Things to do in the surroundings of Playa Matapalo Costa Rica
Please note! These activities are most convenient to reach by car or taxi; it can be quite a challenge by public transportation.
Manuel Antonio National Park
One of the most visited parks in Costa Rica. Easy trails and easy wildlife spotting, but it can get crowded. Please note! Monday closed.
Marino Ballena National Park (Uvita)
A marine park which also covers some stunning beaches. Marino Ballena in Uvita is mostly famous for the whale watching tours. The humpback whales visit Marino Ballena two times a year. The most whales are spotted during the whale watching season which runs from August to November. In September and October you have a real big chance of seeing whales. The other whale watching season in Uvita runs from January to April. Also outside whale watching season it is a fun park to visit. Even boat tours can be nice outside whale watching season; you will probably see some dolphins and you visit a nice snorkel area with some coral.
Corcovado National Park
Corcovado national park might be one of the best nature parks in the world. Probably the best way to visit Corcovado is staying in the ranger station in the park and make the walk in from Carate. However, if you do not have that time, you can also visit this great national park with a day tour from Playa Matapalo Quepos Costa Rica. This tour starts at Sierpe where you go by boat to the National Park; the boat tour also crosses a great mangrove area.
Caño Island biological reserve
Caño Island is one of the best places in Costa Rica to dive and snorkel. You can take a great day tour from Playa Matapalo. The boat tour starts in Sierpe and will pass some stunning mangroves along the way.
Other nature parks
There are also some smaller private nature parks in the area of Playa Matapalo; like Hacienda Baru that offers some nice walks and a fun zip line tour.
The area is known for its stunning waterfalls of all types. El Diamante is with its 183 meter (600 ft) the highest waterfall of Costa Rica. There are many smaller waterfalls in the area that you can very easily access by car, like Dos Bocas (includes video). But maybe the nicest waterfall to visit when staying in Matapalo beach is Nauyaca waterfall. It is a stunning multi-level waterfall tucked away in the dense jungle. You can hike by yourself to the waterfall (4×4 car required) or take the horseback riding tour towards Nauyaca (no 4×4 car required).