Beach + Island

World's Sexiest Beaches 2009

by Colleen Clark

Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica

The turn-on: The air hangs heavy under a dense jungle canopy as she peels off first one layer, then another. She's down to her bikini top before a glint of sapphire breaks through the wall of green. You both emerge from the trees onto a powder-white beach framed by knotted bluffs and churning surf. This is Manuel Antonio, a national park on the southern coast of Costa Rica, edged by the Pacific Ocean. Here, howler monkeys and iguanas, macaws and armadillos, populate the thick rain forest, and boho beach bums trade backpacking stories over Imperial beers at night.

Hot bodies: Free-spirited hippie chicks and Aussie surf bums mix with trustafarians in Tracy Feith resortwear.

Bed down: After a night rumpling your 500-thread-count sheets at Gaia Hotel & Reserve, a modernist hilltop hideout set in a private 14-acre reserve, have some morning-after java on your private balcony overlooking the rain forest and ocean.

Next: Love on the Croatian Riviera >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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