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Costa Rica Caribbean coast

Posted by on July 22, 2014

After our days in central Costa Rica we had a transfer by shuttle bus to the Costa Rica Caribbean coast. The pick up time was 6.30, which was early, but advantage was that we would reach our destination around noon.

The first place that we visited was Cahuita, known for its laid back atmosphere. In our Hotel Suizo Loco we got information about the environment, although we only would stay one night. Cahuita has three beaches: Playa Negra, Playa Blanca and Playa Grande. We first went to Playa Negra. It was interesting to see the black sand, but honestly it looks a bit dirty and the beach seemed not to be very popular because there were rarely people. Playa Blanca looks better. White sand and waving palm trees above the beach. It also is the place where the route of Parque Nacional Cahuita starts. We didn’t walk through this National Park, but from the beach you can already see the monkeys in the trees and we saw some small snakes on the ground between the leaves.

cahuita playa blanca

Beach Playa Blanca in Cahuita

The village of Cahuita is a nice place to go for lunch or dinner. Most restaurants and shops are located at Cahuita Main Road. Food I can recommend are the nachos pollo. Cahuita Main Road also is the place to be for nightlife. Coco Bar is a popular bar where you also see many locals. Around midnight the only taxi in town was gone, but a local brought us back to our hotel. It saved us a long walk over the dark road along the beach.


Restaurants and shops along Cahuita Main Rd

cahuita map

A map of the village of Cahuita

The next morning we visited Tree of Life Costa Rica, which is located near Playa Grande. Tree of Life is a wildlife rescue center and there also is a botanical garden. The garden is about 10 acres and has many types of plants. All animals have their own area and live in the garden. They are victims of pet trade, accidents or hunting and Tree of Life provides a safe haven. In about two hours you see everything in the park.

tree of life costa rica

Wildlife rescue center Tree of Life

In the afternoon we left Costa Rica, but not the Caribbean coast. We crossed the border with Panama in Sixaola. After three nights in Panama we came back to the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica where we had one night in Puerto Viejo. Directly when we arrived in Puerto Viejo we regretted that we went to Panama. We should have stayed in Puerto Viejo for 4 nights … what a great place!

costa rica caribbean coast

The Caribbean coast in Puerto Viejo. Nice waves at Playa Cocles.

We stayed in Hotel Cariblue and we only had to cross the road to get on Playa Cocles. A nice beach, touristic but not crowded. And furthermore great waves and because of that Playa Cocles is very popular by surfers. Unfortunately we only had a couple of hours to explore the area, because the next day we had to leave in the early morning. At night we went to the village for dinner. In the village there are plenty of bars and restaurants. We also found a place with live music.

puerto viejo map

A map from Puerto Viejo and environment


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2 Responses to Costa Rica Caribbean coast

  1. Jenn Turnbull

    Puerto Viejo is lovely! Hope you can get back there for a longer stay sometime. Playa Punta Uva a little farther south is one of our favorite beaches in Costa Rica. Enjoyed your post. Pura vida!

    • Rob

      Hi Jenn, thank you for your comment. Images I see on internet from Playa Punta Uva look great! And looking on the map I realise that we almost drove along it, because we had a taxi from Panama to Puerto Viejo that crossed Refugio Nacional Gandoca-Manzanillo … A pity that we didn’t stop there, but it’s on the list for the next time we visit Costa Rica!

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