Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica touches upon the Caribbean Sea close to the border of Panama. Puerto Viejo Beach in the province of Limon has a laid back vibe with a whole lot of good places to swim, surf and generally enjoy life.
The Caribbean coast of Costa Rica is populated with the remnants of railroad workers and banana plantation workers who first shifted from Jamaica to Costa Rica when the construction of the railroad came under the helm of an American named Henry Meiggs Keith in 1872. The area is somewhat less developed than that of the more popular tourist destinations in the provinces of Guanacaste or Puntarenas. This, however, only plays to the benefit of those seeking to get away from the hustle and bustle.
The weather in Puerto Viejo, which is approximately 8 to 9 degrees north of the equator, is what you might expect from a tropical destination so close to the mid-point of the earth’s surface. Sunrise and sunset remain relatively constant through-out the year, as does the daily average temperature. You’ll want to bring sun block among the other things you should pack for your trip. Some other items to bring might be beach wear and a beach towel, your swimsuit(s), a surfboard or three and a mindset aimed at relaxation.
There are plenty of little guesthouses, hostels, hotels and other avenues of rest that you can avail yourself of. Some plots have hammocks and tents for seven and eight dollars USD respectively. Many of the inns of Puerto Viejo maintain restaurants, but you can also find hostels and guesthouses that have kitchens in the main public area. A few of the local hotels and Bed & Breakfasts include Hotel Formentera Playa, Casa Caribe, Namuwoki, The Lotus Garden and Caribe Town Resort.
Up and down the coast from the city of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in Limon you’ll find a subset of beaches that have unique attractions. You could go surfing at Playa Cocles which was awarded a blue flag for its cleanliness this year. Manzanilla, which is further south from Cocles and the city of Puerto Viejo, has a great promontory from which to see much of the coastline. The waters around Manzanilla make a good place from which to observe marine life via snorkeling.
Puerto Viejo is about four and a half hours from San Jose city, and it is about four hours from Juan Santamaria International Airport in Alajuela, Costa Rica. The Daniel Oduber Quiros International airport in Liberia is around seven hours and forty minutes from Puerto Viejo. Currently there are no flights coming in to this little port city which happens to hold the most important industrial port in Costa Rica. You might be able to stow away to “Old Port” on a tanker, but it isn’t recommended.
Beach: Puerto Viejo Beach
Location: Limon. Puerto Viejo Beach Location
Items to bring: sun screen, beach towel, swimsuit, surfboard, boogie board, tranquility
Distance from San Jose: 4 hrs 30 mins
Distance from Liberia: 7 hrs 40 mins
Hotels nearby: Hotel Formentera Playa, Casa Caribe, Namuwoki, The Lotus Garden, Caribe Town Resort
Ways to get here: tour bus, taxi, rental car, cargo ship (not recommended)