Set in the Southeastern coast near the Panama border, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Costa Rica. Lying along the tropical Carribean coast in Limon province, Puerto Viejo is known for its natural beauty, incredible beaches, relaxed atmosphere and lively nightlife. With a unique blend of Latino, Afro-Carribean, and BriBri indigenous cultures, visitors quickly find themselves delighted by the laid back colorful vibes in this small beach town. Here's a list of my favorite things to do during a stay in this beautiful beach town:
Explore Beautiful Beaches
With crystal clear turquoise waters and surrounded by tropical jungles and wildlife, Puerto Viejo is a paradise for any beach lovers. Also known as one of the top-rated surfing destinations in the world, Puerto Viejo boasts many amazing beaches with excellent surfing opportunities. Some favorites are Playa Negra, a beautiful black sand beach, and Playa Grande. Overall, the relaxed atmosphere and beautiful natural surroundings make for an amazing beach experience.
Another amazing thing to do while in Puerto Viejo is to go snorkeling! While I was there, I had the chance to go on a snorkeling tour with a group from my study abroad program. While snorkeling there, we got to see stingrays, turtles, many kinds of tropical fish, and many varieties of coral. It's a great place for snorkeling and it's easy to spot a lot of cool sea creatures amongst these clear waters!
Experience the Natural Beauty
One of my favorite experiences in Puerto Viejo (similarly to the rest of Costa Rica) was exploring the incredible nature! While visiting Puerto Viejo, an excellent place to visit is Cahuita National Park. Set along the beach surrounded by rainforest and diverse wildlife, Cahuita is one of the only national parks in Costa Rica which is free to enter. There's a hiking trail which runs right along the shore so any visitors can easily spend their time exploring the wildlife or on the beach. Along the walking trails, you can spot monkeys, sloths, snakes, and lots of tropical birds! I would highly recommend visiting Cahuita to anyone taking a trip to Puerto Viejo!
Go for a Bike Ride
Since Puerto Viejo's roads are mostly all dirt, the best mode of transportation during your stay here is by bike. While in Puerto Viejo, foreigners and locals alike enjoy riding bikes place to place. With the laid back atmosphere, it's always enjoyable to take a bike ride through town and even do some exploration of the beautiful nature surrounding the area!
Stay in a Hammock Hostel
During my stay in Costa Rica, I had heard a lot about a particular hostel called the “hammock hostel” which was known for being cheap and (as you would guess based on the name) providing guests with hammocks to sleep in. For just $7 a night, you can stay at Rocking J's, a unique, artsy, party hostel! Although you can stay in a hammock, there are also tents and dorm beds available if you prefer. As college students, my friends and I really enjoyed the experience of staying here and getting to experience staying in a hammock!
Go on a Chocolate Tour
Another fun thing you can do during your stay is to go on a chocolate tour! The indigenous Bri Bri population grows cacao and offers tours to visitors. I had the opportunity to visit Puerto Viejo during the annual chocolate festival (end of October) which was an amazing experience! At the chocolate festival, I had the opportunity to try various types of chocolate and chocolate drinks! I would definitely recommend any chocolate lovers to check it out!
Enjoy the Nightlife
Puerto Viejo is also known for its vibrant nightlife, with plenty of fun restaurants, bars, and clubs for visitors to enjoy! Right along the ocean, The Lazy Mon is a common favorite bar with a super relaxed atmosphere for visitors to enjoy drinks day or night and easily go for a quick swim! A popular dance club is Johnny's Place which offers a unique blend of reggae, roots, and Calypso music! There's plenty of other amazing spots for nightlife in the area as well! There's certainly no shortage of things to do during your stay in Puerto Viejo, but most of all it's an incredible place to relax and have some fun amongst beautiful nature! If you do get to visit, you're guaranteed to have an unforgettable experience!