The Unique Vibe of the Caribbean
Veteran visitors to Costa Rica and travelers who prefer to venture off the beaten tourist path love Puerto Viejo for its unique vibe. There’s plenty to see and do in the area, from surfing to learning how chocolate is made, tasting artisanal ice cream, and exploring the indigenous culture. Oh - and the hotels in Puerto Viejo offer a truly boutique experience!
Location and Culture
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is located on the country's southeastern coast, in the province of Limón bordering the Caribbean Sea.
Once a quiet seaside village, Puerto Viejo has blossomed into an international destination with a relaxed Caribbean vibe. Young travelers flock here for outstanding surf, party vibe, relaxed atmosphere, and pristine beaches.
Surf and Scuba
The area is a popular spot for surfers who travel from around the world to catch Costa Rica's most powerful wave, the Salsa Brava. Away from this wave, other beaches provide smaller waves for beginners. Scuba diving and snorkeling are also popular pastimes in this Caribbean beach town.
Food and Chocolate
If you work up an appetite while surfing, head to the Chocolate Museum, which offers tours to show how this delicious treat is made from local ingredients.
Azania Bungalows in Puerto Viejo
One of the best Puerto Viejo hotels is the Azania Bungalows.
These thatched-roof accommodations blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings, without sacrificing the amenities you’ve come to expect from a perfect trip.
The freeform pool and jacuzzi at Azania are surrounded by lush vegetation, just steps away from the beach.
Aguas Claras Hotel
Aguas Claras is one of the best hotels near Puerto Viejo, a short walk from the beach with a Caribbean-Victorian style.
There’s a massage room, an open-air yoga studio, a pool, and a restaurant. The gardens are home to monkeys, sloths, and butterflies.
One of the most elegant options in Puerto Viejo is Le Cameleon, a boutique hotel known for changing the accent colors in the rooms daily, like a chameleon.
This unique touch gives a bit of playfulness to your stay. Located close to Cocles Beach, Le Chameleon has a beach club with yoga, spa treatments, live music, pool, and a bar/restaurant.
FAQs About a Stay in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
Is Puerto Viejo worth visiting?
Puerto Viejo is well worth visiting. It’s popular among young travelers and those who appreciate a laid-back, off-the-beaten-path location with great beaches and Caribbean food.
What is Puerto Viejo known for?
It’s known primarily for it's surfing - The Salsa Brava is by far Costa Rica's most powerful wave. Puerto Viejo also has a laid-back vibe with live music all over town and many beaches. It’s also become known for its tasty Caribbean cuisine, fresh seafood, and gourmet gastronomy with artisanal ice cream, pizza, and chocolate.
How far is Puerto Viejo from the beach?
Puerto Viejo is the beach! The central part of town is just a block from the sea with beachfront bars and restaurants. There are bungalow-type hotel options in Puerto Viejo, and luxury hotels are found within 10-15 minutes of town on some beautiful beaches nearby.
How many days do you need in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica?
Three to five nights would be an ideal time to spend in Puerto Viejo. You can also stay much longer because there are so many tours and adventures. Surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, hiking, and more are all available here.
Is Puerto Viejo safe to visit?
Yes, but as in any location, keep an eye on your valuables and do stay in populated areas.