Costa Rica

Quepos/Manuel Antonio Area

Manuel Antonio National Park, on the Pacific coast due south of San Jose, is a beloved destination for its easy access to Espadilla South Beach and Escondido Beach. While the park trails are notoriously crowded (Manuel Antonio has experienced some serious park-capacity issues in recent years), there is great running here if you can beat the crowds. Add in the Quepos Malecon and Espadillo Beach, and you’ve got some of the best running spots in Puntarenas province. Area Tide Chart

Quepos Malecon: The Malecon, or boardwalk, along the waterfront in Quepos is one of the few multi-use paths in Costa Rica where runners can rack up some mileage on a paved surface without worrying about traffic. This 1.6 km (1 mile) walkway spans from the tourist information center south to Parque Nahomi. Not only are there great views along the way, Nahomi has some exercise equipment so runners can get in their strength training. MAP

Carretera: The Carretera (618) is the main road that stretches for ~7 km between Quepos and Manuel Antonio. It’s rather narrow, and busy during the daytime, but there are a few stretches of sidewalk which make it OK for running. MAP

Espadilla Beach: Tucked into a cove between Quepos Point and Cathedral Point, Espadilla beach is a beautiful 2 km of compact sand dotted with rocky islands and lush greenery. While it’s a popular sunbathing beach, there is plenty of space at low tide for some leisurely laps across the sand. MAP

 

Manuel Antonio National Park: The trails of Manuel Antonio National Park are heavily trafficked, but they are also in great condition for those who can hit them for an early morning run. The most obvious tour through the park is a 3.5 km (2.2 mile) loop departing from the visitors center, heading south along the coast to Cathedral point, past Manuel Antonio beach, and returning north through the hills.  MAP