Beach life in Costa Rica #1 (Puerto Viejo)

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costa rica expertA note from the Publisher: The Costa Rica Blog Network has chosen to feature the following article for its look at Costa Rica’s Caribbean side and the conclusion drawn upon self-reflection that “Puerto Viejo is rather different from what I have experienced in Costa Rica so far.” Thanks to Audrey for submitting her personal account to us. We are happy to know that your dislike for the heat didn’t cause you to miss out on experiencing one of Costa Rica’s hot spots. Pura vida!

Featured Author: Audrey’s langscape’s Audrey (visit Audrey’s Langscape’s Blog)

Sometimes, you just need a break. One of the good thing with living in Costa Rica is that whatever you want is around. When I want to feel disconnected, I usually go for mountains, but last week I had a craving for lazy beach life and summer dresses. I am not a big fan of the heat and before arriving here, I expected to have a hard time coping with high temperatures (anything above 25°C). Actually I was wrong, San José is relatively cold since it is 1200m above sea level high, which is nice and a even better reason to escape from the city.

Ideally located in the middle of the country, surrounded by mountains, is San José. Go to the Caribbean coastline and south towards Panama, and in 4 hours you’ll find Puerto Viejo and Cahuita National Park.
Ideally located in the middle of the country, surrounded by mountains, is San José. Go to the Caribbean coastline and south towards Panama, and in 4 hours you’ll find Puerto Viejo and Cahuita National Park.

Last December, I went to spend some time in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. I was volunteering in the bar of an hotel there, which was quite a nice way of getting to feel the vibe of the area. Puerto Viejo is rather different from what I have experienced in Costa Rica so far. This is the homeland of indigenous peoples Columbus encountered when he arrived there in 1502. Though they were slightly more numerous at the time, the Bribri are still around, so are the Cabécar, a little higher in the mountains. It is thus more multicultural than the rest of the country, also since this coast were populated by Afro-Caribbean populations. That means many people actually spoke English before they spoke Spanish. The road between San José and Puerto Viejo was built in 1979, which offered locals better conditions to travel around, as well as an invasion of tourists. In 1986 arrived electricity, in 2006, high speed internet.

Kaya’s Place in Puerto Viejo
Kaya’s Place in Puerto Viejo
Lazying in hammocks, listening to the waves crashing on the shore.
Lazying in hammocks, listening to the waves crashing on the shore.
Making traditional breakfast at Kaya’s, Gallo Pinto (Rice and beans, eggs and tortillas)
Making traditional breakfast at Kaya’s, Gallo Pinto (Rice and beans, eggs and tortillas)

It rains more in that area than in the rest of the country, and my stay was no exception but it did bring a special mood. I also enjoyed some nice sunny days.

Goat under the rain
Goat under the rain
Playa Negra, where the volcanic soil makes the sand look dark
Playa Negra, where the volcanic soil makes the sand look dark
Playa Negra, right before Puerto Viejo
Playa Negra, right before Puerto Viejo

One cool thing to do is to bike along the coast from Puerto Viejo to Manzanillo and stop at the beautiful beaches on the way.

Punta Uva
Punta Uva
Punta Uva
Punta Uva
Playa Negra
Playa Negra
Boat in Puerto Viejo
Boat in Puerto Viejo
I went diving for a day, and here we went to have lunch, it was overall pretty alright.
I went diving for a day, and here we went to have lunch, it was overall pretty alright.

Even though I had an overdose of Bob Marley and other reggae like music, I quite enjoyed Puerto Viejo, particularly the surroundings, the ride to Manzanillo and Cahuita National Park which is some 20km north of Puerto Viejo, which will be beach life #2 very soon!

Crossing rivers
Crossing rivers

Click here to read the above post on Audrey’s Langscape’s Blog

Like Audrey’s post? You may also like the following post(s) written by Audrey:

5 daily-life-facts about a coffee growing region

About Audrey:

Hello, and thank you for reading those words. My name is Audrey Vidoni, I am French but haven’t lived in France for a while. After years of academic studies and a bunch of diplomas in my pocket (in social anthropology and pedagogy), I decided to start working in a coffee shop in Oslo to learn Norwegian. I was lucky enough to get a job in one of Oslo’s best roastery and coffee shop and fell in love with this field of infinite knowledge I was discovering. I have been a barista ever since, then a barista trainer and more recently I started judging barista competition as a sensory judge in Norway and France.

I also lived in the north of Norway which fulfilled my love for outdoor activities. In September 2012, I left the country to go travelling and I am right now based in Costa Rica where I decided to spend some time to learn more from and about the people working with coffee there. And that is a lot of fun!

Feel free to contact me!  audreyvidoni@gmail.com

Post photos are owned by the featured author (not the Costa Rica Blog Network). Please contact the featured author directly for permission of use.

Pura vida!

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Every travel should visit the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. With out doubts it is one of the most magical places in the world. Sandy beaches and coconuts palms is a spectacular combination.

  2. betunada says:

    thanks for your report — yes, i agree w/Danny A (prev. post) — i will make an effort to visit the Caribe part of C R next time !

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