Playa Manzalina is a beach with coral rubble instead of sand. Along the western side you will find a sandy beach and there is also a small cave.
This dive site is between Playa Shon Mosa and Playa Chiki and that means that the underwater world is a mixture of both. The drop-off is also here near the shore. From shore you cross a stretch of sand till you reach the point where the slope increases till about 30 – 40 degrees. Going Westward in the direction of Playa Chiki shows you the variation in height of the coral that I find so typical of Playa Chiki. Also here an abundance of sponges and healthy coral.
Probably because these San Juan sites are less visited than the other publicly accessible dive sites along this coast the coral and sponges are larger.
The San Juan Plantation Beaches
The main draw of the San Juan area are the beautiful and undeveloped beaches that exist on the fringes of the plantations coastline. Although many sources only refer to three beaches, there are in fact four in total. From west to east these include a small cove called Playa San Juan Chikitu, then the known beaches of Manzalina, Shon Mosa, and Largu.
How to get to Playa Manzalina
Coming from the Eastern side of the island you have to go to the Western Part. Driving along the only road to this part of the island, “road to Westpunt”, you drive past Landhuis Daniel and past the small village of “Terra Kora” until you see the sign to “Soto”. There, turn left and follow this road past the entrance to “Cas Abou”, a few kilometers more and you see a sign “San Juan”. Slow down because you have to make a turn to the left at the red rock with the number 20 till 23 (dive site numbers).
Follow the dirt road till you see the plantation house of San Juan. Enter through the gate and drive to the right side of the plantation house. There you have to pay the entrance fee, which is currently Nafl 5.00 per car (about US$ 2.75).
Follow the dirt road. It is a winding road. It can be in bad condition in the rainy season so you better use a jeep or pick-up to get to the beach. When you reach the first split in the road you see two stones, one of which points to Shon Mosa, the other to Playa Manzaliña. Follow the direction to Playa Manzaliña. After some time you reach the coast. You can park your car under a tree at the beach.