Playa La Macha
This is the private beach that is not driveable and is a 20-30 minute hike from The Villa Mariana, depending on physical activity level. We do not advise carrying too much on this hike considering it is uphill/downhill, sometimes overgrown and requires you to pay attention to your footing. It is a beautiful beach at low tide. Be sure to check the tide schedule before you set out so that you can enjoy some body surfing, swimming or a beach workout once you arrive. If the tide is high, you may not have any beach at all.
Directions: Once you leave the electric gate, go left on the paved street in front of the house. Take your first left onto a dirt road in between the fenceline to The Villa Mariana and the old Hotel Villa Teca (which is now for sale). You'll come to a split in the road just past our fenceline and you'll stay to the left. Follow this trail uphill and downhill until you see an area where the path veers to the right. Stay to the right. You'll notice an open area where you can look down at the ocean. You will have two options as you are looking at the ocean: 1) stay to the left and follow the path down to Playa La Vaca (a very rocky beach) or 2) stay to the right and follow the path down to Playa La Macha.
Located at the end of a jungle trail that starts on the side of a main road, it goes through a small opening in a fence and goes down a steep hill with loose pebbles. The 10-minute walking the trail down the hill is slippery so be careful. It is best to take a taxi to this beach considering you would have to leave your car unattended on the side of the road where the trail begins. Be sure to tell the taxi driver what time to pick you up on the main road as well. Consider the 10-minute walk and decide how much you would like to carry down to the beach with you.
Playa Manuel Antonio
Located inside of the Manuel Antonio National Park, this is one of the most popular beaches in the area. The park is $16 per person and is a beautiful walk to the beach with lots of wildlife and off-shoots of some pretty amazing hiking trails. It takes about 30 minutes to walk from the front of the park to the beach, but you'll encounter deer, iguanas, sloths and monkeys along the way. If you plan to have sandwiches or snacks in your backpack, keep them hidden at all times. The monkeys and raccoons will steal from your bags if they see any possibility of a snack in a side pocket of your bag. To keep the animals healthy, the park asks that you refrain from feeding them.
Keep in mind that the park is closed on Tuesdays and it closes at 4pm all other days. You will need to walk through the park to the front entrance to leave, so allow yourself at least 45 minutes prior to closing to start heading back to the front gates.
There are a few ways to get to this public beach called Playa Espadilla. If you want to drive on the beach and park your car, you'll want to ask our concierge how to get down to the beach (you'll need a 4x4). Be sure to check the tide schedule first and go doing during low tide or when the tide is going out. The beauty of going to this side of the public beach is that you can load up your car with coolers of food and drinks, bring your own chairs, beach games and anything else that you'll need for the beach. It ends up all being within reach and there is no cost to do this.
The "other" side of Playa Espadilla (where you do not drive your car on the beach) is very simple to get to. A taxi can take you. If you would like to drive, you'll head to the right just outside of our gate and then turn right on the main road into Manuel Antonio. Follow this road until you begin to see cars parked on either side of the road across from the beach and find parking (you may need to throw a couple of dollars at someone that claims they are watching cars). There are plenty of vendors selling fried plantains and drinks and renting loungers and umbrellas to tourists. There are also restaurants and souvenir shops within a short walk from this side of the beach. As long as you set your towels or rent lounge chairs close to the street where you parked, it will be an easy walk with all of your belongings to this beach.