• Caitlin McAninch

7 Things to do in Puerto Viejo

Updated: Feb 16, 2019

I have never been to the Caribbean. Ever. And I was so excited that we were able to include visiting beautiful Puerto Viejo into our honeymoon!

Puerto Viejo is a small town situated in the southern most area of Costa Rica on the east side, right on the Caribbean Sea! It’s only about a 20 minute drive from the Panama boarder, so it’s pretty south. About a 3.5ish hour drive out of San José.

It was the final destination on our Costa Rican honeymoon, and it was so fun to photograph. Because let’s be real – it’s just gorgeous!

We did a lot in Puerto Viejo, for being there for 5 days, it seems like we didn’t. But come on. We were on the Caribbean just having beach days, and it was great.

1. Find a perfect hotel to stay at

Our home base in Puerto Viejo was Villas Del Caribe, and it was PERFECT. It was a little villa that no lie, could have been my home. I mean, this was the beach right in front of our hotel!!! There are too many amazing details to explain about this little hotel, so I have dedicated an entire post to it! Please read, here.

2. Visit Jaguar Rescue Center

Rescue centers in Costa Rica are common. But before I left for this trip I discovered they are not all the same. I am proud of us for finding the good kind of place to visit, and that was the Jaguar Rescue Center. And the best part? It was across the street from our hotel! Again, toooooo many amazing things about this place to say here. So read this blog for more info.

3. Find Punta Uva

Did someone say paradise?! I think so!!!

Punta Uva is a beautiful beach about 3 km south of Puerto Viejo. We came to this beach on two different days. Both days we were able to rent bikes – did I mention this area of Costa Rica is SO bike friendly? But yes, we would rent bikes and ride to this beach. And just stay and enjoy the beauty!

The water in this area was sort of weird just because it is so unbelievably warm. Like, not even close to refreshing. But, I just loveddddd it. Looking back at the pictures right now, I still just can’t believe how gorgeous Punta Uva was. Seriously one of the prettiest beaches I have ever visited. Oh. Btw. I got asked a lot on Instagram, but both my swimsuits in the following photos are from the boutique swim shop, Strange Bikinis, which are made in my hometown Reno!

4. Visit Cahuita National Park

We went on a snorkel and hike tour at the beautiful Cahuita National Park. This place is just gorgeous. Situated right on the ocean, this area is full of life due to the eco system brought by the minerals from the volcanoes and the ocean currents. The warm water makes it the perfect place for sea life to thrive. The day we spent here was one of my favorites, and because of that I have dedicated an entire blog post to it here.

5. Rock your Casey D. Sibley Art + Design Bag

A few months ago I bet the beautiful and talented southern beauty, Casey of Casey D. Sibley Art + Design. She is this amazing creative that lives in Reno, NV! I was so excited when she allowed me to take a few of her bags down to Costa Rica to snap a few pictures of. And you know what? The best pictures were all from Puerto Viejo!

Her bags fit this environment so well. But let me just promo her a bit – they’re also excellent travel bags. We fit all of our toiletries in these bags while traveling – the normal stuff, tooth brush/tooth paste, soaps, and even all our sunscreen, bug spray, and lotions.

And once we got to Puerto Viejo and were biking around, I used the orange bag as my purse/beach bag. Anyways, check out all of her amazing products right here!

6. Eat at Tasty Waves

So I was Insta-Storying away on of our first days in Puerto Viejo when one of my Internet friends (these are people I have only talked to over Instagram) replied and told me we must go to Tasty Waves for dinner! I was like ok! So Dylan and I kept our eye out for Tasty Waves when we were driving through town! And we spotted it! So later that night, we headed there for dinner.

Holy. Moly. These tacos. OH MY GOSH. They were the best dang tacos. And their happy hour is phenomenal. BOGO free drinks!

The first night we were there was a Monday, and they told us, you better come back tomorrow because Tuesday is Taco Tuesday – two for one tacos! So we did! We ended up eating here 3 nights in a row. No regrets.

But really, it’s a neat place. It has a great vibe, and is actually a restaurant underneath a hostel. So there were a lot of travelers there, many Americans. And they had WiFi! Seriously though. Great food.

7. Enjoy the Caribbean Vibes in Puerto Viejo

Most of the places we went in this area were all chill. When in town, there are a number of Caribbean food places, and lots of, how should I say… Jamaican vibes? People casually smoking, lots of Rasta flags and Rasta music. It was really cool!

We went to one Caribbean place for lunch and they asked if we wanted Pineapple or Watermelon to drink. And you know what they did? They just dropped the entire drink into a blender and served it up! Just 100% blended fruit. And it was AMAZING. Totally delicious.

We loved Puerto Viejo, truly. People were kind, environment was beautiful. And you still see all the same wildlife right next to the ocean. It’s definitely an area of the country I recommend. Because come on, look at this view:

We did a lot more in Costa Rica. Learn more about our trip in my other Costa Rica blogs:

Costa Rica

Distance: 3,844 miles

Driving Time: 76 hours

#CostaRica #WeekendGetaway #Abroad