After spending the week in San Jose, I was definitely ready for a little change of scenery last Friday. Although San Jose is a little more relaxed than the cities I'm used to at home, it's still a city nevertheless, and the giant plumes of black smoke from the buses were starting to get to me....
The 4 1/2 hour bus ride to Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean coast was made so much better by all there was to see: misty mountainous rainforests, banana plantations, and beaches to name a few. The town itself is tiny and the locals seem to know everyone they pass. Surfers, hippies, Rastas, Bob Marley and tourists fill the place, making it seem more like Jamaica than Costa Rica. We went to at least 4 restaurants/businesses in less than 48 hours that were owned by ex-pats....maybe the incredibly laid-back lifestyle had something to do with it?
Jacaranda cabinas, our hotel, was great. Pretty simple, nothing at all fancy, but the lush tropical gardens and colorful hammocks throughout the pathways leading from one cabin to the next gave it that beautiful island feel. I'd recommend it to anyone traveling to Puerto Viejo. Every restaurant
we went to was excellent and had such fresh food...so if you know me at all you'll know that I was seriously in heaven! If anyone goes to PV, you HAVE to go to a little cafe called Bread and Chocolate . It's owned by an ex-pat and had the most delcious organic breakfasts and lunches. At Oro restaurant I had a seafood kebab with mussels, octopus, shrimp, fish, and grilled tomatos onions and peppers and at another seafood place I had grilled marlin for the first time...so flippin good! Ok, enough about food...I'm getting carried away.
Both Friday and Saturday night we went to a bar called Johnny's Place that spun real good reggae and had tables right on the beach. It was tough to beat chillin on the beach, feet in the ocean with a cold beer in your hand!
The beaches were awesome and also pretty interesting; a black sands beach, petrified coral reefs dotting the shores, little coves, clear waters, and nice waves. After one day of laying out on the Playa Negra with barely any sunscreen (yes, I know I'm an idiot) I couldn't make it to the beach the next day and
am still hurting 4 days later. I can now somewhat relate to everyone I know who burns...it sucks!
So basically, although it's small, Puerto Viejo had lots of beaches, shops, restaurants, and activities to offer, like surfing, snorkeling, biking, fishing...although we didn't have much time (or money) to do any of that stuff. Maybe on my next trip back there :)
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