Mazanillo, Costa Rica?
January 6, 2011 6:55 AM   Subscribe

Whats the vibe like in Manzanillo, Costa Rica (Nicoya)?

I've been planning to rent a house for a month with a few friends in Mal Pais, which I've been to before. I found a really great looking place in Manzanillo but I don't know anything about the town. The last time I was in Mal Pais there I spent the majority of my time on Playa Hermosa. It was by far my favorite beach of the bunch. This leads me to believe that perhaps Manzanillo is a good place to be.

What's the vibe there? How does it compare to Santa Teresa and Mal Pais? I'm looking for something less developed/busy than Mal Pais.

We're going to be mostly surfing / swimming during the day but from time to time I'm sure we'll want to go out to dinner / drinks. Is there stuff to do in Manzanillo for several late 20-somethings or will we need to drive down to Mal Pais? Relaxed stuff, not fancy. Don't like the resort vibe. How are the Sodas around there? Any other wisdom?
posted by nathancaswell to Travel & Transportation around Manzanillo Municipality, Mexico (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This isn't exactly an answer to your question, but we had planned to go to Manzanillo last year for the reasons you mention (laid back, non-resort, beach etc..) but upon landing in San Jose discovered that the forecast was for thunderstorms for the whole week we would be on the east coast. So we followed the sun, headed (mostly) west and had a great time.

One of the hilights of our trip was our stay at La Carolina Lodge up in the mountains near Bijagua. It's all-inclusive, it's rustic, and it's pretty far off the beaten track. We hiked with their guide Rio Celeste took a dip in the sulfur springs, and I rode a horse for the first time on their expansive grounds. The home grown, home cooked meals are delicious, there are all kinds of creatures in the trees, and they even have a river-fed, wood fired, natural hot tub. The other guests were an extremely diverse group of international adventurers, and the owners, staff and guides are all great and we felt taken care of. It was a wonderful time. If you find yourself in the area, I highly recommend it.

We showed up unannounced, so we stayed in a tiny room in the main lodge the first night, but we got to stay in a lovely cabin the second night. If you go, reserve ahead, and bring some wine and games for the tranquil nights.
posted by abirae at 10:52 AM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

I just realized how far that is from an answer to your question. I'm a big beach fan (though not a surfer), but I found that my favorite part of Costa Rica that we visited was the mountains. So if you're open to something besides beach, you may want to consider it.
posted by abirae at 10:57 AM on January 6, 2011

Response by poster: Further clarification... I am refering to the Manzanillo in Puntarenas province on the Nicoya Peninsula (Pacific side) not the Manzanillo on the Caribbean side.
posted by nathancaswell at 11:22 AM on January 6, 2011

I've been there once for a day hike through the rain forest, and it seemed kind of a sleepy town. But I asked a friend who now lives in Puerto Viejo, which is a short bus ride (or a longer bike ride) away and below is what she said:

"I think Manzanillo is nice during the day, but not much in the way of nightlife other than Maxi's right there, but just a but down the road in Punta Uva and Playa Chiquita there are a few more nice places that are open late for dinner, drinks, and music. So, they will most def need bikes, and ideally a motorized vehicle, too-golf carts are more popular now, which is nice- better than the ATVs, which still roar up and down the road!"

BTW, Puerto Viejo has a lot of night life, clubs, etc. and I think a taxi might not be too expensive from Manzanillo.
posted by parkerposey at 12:27 PM on January 6, 2011

Oh, should have previewed...
posted by parkerposey at 12:28 PM on January 6, 2011

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