Costa Rica

August 22, 2016

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

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There are actually two “Puerto Viejo’s” in Costa Rica  and it can be confusing when buying a bus ticket, but try to go for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca . This small town near Limon made up of bars, small restaurants, and hostels is great for a tourist that wants to feel like a native.
I stayed here from Friday until Sunday in Hotel Maritza, since this trip was taken through a school program. I would recommend this hotel for a slightly more luxurious stay than you would find with most hostels. This hotel has air conditioning, wifi, television, and hot water. It was also a great location, if I walked across the street I was on a beach to dip my toes in the water, with less than a five minute walk I was on a beach where I could lay out and swim with both tourists and locals.
     
The atmosphere of the  bars were probably my  favorite part. On the  first night, we walked  two minutes down the  road to Mango Sunset  for ladies night with  free (and delicious)  pina coladas. After some dancing and giant Jenga there. We went to some other poorly marked bars and had a great time at all of them. This whole town is a party, so you really can’t go wrong anywhere here.

The next day we spent the majority of the day on the beach near Lazy Mon. There’s also plenty of shade here near the trees if you need to get out of the sun for a while. You just have to be very careful with your things here. Try to take turns going in the water, because people here are not worried at all about you seeing them going through and taking your things.

One thing tourists always seem to overlook or just don’t think could harm them is the coral. I know, the texture looks really intricate and maybe you’ve never seen such a large amount of it, but it is very sharp and it will cut you if you’re not careful. There are a lot of beach spots in this town that you shouldn’t even step foot in because the coral is so sharp, and be sure to ask any local and they’ll tell you where those are. Most areas there will have some coral, but the beaches are so populated it’s not so sharp anymore near mainly sandy shores.

If you want to see more of Puerto Viejo, I recommend renting a bike for $5 a day. We even got it later in the day and asked if we could keep it overnight to take to watch the sunrise and it was no problem at all. If you ride about 20 minutes southeast out of town, there’s plenty of spots to stop off and go through a little jungle path onto the beach where you will almost definitely see wildlife. There’s also plenty of places for surf lessons or just board rentals.

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