Puerto Viejo & Cahuita, Costa Rica

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July 4, 2015 by kimberlyfenton

Puerto Viejo is on the Caribbean coast and it definitely has that Caribbean vibe to it. Not to mention the endless rasta and Bob Marley merchandise in all the little stalls lining the beach and the dreadlocks seen from every angle. During our stay, the town of Puerto Viejo wasn’t too busy, nor was it too quiet, it was just right. We stayed in a really nice bungalow right in front of Playa Cocles, home to a white sandy beach and endless beach surf schools- definitely going to have to rent some boards soon! The road from Playa Cocles to the little town of Puerto Viejo is easy to walk and we spent the first day on foot exploring all the little shops before relaxing at the beach.

Puerto ViejoBike Ride

The only bad thing we have to say about Puerto Viejo is to do with the stray dogs that randomly appear out of nowhere on the beach. We spent ages making these beautiful turtle sand castles, two of them side by side, and we were just adding the finishing touches when these two beastly dogs charged down at us towards the sea. Of course, we ran away from them and looked on in horror as they rolled around on their backs scratching themselves. They had the whole beach to choose a spot to fight with each other, but no, they decided to roll around ON TOP of our turtles. We couldn’t stop laughing and shouting “Noooo!!! Stopppp!!” as we helplessly watched our turtles slowly became unrecognisable until they were nothing more than grains of sand with stray dog foot prints. Devastated, we returned to our pareos. Defeated, we never did get round to making them again! Haha so funny.

Bike ride ready!Beach hopping by bike

In Puerto Viejo, there are more bikes passing through than cars and we rented bikes from our hotel for the day and had a great time cycling through the town and then onto some beautiful beaches tucked away from the surfer waves. We chilled out in the calm seas and went snorkelling in the reefs close by- perfect. Making our way back to the hotel after a nice late lunch, Sal shouts ahead, “Kim wait up” I turn around to see she is lagging far behind… only after a good 5 minutes she realises she has punctured her tyre. “Oh, that’s why my legs hurt.”

Punta CahuitaPunta Cahuita

On our fourth day in Puerto Viejo we went on a tour to Parque Nacional Cahuita. First of all, we took a boat ride to the reefs where we snorkelled for around 2 hours. The visibility wasn’t too great, but we had a good time and saw lots of fish and beautiful coral formations, as well as 2 pesky lion fishes hiding away. After snorkelling, the boat took us to Punta Cahuita to have some of the best pineapple we have ever tasted! It is official, Costa Rica has the best pineapple, every single one so far has been so fresh and juicy! After a short break, we then set off on our 4 km hike back to Cahuita village. The hike was right where the rainforest meets the white sandy beaches and the views were absolutely beautiful! We crossed two rivers which were blood red, and the name oft he place comes from the “KaWe” tree which gives the water the red colour, which the Indians previously believed was blood.


In total, on that walk we saw EIGHT sloths! Unbelievable! Both the two/three clawed sloths were clinging on/resting high up in the palm trees. All of a sudden we were greeted by one sloth at eye level clinging onto a branch right in front of us, it was unbelievable! Face to face action. Even the guide had never seen one that close, it was so interesting to see them up so close, and its movements were so painfully slow as it slowly made its way across the branch. Its little head kept turning around to look at us, then look away, then back at us again at an incredibly slow pace. Incredible!

Cahuita National ParkCahuita Natioal Park, halfway through hike

Eyelash Palm ViperRed River of Cahuita

We also saw 5 howler monkeys sat up in the trees eating and jumping from branch to branch. Then, the third deadly snake of the trip, the Eyelash Palm Viper. A striking yellow colour, it was easy to spot as it pounced, launching itself onto a lizard for its lunch. We watched as the lizard struggled for its life within the mouth of the viper. We watched as the tail was hanging out of the viper’s mouth as it slowly lost its fight and the lizard was swallowed whole. Incredible to watch!

Jumping shot failTwinnies

We settled into our last night in Puerto Viejo with an early 6am departure with Exploradores to make our way to Rio Pacuare for our first time ever white water rafting in one of the top destinations in the world! Supposedly it is within the top 5 runs, and in the top 3 runs with the most beautiful surroundings. Easy to believe, definitely! The route was absolutely stunning. We went through numerous canyons with towering mountains and about 10 waterfalls along on the way.

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