Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, or simply Puerto Viejo, located in the province of Limon on the shores of the Caribbean Sea, is a paradise for beach lovers. Among the exotic flora and fauna, in a tropical climate zone with eternal summer and +30 degrees all year round, lies the seaside city with magnificent beaches, crystal clear blue waters and excellent surfing spots.
In Puerto Viejo, there are many bars, disco, restaurants, and cheap hotels that are scattered throughout the city. There are also some good markets and shops. The beaches with golden sand, tropical vegetation and many interesting sights – the Kauita National Park, the Indian Reserve Talamanca and the Natural Reserve Gandoka Manzanillo – make a visit to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca an excellent opportunity to see the different sides of Costa Rican life.
Despite their popularity, most of the roads leading to Puerto Viejo are unpaved and in poor condition. The the city streets also do not have a hard surface.
A remarkable place in Puerto Viejo is Salsa Brava Beach, which is famous for its strong current and the largest and most powerful wave in Costa Rica. It is intended only for surfing because swimming here is dangerous. Surfers come here from all over the world to ride the famous waves of Salsa Brava.
Tourists are also offered excursions on horseback, scuba diving, mountain biking and buggy mobility on Playa Chiquita, Playa Negra and Punta Uva. Manzanillo is the best kayaking spot in the area, located 13 km south along the coast. Nearby are the tourist places – the jaguars rescue center and the village of Bribri Indians.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN PUERTO VIEJO
• Puerto Viejo Beach
• Playa Chiquita
• Caribe Horse Riding Club
• Playa Cocles
• Punta Uva Beaches
• La Ceiba
• Indulgence Spa
TYPICAL COSTS WHEN TRAVELLING
Accommodation – Rest in Puerto Viejo is quite budget and youth, there are no luxurious 5-star hotels with perfect infrastructure and no sun beds on the beaches, everything is quite ascetic, small bungalows, pretty wild beaches, surfers, reggae evenings and a relaxed atmosphere.In Puerto Viejo and in all villages to the south, close to the beaches, there are rental homes for every taste. You can rent a good home for 30-40 USD. Of course, it is probably better to stay in Puerto Viejo itself, simply because there are more choices and no problems with cheap cafes. The pricing logic is simple: the farther from the sea and from the main street, the cheaper.
In the city you can find both simple lodges and B & B hotels, as well as reputable hotels, providing its visitors with an extensive range of services. The best hotels include Le Cameleon Boutique Hotel, Hotel La Costa de Papito two minutes from the beach, La Kukula Lodge (Chiquita is less than 200 meters from the beach), Sea Tower Hotel, Hotel Formentera Playa with its own beach, Physis Caribbean Bed & Breakfast near Kokles beach, and 3 star Caribe Town. For cheaper options, you can stay in a hostel or rent a room in a house with someone from the locals.
Food – Despite the small size of the town, cafes and restaurants are here on every corner. Some of them specialize in local cuisine, some in traditional European or North American, there are restaurants offering a wide variety of dishes, there are specializing in some specific dishes (for example, pizzerias). The best, according to tourists visiting Puerto Viejo, are:
Cafe Rico, where you can have excellent pancakes for breakfast or dine relatively inexpensively;
Bread and Chocolate, where, in order to have breakfast, you will have to defend a long enough queue;
Italian restaurant La Pecora Nera on the beach of Cocles, which is in demand despite the high cost due to the amazingly delicious cuisine;
Alice Ice Cream Bar, which serves the best in the city of ice cream and various gluten-free dishes.
Transportation – Travel by local bus costs 1 USD per person while bicycle rental costs 5 USD. Most people in this town travel by bike because of its small size.
Suggested daily budget – Accommodation in a double-room hotel could cost nearly 25-30 USD per a day, 50-60 USD for two meals, plus transportation (1-5 USD) and cost of adventures (30-50 USD). Generally, it is 100-120 USD per a day.
MONEY SAVING TIPS
1 Don’t be afraid of choosing cheap hotels. The resort is also known for its cheap hotels. That is why Puerto Viejo becomes a transit point for tourists traveling on their own. People come here for a couple of days, take a break from the road and travel, and take advantage of low-cost hotel rooms.
2 Think about time of season: It is better to book accommodation in advance – in high season there is a serious influx of visitors, moreover, by booking a room in advance, you can save money, although housing prices are fairly democratic, which is why many young people spend their holidays here.
3 Are you a fan of adventure? In Puerto Viejo, you can rent bikes for $ 5 a day and go to distant beaches. Surfers hang out on the beaches to the south of the city, on the other beaches there are almost no waves.
ON THE SCENE?
Puerto Viejo has a reputation all over the country for their active nightlife. You can always find live music or a DJ somewhere. The party scene in Puerto Viejo is full of fun, dancing, drinking and music that fits well into the Caribbean atmosphere. Mango Sunset and Johnny Place are two of the most popular evening parties, as well as “Delicious Cantina Waves” and “Lazy Floor” at Stanford. Let your wild side out and party and dance all night long in Puerto Viejo.