Dining opportunities exist for all tastes, from the charm of a local family diner to the flair of more exquisite restaurants. For the home chef, grocery shopping options are within a few minutes drive. And always, fresh fruits and vegetables are as close as your nearest roadside stand!
Beach-lovers will enjoy a wide range of nearby beaches. The quiet beach towns of Esterillos, Playa Bejuco and Playa Palo Seco (each a 15-30 minute drive from Alazan) offer beachfront lodging and dining along the quiet sandy shores of its eco-award winning Blue Flag beaches. Jaco is 45 minutes north of Alazan and is well-known for its surfing.
Manuel Antonio is one of Costa Rica’s most famous National Parks and is a short hour south of Alazan. You can find secluded beaches both within and outside the boundaries of the park.
On the way to Manuel Antonio, you will go through Quepos – a substantial port town with lots of shops, a marina, a regional hospital, and an airport.
Adventure-seekers will love the convenience of nearby attractions such as canoeing, river rafting, zip-line tours, canopy tours, waterfall hikes and swimming, horseback riding, bird watching, nature conservation preserves, mangrove estuary kayak tours, botanical and butterfly gardens, and much more.
Here are a few highlights of popular places and activities within a 20-60 minute drive of Alazan:
- Endless beaches and coastline – Playa Palo Seco, Playa Bejuco, Playa Bandera, and Esterillos Este, Centro, and Oeste are all magnificent beaches and all are within a 20-30 minute drive of Alazan. Esterillos Oeste is popular with surfers and is one of the only beaches in Costa Rica to have lifeguards on duty.
- Iguana Chocolate Farm tour – Just up the Parrita River valley from Alazan, this cute little farm offers tours and sells a variety of cacao products.
- Rainmaker Conservation Project – The Rainmaker Conservation Project that offers canopy tours and lots of wildlife.
- Rancho Mastatal – Just 40 minutes up the valley from Alazan, Rancho Mastatal offers courses in sustainable building, bamboo construction, biodigesters, and Permaculture.
- Villa Vanilla – This spice farm outside of Quepos offers fabulous tours for those who love food or have an interest in biodynamic farming.
- Manuel Antonio (the town) – Manuel Antonio is a small, world renowned resort community that features fabulous restaurants and bars but thankfully, no high-rises! Enjoy sunset cocktails and dinner at any one of a number of excellent eateries. There are several dance bars as well for those who haven’t burned themselves out already at the beach.
- Manuel Antonio (the National Park) – This is one of Costa Rica’s smallest yet most famous national parks. For good reason: This park is jam packed with wildlife (almost 300 species of mammals and birds), hiking trails, primary and secondary rainforest, and white sand beaches. In 2011, Manuel Antonio was listed by Forbes as one of the world’s 12 most beautiful national parks.
- Quepos Farmers Market – Quepos has a fun farmers market on Saturdays. Skip the grocery stores and buy your product here (or at the many roadside stands)
- There are many, many other activities in the area. Here’s an abbreviated list from http://www.puertoquepos.com/costa-rica/quepos.html:
- Mangrove Boat/Kayak Tours
- Deep Sea Fishing Tours
- Guided Mountain Bike Tours
- Horseback Waterfall Tour
- Sea Kayaking
- Jet Ski Safari
- Surfing Lessons
- Whale/Dolphin Watch Tours
- Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
- Zip Lining