Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Puerto Viejo offers an array of activities for visitors, mostly during the high season when the surf is strong and the town is full. Known for a lively night life, people come from across the World to dance and enjoy the live music in Puerto Viejo

  • Excursions into the indigenous reserves are a notable attraction
  • Barrier reef runs along the coast flourishing with more than 35 species of coral
  • Puerto Viejo means Old Port in English

Puerto Viejo lies about twenty miles south of Puerto Limon, and is legendary among surfing aficionados of the world, who come for an outrageous storm-generated wave called La Salsa Brava, that runs up over fifteen feet high, only for the highly skilled and highly adventurous. In November and December are supposed to be the best months for top surfing on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, but all the way to March outstanding surf can be found on the beaches in and around Puerto Viejo. November through April, Puerto Viejo is crowded with surfers.

Excursions into the indigenous reserves are a notable attraction to be found in Puerto Viejo, as well as a visit to the notable local botanical garden, or travel to the popular Bocas del Toro off the coast of Panama. Hiking, rafting, surfing lessons, quad rentals, rapelling, horseback riding, as well as snorkeling, dolphin watching tours, and diving excursions can all be arranged for this spectacular caribbean water destination.

Expats residing in the area provide variety and flavor to the town with their local bistros and delis that sit alongside the typical Costa Rican moderately priced restaurants along the main road and beachfront. There’s accommodations for every price range in Puerto Viejo, with a wide range of cabinas, lodges, guest houses, and hotels to choose from. On peak weekends, accommodations are impossible to find due to the crowds that throng there to party.

How to get there:

From San Jose, take Rt. 32 all the way to Limon. In Limon, turn right on Rt. 36 and follow it all the way down the coast until you reach Puerto Viejo. Though this sounds like an easy drive, it is not. If you are driving, be sure to use a GPS and lower it out of sight as you drive through the city of Limon. You can contact us for private or shuttle transportation options as a safer alternative.

You do not need a rental car to visit Puerto Viejo. There are plenty of taxis available. Many visitors rent bicycles to get around (though we do not necessarily recommend biking it).

Puerto Viejo’s barrier reef runs along the coast flourishing with more than 35 species of coral and hiding magnificent, bizarre and beloved sea life that includes sea turtles, eels, lobsters, nurse sharks, octopus and hundreds of species of tropical fish.

Until the late 1970’s, Puerto Viejo was relatively isolated from the rest of Costa Rica. In 1979, a new road connected the small village to San Jose and the Central Valley. In 1986, electricity arrived, supplying public light and other important conveniences to the town. Private phone lines became available in 1996, and high speed Internet became available in 2006. Today, Puerto Viejo is as modern as any beach town, though it still retains its original charm.

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