I recently ran into a friend from Tamarindo in Dominical and he asked me if I liked living in Manuel Antonio more than in Tamarindo. Without a doubt, yes. Here’s why I prefer Manuel Antonio over Tamarindo…
- It’s more civilized with wearing seatbelts in cars and motorcycle helmets
- You don’t often see tourists. You do see a lot of Ticos (and those without shirts are just an added bonus).
- Quepos has more character (in my opinion). It’s a real Costa Rica town. There are people from all walks of life. And again, most of them are Ticos. Some of them are down on their luck…but again, it’s a real town. It’s not a picture perfect fantasy land. Where I lived in Sonoma County we had homeless people…that’s a part of any REAL town. It’s unfortunate, but true.
- We celebrate Tico holidays as a town.
- It’s got a few private beaches that most tourists don’t know about.
- My shoes are clean. When my friend Maruja visited me from Tamarindo, she commented that there was no dirt or dust on any of my shoes.
- It’s humid – why would I live in a tropical country if I wanted to experience a dry climate!
- The majority of the roads are paved. Muddy roads and river crossings are not a daily concern.
- To me, it feels like there are more long term businesses here. In Tamarindo, it seems like businesses are constantly opening up, shutting down and changing hands.
- Tamarindo was settled by foreigners, hence why there are very few Ticos who live in town and why holiday celebrations are focused more on US holidays than on Tico holidays (the topic of a future blog post).
- Sights and sounds of nature are all around in Quepos and Manuel Antonio. The chirp of the birds, the buzz of the cicadas and crickets and the squeaks from the 3 out of 4 types of monkeys who call Manuel Antonio home. Tamarindo has been so overdeveloped that very little nature exists there and except for the howlers, there are very few natural sounds.
- I’m not 18. Honestly, I got all the partying out of my system before I turned 21.
But that doesn’t mean that Manuel Antonio is perfect for everyone or that Tamarindo doesn’t have its good points. It does, after all, have an Automercado. Although we have a Mini Price Store / “Costco” in Quepos so technically those two cancel each other out.
What it really comes down to is I did not move here just so I could be around foreigners all the time. Living in Manuel Antonio is what’s best for me. It’s the experience and the life that I wanted to create in Costa Rica.