If I mention Puerto Viejo a lot its because I absolutly love this Costa Rica city. So much so that I will be moving there in March 2008! A while back I wrote a basic city guide about Puerto Viejo de Limon. The guide covers the basics of where to eat, sleep, etc. This guide is more about what there is to do in the city of Puerto Viejo and how to make the most of it.
What to Do
There are so many things to do in Puerto Viejo, as well as things to do from there. The city is a good base camp for day trips. If you’re staying here, you should definitely check out these things:
- Bike to Mazanillo
- Midnight kayak ride
- Spear fishing at night
- Movies at Hot Rocks
- Waterfall in Bribri
The most fun I had during the last 3 weeks we spent in Puerto Viejo was the night we went spear fish with the owner of Rocking J´s. He provided all the equipment we need and showed us how to do it. He even put up with those of us that were stumbling around drunk at night in the ocean while he was showing us what to do. We caught 3 fish, 2 crabs, and 3 lobster. The next night we used the free bbq grill at J´s to cook up a feast!
Every night, there are movies to watch in the restaurant Hot Rocks. They are free for all. They start at 6pm and run until 1am-ish. It’s a good way to spend a relaxing night if you don’t want to drink.
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When renting equipment such as boards, bikes, or snorkeling equipment, everywhere is pretty much the same price, give or take a dollar. They all ask that you return the equipment at around 6pm. If you forget to return a bike, they will probably come find your resort and just take it in the night. It’s such a small city that it’s easy for the owners to do this. It’s usually one dollar more to rent anything from your hotel, or one dollar less to rent it in town.
There is a party in town every night. The clubs rotate nights so that there is never any competition. All you have to do to find out what club to go to that night is either ask your receptionist or simply ask anyone in town. Everyone in the city goes to the clubs every single night, so they will know exactly what you are talking about.
Best Way to Get Around
The bus ride from San Jose to Puerto Viejo is a little over three hours. It costs less than $6. My advice to you is, if you have a therma-rest sleeping pad, to bring it on the bus with you. The bus ride is very long and very painful. You can use the pad to cushion the seat or use it as a pillow.
I don’t think there are even any taxis in Puerto Viejo, nor is there any need for one. Rocking J´s is at the opposite end of town from the bus stop, and it only takes about 15 minutes to get across town. Walking is the easiest and cheapest way to go. If you are going to be there for a while, you can talk some of the bike rental guys into charging you a lower daily rate and letting you keep the bike for the duration of your stay.