Revisiting Congo Bongo in Manzanillo
What changed in Congo Bongo in Manzanillo:
- The biggest change I saw already the first minutes after arriving in Congo Bongo were all the statues. They were for sure one of the coolest memories I had from my first time there, but now they were all freshly painted by a local (in my opinion very talented) painter. Before, I remember, each time I walked back from the beach at dark, the shadows of the stone grey statues were a bit freaky and my very first days they scared me a bit until I got used to it. But this time, all the stone native and animal statues were all cute and colorful, and thus brought a lot of life to the jungle (as if there was not enough already there :))
- Even the light switches, bathroom and toilet lids were now painted with flowers. I believe it was Marisol, the owner, who took time to do so and thus enlighten our days. All the colors around always made my day, highly appreciated!
- I was happy to see a St. Dalfour pure organic green tea from France with natural cinnamon and apple flavor, probably one of my favorite flavors, if they are natural! It reminded me of cold days back home in Slovakia when I used to get a cup of tea to warm up and just enjoy its smell.
- wifi – we did not have to use the mobile wifi stick like back in 2012 but this time they had a wifi router there already. It worked way better but still sometimes, especially when raining, it got cut off for a bit … at least it made me spend time reading as otherwise I would just be travel blogging a lot 🙂
- phone with pre-paid local/mobile calls in case we needed to call a taxi, the owners, the care-takers, travel agencies to book our tours, or even a doctor if necessary.
- Manzanillo beach – always the same beautiful like I remembered it. A real Caribbean beach, not over-crowded at all, on the contrary, most of the time pretty empty and great for relaxation, meditation, swimming, strolling along, or even practicing yoga. This time there were 3 things that changed though: 1. I could practice some yoga positions to stay fit when traveling; 2. unfortunately I only saw one stunning sunset when it was not cloudy here on the beach while every single sunset back in 2012 was unforgettable (but this was on the full moon night, so worth it all); 3. there were a lot of small fish and a kind of big brownish/orange bees or wasps along the beach, all dead. I have no idea what happened but it made me really sad to see them so I hope my next time on Manzanillo beach there will be no dead animals. I know it has nothing to do with Congo Bongo itself. Other than that, Manzanillo beach is very sexy, indeed, especially when the sun is shining.
- a cat – there was a cat always around our root house and taking care of us.
What stayed the same – and I loved it – in Congo Bongo in Manzanillo:
- all the wildlife around me – watching hummingbirds, butterflies, toucans, lizards when practicing yoga on the porch is the best feeling ever! Even listening to the noisy howler monkeys very early in the morning is something that belongs to the jungle life and one learns to even look forward to it.
- the most helpful staff ever – whenever we needed something, they were all more than happy to help us
- laundry service – if you just leave your dirty clothes, they are picked up in the morning and within the next 3 hours you get them back cleaned, awesome!
- potable water in the kitchen
- a lot of clean towels – I love using one towel for my body, one for my hair and then one for the beach and at Congo Bongo rental houses there’s plenty of towels for you.
- kitchen – and being able to prepare own meals, smoothies, fruit, salads, yummy! The best thing ever was having a blender.
- bike rentals – having a bicycle to go around is the best thing you can do when in here. All the beaches between Manzanillo and Puerto Viejo are different and thus worth visiting each and every single one of them.
- welcome bottle of wine – I personally do not drink but my friend really enjoyed a treat like this
- mosquitoes and other bugs – in a way I was happy to see all the wildlife unchanged there but I was so hoping for less mosquitoes as they were killing me there! It was a bit difficult to concentrate when I was trying to write with all the bites and new bites and more new bites so we were trying to do something to stay inside of a mosquito net but it was too difficult to sit inside in it and work.
*** It took me 4 hours to write this post.