Activities in Playa Matapalo, Costa Rica

Plenty of things to do in Playa Matapalo Quepos Costa Rica! Here follows a brief overview of activities in Matapalo beach. First the things to do at Playa Matapalo and second the things to do in the surroundings of Playa Matapalo.

#1 Things to Do at Playa Matapalo Quepos Costa Rica

Relax on the beach

The beach is the main attraction here; sunbath, swim, watch sunsets, make beach walks…

Surfing/ Body boarding

Playa Matapalo is a great place to surf and body board. Board rental is available and we also have an excellent surf instructor here in Playa Matapalo (he speaks both English and Spanish). So have some fun in the water, whether you are an experienced surfer or when trying it for the first time. Attention! This article is not about the famous surf beach ‘Cabo Matapalo’ which is also located in the Costa Rican province of Puntarenas. Cabo Matapalo lies further south from us on the Osa Peninsula. Our Playa Matapalo is located in the canton of Quepos (near the city with the same name) in Puntarenas Costa Rica.

Horseback riding tour

The horseback riding tour in Playa Matapalo is highly rated. It is much more than just sitting on the back of a horse, the guide will teach you many interesting things about the plants and wildlife of this stunning natural area.

Wildlife watching/ photographing

You do not have to go to a park and pay entrance; at Matapalo beach you can just walk around and spot awesome wildlife as; capuchin monkeys, two-toad sloths, tree-toad sloths, turtles, toucans, frogs, lizards and more… Also keep an eye on the ocean, dolphins are spotted frequently and during whale watching season it can happen that the whales pay Playa Matapalo a visit.


Yoga lessons are frequently given at Playa Matapalo Costa Rica.

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#2 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 (or impossible) 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. 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 or take the horseback riding tour towards Nauyaca.

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