Manuel Antonio Beach - Gayest beach on Central America
Latin America was tough against the community in the past. Now, it is a hub for gay travellers to enjoy an array of activities. Homosexuality was discriminated against back in 1971 and, finally, in 2020, same-sex marriage became legal. There are several anti-discrimination laws in place, provision of goods and services and in all other areas (indirect discrimination, hate speech, etc).
San José has many gay-friendly areas and gays bars. The most recommended area in San José is Barrio Escalante, a colorful artistic area full of restaurants, cafes, and bars. This is a pretty safe area, and even when San José is entirely safe it is not recommended to walk alone at night. A very good thing about Costa Rica is that applications such as Uber are available at really affordable prices to move around the city. Costa Rica has some of the wildest clubs with pretty big artists on the weekends. Check out the list in the recommendations below.
In San José, there are some activities you can fill your day. If you’re looking for historic buildings, you can check out the Costa Rica National Theater that was built in 1897. In close proximity, you can take a 5-minute walk to the Museo de Jade, the Gold and Jade National Museum. There, you can take a look at the Costa Rican Native pieces of art and Costa Rica pre-Columbian history. Finally, in the middle of the city you can visit the Metropolitan Park La Sabana. It’s a very colourful place with outdoor activities such as walking in the middle of local animals and trees, row a little boat in the lagoon, or ride a horse in the park. This park is mostly visited by locals, then you can immerse yourself in the culture as well. Next to the park is the National Stadium of Costa Rica and the Museum of Costa Rican Art (Free Entrance).
Another gay area that you definitely need to visit is Manuel Antonio.
Manuel Antonio it is an amazing National Park where you can find not only the most beautiful beaches on the Costa Rican Pacific side but also a lot of animals, plants and incredible food. To get to Manuel Antonio there are many options: tour, bus or flight. You can find one-day tours if you don't have enough time. Buses are pretty cheap, around 18 USD for a round trip from San Jose to Manuel Antonio. The main company is TRACOPA (www.tracopacr.com) and it takes 3.5 hours (there are some stops for food and breaks). Flights can be bought on SANSA (flysansa.com), the round trip is around 100 USD and is an amazing flight where you can appreciate the beauty of the pacific coast from the sky.
Manuel Antonio National Park is in the middle of the Tropical Forest, the entrance to the park costs 16 USD, you are not allowed to take food with you inside the park, specifically unpacked food that can grab the attention of all the animals. You will need to bring a lot of water, fruits, sandwich but nothing artificial or snacks. Seriously, the park is full of funny animals like white-faced monkeys and local raccoons (pizotes), they already know how to steal food from tourists and they are all over the national park and beaches. When you get inside, there are a lot of trails and maps to walk, ranging from a 20-minute stroll to an hour-long walk. While travelling through the trails, you can observe and discover animals such as birds, deer, monkeys, frogs and many more. At the end of the trails, you will find a pristine beach decorated by shimmering rays and glistening waves. You will find yourself in the middle of nature. Remember to bring your sunscreen and enjoy the beautiful sunset in the Pacific Ocean.
In Manuel Antonio, there are some gay amenities. The gay beach is named La Playita (Little beach in Spanish) and is the prime location for the LGBT community. Manuel Antonio is a gay-friendly town, since many years ago a community of local and international gays has moved to live there, and now they are owners of many places. It is a beautiful place with a freedom and relaxed vibe.
Other interesting activities that you can try are parasailing (around 200 USD for a couple), you will be actually flying around Manuel Antonio beach. If you like intense activities, there are zip lines and canopies. Even if Manuel Antonio is a pretty small town, once there you’ll realize that is full of hotels, restaurants and cafes, you just need to pick one.
Before we book a holiday or a flight, check if we need a holiday visa or a transit visa (if we're not sure), just to have as little as possible unpleasant situation. The best you can check is on your embassy ( the origin of your passport), but other sites will also give you some ideas of how strong your passport is for free visa traveling; please check here.
There is a wide range of prices from expensive resorts to young hostels, the high season in Costa Rica is from December to April (dry season, no rain at all) and the low season goes from May to November (The rainy season can also be warm but with tropical rains in the afternoon mostly), hotel prices are higher in the dry season than in the rainy season.
There are some gay-only hotels in Manuel Antonio that would be perfect for you. Throughout the year, you can find pool parties, beach parties, and much more.
1. Villa Roca
There are some gay-friendly hotel options as well:
If the above hotels are not to your liking, check out the list below of some great websites where you can book your stays for your gay holidays. The first link is one of the best and most popular gay accommodation platforms:
Have a great stay!
During your visit, there is a bus from the National Park to Quepos (a town next to Manuel Antonio) it cost 500 colones (less than one USD). This bus is available every 15 minutes. You can use it as your transportation media to commute from your hotel to the beach, or a restaurant at a specific place.
The Capital of Costa Rica is San José, and the main International airport (SJO) is 30 minutes driving from the city.
- You can take a bus or shuttle directly from the airport to get to Downtown San Jose. The bus is called Tuasa Bus San Jose. It is also referred to as the Big Red Bus.
- To get to the Big Red Bus, you need to get out of the arrivals area of the airport. Cross the road and you’ll see the only building on that side which is also a parking garage. Go left and follow the road to get around the building. The bus stop should be on this main street.
Below are some of the best airlines which connect Europe to the World:
British Airways - U.K National Airline
2. Lufthansa - National German Airline
3. Air France - National French Airline
4. KLM - National Dutch Airline
5. SWISS - National Swiss Airline
Some of the most useful sites to book flights are:
Have a safe journey!
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