This scene may look like a plane landed in the middle of a rain forest but it’s actually El Avion. A restaurant that’s built into a US cargo aircraft with a cliff-side patio that spans two levels. It’s located on the main road in the beach town of Manuel Antonio.
The story is that this is the sister plane of the C-123 which was shot down during the scandalous Iran-Contra Affair in the 1980’s during the Regan Administration. (You can read the full back story here.)
I’ll have to say this is my favourite restaurant in Costa Rica! We ate here 6 times during our one month stay. The dining experience is truly unique — when can you grab a cold beer and just chill in the cockpit right?! But what I enjoyed the most was coming for an early dinner (around 5:30pm) and catching the sun set over the ocean.
The food is tasty with a large menu featuring classic American fares like steaks and pastas as well as, traditional Costa Rican dishes. As a seafood lover, I recommend this grilled shrimp and rice plate or the yellowfin tuna salad. Vegetarians/vegans would appreciate the delicious black bean burger or veggie sandwich.
They also have a kids menu. I ordered one of these yummy strawberry pineapple daiquiris and of course, CJ wanted one too (sin alcohol)!
Next time you are in Costa Rica, make a layover at El Avion for food under its wings or drinks in the fuselage pub. It’s one of the most photographed planes in the world! And if you wish to further enhance your jetset lifestyle, check into this cockpit cottage.