While seeing mega fauna in Manzanillo can be hit or miss, seeing crazy amounts of other things (like snakes!) is a sure bet. In addition to snakes, there are all kinds of crazy cool plants, poison dart frogs, bullet ants (!), and plenty of pretty views. Plus some other fun reptiles, moths, and more.
We went with Florentino, a very popular local guide. I think the cost was $30 or $35 per person, plus a tip if you enjoy the guided walk. Florentino is well known by locals and everyone at lodges/hotels–our hosts at Korrigan recommended we wait for Florentino rather than go with another guide on a different day. We thought the walk would be 2 hours or so, but Florentino spends essentially the entire morning with you–we started at 8:30 and were done around 1pm.
It is super muddy during the rainy season, particularly when it poured the day before for probably 6 hours. Fortunately, Florentino has you covered there too…he has rubber boots in nearly every size! I definitely would highly recommend wearing the boots. Otherwise you will be one muddy mess.
Florentino starts at his house, where he has planted a crazy collection of trees, including starfruit! I’m a huge fan of starfruit, though after trying to eat one in my drink while I was there, I learned there are two types of starfruit. The sour varieties are typically smaller, and well, very very sour. They may be great for garnishes, but they certainly aren’t great for eating.
In Manzanillo there is also black sand on some of the beaches, which has iron in it. That makes it magnetic, which is pretty cool! Just probably not a great idea to drop your phone in it…
Florentino is really knowledgeable on all things Manzanillo, and is great at spotting things and knowing where to look. My husband was pretty obsessed with finding a bullet ant (Paraponera clavata, which we did see) after Florentino warned us about them. Bullet ants are relatively common in much of the rainforests of Latin America, and while not fatal, can cause extreme, extreme pain for 24 hours throughout your entire body (yes, of course DH wanted to find one immediately).
If you are in Puerto Viejo or the area, Manzanillo is most definitely worth a stop, particularly if you are interested in flora and fauna! Here are some of our favorite creatures from the jungle hike/walk with Florentino! (Also, bring bug spray, the mozzies are ferocious in some of the wetter areas.)