Manzanillo, Costa Rica

On the Caribbean coast of Limon province, bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the east, and classified as a humid exuberant tropical rainforest, lies a small laid back fishing village inside the Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge established in 1985.

Named after an ancient manzanillo tree that stood in the town’s center in the 1940’s, Manzanillo, along with the small villages of Punta Uva, Punta Mona, and Home Creek are also part of the Gandoca Manzanillo Refuge.

The tranquil town of Manzanillo is the southernmost stop on the scenic, coastal road from Puerto Viejo.
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On the Caribbean coast of Limon province, bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the east, and classified as a humid exuberant tropical rainforest, lies a small laid back fishing village inside the Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge established in 1985.

Named after an ancient manzanillo tree that stood in the town’s center in the 1940’s, Manzanillo, along with the small villages of Punta Uva, Punta Mona, and Home Creek are also part of the Gandoca Manzanillo Refuge.

South of famous Cahuita National Park, situated just a few kilometers north of the Panama border in Talamanca County, and 13km past Puerto Viejo town along recently paved road, this remote and exotic village has long been a destination off the beaten track with a unique atmosphere largely influenced by two different cultures, the Bri- Bri’s ancient native culture, and the Afro Costarrican culture, this naturally includes the Caribbean delicious local cuisine along with an assorted international menu that boasts the best seafood in the country.

One of the most stunningly beautiful regions of Costa Rica, this wildlife refuge protects some the region’s most endangered flora and fauna encompassing several rare habitats such as lowland rainforest, a wetland, the only two orey and jolillo palm mangrove swamps in the country, a 10 kilometer beach strip, a 740 acre forest, and a delicate coral reef where many brightly colored fish including the blue parrot fish, angel fish, sea anemones, urchins, Venus sea fans, the only natural mangrove oysters beds, sea cucumbers, lobsters, crabs, shrimp and sponges make their home.

A unique habitat, this refuge is the nesting grounds for several species of turtles, such as the green sea turtle and Leatherback sea turtle where the nesting season here lasts from March to May. Among the plethora of wildlife found here you can also observe frigate birds, woodpeckers, parakeets, eagles, pelicans, toucans, motmots, west indian manatees, monkeys, crocodiles, pacas, caimans, tarpons and three species of dolphins.

This region receives a lot of rain throughout the year, the drier months are from March and April, and then, from September to October.

Golden fine sand and dark turquoise waters dazzle you as you walk between the tall trees and exuberant vegetation of this tropical rainforest. Pristine and unspoiled, it is, without exception, the perfect spot to find the peace and quiet needed to relax, rejuvenate and relinquish all your stress and cumbersome worries. The constant hum of the rainforest around you, the calm light green ocean, soft sand and fresh breeze combined with the soft roar of the waves splashing over the shore gather together to stroke your senses into bliss.

There is no clearly defined wet or dry season in the southern Caribbean, though the driest months are September through October and March through April. Even during the drier months, afternoon or evening showers can roll into the Gandoca-Manzanillo area.

The mangroves of Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge are considered to be the only stable system in the Caribbean. These mangroves provide vital habitat to crocodiles, manatees, migratory birds and a great number of fish. Many regard the beaches at Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge to be the most beautiful in Costa Rica

Summary: Quiet beaches and laid-back atmosphere- Wildlife Refuge.
Landscape: Beaches, Rainforest
Attractions: Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, Nesting Sea Turtles, Wildlife
Activities: Kayaking, Snorkeling, Swimming
Caters to: Budget Travelers, Couples/Honeymooners, Nature Lovers

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