First heading south on the inner Pacific coast, we find the beach towns of Jaco, Hermosa, Esterillos, Bejuco, Parrita, Quepos, Manuel Antonio. All of these towns have hotels, bed and breakfast, Cabinas, rental condos and luxury villas available for tourists and locals all year long. The most popular beach towns in the above group are Playa Jaco and Playa Hermosa, both popular with the surfing crowd and always listed as having some of the best bars and restaurants to party in along the Pacific coast. Part of the reason these are popular destinations is because they are so close to the metropolis of San Jose. Next are the beach areas of Esterillos, Bejuco, and Parrita. These are not as well known or as heavily traveled, however they are growing rapidly, in both tourism and residential investment opportunities.
Last, but not least is the Quepos, Manuel Antonio area. Manuel Antonio being the most recognized, because of the fabulous Manuel Antonio National Park that has become a symbol of ecological beauty. The Costa Rican Government has come to recognize this area as a main attraction for which vacationers come to Costa Rica. Quepos and Manuel Antonio, probably have the most restaurants and hotels for any single, tourism area in the entire country. This in no way detracts from the reason that this is one of the most requested vacation spots in Costa Rica. If you have the opportunity to visit Costa Rica, do not leave this beach destination off your "must see" list of attractions.
Now, if you have decided to take the ferry across the Bay of Nicoya to visit the southern Nicoya Peninsula, you will find a different type of tourist development. Until recently, this quiet, seldom traveled area did not see the kind of development that the other regions of the Pacific had been experiencing. Now, things are slowly changing. Landing in the port town of Paquera, you don't get the feeling things are much different than they were 5-10 years ago…travel a bit further and once you get to Tambor, you will begin to see the change. Turn left to head toward Montezuma, with its still small, unique tourist attractions, or go a bit further down the road, turning left, to head toward Mal Pais. Mal Pais boasts some of the best restaurants and exclusive hotels in the southern Nicoya Peninsula. This is not a place to miss, particularly if you love long walks on the beach, surfing or just watching some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world.