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3 Day Puerto Viejo Costa Rica Itinerary and Top Things to Do

A view of the Puerto Viejo Talamanca Beach - 3 Days Puerto Viejo Costa Rica Itinerary
A view of the Puerto Viejo Talamanca Beach – 3 Days Puerto Viejo Costa Rica Itinerary

Looking for a a 3 Day Puerto Viejo Costa Rica Itinerary – With Puerto Viejo Costa Rica as a vibrant coastal town on Costa Rica’s Caribbean side, it is a paradise for beach lovers, adventurers, and cultural enthusiasts alike. With its laid-back vibe, rich biodiversity, and delicious Caribbean cuisine, Puerto Viejo offers a unique blend of experiences that you can’t find anywhere else in Costa Rica.

Let’s dive into a 3-day itinerary designed to give you a taste of everything this amazing destination has to offer.

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Day 1: Dive into Puerto Viejo’s Heart

Morning: Start your adventure with a hearty breakfast at one of the local cafes, such as Bread & Chocolate, where the Caribbean pancakes are a must-try. Then, take a leisurely stroll through the town, soaking in the colorful street art and the rhythmic sounds of reggae music that fill the air.

Midday: Rent a bicycle and embark on a beach-hopping journey. First stops? Playa Cocles and Playa Chiquita. Each beach has its own charm, from serene waters perfect for a midday swim to sandy shores that invite you to relax under the sun.

Afternoon: Visit the Jaguar Rescue Center, where you’ll meet rescued wildlife, including sloths, monkeys, and toucans. It’s not just an opportunity to see these animals up close; it’s also a chance to learn about the center’s efforts in conservation and rehabilitation.

Evening: Wrap up your day with a dinner at a local Caribbean restaurant. The fusion of flavors in dishes like coconut curry or spicy jerk chicken is the perfect end to your first day in paradise.

Day 2: Adventure and Nature

Morning: Head to Cahuita National Park for a guided hike. This biodiversity hotspot is home to sloths, monkeys, and a myriad of bird species. Walking through the park, you’re stepping into a live documentary, with nature’s wonders unfolding at every turn.

Afternoon: Dive into the world of chocolate with a tour at a local cacao farm. From tasting the fruit of the cacao tree to watching the transformation into chocolate, it’s a sweet way to spend your afternoon.

Evening: Return to Puerto Viejo and choose a beach for sunset. Whether it’s the same ones you visited before or a new spot like Playa Punta Uva, the stunning skies at dusk are not to be missed.

3 Day Puerto Viejo Costa Rica Itinerary

Day 3: Exploration and Relaxation

Morning: Venture to the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, a less-trodden path offering pristine beaches and the chance to spot wildlife in their natural habitat. The calm and solitude here are perfect for reflection and connection with nature.

Afternoon: If you’re up for more action, take a surfing lesson or join a snorkeling trip to explore the vibrant underwater life. Puerto Viejo’s waters are teeming with colorful coral reefs and tropical fish, offering a whole new world to discover.

Evening: Your final night in Puerto Viejo should be spent wandering the local market, where artisans sell their crafts. It’s the perfect place to find a souvenir that captures the spirit of your trip. For dinner, celebrate your journey with a meal at any of the town’s excellent eateries, perhaps trying something new or revisiting a favorite spot.

Where to Stay – Accommodations for Puerto Viejo

Luxury Accommodations

Le Cameleon Boutique Hotel: Situated near Playa Cocles, this boutique hotel is set in a lush tropical jungle. It offers chic minimalist rooms, many with private terraces overlooking the jungle, and amenities like a swimming pool, hot tub, and spa. Rates for suites start at $162 to $2,000 USD per night​​​​.

aWà Beach Hotel: An adults-only luxury hotel located right on Playa Cocles. It features luxuriously appointed rooms and stunning grounds, with a delicious free breakfast included​​.

Mid-Range Options

Villas del Caribe: Just a 5-minute walk from Playa Chiquita, offering comfortable, airy villas with free breakfast, an on-site restaurant and bar, a swimming pool, and some rooms with ocean views​​.

Budget-Friendly Stays

Selina Puerto Viejo: Known for being pet-friendly and offering a variety of accommodations from dorms to private rooms. It features free WiFi, a swimming pool, and common areas with games and live music. The average cost per night for a bed in the dorms is $35 USD​​​​.

Pagalù Hostel: Highly-rated and just a two-minute walk from Playa Negra, offering a mix of budget-friendly private rooms and dorms​​.

Unique Stays

El Tucan Jungle Lodge: Offers a true jungle experience with rustic cabins and the opportunity for wildlife sightings. This lodge is built in harmony with its surroundings, providing a serene atmosphere​​.

Eco-Friendly and Nature-Immersed

Shawandha Lodge: Located a short distance from Playa Chiquita, offering nature-inspired private villas. This hotel features a swimming pool, free breakfast, and an on-site restaurant and bar​​

Relax Natural Village Adults Only: Offers private bungalows with hammocks, perfect for relaxing after a day at nearby Playa Cocles. It’s an adults-only accommodation focusing on a calming getaway amidst nature​​.

Travel Tips – 3 Day Puerto Viejo Costa Rica Itinerary

Puerto Viejo Costa Rica Itinerary - Is it safe Puerto Viejo Costa Rica - Manzanillo Beach

Here’s a list of travel tips for visiting Puerto Viejo that will help you make the most out of your trip:

  1. Pack for Humidity and Rain: Even in the dry season, the Caribbean coast can be humid. Bring lightweight, breathable clothing, and don’t forget a rain jacket or poncho.
  2. Protect Yourself from the Sun and Bugs: High SPF sunscreen and insect repellent are must-haves. Consider reef-safe sunscreen to protect marine life if you plan on snorkeling or diving.
  3. Stay Hydrated: With the tropical climate, it’s easy to get dehydrated. Always carry a water bottle with you, and take advantage of the fresh coconut water sold by local vendors.
  4. Cash is King: While some places in Puerto Viejo accept credit cards, many smaller shops, restaurants, and tour operators prefer or only accept cash. There are ATMs in town, but it’s wise to have some cash on hand when you arrive.
  5. Respect the Wildlife: Puerto Viejo is teeming with wildlife. Enjoy observing them but maintain a respectful distance. Don’t feed the animals, as it can harm their health and alter natural behaviors.
  6. Try Local Cuisine: Don’t leave without trying the Caribbean specialties, such as rice and beans cooked in coconut milk, fresh seafood, and plantain dishes. The local chocolate is also a must-try.
  7. Rent a Bike: Biking is a popular way to get around Puerto Viejo and its surrounding beaches. It’s affordable, eco-friendly, and gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace.
  8. Learn a Few Spanish Phrases: While many locals speak English, knowing some basic Spanish will enrich your experience and help you connect with the community.
  9. Be Mindful of the Environment: Puerto Viejo’s beauty is its unspoiled nature. Help keep it that way by being mindful of your environmental impact. Use biodegradable products, avoid single-use plastics, and participate in eco-friendly tours.
  10. Safety First: As in any travel destination, be aware of your surroundings, especially at night. Use common sense, avoid deserted areas after dark, and keep your belongings secure.
  11. Healthcare Preparedness: Know the location of the nearest clinic or hospital and have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies. The tropical environment can present unique health challenges, so be prepared.
  12. Cultural Sensitivity: Puerto Viejo is a melting pot of cultures. Embrace the diversity, engage with locals respectfully, and be open to learning about different ways of life.
  13. Check Entry Requirements if Crossing Borders: If you’re planning to visit neighboring countries like Panama, check visa requirements and ensure your passport is up to date.

These tips will help ensure that your visit to Puerto Viejo is as enjoyable and hassle-free as possible, allowing you to focus on the incredible experiences this vibrant town has to offer.

Final Thoughts in Puerto Viejo Itinerary

Heading to Puerto Viejo? You’re in for a treat. It’s got beaches, it’s got jungles, and it’s packed with cool spots to explore. Whether you’re here to chill, surf, or dive into the local scene, there’s something for everyone. Just remember to respect the vibe and the environment—it’s all part of what makes this place special. So go ahead, dive in, and enjoy everything Puerto Viejo has to offer. And who knows? It might just have you planning your next trip back before you’ve even left. Safe travels!

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