Gandoca, Limon, Costa Rica
Gandoca is a small village
very near the Panama border, on the Caribbean coast
of Costa Rica. There is no costal road
leading all the way to Gandoca. The road stops at
Manzanillo. Gandoca is accessed by car via the road
leading from Sixaola, an inland town on the Panama
border. Gandoca is definitely not a tourist town,
and visitors there are quite rare. You are unlikely
to include Gandoca on your travel itinerary, but
we decided to include information on it as a curiosity.
Most of the people in Gandoca who work, work on
commercial banana plantations.
Gandoca is a typical example of the fallout of these
banana operations. There's nothing happening in
Gandoca. That's why few people go there.
Gandoca is really a beautiful place.
Its most notable feature is the turtle conservation
project which works there to protect the eggs of
sea turtles. Huge sea turtles come to the beaches
near Gandoca every year to lay their eggs in the
sand. It is a truly awesome sight to behold, and
many people are concerned with protecting these
magnificent animals. Unfortunately, their eggs are
considered a delicacy, so every year the turtle
project works to move the eggs to safe sites and
protect them from poachers. They welcome volunteers
to help with this endeavor.
Gandoca is at the southern end of the Gandoca-Manzanillo
wildlife reserve, and is situated next to some of
the most beautiful, pristine wilderness areas in
the region. The beaches are exquisite and the jungle
is lovely. Eventually, a coastal road may be built
all the way to Gandoca, opening it up to tourist
traffic. This would greatly benefit the local people,
as well as the tourists who would be given access
to this beautiful spot. However, care must be taken
to preserve the wilderness within the reserve, as
it is home to some of the last remnants of the original
Costa Rican wildlife and rainforest ecosystems.