Caribbean La Amistad Conservation Area

Costa Rica National Parks

Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge

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Manatee Costa Rica

Area   12,382 terrestrial acres
10,950 marine acres

  Talamanca, Limon Province

Date of Creation   29 October 1985

Leatherback Baula Turtle

Park Attractions

The Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge protects the lowlands of the southern Caribbean coastal region of Costa Rica. This coastal zone is between the mouths of the Rio Cocles and the Rio Sixaola, which forms the border with Panama. The refuge also protects a coral reef front across Punta Uva, Manzanillo and Uva, popular with scuba divers.

Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge

The area is known for its manatees, dolphins, and several species of sea turtles nest on the beaches from February through May.

Driving Directions

From San Jose, take the main highway to Limon, then south through the town of  Cahuita. To reach the northern Manzanillo sector, drive through Puerto Viejo, and take the road through Punta Cocles and Punta Uva.  See Costa Rica map above.


To reach the Gandoca sector, take the highway south of Cahuita through Hone Creek, then BriBri. Shortly before you reach the town of Sixaola (at the Panama border), you will turn coastward to Gandoca. See map above.

Park Facilities and Hours

There is an information station, restrooms, drinking water and picnic area.  

Gandoca Manzanillo

© 2005-2023 CCSA all rights reserved - Costa Rica National Parks data and maps adapted from SINAC and MINAE