Food and Drink in Quepos
Expect to find lots of rice and bean dishes, local fruits and vegetables and seafood. Ceviche is popular, as is casado -- a plate of rice, beans, a choice of meat and salad, sometimes accompanied by plantains. When the heat gets too much, cool down with a smoothie made from local fruits, like pineapple, watermelon or papaya, or head to Pops (at the corner of Avenue Central and Calle 4, 506 2296 2929) for local ice cream.
Dos Locos: If you're looking for a bite in downtown Quepos, try Dos Locos for yummy Mexican food like tacos and burritos, as well as casados. From the main road from the pier, hang a right when you get to the grocery store and walk one block; the restaurant is on the opposite corner.
El Avion: For beautiful jungle and ocean views and a lovely breeze, stop at El Avion (506 2777 3378) at the top of the hill. It's based around a Fairchild C-123 cargo plane (with a history in the Iran-Contra scandal), but mostly is a gorgeous open-air venue, where everything -- from the veranda to the tables and chairs -- is made of wood. The menu is varied with plenty of seafood, grilled meat, rice dishes, pasta and sandwiches. It's located at kilometer #5 on the road to Manuel Antonio Park.
Marlin Restaurant: The two-story, open-air Marlin Restaurant (506 2777 0340) is located across from the beach and down the road from the national park. It's a convenient place to escape the sun and grab a bite to eat; the casual venue serves plenty of fish, casados and sandwiches.
Beaches in Quepos
There is a beach across from downtown Quepos, but most locals and visitors take the bus to the nicer beaches inside and outside of Manuel Antonio National Park. Playa Espadilla, the public beach outside the park, is quite long, and vendors offer chair and umbrella rentals, massages, parasailing, surf lessons and other water sports. Restaurants and shops are easily accessed across the street. The beach at Manuel Antonio National Park is less crowded, but you have to pay the park entrance fee to gain access.
Don't Miss in Quepos
Manuel Antonio National Park: One of the most popular national parks in Costa Rica, Manual Antonio is located over the hill and about a 20-minute ride from Quepos. Hike the trails to look for rainforest birds and animals or enjoy the white sand beach within the park at the edge of the jungle. You can book a guided tour through your ship or independently; otherwise, it's easy to go on your own. It costs $15 to enter; you can hire a guide at the entrance for roughly $40 per group if you'd like an escort. It's recommended to allow three hours for a guided walk (though you can opt for a shorter tour). The park entrance is the last stop on the Quepos-Manuel Antonio bus route.
Sport Fishing: Quepos is one of the best places in the world for sport fishing, and plenty of boats will take aspiring fishermen (and women) out to try their luck catching marlin, sailfish and tuna, among other fish. Tours are recommended (make sure you are in good physical condition), and you may have to purchase a fishing license separate from your boat charter.
Canopy tours: If you're going to zipline anywhere in the world, Costa Rica is one of your best bets; ziplining through the lush jungle is a fantastic experience. Tours leave from Quepos to nearby adventure parks. While most advertise the chance to see wildlife, don't be surprised if you're speeding down steel cables too quickly to notice camouflaged animals in the trees.