The Planet D: Adventure Travel Blog

16 Best Things to do in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica


So, what are the most effective issues to do in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica? Will you stick to the seashore and go online, take a meals tour, and even use the city as a launchpad for an unbelievable in a single day journey? Let’s have a look!

The southern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica is famend for its stunning seashores and tradition, and the small city of Puerto Viejo doesn’t disappoint. You’ll discover white sand seashores, scrumptious Costa Rican meals, and nights that explode with reggae music. Puerto Viejo is a incredible place to go to.


Top Things to do in Puerto Viejo De Talamanca

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is a coastal city on the southeast shores of Costa Rica positioned on the Caribbean aspect of Costa Rica. This information will cowl the easiest issues to do in Puerto Viejo. Whether you need nature, journey, culinary experiences, or tradition, these high issues to do in Puerto Viejo will preserve you entertained.

The drive from San Jose to Costa Rica is sort of two hours. You can e-book a non-public switch instantly to your lodging, or you’ll be able to take the extra inexpensive shuttle service. It takes longer however is far more inexpensive.

1. Take a meals tour or cooking lesson

Things to do in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica Food Tour

Food is a spotlight of any journey to Puerto Viejo. A Guided tour across the Puerto Viejo eating places and cooking classes at native chef’s homes are good methods to expertise Costa Rican delicacies. Small eating places (aka ‘sodas’) are filled with conventional dishes to pattern. You can both be taught to prepare dinner the dishes your self or bounce round on a tasting escapade to all the most effective domestically identified spots.

This Tasting Costa Rica Tour combines two excursions in one. Starting with wildlife viewing and ending with a cooking class to pattern native meals.

Must-try dishes embrace Gallo pinto, olla de Carne, and Casado. Caribbean hen (Pollo Caribeno) can be tasty in the event you get the prospect to attempt it, and the dish is flavored with candy coconut milk. You are positive to pattern some dishes that you just’ll need to attempt once more at residence.

You can simply e-book a guided tour or cooking lesson on-line. If you’re solely visiting for a number of days or throughout peak season, we’d advocate reserving in advance. Saying that cooking classes are excellent rainy-day actions, which is one thing to preserve in thoughts in the event you face a day of unhealthy climate.

2. Party in Downtown Puerto Viejo Costa Rica

Things to do in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica Downtown

Puerto Viejo has an thrilling leisure scene and probably the greatest issues to do in Puerto Viejo is to expertise its nightlife. Downtown Puerto Viejo is the place you’ll discover a handful of bars and lounges alongside the beachfront. What higher place to social gathering than a bar overlooking the ocean? Downtown Puerto Viejo is a well-liked place to be after sunset.

Johnny’s Place is a long-running fixture and is an effective place to begin. The venue serves meals and drinks on the beachfront. You can pattern a spread of cocktails. Salsa Brava Restaurant additionally transforms into a celebration location after darkish. With the motto “good food, creative drinks, and a respect for the local traditions”, it’s clear that Salsa Brava pioneers a enjoyable environment. Grab a neighborhood beer or wine or select from the cocktail menu.

Downtown Puerto Viejo is a enjoyable place to be at evening. If you need to expertise nightlife in Puerto Viejo, it’s simply the most effective place.

3. Visit the Bri Bri Waterfalls

A hike to a group of beautiful waterfalls is a good way to spend a number of hours. The entrances to the Bri Bri Waterfalls are solely a fifteen-minute drive from Puerto Viejo, which is sweet and handy. One entrance is signposted Catarata Ma-Cu, and the opposite is Bri Bri Sparking Waterfalls. You can decide which one, as each are comparatively related in phrases of technical calls for and of an equal size. Allow a ten-minute stroll from both entrance to attain the falls.

Bri Bri Waterfalls has a shocking plunge pool that’s deep sufficient for you to have a refreshing swim. Remember to deliver a digital camera so you’ll be able to snap some photos of the expertise, too, because the waterfalls are really a scenic spot to go to.

4. Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica

Things to do in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica Sloth Sanctuary

Who doesn’t love sloths? Visiting the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica is among the high issues to do close to Puerto Viejo, and it’s simply half an hour’s drive north. The sanctuary is a rescue and rehabilitation heart offering specialist veterinary look after injured sloths. Some long-stay residents have sadly been deemed unsuitable for launch. Still, the overwhelming majority are launched again into the wild match and wholesome.

The Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica welcomes guests on guided excursions. You can hear extra in regards to the sloths’ tales, their accidents, and the conservation efforts the sanctuary is pioneering. You may also see the extra sensible aspect of their rehab – like motor coaching on their out of doors climbing frames. If you like animals and wish to help noble conservation efforts, then the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica is one to your itinerary.

5. Take a browsing lesson at Playa Cocles

Things to do in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica Surfing

Costa Rica is shortly establishing itself as a gem on the browsing scene. Whether you’re a professional already or are simply wanting to develop the fundamentals, surf classes are some of the enjoyable issues to do in Puerto Viejo. You can brush up in your abilities and nail some spectacular strikes whereas appreciating beautiful views of the Costa Rican shoreline.

Playa Cocles will not be solely one in all Costa Rica’s most beautiful seashores but in addition probably the greatest spots for a surf lesson. The laid-back seashore is a calming spot with plenty of area, excellent for browsing with much less of a crowded really feel of different fashionable surf spots like Playa Grande.

Playa Cocles is an uncovered seashore and reef break with nice surf, irrespective of the tide – making it a dependable place for browsing classes. Even higher? Playa Cocles is only a ten-minute drive (or a fifty-minute coastal stroll) away from Puerto Viejo city heart.

6. Take an in a single day journey

Things to do in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica Overnight Bocas Del Toro

There are so many issues to do in Puerto Viejo. But, in the event you keep for every week or longer, you need to benefit from Puerto Viejo’s excellent location. Puerto Viejo is ideally located on the Caribbean Sea and is a perfect base for a lot of unbelievable in a single day journeys. Get prepared to add these two journeys to your record.

How does ticking off two international locations in one journey sound? Since Puerto Viejo is positioned proper subsequent to the Panama border, it is just becoming that you just dedicate a day or two to visiting the opposite aspect. We counsel catching a shuttle throughout the Panama border and visiting Bocas del Toro.

Bocas del Toro is famed for overwater lodges, so that you’ll have the opportunity to discover some stunning lodging. It can be a superb spot to entry the jungle and go scuba diving or snorkeling.

What to do in Puerto Viejo Day Trip Tabacon Hot Springs

If the effort of a border crossing doesn’t sound attractive, why not take an in a single day journey in Costa Rica? La Fortuna is a incredible vacation spot in case you are in geothermal exercise and is taken into account the gateway to Arenal Volcano National Park. You can spend time at Tabacon Hot Springs and admire the Chato and Arenal volcanoes. Just catch one of many shuttle buses between Puerto Viejo and La Fortuna.

We advocate in a single day journeys solely for many who love further adventures and are excited on the prospect of more difficult issues to do from Puerto Viejo. For those that really feel this will likely be an excessive amount of effort, don’t fear; there are nonetheless loads of issues to do in Puerto Viejo in your doorstep.

7. Playa Negra

Playa Negra is definitely some of the photogenic spots in Puerto Viejo and one other some of the stunning seashores on the Caribbean coast. For those that know a little bit of Spanish, you’ll have already guessed that Playa Negra is a black sand seashore. Visiting the seashore is a must-do in case you are searching for issues to do in Puerto Viejo. The pure attraction is exceptionally putting.

Playa Negra is positioned close to Puerto Viejo, so it’s simply slotted into busy itineraries. It is a wonderful place to take a fast detour between close by sights. However, Playa Negra can be an amazing browsing and sunbathing spot when you’ve got extra time to spend there.

8. Go horseback using on Playa Chiquita

Things to do in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica Horseback Riding

Just a twelve-minute drive down the coast from Puerto Viejo, you’ll discover Playa Chiquita. Playa Chiquita is a serene, tropical seashore – preferrred for a romantic seashore day. But for further pleasure, e-book a horseback using expertise on the seashore.

The tour firm Playa Chiquita Riding Adventures provides seashore rides that begin from an hour and will be prolonged to 2.5-hour experiences. Horseback using on the seashore is a dream for a lot of, and Playa Chiquita is an attractive place to make that dream a actuality. You don’t want to be an skilled rider to benefit from the tour. Since it’s a non-public tour, you’ll have your information’s full consideration in the event you want any further help. Riding alongside the gorgeous seashores of the southern Caribbean coast will likely be a reminiscence that lasts a lifetime.

If you need an thrilling however romantic factor to do close to Puerto Viejo, horseback using on Playa Chiquita undoubtedly ticks the field. Consider combining it with a go to to the Jaguar Rescue Center or Playa Cocles, that are a brief stroll from the using heart.

9. Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge

Things to do in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge

Visiting Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge is among the high issues to do in Puerto Viejo for nature lovers. Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge is residence to some stunning natural world. You can simply spend a day on its climbing trails and seashores. And the reserve is only a twenty-minute drive south of Puerto Viejo city heart.

Keep your eyes peeled for animals like sloths and monkeys in the treetops. Along the shoreline, you’re possible to spot hermit crabs and, in case you are fortunate, dolphins. Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge is the most effective place close to Puerto Viejo to see animals in their pure habitat. Costa Rica’s wildlife is extremely numerous, and this refuge is a good place to respect that.

Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge is the proper time out for any animal or nature lover. The refuge provides a perfect immersion in the event you haven’t skilled the rainforest earlier than. Bring bug spray, loads of water, a swimsuit, and snorkeling gear if you need to go snorkeling over the coral reef while you attain the ocean.

10. Tortuguero National Park

Places to visit in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica Tortuguero National Park

Once you’ve visited Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, Tortuguero National Park ought to undoubtedly be in your record. The nationwide park is among the trickiest locations to go to close to Puerto Viejo since it’s distant and has few roads. But the draw is powerful because the park is residence to sea turtles and a few of the most dramatic jungle surroundings. This half-day tour is an effective approach to see it from San Jose.

We counsel reserving a ship tour – which can whisk you across the distant canals you in any other case might by no means entry. You’ll spot caimans, toucans, and, hopefully, endangered sea turtles. If you go to between July and September, there’s an opportunity that you just’ll spot turtles nesting. Tortuguero National Park is residence to leatherback, hawksbill, loggerhead, and inexperienced sea turtles. All of those come again to their birthplace to lay their very own eggs annually.

This 5 day tour enables you to expertise a special aspect of Costa Rica combining 5 days in Tortuguero NP and Puerto Viejo. Leaving from San Jose, you’ll spend 5 days touring Costa Rica’s Caribbean together with lodging and transportation.

11. Go kayaking at Playa Punta Uva

Activities to do in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica Kayaking Punta UVa

A go to to Playa Punta Uva is all the time enjoyable, however for an additional expertise, lease a kayak or buy a guided kayaking tour. The seashore is famed for its calm waters and serene environment and tends to be quiet and with out crowds most days. You’ll have a simple introduction to ocean kayaking.

From your kayak, you’ll be able to discover the shoreline and entry all these areas you couldn’t on foot or by swimming. Kayaking is among the greatest water actions to mix a health problem with sightseeing. Playa Punta Uva is only a 20-minute drive from Puerto Viejo. For the most effective expertise, go to Punta Uva throughout the week relatively weekend to keep away from the additional crowds.

12. Go snorkeling at Playa Manzanillo

Things to see in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica Snorkelling Playa Manzanillo

Playa Manzanillo is only a 20-minute drive away from Puerto Viejo, and in the event you like marine life, it’s a excellent spot to go to. Playa Manzanillo is fashionable amongst divers and snorkelers alike, who love the seashore for its calm waters and vibrant underwater surroundings. But snorkeling at Playa Manzanillo is the least technical of the 2 and equally rewarding. Dolphin sightings are widespread, and, now and again, you’ll be able to spot manatees visiting the waters from their close by mangroves.

If you don’t have your individual snorkeling gear, you’ll be able to simply lease some from the rental outlets alongside Manzanillo’s beachfront. Just drop by a spot like Bad Bart’s and lease some gear for a number of hours.

13. Spend a lazy morning at Playa Puerto Viejo De Talamanca

Things to do in Puerto Viejo De Talamanca Costa Rica Playa

Playa Puerto Viejo might not be one in all Costa Rica’s greatest seashores. It is small, not notably stunning, and backs straight onto the busy city of Puerto Viejo. So why must you go to, chances are you’ll ask. In quick, Playa Puerto Viejo has the most effective environment of all of the seashores in this information.

Playa Puerto Viejo is a beloved native spot to calm down and unwind. You can do the identical, often whereas listening to the background sound of reggae music. Because of its central location, visiting Playa Puerto Viejo is among the most handy issues to do in Puerto Viejo. And, when you’ve got spent a number of hours on the seashore, you’ll be able to head to the row of beachfront bars to social gathering or seize some meals.

14. Take a chocolate tour

Things to do in the town of  Puerto Viejo Costa Rica Chocolate Tour

Most individuals know the origins of chocolate. Seeing the cacao timber and the method in particular person, although, is a special expertise fully. Since chocolate has such an illustrious, prolonged historical past in Costa Rica, it is just becoming that you’ve this expertise right here. And even higher, Puerto Viejo has its personal chocolate farm.

In Puerto Viejo, you’ll be able to take a incredible chocolate tour. The tour features a guided stroll by means of the cacao forest, the place you be taught in regards to the historical past and science behind chocolate. Of course, the chocolate tour whisks you away for a tasting session (be warned, early chocolate was bitter). There can be an opportunity to get a glimpse into the manufacturing course of.

Out of all of the Caribbean meals you can style in Costa Rica, chocolate is among the greatest domestically produced meals. A chocolate tour is a enjoyable (and scrumptious) approach you be taught in regards to the course of first-hand.

15. Cahuita National Park

Things to do near Puerto Viejo Costa Rica Cahuita National Park

If you’re visiting Costa Rica and love nature and wildlife, you should go to Cahuita National Park. The nationwide park is a component marine and half land reserve. It is alleged that its reef homes over 500 species of fish, so you’ll be able to simply think about how colourful and energetic the marine reserve is. On land, you’ll discover monkeys, nesting sea turtles, and lots of of chook species.

Cahuita National Park is only a 20-minute drive north of Cahuita National Park. It is a perfect day journey from Puerto Viejo, and you’ll spend hours wandering the climbing trails by means of the coastal jungle. Visiting Cahuita National Park is an lively exercise close to Puerto Viejo. You’ll be bountifully rewarded to your efforts with wildlife sightings galore. Make positive to deliver a digital camera and your water bottle – you’ll want each in equal doses.

16. Visit the Jaguar Rescue Center

Things to do see Puerto Viejo De Talamanca Costa Rica Jaguar Rescue Center

The Jaguar Rescue Center’s title is a bit of deceptive. You gained’t simply discover jaguars at this animal hospital, however animals of all sizes and shapes. You might come face-to-face with a primate, m0nkey, or reptile. All the animals are present process rehab to nurse them again into well being for launch again into the wild or have been deemed unsuitable for launch and are staying completely. The Jaguar Rescue Center does a incredible job advocating for and aiding injured wildlife.

You can take self-guided excursions of the Jaguar Rescue Center to see what this system is all about. The proceeds go in the direction of operating the charity and caring for all residents, so it’s good to know that your cash goes in the direction of a worthwhile trigger. The Jaguar Rescue Center is among the most healthful issues to do in Puerto Viejo.

Puerto Viejo FAQs

Now that we’ve coated all the most effective issues to do in Puerto Viejo, what else do you want to know? There is rather a lot to focus on Puerto Viejo, so this subsequent part will present FAQs for all probably the most generally requested questions. Let’s get began.

How to get to Puerto Viejo De Talamanca

How to get to Puerto Viejo Costa Rica via San Jose

Puerto Viejo doesn’t have its personal airport, which is sensible, contemplating it is just a small city. However, there are two airports comparatively close by which you could fly to attain Puerto Viejo.

The quickest approach to get to Puerto Viejo is to fly into Limon International Airport. You can lease a automobile from right here and drive simply an hour south alongside Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast to Puerto Viejo. If you don’t drive, it’s also possible to e-book a shuttle on-line or in particular person on the day. The essential shuttle firm is known as Caribe Shuttle and operates thrice a day, taking about an hour to attain Puerto Viejo.

If you’re struggling to discover frequent flights to Limon International Airport, take into account our second choice. This (additionally usually cheaper) choice is to fly into San Jose International Airport. However, it does take a bit of longer to attain Puerto Viejo when you land. Once you arrive in San Jose, you’ll have to lease a automobile and drive 4 to 5 hours to Puerto Viejo. Alternatively, catch a three-hour shuttle with an organization like Willie’s Tours Costa Rica Shuttles or a less expensive seven-hour public bus.

Getting round Puerto Viejo De Talamanca

Getting Around Puerto Viejo Costa Rica

Getting round Puerto Viejo is a chunk of cake. The Puerto Viejo space is so tiny which you could simply discover it on foot. Any native sights throughout the city are accessible on foot, like Playa Negra and the bars downtown. Even in the event you don’t fancy strolling, there are many bike leases to profit from, and you’ll be zipping round in no time.

Cycling to close by cities and sights like Manzanillo and the Jaguar Rescue Center is extraordinarily easy. Think of motorcycle leases as the proper answer if you need to sightsee simply outdoors Puerto Viejo. It is speedier than strolling, and rental prices are low, making it a budget-friendly approach to get round.

Ideally, if you need to go to locations additional afield, you need to rent a automobile. You’ll want to adapt to totally different driving kinds and street situations. Still, with a little bit of endurance and follow (and insurance coverage), you’ll quickly respect the liberty.

Sometimes you actually do want public transport. If you don’t drive, public transport will likely be your solely choice to go to additional afield. Finding return taxis in distant locations will be troublesome, and taxi costs can shortly add up anyway. Luckily two Puerto Viejo buses join the city with the remainder of the southern Caribbean coast. The two routes run from Limon to Sixaola and Limon to Manzanillo, stopping at notable locations like Bri Bri and Cahuita alongside the best way. It is simple to get round Puerto Viejo utilizing buses. Just verify the timetables beforehand, because the Limon to Manzanillo service will be relatively sporadic.

The greatest time to go to Puerto Viejo De Talamanca

Best things to do in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica

The greatest time to go to Puerto Viejo is between February and April or September to October. These months are the driest and have probably the most nice temperatures, offering the most effective climate to your keep.

However, in the event you’ve obtained the selection, we’d advocate visiting in September or October. This approach, you’ll be arriving simply in time for the tip of the turtle nesting interval and have the best likelihood of seeing child turtles. If you’ve got but to see child turtles, you need to undoubtedly go to throughout this era.

September and October are additionally the optimum snorkeling season. These are the months to go to if you need to get pleasure from recognizing turtles and snorkeling in calmer, clearer waters.

Where to keep in Puerto Viejo De Talamanca

Where to stay in Puerto Viejo De Talamanca Costa Rica

So, final however not least, the place must you keep in Puerto Viejo? Despite being a bit of city, Puerto Viejo has a variety of lodging choices. Whatever your finances, you need to discover one thing acceptable – so long as you don’t depart reserving lodging too late. These are our high suggestions for every finances.

Luxury: Umami Hotel

Umami Hotel is a luxurious five-star resort in Puerto Viejo’s heart. Guests entry a spa, out of doors pool, and room service. All rooms embrace luxurious facilities like a patio or balcony, plus tea and coffee-making services. Check evaluations and charges on

The resort’s inside design is tasteful and cozy, with no expense spared. Umami Hotel is the one for you if you need a glitzy and upscale place to keep in Puerto Viejo.

Mid-range: Selina Hostel Puerto Viejo

Selina Hostel Puerto Viejo is an attractive two-star hostel, ideally suited to a mid-range finances. The charming property has a big out of doors pool, though you’re only a seven-minute stroll from Cocles Beach if you need to swim in the ocean as a substitute. Further services embrace an informal restaurant, shared kitchen, child’s playground, surf membership, and scenic terrace. Check evaluations and charges on

The hostel has various room choices; you’ll be able to select between dorms, non-public rooms, and whole two-bedroom flats. There are even glamping choices in teepee tents if you need a very adventurous expertise.

Budget: Pagalu Hostel

Low-key and budget-friendly, Pagalu Hostel is an attractive place to keep in the middle of Puerto Viejo. Guests obtain locker entry, wi-fi, parking, and all-day tea and occasional. The communal areas are extremely cozy, with a terrace with hammocks and a separate patio space. Check evaluations and charges on

Choose between a non-public room or a basic hostel dormitory. If you need to splash out, you’ll be able to improve to select a non-public room with an ensuite.

To Conclude

Excited to check out this stuff to do in Puerto Viejo? You ought to be. The city is an attractive and fun-packed vacation spot in Costa Rica and the proper spot for an entertaining getaway.

If you get the prospect, take a look at our final Costa Rica journey ideas earlier than you go. Otherwise, have a incredible journey; we hope that you just expertise as a lot of this stuff to do in Puerto Viejo as potential.

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