Considered one of the most beautiful places in Costa Rica, Grandoca Manzanillo will stun you with its gorgeous beaches and varied wildlife. Scuba diving can be your treat or just admiring the assortment of birds and animals.

Embark on a Journey into Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge

Gandoca Manzanillo is a true paradise, renowned for its breathtaking beaches framed by dense jungles. Whether you're an avid scuba diver exploring the vibrant underwater realms or a dedicated wildlife enthusiast, this refuge promises an unforgettable experience that celebrates the wonders of the natural world.

Within Gandoca Manzanillo, you'll encounter some of Central America's last untouched forests, where elusive mammals like jaguars, pumas, tapirs, coatimundis, sloths, and various monkey species roam freely. Birdwatchers will be delighted by the refuge's avian diversity, with over 360 bird species, including the iconic keel-billed toucan, trogon, kingfisher, and the elusive harpy eagle.

The mangroves that grace Gandoca Manzanillo's coastline are a testament to nature's resilience, providing essential habitat for crocodiles, manatees, migratory birds, and a rich variety of fish species. These mangroves are often considered the Caribbean's most stable ecosystem.

Beneath the shimmering waves lie some of Costa Rica's most enchanting dive sites, teeming with marine life like angel fish, urchins, oysters, shrimp, lobsters, and an array of colorful sponges. Exploring these underwater wonders is an exhilarating experience.

The refuge's gorgeous beaches hold a crucial role in the life cycle of several sea turtle species, including the majestic leatherback turtles. From February through September, these magnificent creatures return to these shores for nesting, with the peak activity occurring in April and May. Witnessing hatchlings emerge from their sandy nests is a heartwarming spectacle that continues throughout the nesting season.

Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge offers a park station with necessary facilities, but to truly unlock its secrets, we highly recommend exploring it with an experienced guide. Many of the refuge's inhabitants are masters of camouflage, making expert guidance essential for a safe and enriching adventure.

Discover the timeless beauty and ecological marvels of Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, where every step unveils a new facet of its enchanting allure. Whether you're captivated by terrestrial wonders, underwater mysteries, or the magic of nesting turtles, this refuge invites you to be part of its wild and wonderful world.

Weather and packing list

The Southern Caribbean is a region of vast contrasts in weather. Temperatures remain the same nearly year round with average day time highs in the low 90s and night time lows in the upper 70s. Precipitation varies by month with the months of February, March, September and October being the driest.

Visitors should pack a bathing suit, towel, shorts, tee shirts, appropriate shoes, rain gear, sun block, and insect repellent.

Fun Fact: Many regard the beaches at Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge to be the most beautiful in Costa Rica.

Nearby Destinations

Punta Uva30 km
Puerto Viejo48 km
Cahuita51 km
Bocas del Toro - Panama79 km
Turrialba200 km


Latitude: N 9° 37' 53.66"
Longitude: W 82° 39' 40.36"

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