Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

When I Went: September 9-16, 2012

Was That the Best Time of Year to Go? I’m not sure. The weather was really nice–70s and 80s–with a little rain each day. The beaches were not crowded at all, though the waves were very rough and choppy. Sometimes too much for swimming.

Why I Went There: To celebrate our first wedding anniversary. We wanted to visit Costa Rica, and decided to try this little town on the South Carribean coast because it sounded very laid back and relaxing.  It is not a resort-type area. We stayed in open-air bungalows and had to bike everywhere. It was the perfect blend of ruggedness and convenience for us.

Who Went With Me? My husband, Grant.

We Stayed Here: La Costa de Papito

You Won’t Want to Miss: The Jaguar Rescue Center, where you can interact with monkeys, sloths and many other types of native wildlife. Also, there are many yoga studios along the main road across from the beach. Yoga was a great way to start the day–I’d definitely recommend checking it out. And… banana coladas! Or any type of delicious fruity drink made with fresh local fruit.

Eat Here: There were many interesting restaurants along the main road. They are all good.  I don’t remember specific names. We found an amazing little steakhouse (actually I think it was someone’s house with some seats on the patio) that served the two of us enough delicious meat for six. And, of course, there is fresh seafood aplenty. Stay away from the hotel restaurants and find the little hole-in-the-wall places.

Play Here: Rent bikes and explore the various beaches: Playa Cocles and Punta Uva were lovely secluded spots. Do yoga. Take naps in your bungalow while it rains in the afternoon. Have fruity cocktails every day. It is a very laid back place, not really much to “do.” But perfect for relaxing.

If I Went Again: I would probably spend less time in this (or any) little town. It was lovely, but we did start to get bored after a few days. I would rent a car and drive around more of the country and experience a few other cities. We heard from other travelers that this was a very safe and enjoyable thing to do.

How Did You Get There From Dallas? Nonstop flight DFW to San Jose, Costa Rica. Then, a shuttle bus.

Other Tips For Fellow Travelers:  If you are looking for budget-friendly, no frills travel that is not too rugged, then Puerto Viejo might be a perfect choice. We had a great time there and definitely recommend that others check it out. It is worth it just to be surrounded by so much natural beauty for a few days. And Costa Ricans are lovely friendly people.

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