See how chocolate is made
On the road between Puerto Viejo and Bribri (look for the sign) there is an indigenous family who will give demonstrations (in spanish) on how they made chocolate from the cocoa bean. They also have delicious chocolates and brownies flavored with mint, cloves, and cinnamon for sale
On the road between Puerto Viejo and Bribri there is a bridge. On the left hand side you will see a wooden gate with a path headed down to the bottom of the waterfall.
The smaller waterfall is safe to jump from
If the owner of the land is around he might show up and charge 1000 colones admission fee
Punta Uva, calm waters
This is one of the nicer beaches in the PV vicinity though not too close to town: you can walk along the beaches (a LONG 2 hours which becomes longer if it starts to rain), take a taxi from downtown PV across from the bus station (we paid 3500 colones total for 4 people) or rent a bike for the day: for about $5 this is your best option and the best way to explore the beaches. It is about 30 minutes to ride out to Punta Uva.
There is one soda on the beach though slightly expensive. Nothing else really in the area so come prepared with snacks and drinks. Bring bug repellent though that wont likely help much with the AWFUL sand flies that will bite you mercilessly. Stay in the water!
now that be blue.
Although the beaches along the southern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica are all nice, the water isn't azure, the way most people conjure up images of the Caribbean to be. In Punta Uva however, I was surprised to see that the color of the water was so turquoise blue and crystalline. It was a nice change from the bland water I had been seeing for days prior to this.
Punta Uva and nudie boys
Walk, hitch a ride, or bike south to Punta Uva. It's a mere 10 kilometers or so from Puerto Viejo. The beach here is beautiful and there are hardly any people around. When I was there, there was less than a handful of others. That is except for the nudies. I walked along the beach and wasn't too shocked when I encountered a young girl sunbathing topless. However, I was a bit flabbergasted when I walked further down the beach and saw a group of buck naked men roasting their white buttocks and wieners in the sun. Anyone want a hotdog? They tried to hide behind all these logs, but they didn't do too good of a job hiding from me.
Ride bikes to Manzanillo
This is a beautiful trip! Be warned though-leave early while the day is still cool & there is less traffic & more shady spots.It took us about 2 hours to get to Manzanillo(we stopped & explored lots)& the ride wasn't too strenuous.There are a few hills but they are managable.We arrived around 9 a.m.,had breakfast(yuk:see restaraunts) then walked along the beach & explored the town before heading back to P.V. around noon. Coming back was alot harder-it was HOT,there was tons of traffic & virtually no shade anywhere.We had 2 flat tires & ended up pushing our bikes for over 6kms in the blistering heat. Check with the bike rental place to see what they will do if you have bike trouble! Despite being slathered in 40 sunblock & having plenty of water,we were dangerously exhausted by time we got back to P.V. Again-this is a great ride & the town of Manzanillo is worth a look, if you dont want to brave the road on bikes-take a local bus & you'll have more time to explore the Gandoca-Manzanillo Refuge
- Jungle and Rain Forest
- National/State Park
Manzanillo Hiking Trail
Manzanillo is a small town a short drive from Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean side of the country. If you drive to the southern end of the town, there is a dirt/sand road that continues onto/along the beach. If you follow that road until it ends, you can follow the beach several hundred meters until you reach a trail that goes back into the rainforest. The trail weaves in and out of the RF, on and off of the beach, to many deserted and picturesque stretches of beach. There is plenty of wildlife to be seen and heard along the way as well. This is a great hike and well worth getting a pair of shoes muddy and wet.
Leave a comment and let me know if there is something that I could add to make this tip better!
A fabulous guide
I can't find his name, but he speaks both English and Spanish. He is an expert guide and knows so much about the area. He also has the eyes of a hawk. He kept us away from the poison ants and he literally saved me from a nasty bite from those short, sandy skinned, triangle headed snakes. Apparently I'm blanking on all sorts of names right now.
A local, indigenous guide is the only way to see this reserve legally. They live there, and treat the land with respect. Please sign up for one of these tours properly and make sure you have a bag to carry our any waste.
Anyway, he and his family are lovely and I highly recommend this tour!!
Check out the tourism office in Puerto Viejo.
Take a tour of the reserve!
I had the greatest day with my local guide and another couple from the Midwest. We toured through mud, streams, hills, rocks, and avoided snakes for the most part.
We ended up at this wonderful waterfall where we dunked our feet and cleaned off our shoes.
The tour is given by the indigenous tribe that owns the reserve. No one else is supposed to be on it unaccompanied. The cash goes straight to the guide and you also get a chance to buy crafts (woven and chiseled) straight from the people. There is also an iguana farm on the tour.
Make a reservation at the tourist office in Puerto Viejo. They're very cool. The tour went from about 8:30 AM to about 4 PM. Bring a lunch and water!
Bike to Manzanillo
There are a few sodas in the area. Rent a bike for the day for $5 and it will be about a 1 hour ride from town. Buses are few and far between and tend to go at unusual hours. Enjoy the sun and sand!