Many of the greatest places to visit in Costa Rica are also the hardest to get to. There’s just something about a road trip that makes you appreciate your destination even more once you arrive. One of our favorites is the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge.
Located at the southern tip of the Caribbean province Limón, the refuge is known for its tropical forest, unconquered beaches, and active wildlife. This area, a part of the SINAC (National System of Conservation Areas), allows visitors to experience a wide variety of habitats in a short period of time.
At Gandoca-Manzanillo, you’ll enjoy some of the remotest beaches you’ve ever seen, with the sky-blue water that has made the Caribbean famous. Just off the coast, coral reefs are the ideal place to snorkel, as the area is home to hundreds of species of fish. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot a dolphin or manatee dancing above the water.
Back on land, paths take you through the varied forest types, such as rainforest, wetlands, and mangroves. Here you’ll have the chance to look for some of the abundant wildlife, such as monkeys, sloths, crocodiles, tapirs, turtles, and toucans.
Located 70 kilometers from Limón, Gandoca-Manzanillo is perfect for those with a few extra days after visiting popular spots like Cahuita and Puerto Viejo. Rainy season can be rough in this part of the Caribbean, so the best times to visit are from March to April and September to October. From March to May, your trip coincides with the turtle nesting season, a must-do for wildlife enthusiasts.
A trip to the jungle will make you crave a soothing coffee in a peaceful café. You can find Café Britt at these spots on your trip to Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge:
- Koki Beach
- Almendros y Corales
- Noa Beach Club
- Bread & Chocolate