Manuel Antonio as a Gay Destination

Beautiful Manuel Antonio on Costa Rica's west coast is one of the country's major tourist destinations. The stunning beach allows travellers the opportunity to chill out, while the nearby national park is filled with native South American animals, including sloths and howler monkeys, just waiting to say, 'hola,' to foreign visitors. Apart from the main attractions, Manuel Antonio is also one of Central America's principle gay-friendly destinations. On offer are dedicated gay hotels, gay bars and a gay beach.

The Beaches
The main beach at Manuel Antonio, called Playa Espadilla, is at the end of the winding road when coming from Quepos. The beach curves beautifully around two headlands and monkeys are often seen frolicking in the trees above. The dedicated gay beach, Playa Playita, is to the right of the main beach and is reached by climbing over the large rocks. It's always best to check the times of tides – so that you're not trapped on the other side.

The Nightlife
Liquid is the most popular gay bar – it's located near the main beach. In nearby Quepos, visitors might enjoy Sugar and the gay-friendly club, Disco Arco Iris. Republik Lounge is one of the largest mixed clubs in Quepos and is worth checking out.


While most mainstream hotels in Manuel Antonio will welcome gay and lesbian visitors in the same way as straight guests, there is a conservative element to the country – so modesty is best.

Hotel Villa Roca
A short distance to the national park, Hotel Villa Roca is a gay-owned resort operating exclusively for the gay market. The facilities on offer include a pool, Jacuzzi and clothing optional spa. There are also two generous sun decks and Wi Fi internet connection. Interestingly, rather than having a door sign that says, 'please don't disturb,' the hotel proudly has signs that read, 'please disturb.'

Arenas Del Mar Beach Resort
The Arenas Del Mar is not necessarily strictly gay, however it does offer direct access to the gay beach and therefore by default is ultra gay-friendly. On offer are beautifully designed rooms, many with stunning views of the surrounding natural beauty. For the ultimate in pampering enjoy a massage or facial at the on-site Las Brisas Spa.

View our Manuel Antonio accommodation options.

Talk to a travel expert and personalise your trip

Talk to a Travel Expert

Our consultants:

  • Are based in New Zealand
  • Can answer your questions about fare types and inclusions
  • Can find exclusive packages to save you money

How can we help with your travel enquiry?

By proceeding I agree to Flight Centre's Terms of Use and my personal information being handled in accordance with Flight Centre's Privacy Policy.