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History of Quepos Costa Rica

The History of Quepos Costa Rica.jpg

Photo Credit: The Costa Rica News 

Quepos Costa Rica is known for being the place where the rainforest meets the sea.

It is located on a tropical inlet on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast in the Puntarenas Province. Quepos is the district and capital of Aguirre canton in Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica. The populations is about 22,000 people.

The city gets its name from the Quepoa Indian tribe (pronounced kay-po-uh).

They are a subgroup of the Boruca (Brunka). They originated from the back waters of the Amazon River which flows out of the Andes through Columbia. The Quepoa were known for the ferocity in battle. The village consisted of cane and thatch circular houses. They lived off fishing and agriculture and had their own culture and language. Genuine pearls can be found the waters here. The Quepoa would clutch a stone to his chest, roll off a boat and sink 70 to 80 feet to reach the oysters. The also used wooden decoys to trap sea turtles in long stone pens that can still be seen at low tide at the end of Playa Manuel Antonio. Unfortunately, during the Spanish colonization, diseases, warfare, and slavery took their toll. There were no pure blooded Quepoa left at the end of the 19th century.

The Franciscan Mission of San Bernadino de Quepos was established in 1571.

This mission introduced the first orange and other citrus trees to the Naranjo River region. The king of Spain sent Juan de Pizzaro to oversee the settlement of Central America and Costa Rica. Then the he sent Gil Gonzalez de Davila to convert and baptize the local people in 1522. He wanted to access the regions resources and wealth to finance his empire building efforts in the New World.  Gonzalez found the Quepoa a wealthy tribe with their pearls, gold and rich colored garments. The dye became extremely desirable and King Phillip issued an edict giving him a monopoly on the valuable product that they began importing.

The Quepoa discovered Manuel Antonio between 900 A.D. and 950 A.D. Ponce de Leon discovered it in 1591. Then is was discovered by British pirates who used it as a base until the mid-1700s. Then the banana farmers discovered it in the 1920s.

Quepos was originally known as a banana exporting port. Tourists would come in January, February and March. In the 1960s Gringos started showing up.  This included hippies, draft dodgers, sport fishing captains and surfers. In the late 1980s a DC-3 airline began to service the area. In the mid-1980s Quepos became much more talked about and more Americans started to settle there.

Quepos and Manuel Antonio has become a veritable mix of adventures. 

It is probably the most Americanized town in Costa Rica. Within the town you can find just about everything. The stores include clothing and book stores, gyms, yoga and Pilates classes, all kinds of restaurants, art galleries, souvenir shops, farmers Market, spas and more.  There is a beautiful and much loved Catholic Church. The town is also known to have many bars and a vivacious night life. Quepos is now a hugely popular destination for sport fishing enthusiasts, biologists, eco-tourists, surfers, families and people looking for relaxing beaches and adventures in the rain-forest.

Quepos is known for the best sport fishing in all of Costa Rica. 

It’s not only the gateway to Manuel Antonio National Park — it’s also a kickoff point for some red-hot offshore action. Enjoy our Costa Rica Sport fishing vacations & Fishing Charters in Quepos. We also have Sport Fishing Tournaments in Quepos Costa Rica! Enjoy the new Marina La Marina Pez Vela which offers top of the line fishing facilities and waterfront restaurants and shops.  The world record 57-pound Pacific Black Snook was landed in 1991 near Mogot, which is the largest of a dozen islands along the coast.


Seasonal Fishing in Quepos Costa Rica


  • Dorado – Can be found in late May through October, but frequently caught throughout the year.


  • Marlin –September through November.

  • Sailfish – Most abundant November to April, although still available the rest of the year.

  • Yellowfin Tuna – Available during Marlin and Sailfish season. Small tuna is found year-round.

  • Snook –March through May and September through November the fishing is good.

  • Wahoo – Available all year.

  • Snapper – Available throughout the year.


  • Roosterfish – Excellent availability year-round.


Quepos Costa Rica is the Gateway to Manuel Antonio National Park in Spanish the Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio.

The park is located on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica with as many as 150,000 visitors annually. It is the most visited park in Costa Rica. It is well known for its beautiful white sand beaches and hiking trails.

Manuel Antonio was listed by Forbes as being in the world’s 12 most beautiful national parks. 

There are 4 beaches located within the park, Manuel Antonio, Espadilla Sur, Teloro and Playita. The first 2 are separated by a tombolo or land bridge formed by sand accumulation. It is around an hour hike from Espadilla to Punta Caterdral (about 100 meters). Manuel Antonio and Espadilla Sur have tidal pools and snorkeling areas. This is a great area to go scuba diving, snorkeling, sea kayaking, mountain biking and hiking while enjoying the rich tropical wildlife.

Manuel Antonio National Park has 109 species of mammals and 184 species of Birds.

This area is known for both the three toed sloth and the two toed sloth, 3 monkey species including the mantled howler monkey, capuchin monkey and the endangered squirrel monkey. You may also see spiny tailed iguanas, common basilisk, green iguanas, white-nosed coati and other snake and bat species.  There are also 184 bird species including toucans, woodpeckers, potoos, motmots, tanagers. Dolphins and the occasional migrating whale can also be seen.

Tours available in the area:



So come and enjoy the rich history of Quepos Costa Rica, where the rainforest meets the sea.

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