Puerto Quepos drapes itself across a tropical inlet surrounded by primary rainforest. The village center is a delightful six-block square of restaurants, bars, hotels, bakeries, art galleries and gift shops, all fronted by the main beach and sportfishing fleet. Quepos is growing quickly yet maintains many of its sleepy and humble beginnings. Quepeños are great celebrators of life and seem to make dancing in the streets a local pastime. The high season runs through the drier months of December to April and explodes during the Festival del Mar, a month long party held each February that features concerts, sporting events, parades and a street carnival with dancers from across the country. Quepos fills to the brim with families, surfers, backpackers, ecotourists, blissed-out scientists and gay jet-setters, all as colorful and intriguing as the flora and fauna surrounding the village. The ever-friendly locals take it all in stride, going out of their way to make sure everyone has a good time. Tourism is now the area's leading employer as Quepos evolves from its banana growing roots into a premier holiday destination. After the demise of the Quepoa Indians in the late 1800's, vast banana plantations were developed throughout the region. Bananas were shipped to world markets across the docks that now service the sportfishing fleet. In the 1980's bananas lost out to heartier African palms and their high quality palm oil. As Quepos diminished in importance as a banana port, it renewed itself as an ecotourism and sportfishing destination. World travelers are discovering the area, with many visitors purchasing homes and returning each year to enjoy the relaxing village lifestyle and natural beauty of nearby Manuel Antonio.