Manzanillo Beach - Costa Rica

The soccer field in Playa Manzanillo.
The soccer field in Playa Manzanillo.

The village of Manzanillo Beach is located south of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, it borders the Gandoca-Manzanillo reserve. In the past the people here made a living as fishermen and farmers that grew cacao. Since then tourism has grown and is an important source of income for the residents. Manzanillo Beach is a very small village and perfect for a romantic getaway, but don't expect any action here at night. Travelers that are looking forward to some Caribbean nightlife should pick Puerto Viejo de Talamanca as their destination. There you will find lots of live music and parties!

The beach at Manzanillo Beach is made of bright sand and often one can be almost totally alone here. It is likely that the village got is name from the tree same name that grows in the sand on the beach. The tree can also be seen in other parts of Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio for example. The yellow fruits of the tree are poisonous!

The road ends here in the caribbean sand...
The Imperial truck in front of Maxi's Restaurant.
The Imperial truck in front of Maxi's Restaurant.

The Gasndoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge starts at the southern end of Manzanillo Beach. The Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge protects the coral reef and the lowlands of the southern Caribbean coastal region of Costa Rica.

The refuge is a paradise for nature lovers and underwater enthusiasts. Tropical fish can be observed on the coral reef and dolphins are easy to spot.

Manatees are another attraction here. These creatures are almost extinct in Costa Rica. They are slow moving mammals that look similar to a walrus.

Manzanillo Beach on the map

Manzanillo Beach on the map

Facts about Manzanillo Beach, Costa Rica

  • Manzanillo Beach is located in the province of Limon.

Driving times and distances

  • Distance from San Jose to Manzanillo Beach: 224.1 kilometers respectively 139.4 miles.
  • Travel time from San Jose to Manzanillo Beach: 5.01 hours.
  • Distance from Liberia to Manzanillo Beach: 435.4 kilometers respectively 270.7 miles.
  • Travel time from Liberia to Manzanillo Beach: 9.06 hours.

The charm of this remote little village is very inviting. In principle the road ends here, there is a small road through Gandoca to Sixaola which is in very bad condition. That route is only doable in a four by four vehicle! Driving back to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca and then on the Highway 36 to Sixaola is faster, safer and more comfortable!



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