Manzanillo, Santa Teresa
The beach of Manzanillo is shaded by stocky palm trees and old almendros leaning far out over the sand. Bathing is possible at mid to hight tide. During low tide be careful of underwater rocks.
Manzanillo, Pacific coast of Costa Rica
At low tide you can walk over the rocks to a large, shallow lagoon which is protected by a rocky reef. It's a good place for snorkeling and has the best light in the morning hours.
The best place for swimming is on Playa Ario, a 10-min hike north, across the Rio Manzanillo. From here further north
the beautiful, lonesome beaches and the estuary of the Rio Bongo have recently been declared a Wildlife Refuge, to protect
the sea turtles who come to lay their eggs into the sand.
See » Hiking to the Rio Bongo
Fisher boats on the beach
Although Manzanillo is only a 20 min drive away from the bustling surf village of Santa Teresa, the tranquil beach community has so
far escaped touristic development. So far there are only some simple cabinas for rent, a well-hidden nature lodge, and a couple of vacation rentals.
Two restaurants serve traditional Costa Rican fare with a focus on fresh-from-the ocean seafood.
The sandcastle contest in Manzanillo
In Manzanillo, the highlight of the year comes in March with the annual sandcastle contest. People stake their claims
in the early morning and spend the entire day building works of sand art.
Late in the day, when the tide comes up the sea will take most of the creations back to the ocean. But the party still continues with beer and music late into the evening.
Unfortunately there are each year less people building sand castles, the majority of visitors only comes to watch and have a couple of beers on the beach.