Average costs of stuff in Puerto Viejo
- Hostels $5- $10
- Hotels $20 and up
- Beer $1.50 a bottle at bars
- Bike Rental $5 a day
- Food $5 and up
- Internet $1 a hour (dial up internet café)
Money Exchange – No banks, but there is one money exchange spot. The exchange rate varies, but it is very reasonable. They do take travelers checks.
Puerto Viejo de Limon is one of the few beachside party towns that’s not completely over run with gringo style restraints and bars. You can probably attribute this to its four hour bus ride from San Jose. Not only does the cross country trek help keep the town unspoiled, but it also drives away the party hard, drink ‘till I cant move, hit on anything with boobs crowd. Now, this isn’t to stay Puerto Viejo isn’t a party town, it’s just a different kind of party.
Puerto Viejo might not be the place where everyone knows your name, unless of course your name is Ganja. It’s nearly impossible to walk around town without hearing locals call out this newly appointed nickname of yours. So, if you’re “special cigarette” packing type of tourist, you’ll be right at home.
All drugs aside, there are a few clubs along the beach that host parties every night of the week. Don’t worry about not being able to find the place, just follow the sounds of the blaring dance hall music. Once you find the place, all that’s left to do is pick up your dollar beer from the bar and try to remember what happened tomorrow.
Check out this post for more things to do in Puerto Viejo
Where to Stay
Ask anyone where to stay when visiting Puerto Viejo and they will say the same thing, Rocking J’s.
What’s not to love about a hostel that gives you a free popsicle upon check-in? Rocking J’s has easily become the number one arty spot in Puerto Viejo. Maybe it’s the abundance of beautiful receptionist J himself handpicked. Perhaps it’s the many images of Kama Sutra positions posted above the hammocks. Or, just maybe, it has something to do with the haze of smoke that can always be found somewhere on the property. Who knows just what draws people to this beachside hostel. But one things for sure, if you don’t come, you’ll never know.
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J, the owner of the hostel, is a tanned, shirtless, ladies man. He’s the kind of guy who always makes you feel like a million bucks and treats you like his best friend. After knowing him for five minutes, you’ll think you were siblings separated at birth.
Paragraphs and pictures can’t do this amazing hostel justice, it’s just one place you have to see to truly enjoy.
Average Costs of Accommodation in Puerto Viejo
- Hammocks & Camping $5
- Shared Dorms $7 – $10
- Private Rooms $10 – $20
Where to Eat
One of the most popular places to eat and hang out at night is Hot Rocks Café. This restaurant/outdoor movie theater is anything but your local eatery. The movies are certainly what bring people to Hot Rocks. On any given night there will 2 or 3 movies showing, free of change. Seriously, you don’t even have to buy food, you can just go and hang out.
While overpriced compared to local food stands, Hot Rocks still has some great local food. If you need a taste of home, I recommend the Pizza. The California Pizza Kitchen has nothing on this place. There are pizzas of sizes and styles, and at only $5 for a large pizza, who can complain?
Top Places to Eat in Puerto Viejo
If you have been to Puerto Viejo in years past, you remember the days of only one internet cafe in town, a dial up one at that. Today however, there are actually a variety of internet cafes that offer high speed internet all around Puerto Viejo and surrounding areas.
For more information, check our post on the internet in Costa Rica.
Best Internet Cafes
- Jungle Internet
- Cafe Rio Negro
- @ E’s (In Rocking J’s)
Moving to Puerto Viejo
Puerto Viejo has the ability to suck people in and make them never want to leave. If you talk to any expat and long term tourist in the area you will here the same story. Many of them came here on vacation and just never went back home. If you are interested in moving here, there are a few things you can do to help you get all your ducks in a row.
The best suggestion I can make is for you to get in contact with Liam at Tropical Reservations. He can help you with everything from finding a rental house to buying land of your own. He is extremely nice and one of those tourists who just never went home.
Renting a House
If you plan on staying in Puerto Viejo for a month or more, you may want to consider renting a house. One can only live at a hostel for so long before it become a bit much. There are a variety of rental house near the town of Puerto Viejo and plenty more that are only a short drive from town.
As a rule, most rental houses near the town of Puerto Viejo tend to be more expensive and more likely to be robbed. The further away from town you get, the cheaper the houses usually get. This is usually true of crime as well, but don’t assume just because you live far away from the crack heads in town that you won’t be robbed.
Prices for rental houses can range anywhere from US$250 a month to US$1000+. This all depends on your standard of living, where you decide to live, what time of the year you will be staying, and how long you will be there.
Check out our reviews of some rental houses in Puerto Viejo:
Longer rental stays, such as a year or more tend to have a price break. Visiting in the busy season will usually result in a slightly higher monthly price.
Staying Safe in Puerto Viejo
For the most part, Puerto Viejo is pretty safe if you use some common sense. The majority of stories you will here about people getting robbed are usually a result of the persons on stupidity. To learn more about staying safe here, check out our article on how to stay safe in Puerto Viejo.