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Location: between Grande Beach and Punta Manzanillo in Limon, Costa Rica.
Manzanillo Beach GPS Coordinates: 9.6328645, -82.6582748 (9°37’58.31″N, 82°39’29.79″W)
District: Cahuita, canton: Talamanca, province: Limon.
Zone postal code: 70403.
Manzanillo Beach is one of the most beautiful and picturesque beach of Costa Rica, approximately 4 km long with whitish sandy, few waves and gentle slopes, bordered by countless coconut palms and coral reefs that extend 200 m offshore, located south of Puerto Viejo between Punta Uva to the north and Punta Manzanillo to the south, on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica in the canton of Talamanca in the province of Limon.
Manzanillo Beach is all a tropical paradise, very conducive areas for bathing as well as being the perfect spot for diving and snorkeling thanks to the presence of corals, as it boasts an amazing coral reef a short distance from the coast, which makes it one of the most scenic areas of the country. Also, if you want you can take a dolphins tour off the coast and take a look at three species of dolphins that live in the waters around, or if you want to walk, you can climb Punta Mona and observe some of the monkey species native of Costa Rica in their natural habitat.
Manzanillo Beach takes its name from an ancient Manzanillo tree that was planted in the center of town in the early 1940s. Today, Manzanillo is a quiet little fishing village with a relaxed, cultural and unique atmosphere with friendly people and delicious cuisine. The whole place is very influenced by the Afro-Caribbean traditions and customs, perfect for a romantic getaway or with friends. However, tourism has developed in the area and is now a major source of income for residents, so now it has very colorful markets and many restaurants and cafes that serve one of the best seafood from around the country, with a variety of fish, crabs, prawns and lobsters making it known for its good food. Also, you will find different hotels and accommodation for all tastes and budgets, but do not look for night life here. Tourists looking for some Caribbean style nightlife should opt for Puerto Viejo as your destination, located about 10 km north, where you will find lots of live music and party!
Importantly, Manzanillo Beach is located within the Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge, dedicated to protect the coral reef and the lowlands of the southern Caribbean coastal region of Costa Rica. The refuge itself is a paradise for nature lovers and underwater enthusiasts, thanks to the wide variety of tropical fish that can be seen near the coral reef, and are also common dolphins and manatees, which are almost extinct in Costa Rica.
Getting to Manzanillo Beach in Talamanca, Limon:
From San José
From the Juan Santamaria International Airport drive for about 8 km towards to San Jose, on your right you should see the Hospital Mexico, take the exit to your right, to La Uruca (on the roundabout, the third exit). Turn right at the traffic lights and continue to San José (keep on the middle lane as much as possible) until you get to a gas station at a Y-junction, keep left. Take the exit to Guapiles-Limon and follow the road #32 to Limón, passing through the Zurqui bridge and the Braulio Carrillo mountains. It is likely that you will encounter fog and rain. Please drive with your lights on. After the mountains the road to Limon is practically straight with no hills.
When you reach Puerto Limon, just before you enter the city, at a gas station you should take the exit on your right, following the road signs to Cahuita and Puerto Viejo, and continue along the coast road to Puerto Viejo for about 60 km (37 miles). Once in Puerto Viejo, follow the road for about 14 km (8.5 miles), you will pass through the communities of Puerto Viejo, Cocles, Chiquita and Punta Uva, until you reach Manzanillo Beach.
Please note that if you have not left San Jose by 2 pm you will be driving part of the way at night. We do not recommend this for first time travelers driving in Costa Rica. Roads do not have lines, rain can be bad, lighting is poor and there are potholes and there could be people walking/cycling, which may be unseen.
You can take a bus from the route San José – Manzanillo (Autotransportes MEPE S.A., +506 2257-8129 / +506 2758-1572), making the stop at Manzanillo Beach, which takes about 5.5 hours. We recommend buying the ticket a day earlier to secure your space. This bus runs only once a day and is at noon.
You can also take a bus from the route San José – Puerto Viejo (Autotransportes MEPE S.A., +506 2257-8129 / +506 2758-1572) which takes about 4.5 hours which has several departures, and then take a taxi to Manzanillo Beach.
Manzanillo Beach Nearby Hotels: Congo Bongo Hotel