Puerto Viejo

Once smaller than Cahuita, Puerto Viejo or Old Harbour, has become the Caribbean beach town in recent years, due largely to the Lonely Planet’s listing of the town as one of the five must-visit places in Costa Rica. The town is laid-back with European and North American ex-pats bringing vegan restaurants, yoga and tree-hugging to this once sleepy fishing village. It’s party night every night, and although there’s restaurants and accommodation for every taste and budget, it’s the best place along the coast for shoestring travelers.

Five highlights:

  • Partying on the beach at Stanford’s
  • Buying fresh, organic fruit and vegetables at Saturday’s famers’ market
  • Jumping off the barge on Playa Negra
  • Breakfast at Bread and Chocolate with Jerk sauce on potatoes
  • Surfing Salsa Brava

Getting there:

Buses leave hourly to and  from Cahuita.

A private taxi will charge about $20 to go from Cahuita to Puerto Viejo, but expect to pay more for late night journey.

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