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Best Gay Beaches in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica (with maps!)

Manuel Antonio is one of the most popular gay destinations in Costa Rica so it should come as no surprise that it has its fair share of gay friendly and gay beaches.

In fact, Manuel Antonio’s pacific coast has been said to have some of the best beaches in the world boasting clear warm waters and long stretches of sand. [no_toc]

In this mini guide we will share 3 gay beaches in Manuel Antonio including (of course) a gay nude beach. So grab you best speedos and lets take a look!

For more on Manuel Antonio, check out our full ‘Gay Travel Guide to Manuel Antonio’.

Best Gay Beaches in Manuel Antonio

gay beach manuel antonio

Playa Espadilla, Manuel Antonio – Gay Beach

The main and most popular beach in Manuel Antonio is Playa Espadilla.

The south end of the beach meets the edge of the most visited national park in Costa Rica, the beautiful Manuel Antonio National park.

At this end of the beach, you with find plenty of shops, restaurants and many other tourists.

It is perhaps no surprise that the unofficial gay section of this beach can be found in the complete opposite direction at the north end which is much less crowded and away from all the restaurants and shops.

If you want to be specific, take a look at the image below. Typically, in peak season the gay beach goers gather to the left of the rock shown.

costa rica gay beach manuel antonio

Playa La Macha, Manuel Antonio – Gay Nude Beach

If you prefer a gay nude beach then head to Playa La Macha.

This is a much more private and secluded spot and like many gay nude beaches is a bit more of a challenge to get to!

Expect a fairly taxing 20 minute hike from town to this gay beach, it’s not as well-known so won’t always have crowds like Playa Espadilla although it is growing in popularity.

To get here, head North from the main town and turn left at Bongo Hostel, drive as far as you can and then you will have to walk down a hiking trail to the beach (see below).

gay nude beach manuel antonio

Playa Playitas, Manuel Antonio – Gay Beach

Our final well known gay hotspot and gay beach is Playa Playitas which is just across some rocks north of Playa Espadilla Norte.

In fact, Google Maps specifically marks the far end of Playa Playitas as a gay meeting place in Manuel Antonio.

The beach was previously clothing optional until new developments around the area popped up – if you want clothing optional it is best to head to Playa La Macha.

Be mindful not to get caught by the tides, the crossing at the rocks between Playa Espadilla Norte and Playa Playitas is only accessible at low tide so please be careful and plan ahead.

gay beach manuel antonio

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