Things to Do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, located on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, offers a wealth of activities and experiences for travelers to enjoy. Here are some of the top things to do in Puerto Viejo that we recommend at Find My Costa Rica.

Learn about the culture

Experience the laid-back lifestyle of Puerto Viejo, where reggae music, delicious food, and friendly locals create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. 

Immerse yourself in the rich Afro-Caribbean culture of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca by visiting the local markets and savoring traditional dishes. 

One of the best things to do in Puerto Viejo is the chocolate tour. You’ll learn everything about cacao and the history of chocolate.

Rent a bike

If you want to enjoy the area, visit other beaches like Playa Punta Uva, and have fun in a sustainable way, renting a bike is a perfect option. Not only is riding a bike fun, but it also allows you to experience the beauty of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in a whole new way. 

Discover the beautiful beaches 

Puerto Viejo, located on the southern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, is famous for its stunning beaches with turquoise waters, pristine sands, and lush vegetation. 

Whether you’re looking for calm waters for swimming or the perfect waves for surfing, you’ll find it all in Limón province, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica. Here are some of the most popular beaches in the area:

  • Playa Puerto Viejo: For experienced surfers is a must-visit beach in Puerto Viejo. Known for its powerful and unpredictable waves, it’s one of the top best surf spots in Costa Rica.
  • Playa Cocles: A long and wide stretch of golden sand with crystal clear waters, Playa Cocles is one of the most popular beaches in Puerto Viejo.
  • Punta Uva Beach: Located just a few kilometers south of Puerto Viejo, Punta Uva Beach is a picture-perfect tropical paradise. 
  • Playa Chiquita: This secluded beach is a hidden gem south of Playa Cocles. It’s a great spot for snorkeling and swimming, and you’ll find several small restaurants and shops nearby.
  • Playa Negra: The sand is darker due to the volcanic activity in the region, which makes for a striking contrast with the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.

Wildlife viewing opportunities galore

Located just outside of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, the Jaguar Rescue Center is a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center that offers guided tours to visitors. 

See sloths, monkeys, toucans, and other local animals up close and learn about the center’s conservation efforts.

Things to Do in Manzanillo

Take a short trip to Playa Manzanillo, and you’ll be enchanted by its pristine beaches, lush mangrove forests, and vibrant coral reefs. 

Snorkel in the crystal-clear waters, swim with sea turtles, or simply lounge on the soft sand and soak up the tropical sun. 

Magnificent beaches to surf and relax

Manzanillo is home to several stunning beaches, including Manzanillo Beach, which offers calm waters and a coral reef just offshore. Playa Grande and Punta Mona are also popular spots for swimming and relaxing.

Manzanillo is a great spot for beginner surfers, with gentle waves that are perfect for learning. Take a surf lesson from one of the local surf schools and catch some waves.

Visit the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge

Some of the region’s most endangered flora and fauna are safeguarded in this wildlife refuge, just a few kilometers north of the Panamanian border.

In addition to protecting the remaining natural mangrove oyster beds along the reefs of the coast, this refuge is categorized as a humid tropical rainforest. You can take a hiking tour, explore the rich ecosystem, and enjoy some adventurous activities.

Take a guided tour to explore nature

If you want to spot wildlife, the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge offers several hiking trails that wind through the jungle and along the coast. 

You can also visit the Bri Bri Indigenous Reserve. This is a protected area that spans more than 8,000 hectares.

Take a guided tour to learn about the indigenous culture and spot some of the amazing wildlife in the area, including jaguars, tapirs, and monkeys.

Hanging bridges Costa Rica
Puerto Viejo - Manzanillo
Hanging bridges Costa Rica
Wildlife watching
Wildlife watching
Wildlife watching
Wildlife watching

The Weather

The weather in Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo offers a unique tropical experience that is perfect for those seeking an escape from colder climates. 

  • Temperature: The average temperature in Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo is around 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) year-round. However, it can feel warmer during the dry season (December to April) and more humid during the rainy season (May to November).
  • Dry Season: The dry season in Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo typically runs from December to April, with little to no rainfall. This is the best time to visit if you’re looking for sunshine and outdoor activities.
  • Rainy Season: The rainy season in Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo runs from May to November, with occasional rainfall and higher humidity levels. While the weather may be more unpredictable, this is the best time to experience lush green landscapes and blooming flowers.
  • Humidity: The humidity in Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo is high year-round but can feel especially humid during the rainy season. Be prepared for a lot of sweating and stickiness, and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.{

Tips for Visiting Puerto Viejo & Manzanillo

The best tip for visiting Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo, Costa Rica, is to pack light, breathable clothing that is suitable for warm, humid weather. 

You’ll also want to bring plenty of sunscreen, insect repellent, and a rain jacket or umbrella for those occasional rainy days.

When you’re ready to explore the natural wonders of Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo, Costa Rica, there’s no better way than with Find My Costa Rica. 

We provide everything you need for your trip, from accommodations and tours to a shuttle from San Jose International Airport.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or embarking on your first adventure, Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo are the perfect destinations. 

So pack your bags, escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and explore the magic of Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast with our travel planner. Contact Find My Costa Rica today to start planning your next vacation.


1. What is Puerto Viejo known for?

Puerto Viejo is known for its picturesque beaches, verdant jungle landscapes, and relaxed ambiance. 

Located on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, the town offers ample opportunities to unwind and appreciate the natural beauty, savor local cuisine, and learn about the local culture.

2. Is Puerto Viejo a party town?

Puerto Viejo has a reputation for being a lively destination with a vibrant nightlife scene, especially during peak tourist season. However, it’s worth noting that the party atmosphere tends to be concentrated in certain areas and may not be the main focus of all visitors to the town. 

Ultimately, the level of partying and nightlife activity you experience in Puerto Viejo will depend on your preferences and specific activities.

3. Is Puerto Viejo de Talamanca Costa Rica safe?

Yes, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica is safe. However, petty theft is the most prevalent crime in many beach towns, and Puerto Viejo is no exception. Make sure never to leave your valuable belongings unattended.

4. Can you swim at Manzanillo Costa Rica?

Yes, you can swim at Manzanillo, Costa Rica. This beautiful stretch of coastline boasts clear turquoise waters and is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing. However, it’s always a good idea to exercise caution when swimming in the ocean, as currents and other hazards can pose a risk to even experienced swimmers.

5. Can you snorkel in Manzanillo?

Yes, you can snorkel at Manzanillo Beach. The crystal-clear waters are home to diverse marine life, including colorful tropical fish, sea turtles, and even the occasional reef shark. 

You can rent snorkeling equipment from local vendors or join a guided tour to explore the underwater world of Manzanillo.

For more details, please get in touch with us at Find My Costa Rica