a left just past the Bongo Hostel and then another immediate left. Once you reach the top of the hill to find a walking trail which you follow. The path will lead you to a T junction and at this point you go right and after a short walk you will reach the beach. Walk past the clothing optional sign and turn to the left if you want to sub bath in the nude.
Playa Espadilla is Manuel Antonio's largest and a very popular crowded beach. It has the National Park and restaurants and stores at south end and surfing & Playa Playita at the north end. The north end is much generally less crowded.
Close to the National Park you can find food & drinks, plus a wide variety of beach rentals, such as chairs, sun umbrellas, surf boards and parachute rides.
Most LGBTQ people gather away from the park at the far north end of this beach close to 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. There are the occasional peddlers will offer you drinks and snacks. At the weekend, Easter, Christmas and other holidays it can become very crowded with guys partying.
Playa Playitas is another gay gathering point located 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. Crossing the rocks to Playita or the rocky point can be dangerous at high tide. It is therefore recommended to only cross or return at low tide. Check the tide times before you go to not get stuck.
Main LGBT Events
These is a 'pride on the beach' in July at Manuel Antonio which is very popular with the local LGBT community and foreign tourists.