Puerto Viejo Costa Rica Area Information
Puerto Viejo Costa Rica is a vibrant seaside town which lies 34 miles south east of Puerto Limon, and 10.2 miles south of Cahuita. Located in the Limón province on the shores of the Caribbean sea, Puerto Viejo is considered one of the most happening places in Costa Rica. It is the largest tourist destination in Costa Rica's Caribbean coast.
Known for its warm, crystal clear blue waters, pristine, uncrowded beaches, excellent restaurants, Rasta-Jamaican influence, and exotic tropical fauna, Puerto Viejo was built around a beautiful bay with calm water for swimming. The distance from San Jose to Puerto Viejo is 130 miles (210 km).
Additionally, there are many interesting attractions nearby such as the Cahuita National Park, Talamanca Indian Reserve and Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge. Puerto Viejo Costa Rica is fast becoming one of Costa Rica's premier tourist hot spots.
"Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is a decidedly Caribbean concoction of perfect beaches, spectacular surfing and laid back afternoons, spiced with the most happening music, nightlife and restaurant scene on the coast. But don't expect to be the only gringo in town, more expats are moving here every year."
-Lonely Planet Guide
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Hurricane Free Zone!
The Southern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica is completely free of hurricanes! At 9 degrees north of the equator, we are blissfully free of worrying about hurricanes!
Click on the map on the right to view complete cumulative hurricane track data for the Atlantic Ocean.
Gorgeous Tropical Beaches
From Puerto Viejo south to Punta Mona (Monkey Point), about 25 km, and to Cahuita, 30 kilometers to the north, stretch fabulous empty beaches dotted with coral reefs. These beaches are known to be some of the best in Costa Rica. Coconuts trees dot the white and black sand beaches mixed along the coast line, all the way to the border of Panama.
With a picture-perfect tropical influence, you can find miles of deserted, palm tree fringed beaches in which to spend hours snorkeling, strolling or reading peacefully. Or sit under the shade of a palm tree and be entertained by the local scene at the more populated hangouts. You will also find lovely calm coves that form small protected pools – perfect for children or lazy afternoons basking in sun and shade. From Manzanillo south to Punta Mona (Monkey Point) is about a 25 km walk or boat ride, as there are no roads. The beaches are gorgeous and interchanged with beautiful rock formations and overhanging palms.
There is a long stretch of beautiful pristine beach which extends past Playa Chiquita to Manzanillo and beyond Monkey Point (Punta Mona) and Gandoca. Much of this region is under protection by the government of Costa Rica as a wildlife reserve, and is a fantastic place for snorkeling, nature hiking or observing troops of howler monkeys.
World Class Surfing
Puerto Viejo Costa Rica is legendary among the surfing crowd and is among the top rated surfing destinations of the world. Many international surfers come here from all over the world to ride what has been called the heaviest wave in Costa Rica: Salsa Brava - a thick Hawaiian style wave that builds in deep water and whose boxy barrel hammers thunderously over a shallow reef. The biggest waves in Costa Rica break in Puerto Viejo when there is a swell. Surfers also love the long stretch of beach at Playa Cocles in front of Break Bay Island - a more consistent break with lefts and rights breaking close to the beach and which is good for novices and intermediates.
Playa Negra (Black Beach) offers a great beach break with waves year round and, along with Punta Uva, is among the safest beaches in the area. There's plenty of fun for beginners here as well as free community surf activities for kids. The Playa Negra break is perfect for beginners taking lessons. And Manzanillo, located in the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, 20 km south of Puerto Viejo, sports a fast break at the northern end.
Countless Outdoor Activities
You will find adventures galore here including scuba diving & certification, snorkeling, surfing, canopy tours (including ariel trams and zip lines), sea and river kayaking, kayak surfing, fishing, jungle adventure/rainforest tours, boat tours, birding, turtle sanctuaries, chocolate tours, eco tours, dolphin tours, indigenous Bri Bri tours, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, hiking tours, cultural and educational tours.
The area is filled with abundant wildlife and bio diversity, with over 400 species of birds, almost 500 species of fish, and more than 40 species of coral including kingfishers, parrots, hummingbirds, sloths, toucans, monkeys, iguanas, lizards, frogs, a myriad of butterflies, basilisk lizards, otters, manatees. On the coral reefs are a myriad of life forms to see such as angelfish, parrot fish, triggerfish, mackerel, red snapper, jacks, crabs, rock lobsters, octopus, eel, squid, rays, starfish, brain coral, fire coral, sheet coral, lettuce coral and star coral.
The town of Puerto Viejo Costa Rica can host your days and evenings of shopping, Salsa & Caribbean dancing and delicious dining to Costa Rican and international cuisine. Some of the restaurants are famous for their Caribbean style seafood and reggae music, and you can also find wonderful international cuisine all within walking distance of town center. With it's relaxed, laid back atmosphere, this once quiet fishing village is poised to become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean. Other local stands are known for their natural juice drinks and delicious breakfasts. Local women in Puerto Viejo make coconut bread, jam, biscuits, pattys and other homemade treats in the tradition of Limón.
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