Located inside the wonderful Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife and Marine Refuge, the small laid back fishing village of Manzanillo is the last town due south of the surfing paradise of Puerto Viejo. Lying on Costa Rica’s gorgeous Caribbean coast, Manzanillo is situated south of Puerto Limon in Limon province. The main attraction of this tiny town is its fabulous white sand beach strip that is lined with palm trees, and is bathed in the calm and gentle waters of the Caribbean Sea.
One of the most Beautiful Beaches
A 4 hour drive from the capital city of San Jose, Manzanillo is south of the famous Cahuita National Park and is among the most scenic beaches in Costa Rica, with fantastic weather all year round. A relatively quiet area with only a few tourists here and there, this fishing village has a unique atmosphere and culture that is all its own. Largely influenced by Afro-Caribbean traditions and customs, this town is a relaxed and tranquil place with friendly locals and some of the most delicious local cuisines.
Named after an ancient manzanillo tree that stood in the town’s center in the 1940’s, Manzanillo has several colorful local markets and plenty of sodas or restaurants that serve up some of the best seafood in the entire country. With a wide variety of fish, crabs, shrimps and lobsters found here, this town is known for its good food. There are also a few lovely hotels and eco-lodges in Manzanillo as well.
Activities in Manzanillo
With an excellent beach, Manzanillo is a tropical paradise with an amazing coral reef offshore. The prefect spot for snorkeling and swimming, this beach also has some great scuba diving spots as well. If you like, you can take a ‘dolphin tour’ of the coast, and catch a glimpse of the three species of dolphins that live in the waters around Manzanillo.
A prime fishing location, Manzanillo also has some lovely nature excursion prospects outside of town as well. If you like to hike, you can do so up to Monkey Point or Punta Mona and watch some of Costa Rica’s native monkey species in their natural environment. It is believed that Christopher Columbus named this area himself after seeing the many monkeys that live here. Since Manzanillo lies at the end of the coastal road, after town there are just a few dirt road tracks that lead straight into the topical jungles found around this region.