Playa Playitas has long been known as another gay gathering point. After the gay friendly portion of Manuel Antonio's main beach where serious surfers hang out, Playitas can be found by walking north past the end of Playa Espadilla and crossing over two sets of rocks. Gay people typically meet at the far end of this beach. At one time Playitas was a clothing optional beach, but since a hotel opened on the beach nudity is rare. If loosing your tan lines is a must, then some people now go past Playitas and the point over the far rocks or go to Playa Manchas.
Crossing the rocks to Playita or the rocky point can be dangerous at high tide. It is recommended to only cross or return at low tide. Be sure to check the tide times before you go.
If seclusion is what you want then Playa Manchas may suit you. People have been known to loose their tan lines there. To find this beach, from the main road walk or drive to Ronnie's restaurant and keep going until the road ends. The first beach is Playa Vacas, then to the right, as the trail goes farther, you will find Playa Manchas. Another way is to turn off the main road from Tico Tico, drive or walk toward the ocean and take the first left, at the y-intersection take the left route going down. Then go to the very end of the road at the top of the hill. After this point, the road is not passable by car. Walk to the beach at the end of the path, keep right.
The big attractions to Manuel Antonio are its idyllic beaches, park, and scenery. Manuel antonio's beaches have been rated amoungst the best in the world. The Pacific Ocean water is very warm and the water is very clear and clean. Surf is usually very moderate, although as with all ocean beaches one must beware of rip currents.
The main beach is Playa Espadilla and it is the larges, several kilometers long. Playa Playita is at the far north end of the main beach. Other smaller more secluded beaches include Playa Beisant, Playa Mancha, Playa Vacas, and Playa Doctor's. In the National Park you will find Playa Manuel Antonio and Playa Escondido.
During day trips from Manuel Antonio you can encounter many isolated beaches at Playa Matapalo, from Baru national Reserve to Dominical, and Playa Ballena near Uvita.
Playa Espadilla is Manuel Antonio's largest and most crowded beach. It has the National Park and restaurants and stores at one end and surfing and Playa Playita at the other end - the north end.
Near the National Park you can find food and drinks, plus a wide variety of beach rentals, such as chairs, sun umbrellas, surf boards, parachute rides, and seadoos.
The Gay End of Espadilla Beach
Most gay people gather away from the park at the far north end of the beach, just to the left of the large rock, or in front of the surfing area. There are no restaurants or services at this end of the beach and it is far less crowded than near the park. From time to time, a few regular peddlers will offer you drinks and snacks. During weekend, Christmas, Easter, and other holidays it can become very crowded as the picture above shows.