The Wildlife Refuge
Manzanillo is located within the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, established in 1985. There is an association of guides in Manzanillo who will help you discover paths that will fill your senses with the vivid colors of the rain forest and the mysterious sounds produced by different species of monkeys, sloths, lizards, parrots, toucans and other birds that live here.
The far side of the refuge is home to Punta Mona and the Gandoca community. This is about a 75 minute hike with a trained guide going one way. Perfect for ecotourism,you will enjoy its lagoon where you are likely to see otters and waterfowl.
Some of the most pristine mangroves in Costa Rica are here. Also, the leatherback turtle, the largest in the world, comes to these beaches to lay her eggs. There are programs in place here to protect these nesting turtles. These programs are always looking for volunteers if you are interested.