Puerto Viejo and Cahuita

Written by Nadine Zangerle on . Posted in Costa Rica

On the way to San Jose we decided spontaneously to continue to the Caribbean Sea. Unfortunately the long distance buses in Central America do not have only one terminal so we had to change the bus station. The taxi dropped us off at the Caribbean Terminal just to find out that the buses to Puerto Viejo and Cahuita have a new bus terminal since 3 weeks.

Limon is only a 2 hours bus ride from our destination so we decided to hop on and take the chance to get a bus or a minibus from there. But somehow in Costa Rica they are not so fond of the minibuses and since it was Sunday the frequency of the buses wasn’t that great either.

The best thing was, when the direct bus from San Jose to Puerto Viejo stopped at the station to make a 15 minute break and we were not allowed to board the bus since it is a direct bus. We didn’t see the logic in this since the bus was the same bus company, only half full and was having a break anyway. So we had to wait for 2 ½ hours to get the bus south.

Arriving late and tiered the hostel we were looking for was booked out already. But there are plenty of options in Puerto Viejo and we found one for a reasonable price and own bathroom. It is interesting to see the difference between the Caribbean and the Pacific side. Latest everything is very open and relaxed whereas the Caribbean hostels are locked like prisons.

Also the houses and fabrics seem shadier. Economically the Pacific side seems to be stronger and everything is more developed. Then for sure the people are different. Every time on the Caribbean side we got asked if we want Marihuana or Cocaine. Mainly African people linger in the streets and ask you. You don’t have this at the Pacific side.

Alright, time to explore. The small town itself is all about tourists with its hostels, bars and restaurants and for sure we bumped into some people we have met before. Once in a while you have to go out as well and so we enjoyed a few beers, good talk and played some pool billiard while we had a quick and strong earthquake.

The next morning we explored the Cahuita National Park and followed the 8 km track along the coast. Here we could find a lot of monkeys especially with babies. On one side the beautiful beaches had black sand and on the other side white.

Hot and humid, followed by mosquitos we had to hurry up a bit since the park closes at 4pm and the bus leaves at the same time. But on the way we met two people who offered us a ride back to Puerto Viejo and we had a funny conversation. He is from Argentina, she is from Madrid and they work and live in Stuttgart, Germany since years. Funny wise they have met there.

When the time came to leave the owner accused us of not paying for the third night. Well, if you cannot remember me bringing the money up to your porch than you should start giving out receipts. After a few discussions they let us go since they locked the gate during the discussion and didn’t have the balls to face us. The whole discussion was via speaker phone.

This made our day and a bit sad we left Puerto Viejo.

Accommodation: Hostel Lika, Puerto Viejo

Price: US $ 10 per person, private room (1 double, 1 bunk bed), private bath, kitchen, WiFi

Comment: good located, clean but ask for a receipt when you pay for an extra night since the owner
                   magically forgets about it