Costa Rica's lesser-known Caribbean town of Puerto Viejo

Courtesy Wha'ppen/Flickr
Playas de Cahuita, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica

Reader Zoe writes:

Whenever anyone writes about Costa Rica they're usually referring to the west coast or the string of volcanoes. But I reckon the best place in Costa Rica is the little publicized Caribbean coast—untouched by mass tourism, no big resorts or group tourism, beaches that rival anything the 'traditional Caribbean' has to offer—and all without a hefty price tag.…

I know—I live here! Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is a charming village stuffed with great restaurants, atmospheric bars, spectacular beaches and huge tracts of pristine rainforest. Whoever wants an affordable holiday with everything the Caribbean rainforest and coast have to offer will find it here…waking to howler monkeys, spotting toucans from your breakfast table, surfing/swimming/snorkelling in azure seas dotted with fishing pelicans, sloths sleeping on branches, morpho butterflies fluttering past…and so the list goes on. This is Nature in big letters!

Put that together with a mass of different activities on offer (Horseback jungle tours, zip lining through the canopy,dolphin watching and deep sea fishing, chocolate tours, indigenous settlements, white water rafting to name just a few) and it's the most gorgeous holiday destination. And since it's a short drive from the Panama border it's also a great place to combine with a trip to Bocas del Torro…if you can tear yourself away from Puerto Viejo that is. But keep it to yourself—mainstream tourism has not arrived in Puerto Viejo yet—make sure you do before it does!


Which Costa Rica Is Right For You? Award-winning travel writer Christopher Baker offers tips on how to find the part of Costa Rica that will most interest you.

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