Manzanillo Beach (Playa Manzanillo, Limon)
The fabulous waters of the Caribbean Sea lie to one side of this beach, and a green mantle of tropical palm trees to the other, confirming your arrival at Playa Manzanillo. We are referring to what is a magnificent corridor of white sand beach separating dense tropical vegetation and sea. This is the last vantage point for indulgent relaxation on one of Costa Rica’s finest stretches of sand, before you cross the border into Panama along the Caribbean seaboard.
The tranquil fishing village of Manzanillo forms part of impressive Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife and Marine Refuge. This charming and characterful town retains its vibrant Afro-Caribbean culture, and the establishment of the wildlife refuge in 1985 has helped to maintain the pristine nature of the local environment. Major development is a non-starter here thanks to the reserve.
The relaxing activities on offer at Manzanillo Beach include swimming, sun-tanning and gentle kayaking. It is best to swim between mid and high tide due to the danger posed by concealed rocks when the water recedes.
Manzanillo Beach certainly lives up to its tropical paradise billing with the extra appeal of an amazing coral reef offshore. This is the perfect spot for snorkelling although scuba diving spots are open to visitors with the relevant diving skills.
Maxi’s restaurant and bar near the local bus terminus is well positioned close to the beach for when you feel ready to sample local cuisine. Not surprisingly, seafood tops the list of favourite dishes.
All manner of affordable accommodation is on offer in Manzanillo ? the town takes its name from a giant manzanillo tree that once marked the centre of town. While you are here and feel you have had enough beach action, there are some fabulous hikes on offer in neighbouring Gandoca Refuge.
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