PUERTO VIEJO DE TALAMANCA (ALSO KNOWN AS PUERTO VIEJO DE LIMÓN)
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is a colorful little fishing village on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast.
Where the Bribrí and Cabécar Indians live, also many Jamaicans, as well as the descendants of the Spanish settlers.
The center of the village is very lively, especially in high season. There are many restaurants where it is possible to try local food and several bars with a “lounge” atmosphere where you can order a beer or a cocktail while listening to Calypso or Reggae music, and sometimes even while attending the concert of a local band.
Puerto Viejo stretches along paradisiacal beaches such as Playa Negra with its black sand to the north or Punta Uva to the south.
These palm-fringed beaches are nearly deserted in the low season and if you wish, you can rent a bicycle in the center of the village to visit several of them in the same day.
In the early evening, craft traders set up along the main road. If you want to buy a souvenir, they offer beautiful handmade jewelry.
From Puerto Viejo you can also go to the Cahuita National Park which is about 30 minutes drve.
You can go there with your rental car or with the local bus traveling between the two villages every day. The park is open from 6 am to 5 pm and you will be asked to make a donation of the amount of your choice at the entrance. Perfectly marked trails will lead you to beautiful beaches where swimming is sometimes allowed.
You can even snorkel to admire the impressive underwater life due to the presence of a large coral reef.
As for the terrestrial life, it is equally incredible and you will be able to discover monkeys, raccoons, toucans as well as reptiles like iguanas, lizards and sometimes even snakes.
Finally, another must-visit place in Costa Rica: The Bribrí indigenous reserve just 20 minutes from Puerto Viejo. Several tours are offered within the reserve, including tours on the theme of chocolate that the Bribrí consider a sacred plant.
They use it during certain rituals as well as for its medicinal virtues. Residents of the reserve will show you step by step the whole process necessary to achieve a chocolate bar, from the harvesting of cocoa to the final product. At the end of the tour there is a small shop so you can bring home these local products.
CENTER OF PUERTO VIEJO
The village of Puerto Viejo, just like Cahuita, has several facilities that make visits pleasant. Excellent restaurants serving national and international cuisine await the visitor who, in the evening, can also enjoy the traditional music and Caribbean dances of Costa Rica.
SOUTH CARIBBEAN FESTIVAL
In the first two weeks of April, different national musical groups give concerts in Playa Chiquita, taking advantage of the tourist influx and the dry season. You can listen to the famous Caribbean music Calypso.
BEACHES OF PUERTO VIEJO
PLAYA NEGRA (PUERTO VIEJO)
Playa Negra is characterized by an all-black sand due to its high manganese content. The beach draws a curved line, struck by relatively strong waves. Its vegetation is poor because the main street passes right behind. The place is ideal for sunbathing and walks that can be extended to the northwestern part of the mouth of the Río Carbón
PLAGES DE PUERTO VIEJO
Located on a cape mainly consisted of coral reefs, many of these places are not suitable for swimming. Other areas covered with white and brown sand wait for the bather. These places bear the name of a known person or agency, serving as a reference. For example, the beach in front of Manuel León’s police station is known as Playa del Chino (Chinese Beach), and the other, in front of Sandford’s restaurant, bears his namesake.
These two places are not very spacious, but well frequented by bathers. Towards the south, at Punta Pirripli, the famous wave Salsa Brava, is very popular with surfers. International competitions are organized. Along the beachfront, scuba diving professionals organize reef tours.
INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY OF YORQUÍN
Yorquín or Yorkín, according to the spelling, is the name of a river that has its source in the International Park La Amistad, but on the Panamanian side.
The indigenous community of Yorquín are equipped with facilities allowing the visitor to live a unique experience, which can both combine the beauty of the river with the knowledge and integration within this exemplary community. The community grows its own food and practices banana and cocoa bartering for other products. This community serves as a starting point for visits to thermal waters, waterfalls or other places including Cerro Buena Vista, etc.
In Yorquín, the purchase of local handicrafts make beautiful souvenirs of your voyage/visit to Costa Rica.
This long and wide beach is beaten by moderate to strong waves. Discover in the north, facing the tip of Pirriplí, a beautiful rocky island of the same name, which gives a particular character to this coast which is usually devoid of islands. The place is ideal for sunbathing, swimming, walking or horseback riding, volleyball and beach football, etc. Punta Cocles has a small coral reef. All along the beach, tourists can rent surfboards and bicycles. In Puerto Viejo, horse and motorbike rentals allow you to explore the beach or those further south.
Located just after Punta Cocles, this yellow sand beach forms a small cove that gives it its name. Beyond, the irregular coast lined with rocky platforms, about two kilometers to the south, a magnificent rocky promontory emerges from the waters, totally covered with exuberant tropical vegetation. At this point, the coast then forms a serene and crystalline water nook. This wonderful coastal area is conducive to rest and contemplation of the immaculate nature. You can also walk there or go on horseback.
Punta Uva is a large spur of sand that extends northwest to the promontory at the end of Playa Chiquita. To the south, the coast curves a curve to Manzanillo. The tip is lined with a coral reef that can be explored by diving. The particular shape of the coast is ideal for walks to the beaches of Chiquita and Manzanillo.
This yellow sand beach stretches about 3500 meters to the north from the village of Manzanillo to Punta Uva. The wave’s violence varies from moderate to strong. With its irregular curve, the beach is fringed with abundant vegetation dominated by a horde of palm trees. It is a very good option for all those who enjoy walking, horseback riding, sunbathing, swimming or scuba diving, especially in areas opposite the village and near Punta Manzanillo. In the village of Manzanillo ends the road which connects all the southern beaches of Puerto Viejo, a dozen kilometers away. Manzanillo offers a wide range of services: scuba diving equipment rental, dolphin watching trips and diving.
GANDOCA-MANZANILLO WILDLIFE REFUGE
This beautiful refuge occupies an area of 9449 hectares (4436 hectares under the sea and 5013 terrestrial hectares). Its coastal limits extend from the mouth of the Cocles River, near Puerto Viejo, to the mouth of the Sixaola River, a river-border with Panama. The Mazanillo Mountains have a maximum altitude of 185 meters above sea level. The refuge is equipped with paths and lookouts.
Attention, “intermediate” level, muddy paths, trails covered with vegetation at certain times of the year and slippery ground.
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