Introducing Manatí & Around
Modern Manatí, which was named for the endangered manatee (sea cow) that once prospered in these waters, is an industrial hub for workers in local pharmaceutical factories and a nearby pineapple-canning plant. But skirt the industrial eyesores and you’ll uncover some little-heralded beaches along with two inland forest reserves among the sinkholes and limestone mogotes of karst country.
Manatí sprawls between the two east–west island thoroughfares of Hwy 2 and Expressway 22 (a toll road). The beaches and Laguna Tortuguero lie on a thin coastal strip to the north, while the Bosque Estatal de Vega lies just south of the main highways, approximately 6 miles to the east. The Bosque Estatal de Cambalache is situated 5 miles west of Manatí, a mile or so north of Expressway 22.