Puerto Viejo Travel Guide

  • Reefrunnr dive shop
    Reefrunnr dive shop
    by Diverdan28
  • Playa Cocles
    Playa Cocles
    by cfritz75
  • Playa Cocles
    Playa Cocles
    by Tom_In_Madison

Puerto Viejo Highlights

  • Pro
    Lidrokz profile photo

    Lidrokz says…

     the laidback way of life 

  • Con
    arasnosliw profile photo

    arasnosliw says…

     sand flies...bite my ass and everything else 

  • In a nutshell
    easterntrekker profile photo

    easterntrekker says…

     A little bit of Jamaica in Central America 

Puerto Viejo Things to Do

  • Jaguar Rescue Center

    They do 2 tours a day, 9:30 & 11:30. They rescue hurt or abandoned animals, nurse them back to health and then reintroduce them to their habitat. They do good work, and give a great tour. Saw sloths, parrots, caiman, owls, birds of prey and they let you go into the monkey cage--so you're in the middle of monkeys flying all around. One jumped on my...

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  • Yoga in Costa Rica

    If you are looking for yoga in Costa Rica, I can't say enough good things about the instructor, Silvia Broussard.She teaches at Shakti Yoga Studio https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shakti-Yoga-Studio/116082825145542?ref=ts in Puerto Viejo (on the Caribbean side).You can read all about her classes in my recent story : "New Life Lessons Learned Through...

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  • Walk to Punta Uva

    The walk from PV to Punta Uva is pleasant and a great way to take in the sites. However, the first few kilometres south of town can be very dusty and heavy with traffic. Take the alternative which is the path along the beach. It starts just south of town,and goes all the way to Cocles. Its very well shaded and is cool even on a hot day.The path is...

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Puerto Viejo Hotels

Puerto Viejo Restaurants

  • Mostly veg restaurant

    Veggie restaurant upstairs. Big menu, mostly vegetarian, good juices. I ordered a coconut water, but they were out of coconuts. No problem, the guy stepped over the railing, walked across the corrugated roof to a coconut tree and cut 1 off the tree.

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  • Tasty Waves

    A beachside bar/restaurant run by a group of people from California I think. Stopped in for something to eat about 7pm, and had a couple tacos and a beer. They run free movies on a wall at 7:30 and 9:30 too, so sat around and watched that. They gave out free popcorn. Not much else to do at night anyway, so it was nice. The next day they had a band...

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  • Organic Goodness

    Veronica's is a very small restaurant (more like her patio). There is no menu. She's a very sweet lady who makes all her dishes from organically grown ingredients. You feel as though you're in your grandmother's kitchen. It was a comforting feeling after being away from home for so long. The soy mango shake and sweet bread.

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Puerto Viejo Nightlife

  • A little bit of Ireland

    Believe it or not there's an irish pub. I think I'm going to start a sollection of all the places in the world I find one! If you're dying for fish and chips ...this is the spot! Casual!!!

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  • Movie and Beer

    3 free movies daily. If you´re up for dinner and a movie this is the spot. They have a big screen and typical fare food. They offer free beer for a used San Jose bus ticket too! Casual

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  • Happy "Happy Hour"

    Not to be confused with the Chili Rojo Restaurant on the main street.This small bar is run by a father & daughter originally from our neck of the woods-Kamloops,B.C. Canada. The bartender was super friendly & made THE best Margaritas we had anywhere in Costa Rica! Our Happy Hour price lasted all night,I think because we were from the same...

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Puerto Viejo Transportation

  • Take the MEPE bus to get there

    From San Jose, catch the MEPE (Costa Rica's national bus line) bus to Puerto Viejo. There are about four buses per day, with the first leaving at 6 a.m. It's a 4-1/2 hour ride and the cost is about $8 U.S. Dollars. Try to buy your tickets a day or two ahead of time because the buses sometimes sell out. The bus terminal for this trip is Terminal...

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  • Puerto Viejo to San Jose

    Mepe has good reliable service to San Jose but it is still a relatively long trip. A few things I have done to make it easier.a) If you are planning to take a rafting trip, do it on your way out of PV. I did a rafting trip on the Pacare River. The excursion bus picks you up in PV and takes you to the river. Another bus will take you into San Jose...

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  • Rent a bike

    There are plenty of bike rental places all aropund town. $3/day is the going rateWhen renting a bicycle make sure that the tires are well inflated, chain is greased, and ask if someone will pick you up if there is a problem with the bike.

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Puerto Viejo Shopping

  • Supermarkets

    Old harbour is a fairly well stocked supermarket right on the main street. If you don't see what you need, ask the staff; they are very helpful. You can also get a number of pharmacutecals that might require a prescription back home. Fair market value. Things are well marked and you never get over priced.

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  • Need groceries?

    While there are plenty of grocery stores in Puerto Viejo Supermercado Old Harbor is the largest with the best selection and prices

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  • Supplies

    There is grocery store on the main street ...you see it as soon as you get to town . They carry the basics....food and toileteries. They are oopen everyday. Prices are low by our standards

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Puerto Viejo Local Customs

  • local in Puerto Viejo dancing to reggae

    by arasnosliw Written Jul 12, 2005

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Is this guy Jamaican, Bahaman, West Indian? Nope, he is Costa Rican. Most people are surprised to find out that a large majority of inhabitants on the Caribbean coast of the country are of Afro-Caribbean descent. They speak English almost perfectly, and they also speak the Caribbean creole along with the national language, Spanish. This is the side of Costa Rica that most tourists don’t see. The locals are proud of their heritage and maintain their distinct culture. With the mentality of this culture comes an extremely laid-back atmosphere. Braids, dreads, jerk, fish, chicken, little green plants, peace, love, harmony, reggae music. This is what life’s all about.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Beaches
    • Budget Travel

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Puerto Viejo Warnings and Dangers

  • Danger for Bike Riders

    Many visitors borrow or rent bikes to tour the road between Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo. The road is paved and vehicles give wide berth to bikers and pedestrians. However, a few kilometers east of Punta Uva you run into a couple hills. Because most all these bikes are one speed you'll be tempted to pick up speed to get up any hill. At one point you...

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  • Petty theft-Punta Uva

    Punta uva beach is about 6 Km south of Puerto Viejo. Its a beautiful beach with a reef that runs right up to the waterline. However, it seems to a be a focus for petty thieves.If you want to go snorkeling, find someone else who wants to do the same thing, then take turns swimming and watching your stuff. And don't leave your stuff under the trees-...

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  • Tourists pay more

    We've always heard that many restaurants have 2 menus...one with tourist prices & one with prices for locals. We have several very close friends that in PVdT & they confirmed this when we last saw them in Dec. 2008. Our one friend is black (born in CR but lived in the US for years) & her hubby is a white US american. Her & her hubby recently moved...

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Puerto Viejo Tourist Traps

  • Bicycle Rentals- be careful

    Puerto Viejo and the vacinity is small enough that getting around by bicycle should be ideal. However, many of the rental shops don't maintain their bicycles at all. You can end up with a very rough ride, or even pushing your bike back to town. Ask the rentor if you can take it for a test ride for a few minutes to check the suspension, brakes, and...

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  • Bike Rentals for people staying longer...

    Most bike rental places charge $4-5 / day. This is very high considering the bikes all cost about $80-90. It is best to shop around. When quoted price, just ask if "that is their best price". Best thing to do if you are staying over 2 weeks is to buy a bike from hardware store (San Francsico in Playa Negra) and sell it for 50% of purchace upon...

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  • Puerto Viejo Hotels

    20 Hotels in Puerto Viejo

    180 Reviews and Opinions

Puerto Viejo What to Pack

  • My top three list

    1. backpacks are a must- you'll always end up carrying your bag several blocks to and from the bus stops.2. a beachbag to hold you towels, swim gear, camera. Something mesh is best that will allow things to dry out.3. a folding cooler bag for keeping the brew cool when you head to the beach. Leave it behind when you depart- someone will appreciate...

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  • What to bring

    flip flops if you're planning hardcore hiking, take bootsshortst-shirts Small medical kitSmall sewing kitToiletries and prescription medsSunglasses, spare glasses, contacts SunblockBug spray 2 swimsuitsBeach towel Small Umbrella Small flashlightCameraGuidebook (Lonely Planet or Moon guide)Journal/writing materialsSpanish/English dictionaryDeck...

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  • Mosquito repellent is a must!!

    Travel light!! You don´t need much here! Take a long sleaved shirt and light long pants! They´re the best dress for the evenings when the mosquitos are out!! There is more rain on the atlantic coast so there are more mosquitos! You can buy everything here ...even sunscreen . I always need pepto bismal at least once , so I always take it with me.

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Puerto Viejo Off The Beaten Path

  • 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

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  • Amazing waterfall

    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 fromIf the owner of the land is around he might show up and charge 1000 colones admission fee

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  • 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!

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Puerto Viejo Sports & Outdoors

  • Play Paintball in the Jungle!

    I recommend this paintball field because you have 2 large jungly fields to play on and you can take a hike through their trails during down time. I suggest it for anyone who wants a bit of an adrenaline rush while visiting the south caribbean town of puerto viejo. They give you a snack and juice, and have the option for you to buy lunch - with a...

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  • Dive Puerto Viejo

    Reefrunner Divers offers scuba diving to a variety of sites from Puerto Viejo to Manzanillo. Their office is located right on the beach in Puerto Viejo. I have been diving with Reefrunners for the past six years and have only good experiences and memories. This is a relatively small operation but very people friendly. Their strong point is very...

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Puerto Viejo Favorites

  • NOW is the Time to Visit the Caribbean

    What many people do not realize is that the weather on Costa Rica’s Caribbean side is quite different from the rest of the country. When it is rainy season on the Pacific side it’s dry and sunny here in the Caribbean, where I live. Yet the temperatures are milder than mid summer. Ask anyone else who lives here, September is the most beautiful month...

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  • Leaving is a hard thing to do

    I’m waiting for the bus to take me away from Puerto Viejo. Kids’ colorful paintings adorn the trashcans and buildings. It’s hard to part with such a beautiful and laid-back town, but I knew that if I stayed any longer I may have spent the rest of my vacation here. It’s sad but true. I encountered many people here who have been down here...

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  • big scary insect

    What in the **** is this? It looks like a giant mutated grasshopper. Well, whatever it was, it made quite the fantastic photo. The sucker kept scratching me with its needle-like feet. And after I held this and snapped a few shots I had orange pus of some sort all over my hand. If anyone would kindly inform me as to what this is so I don’t have to...

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Explore Deeper into Puerto Viejo
THE best breakfasts!!!
Restaurants
They saw us coming
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mmmmmmmm
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Baptist Church
Things to Do
Visit the Finca La Isla Botanical Garden !
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costarica -panama
Warnings and Dangers
If you don't want to get ripped off......
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Canopy Tour
Things to Do
It's turtle nesting season
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the Bad and the Ugly
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Public bus
Transportation
Chile Rojo - Excellent Curries
Restaurants
@t E's Restaurant - A fun place to hang out
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Lizard King - Good food but slooooow service
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Excelent sandwiches!
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Stanford's - dont bother
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Cafe Rico - BEST coffee ever!
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Good and inexpensive food at De Paso
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Great place to people watch
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Parque Nacional Cahuita
Things to Do
Zip line tour.
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Refugio Gandoca-Manzanillo
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Hot Sand!!!!!!!!
Warnings and Dangers
Jordan's Jacuzzi Suites
Restaurants
Gorgeous flowers
Things to Do
Pizza
Restaurants
Outdoor market
Shopping
Red legged honey creeper
Things to Do
See the Blue- Gray Tanager
Things to Do
Surfing
Things to Do
People Watching
Things to Do
Watch you bags
Warnings and Dangers
Skip the ice
Warnings and Dangers
Rent a bike
Transportation
Thai !!
Restaurants
Sushi!!
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Handmade souvenirs
Shopping
Skip this one
Restaurants
The best food in town
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live music
Restaurants
Map of Puerto Viejo

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