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Manuel Antonio vs Montezuma/Mal Pais

Germantown, Maryland
8 posts
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Manuel Antonio vs Montezuma/Mal Pais

Hi there!

I am traveling to Costa Rica withing a couple of months. After visiting the Arenal and Monteverde area, we'll have 3/4 days for the beach. We'll have our own rental car.

Our plan was to visit Montezuma/Mal Pais, but it seems like it might be a little to much, adding the Ferry and having to go back to San Jose the day before the departure.

What would be your recommendation? I do not know what the differences might be between the two regions.

Thanks a lot!!

San Jose, Costa Rica
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3,528 posts
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1. Re: Manuel Antonio vs Montezuma/Mal Pais

I would go to Manuel Antonio, if has a much niccer beach and a rainforest. The National park hike in Manuel Antonio is a must, beautiful beaches. A lot of nature activities can be done in Manuel Antonio like zip lines, Boat or Kayak to the Damas Island Mangrove, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, coastal kayak etc. Plus you will cut your driving time a lot by not having to take the ferry back and forward, also since you travel in high season you need to get in line at the ferry, you need to arrive one or 2 hours earlier to ensure you get space on the next ferry.

Uvita, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Uvita, Ojochal
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2,649 posts
44 reviews
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2. Re: Manuel Antonio vs Montezuma/Mal Pais

You will find the Southern Pacific a lot greener and lush in Feb & March this time of year. Lot of rainforests. Manuel Antonio is a big Tourist destination and a lot more crowded than Montezuma. Other option is Dominical / Uvita area a further hour from Manuel Antonio, same if not more activities like whale watching, Cano Island & Corcovado day tours, Marine Park but a lot less crowded, lots of wildlife and rainforests.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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46,303 posts
35 reviews
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3. Re: Manuel Antonio vs Montezuma/Mal Pais

Dear Elias...

If you have the time and budget...go to Maontezuma , Mal Pais and Santa Tereza...for some reason the rich and famous are miving there...it is just out of this world...a perfect day at any of those beaches...that is exactly what it is PERFECT!

Please ELIAS do not take me wrong I have had been visiting Manuel Antonio area for well over 40years...even when we use to get by boat from Puntarenas or mata de Limon...it is a lovely area...but never as Santa Tereza...Mal Pais and Montezuma...if we talk about the natural views...and beaches...

If you like nice green areas..UVITA beach about 1 hour from Manuel Antonio...check TYKIVILLAS lovely place great owners...incredible views!

By the way I really like that are of Memphis!

roadadvisor

Edited: 10 November 2011, 18:53
Bermuda
Destination Expert
for Bermuda
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3,373 posts
28 reviews
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4. Re: Manuel Antonio vs Montezuma/Mal Pais

i would vote for montezuma. manuel antonio is nice, but it is crowded! when everywhere else in cr is quiet, ma is packed. i think ma is a must visit town, but montezuma gives more bang for the buck in cheaper accommodations, things to do and see and good eats if that's important to you. if you're based in montezuma, mal pais and sta teresa are a slow and beautiful 45 minute drive away, so you could do all three areas in one go.

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
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5,360 posts
132 reviews
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5. Re: Manuel Antonio vs Montezuma/Mal Pais

Depends what you want. If you want laid back, more natural beach vibe do Montezuma (we loved Ylang Ylang beach resort). If you want to see monkeys and have a wide variety of dining/lodging options, Manuel Antonio.

Of course, we saw plenty of monkeys in Montezuma, and had nice beach time in Manuel Antonio, so it's a matter of degrees.

Michigan
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90 posts
4 reviews
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6. Re: Manuel Antonio vs Montezuma/Mal Pais

I will be doing both, so you can ask me in about 6 weeks when I get back! I'll be spending twice as much time in Mal Pais for the reasons mentioned (less crowded/touristy, better bang for the buck, more natural & laied back). We'll see...

Germantown, Maryland
8 posts
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7. Re: Manuel Antonio vs Montezuma/Mal Pais

Thank you guys. Hope you have a great trip Chazzzz. Hopefully you can give me some good advice.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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46,303 posts
35 reviews
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8. Re: Manuel Antonio vs Montezuma/Mal Pais

Dear Elias...

You are WELCOME...

Chazz please enjoy our country as much as we do...write a report once you are back...

roadadvisor

Germantown, Maryland
8 posts
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9. Re: Manuel Antonio vs Montezuma/Mal Pais

Another question that just cross my mind, in case we decide to go to Mal Pais/Montezuma area.... we'll be leasving on a Saturday at 2.40pm, meaning we would have to be out of the peninsula by Friday night... where would you stay in the Puntaneras/Jaco area?

Germantown, Maryland
8 posts
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10. Re: Manuel Antonio vs Montezuma/Mal Pais

Sorry, I forgot something else.... when trying to decide between Mal Pais/Montezuma or Manuel Antonio, what we are looking for is the most "tropical" kind of beaches. I am from Spain, we have some good beaches over there, but not palm trees or super clear water, exactly what I am looking for :)

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