Fodor's Expert Review Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca Free

The refuge stretches along the southeastern coast from southeast of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to the town of Manzanillo and on to the Panamanian border. Its limits are not clearly defined. Because of weak laws governing the conservation of refuges and the rising value of coastal land in this area, Gandoca-Manzanillo is less pristine than Cahuita National Park and continues to be developed. (Development thins out the farther you get from Puerto Viejo and the closer you get to the village of Manzanillo.) However, the refuge still has plenty of rain forest, orey (a dark tropical wood) and jolillo (a species of palm) swamps, 10 km (6 miles) of beach where four species of turtle lay their eggs, and almost 3 square km (1 square mile) of cativo (a tropical hardwood) forest and coral reef. You'll most likely spot monkeys, sloths, and perhaps even snakes. The Gandoca estuary is a nursery for tarpon and a wallowing spot for crocodiles and caimans.

Free Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

15 km (9 miles) southeast of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge, Limón  70403, Costa Rica

2750–0398-for ATEC

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Free, Closes daily at 3 pm

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