Things to Do
THE TOWN OF PUERTO VIEJO DE TALAMANCA
We find this blog describes it best: "Puerto Viejo is an awesome, laidback, Caribbean, Euro-backpacker, Rasta-surfer town on the south Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. This tiny little town offers up an amazing variety of international culinary flavors as well as a wide variety of experiences to choose from. You can surf the world famous Salsa Brava, relax in the natural rock tide pools at the edge of the ocean, party the night away downtown, or unwind in a secluded jungle bungalow!"
Useful links: www.gobackpacking.com, anywhere Costa Rica, wikitravel.org
One of the best places to snorkel is Cahuita National park which has the largest coral reef in South Central America. There are lots of tour options that combine a boat ride to the reef followed by hiking in the rain forest. When we snorkeled we saw lots of colorful fish, a stingray and even a small tiburon (shark) sleeping at the bottom of the ocean!
Useful links: Punta Uva Dive Center
The Caribbean coast of Costa Rica offers over 50 miles of pristine coral reef to explore, extending from Puerto Viejo to the Panama border. There are two dozen fixed diving sites that range from low depth to several hundred feet deep!
Useful links: http://puntauvadivecenter.com/
The Caribbean coast of Costa Rica is well known for its world class surfing. The famous Salsa Brava waves are near Puerto Viejo. These are thick Hawaiian style waves that build in deep water and break over a shallow reef.
Useful links: Salsa Brava Surf Report
This is another fun outdoor excursion to do in the area with lovely cliffs and caves to explore along the coast. Many tours also combine the experience with a hike in the rain forest.
Useful links: River and sea kayaking with forest hike tour
Explore beaches on the back of a lovely horse with the help of a guide.
Useful links: Horseback riding tour
A typical experience to make when in Costa Rica is to zip-line through the rain forest getting a birds-eye view of the flora and the fauna that lives in the tree tops while getting an adrenaline rush!
Useful links: Gecko Trail Adventures
One of the most beautiful national parks which extends for several miles along the coast just north of Puerto Viejo. Beyond the breathtaking beaches here you will see lots of wildlife from howler monkeys to sloths and racoon. You can explore the park on your own or take a guided tour.
Useful links: Cahuita National Park Hike
Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge and Turtle Watching
This amazing ecological treasure is one of the primary sites for the nesting of leatherback turtles. It offers also spectacular beaches and a wide ecological diversity.
Useful links: Gandoca-Manzanillo refuge Jungle Hike, Turtle Watching Tour
This is a wonderful way to experience the local wildlife up close and learn about them from some very dedicated and knowledgeable volunteer guides. The best part for us is interacting with baby monkeys and seeing the sloths up close!
"The Kekoldi people were once part of the Bribri indigenous tribe, but formed their own, separate group years ago. Today, they live at the base of the Talamanca Mountains, in a reserve that is known for migrating birds of prey, green iguana protection efforts, medicinal herb gardens and beautiful handmade crafts"
Useful links: ateccr.org bird-watching-in-kekoldi-indigenous-territory
Cocoa trees are indigenous to the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. You can find a few of them in our very own garden at Casitas las Flores! This tour will give a chance to learn and enjoy one of nature's greatest gifts!
Useful links: Koko Buzz Article, caribeanschocolate
Despite its remote location (about 3 hours of scenic boat ride from Limon) this is the third most visited park in Costa Rica for its amazing biodiversity. You can experience toucans, spider and howler monkeys, the majestic morpho butterfly, the basilisk lizards and so much more in their natural habitat. You'll be taken by boat through the delta of the river running through the park by a local guide who will amaze you with their ability to spot animals and repeat bird calling sounds!
Useful links: geckotrail.com, Frommer's Article on Tortuguero
Pacuare Whitewater Rafting
About a one hour drive from Puerto Viejo you can experience whitewater rafting in the pristine waters of the Pacuare river. The river is located in a natural gorge and offers an exciting ride while being up close to waterfalls, the virgin tropical rain forest and colorful tropical birds flying above you.
Useful links: Anywhere Costa Rica, Two Day Hike and Paddle Rafting trip
Bocas Del Toro, Panama
This spectacular archipelago is located just south of the border with Costa Rica in Panama , about a three hour drive from Puerto Viejo. Words cannot express the Caribbean beauty of these islands!
Useful links: Bocas del Toro website, Bocas del Toro one day tour, to/from Bocas del toro