Playa Mantas is one of those little hidden gems that most tourists don’t know about. I caught word of it from a friend and decided to make the 1.5 hour drive from Grecia for some beach therapy with my furry little beach bum to check it out.
Frequented mostly by locals, this beautiful beach lies 5 km off the Costanera Sur on a rugged dirt road that eventually becomes paved as it passes by Hotel Arenas en Punta Leona. It is just 15 km north of Playa Herradura, home to Los Suenos Resort & Marina, and 17 km north of the popular surf town of Jacó. Its location makes it an easy getaway if you’re coming from San José area.
Playa Mantas has calmer water for swimming than some of the other beaches in the area and a long expanse of beautiful sand. High tide doesn’t leave a lot of beach, so you might want to check out the tide schedule before visiting.
Like all beaches in Costa Rica it is a public beach and you’ll likely find many four-legged companions frolicking in the sand and surf. This was little Tulie’s first time at the ocean so she was pretty excited about this new adventure!
If you’re driving, you can find it easily using Waze by entering “Parqueo Playa Mantas“. Heading from San José or the north, you will follow the Costanera Sur highway heading South toward Jacó, past Tarcoles (where you can stop at the bridge and see the crocodiles). When you see the restaurants on the ocean side called “La Ostra” or “Restaurante Nimar” you will need to take the next road on the right. The road is dirt and rough at the beginning but as it gets closer to the coast it becomes paved as you reach Condominio Villa Leona. If anyone asks where you are going you can simply tell them Playa Mantas. Once you approach the beach there is a manned parking lot where you can park for 2,000 colones (about $3.50 US).
You can also get to Playa Mantas on the bus from San José heading to Jacó but it is a 5 km walk from the highway to the beach, so it is best to drive.
Once you arrive, there is a short walk from the parking lot to the beach but it is fairly flat and easy to maneuver.
If you’re visiting Playa Mantas during low tide, be sure to check out the sprawling white sand of Playa Blanca, just a short walk across the southern point.
Relax, kick back and enjoy!