Gondoca Manzanilla National Wildlife Refuge Costa Rica

Tags: ,

Beach at Gandoca Manzanilla Wildlife Refuge

One of the most exotic and diverse wildlife refuges in Costa Rica is Gondoca Manzanilla National Wildlife Refuge located on the southern Caribbean coast- 9 miles southeast of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca   It stretches along the coast from Puerto Viejo to the town of Manzanillo and on to the Panamanian border.  It’s all natural–no high rise hotels and condos, no strip malls, and  billboards…just natural beautiful tropical  rainforest.  Here you can find the dark tropical wood called “orey”  and another tropical  hardwood called “cativo”. There is six miles of unspoiled beach here which is home to four different species of nesting turtles.  It is  bordered by the Caribbean sea where one can snorkel and surf.  While Snorkeling you will see colorful coral reefs and many species of small colorful fish.   It is best to hire a guide with a small boat for snorkeling and also an experienced surfer guide  to show you the exact areas where the locals go surfing.

S0- if  I visit Gondoca Manzanilla National Wildlife Refuge what can I expect to see and do? And what makes this wildlife refuge so special?

It’s special because it is all natural.  No commercial developments and big chain hotels.   The blue green waters of the Caribbean Sea and sandy white beaches-Abundant rain forest with colorful tropical birds, monkeys, and sloths.

1. Hike along the coastline.  Go snorkeling but hire a guide because he knows the best places to see fish and coral reefs.

2. Hike into the rain forest.  Go with a naturalist guide.  You will see more wildlife because he knows the areas where the monkeys, sloths, and colorful birds hang out.

3. Great area for photography

4. Watch the turtles lay their eggs on the beach at night.  The baby turtles will hatch and crawl into the sea.

Contact Ann, The Costa Rica Expert to set up your tour of this reserve.  anncreed23@gmail.com    www.costaricalearn.com    “The Costa Rica Learn Travel Agency













This wildlife refuge protects 70% of Costa Rica’s southern Caribbean Coast ecosystem which includes 10 acres of marine waters — home to one of the two live coral reefs in Costa Rica.

Additionally, the refuge is a nesting ground for the leatherback and green turtles in the months of March to July.

Rain is heavy in this region.  And rains mostly all year round.  However, if you want to visit when it is likely to rain less come in October, September, and also April and May.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


three × two =



Recent Posts