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Zancudo is a quiet, multicultural beach town, increasingly run and populated by foreigners. It's quite a popular spot in high season, with tourists crowded along the beach at all hours of the day – and night – swimming, lounging and soaking up the sun. Its name actually means “mosquito,” but luckily it doesn't live up to the title. As time goes by, the Ticos are slowly being pushed out of Zancudo, outbid by Americans, Italians, Germans, Canadians – you get the idea – for the pricey beach front properties. Already there is an invisible line past which you're officially in gringo land. Still, the most happening places in town are native-owned. On the weekends, for example, anyone looking for a serious party heads to Tico-run El Coquito, one of the oldest establishments on the beach, for dancing and kareoke.

Zancudo is also surrounded by mangrove swamps, which means that in addition to being a great place to swim, fish and surf, it's also a good location for kayaking and wildlife observation.


Other places nearby Zancudo: Parque Nacional Corcovado, Bahia Drake (Drake Bay), Pavones, Coco Island National Park, Sierpe, Cabo Matapalo, Golfito, Puerto Jimenez, Parque Nacional Piedras Blancas and Ciudad Neily.

By Laura Granfortuna
I've always had the travel bug - maybe it's because I've been traveling around with my family since I was an infant, but mainly I think it's because...
20 Nov 2008

Things to do in Zancudo

Rio Coto Colorado Swamps

The Rio Coto winds its way past Zancudo, through a muddy mangrove forest whose innumerable channels turn to swamp at low tide. The mangroves and the river are home to a plethora of ...
Zancudo, Costa Rica


Zancudo beach has some good waves on the Southern end, close to Pavones. The beach is safe, sandy and rock-free, with swells ranging from two to six feet. Here you get right and left beach ...
Zancudo, Costa Rica

Horseback Riding

Most hotels can arrange horseback rides if you ask. You have to travel a bit outside Zancudo to ride, since there is no place to pasture horses here, but transport will be provided with the ...
Other Activity
Zancudo, Costa Rica


Most boat tours will be of the Rio Coto River and mangroves, although some operators also go to the Golfo Dulce. Whale watching tours are available if you visit Zancudo anytime from September to ...
Zancudo, Costa Rica


Zancudo Lodge runs the biggest sports fishing operation in town, offering high-end fishing expeditions targeted at foreigners. It has packages from $2,800 to $7,800 which include transportation, ...
Other Activity
Zancudo, Costa Rica
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