Puerto Viejo – Beaches, Surf, Snorkel

Great for honeymoons and families and those that like a quiet beaches

Available Adventures: Hiking, Horse Riding, Ziplines and Canopy Tour, Surf, SUP, Diving, Snorkeling, Chocolate Tours, Wildlife, National Parks and more…

Riding the Salsa Brava wave in Puerto Viejo is what attracts hordes of surfers to this small but lively Caribbean town. Most popular for surfers, backpackers and laid-back tourists, Puerto Viejo has a unique bohemian and cosmopolitan charm, distinctive Afro-Caribbean culture, and a trove of flavors and sounds. With beach-facing Jamaican restaurants offering spicy food to the sound of reggae or calypso, delicious local or international cuisine served in shaded courtyards or on verandas, bars and discos, Puerto Viejo offers a real Caribbean experience. It’s also a great starting point to explore the southernmost towns and beaches of the Caribbean Coast.

Costa Rica Adventure Vacation in Puerto Viejo

puerto-viejoIn and around Puerto Viejo, you will find plenty of opportunities for adventure. Tours are offered to discover the local Afro-Caribbean and indigenous cultures, as well as the rainforest that keel-billed toucans, iguanas, monkeys, and sloths call home. Zip-line canopy tours, horseback riding, scuba diving, surfing lessons, yoga retreats and white water rafting trips are offered in Puerto Viejo. Nonetheless, surfing remains the major reason tourists head for Puerto Viejo and the heart of its off-beat culture. Breaking over relatively shallow reefs,

the Salsa Brava is a right-handed tube-wave that can reach a height of 6 meters. Only experts should risk the Salsa Brava, as it is considered to be one of the most technical waves in the world. For mellower waters, head south to Playa Cocles. There, beginner and intermediate surfers, as well as swimmers and sunbathers, will be delighted to avoid the crowds and discover moderate waves and white sands backed by lush rainforest. Driving or biking further down the single road that links Puerto Viejo to Manzanillo to the south, you will enter the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge and find a series of less frequented, yet stunning, beaches. Playa Chiquita is an assembly of small, secluded coves offering white sands and crystalline waters. Close-by is the Green Iguana Conservation Tour, where you can learn about the life cycle and threats to this graceful, iridescent endangered reptile. In Punta Uva, hiking opportunities are abundant, and the water is clear and turquoise. Finally, at the end of the road near the Panama border lies the small town of Manzanillo.

Exploring Wildlife

puerto-viejo-surfingThe Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge is home to many endangered species in an exquisite setting. Manatees, crocodiles, caimans, numerous bird species, and sea turtles can be observed, as well as a unique natural mangrove-oyster bed. From March to July, the Leatherback turtles, the largest sea turtles in the world, nest on Gandoca Beach. Close to Manzanillo, a tiny town located inside the Refuge, coral reefs shield the beach from the choppy surf, providing clear waters and the best snorkeling and diving opportunities on the Caribbean Coast. As if the region was not already charming enough, three species of dolphins can be spotted frolicking just offshore.