Hidden Gem of Costa Rica: 18 Photos of Puerto Viejo

a hotel in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica

Waking shortly after the sun, it’s a mere two minute walk out of my bedroom door through the outdoor kitchen to the Caribbean Sea.

I’m gently awakened by the cool tingle of the fine sand not yet heated by the sun between my barefoot toes.

beach path in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica

The accommodation I’ve rented for a week is the epitome of life in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica - colorful, laid back, vibrant, tranquil, wild, rugged.

Bananas hang in groups of 50 as an offering from our gracious host to the few people staying here.

My routine here has been easy.

A morning meditation on the rocky shore overlooking the early sun sparkling on the ocean current before a coffee and breakfast at one of my favorite spots in Puerto Viejo, Cafe Rico. 

books at Cafe Rico in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica
breakfast in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica

Followed by a 30-minute stroll on the tree filled oceanfront path that leads from town to Playa Cocles for a swim, yoga on the beach, and a nap under the warm blanket of the late morning sun.

palms on ocean front path in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica
Playa Cocles beach near Puerto Viejo Costa Rica

I’m not the only one with this idea, well-kept dogs play lightheartedly in the sand, their owners nowhere in sight. If I surfed, I hear this is a great spot.

dog on the beach in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica

Afternoons are perfect for lounging in a hammock reading or listening to a podcast back at my hostel where sometimes I can see monkeys play high in the canopy.

Before the sun sets I head towards town to sip on an Imperial, a local beer, at one of the handful of beach front bars or restaurants. Sometimes I splurge on a craft cocktail and tapas. Bob Marley plays in the background.

Puerto Viejo Costa Rica Koki Beach
beers in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica
food in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica

Puerto Viejo is a wonderful mix of Latin, African, and Caribbean cultures. Vibrantly painted buildings and sign adorn the handful of streets. People spend their days outside trading in the open air market stalls, and their nights drinking and salsa dancing to live music.

It’s so full of energy, of life.

Puerto Viejo Costa Rica blue building
Puerto Viejo Costa Rica eat here rasta sign
Puerto Viejo Costa Rica tree
Puerto Viejo Costa Rica yellow building
Puerto Viejo Costa Rica palm trees
Puerto Viejo Costa Rica white building
Puerto Viejo Costa Rica bikes

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is a 4-hour drive southeast of Costa Rica’s capital city of San Jose on the Caribbean coast close to the border of Panama, so it's quite easy to head to Bocas Del Toro for a few more stunning beaches!

Mostly you come to Puerto Viejo to relax - to surf, do yoga, snorkel, kayak, hike to a waterfall.

Traveler’s Tip: Check at OM Yoga at Cashew Hill for some divine yoga classes with an unbeatable view! See their yoga class schedule here.

The Yoga Platform at   Om at Cashew Hill

The Yoga Platform at Om at Cashew Hill

Puerto Viejo is one of the few places in Costa Rica where you can escape some of the crowds unlike many uber popular destinations like Arenal, La Fortuna, Monteverde, Tamarindo, and Manuel Antonio.

In contrast with many tourist destinations in Costa Rica, you can breathe easy here. In fact, if you have 3 weeks in Costa Rica we'd probably recommend that you spend a few days in Puerto Viejo!

After all, some vacations are best spent without a to-do list enjoying the simple pleasures life has to offer.

Next: Discover Tenorio, Another Hidden Gem in Costa Rica


Visit Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful and diverse countries I have ever been to. There is so much to see and do in Costa Rica, and your holiday time is both limited and valuable. Don't waste your time trying to plan it yourself. Contact Us for personal recommendations and bookings for your trip to Costa Rica!


- explore more -


- save on Pinterest -