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Costa Rica's Puerto Viejo Is a Great Off-the-Beaten-Path Pick |

Costa Rica’s Puerto Viejo Is a Great Off-the-Beaten-Path Pick

To many a trip to Costa Rica is an ideal getaway; especially if you live in a part of the world where the winters seem to drag on forever. White sand beaches, clear turquoise water, fresh fish and fruit, and vibrant colors abound; Costa Rica is the perfect escape.

Man on Playa Negra

Jeremy Pawlowski

The Caribbean coast is far less crowded than the Pacific, but also much less developed. In the tiny beachside town of Puerto Viejo you won’t find any sprawling resorts or golf courses; what you will find is an authentic Costa Rican experience without the crowds or luxuries that many are trying to leave behind when they go on vacation.

Girl on swing in Costa Rica

Jeremy Pawlowski


When heading to the Caribbean coast you’ll be flying into San Jose, which is in the middle of the country. That means you will need to hitch a ride to Puerto Viejo. Two options, take a bus or reserve a spot on the shuttle companies.¬† Bus is cheaper and runs frequently, but is often crowded and can’t buy tickets in advance you aren’t guaranteed a seat. You need to take a taxi from the airport to the bus station. The shuttle (either Interbus or Caribe) is more expensive with only trip two a day. The vans often have Wifi, they will pick you up and drop you off anywhere, and most importantly they have air conditioning! Arrive in Puerto Viejo you can rent a bike. The town is so small, renting a car will cause more of a headache¬†then¬†just pedaling everywhere.

Girl riding bike on vacation in Costa Rica

Jeremy Pawlowski

Where to stay

The most abundant accommodations in Puerto Viejo are hostels. From rooms above beachside bars to private rooms in little rainforest hideaways like Greenwoods, hostels are by far the cheapest way to go. Not only will you get to meet other like-minded travelers, but with the money you save you can stretch your vacation. With Airbnb finding a private room has never been easier.

Hostel in Costa Rica

Jeremy Pawlowski

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