Top Things to do in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Located about five hours away from San Jose, Costa Rica you can find Puerto Viejo. An area with Caribbean vibes all over town. Although the Caribbean side of Costa Rica is not always the most popular, we were happily surprised with what we found...awesome hiking, beautiful beaches and warm friendly people. Puerto Viejo is a charming chilled out beach town. Here are our top finds:

Hike Cahuita National Park

This park was our favorite thing to do while in Puerto Viejo. Cahuita is a 20 minute bus ride from Puerto Viejo. This sleepy town has the best National Park to hike on the southern Caribbean coast. You can easily take a bus from Puerto Viejo's bus station. All you have to do is make sure it is going to Cahuita. The bus cost was 1,600 CRC ($2.81USD) roundtrip p/p. A few things to note: there are 2 entrances to this park, one accepts donations as the fee to enter (you can pay whatever your heart desires) the other charges $5 p/p (official entrance). This easy 8.3km hike will reward you with stunning beaches, beautiful greenery and a whole lot of wild animals, including sloths if you keep your eyes peeled!! The entire hike is well shaded and to your left you will always find beaches perfect for a dip. There is a bathroom and showers you can use for free before entering the trail. A few other tips: bring spf, plenty of water and your swimsuit! 


Rent A Bike

The best way to get around Puerto Viejo is by bike. There are plenty of places that rent bikes for only $5/day for 24hrs. Renting a bike will allow you to visit multiple beaches and enjoy the scenery. 


Go Beach Hopping

The perfect day to go beach hopping will be when you rent your bike. Grab your bike, snacks, spf and plenty of water and head south. We biked all the way to Manzanillo and worked our way north.  We stopped at the most beautiful beaches like Punta Uva, Playa Cocles and Playa Negra (Black Beach) which were among our favorites.


Get Your Party On

If you are into the party scene, there are plenty of places in town to get your party on. Most of the places in town have a laid back Raggae vibe.  Check out Rocking J's, one of the most popular bars located on the outskirts of town. 

Saturday Farmers Market

Get up early and go shop for your fresh fruits and veggies. They also sell a variety of foods if you are looking to eat. You will find many people selling their arts and crafts as well. This is a great spot to include in your Saturday morning plans. 


We arrived in Puerto Viejo after a 4 to 5 hour bus ride from San Jose, Costa Rica. You can catch the bus going to Puerto Viejo from San Jose at the North Atlantic Terminal. The bus was only 5,700 CRC ($10.20USD) p/p. Try to get a bus that leaves in the day time as the area around the North Atlantic Terminal is not the best. Puerto Viejo is walkable. You will not need a car if you don't mind walking. Below you can find the bus schedule that leaves from San Jose to Puerto Viejo. Times may change, so always ask a local to be sure.


We easily spent an entire 8 days in Puerto Viejo. If you only have a couple of days, that should be enough to explore a lot of Puerto Viejo. If you are visiting Puerto Viejo as a pit stop for Bocas Del Toro, don’t forget to check out Traveling from Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica to Bocas Del Toro, Panama. You can also explore some of the Best Beaches of Bocas Del Toro!