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Costa Rica, Travel

Journey to the Caribbean Coast: Part 2 – Puerto Viejo

After our delicious breakfast at Miss Edith’s, and a French press coffee at the local bakery in Cahuita (see Part 1), we were beyond fueled. Luckily our little car kept its wheels on the ground (because we were ready to take off) and got us down the road to Puerto Viejo. Puerto Viejo is the main destination for tourists on the Caribbean Coast, so you see a lot of Americans, Canadians and Europeans. As for the locals, there is more of a Rasta vibe here. You’ll see people of color adorned with dreads and Jamaican colors playing Reggae and Calypso music. We bought a couple CDs that ended up being our soundtrack for the drive home.

Since we didn’t have a reservation for the night, our first stop was to secure our lodgings. We ended up at the very nice Casa Verde Lodge, which is pretty reasonable and has a great pool. It also has the advantage of being right in town, though on a quiet street, so if you’re planning to hit up the restaurants and bars, you can just stumble on home at the end of the night. Unfortunately our day in Puerto Viejo was on a Wednesday, and we learned later there wasn’t too much going on until the weekend. I recommend you plan your trip for a Friday or Saturday and experience the music and dancing scene – and take me with you!

Once settled we took a drive through Puerto Viejo and then out to Manzanillo, which is the last town in this stretch of the Coast.

Beach in Manzanillo

Arturo has arrived

Our friends insisted we try Maxi’s, which is really one of the only places selling anything here. It has a cool “clubhouse” vibe and the walls are lined with soccer shirts.

Maxi's of Manzanillo

Once again we got the pescado entero, and this time we had our camera with us so you can see what it looks like.

Pescado entero - muy rico (very rich and delicious)

On the side - Caribbean rice and beans, salad and a margarita

After lunch we crashed on the beach for a bit, then explored some other nearby beaches.

Una playa circa de Punta Uva (a beach near Punta Uva)

Arturo doing a great Buddha impression

On the way back to our lodgings (the pool beckoned), we met this friend in the trees.

A Sloth!!

He pointed the way to a stop we just could not miss, which is called Chocorart. It’s a cacao bean farm that makes artisan chocolate sold all over the country. In their store we ordered a cacao bean juice (very refreshing, if somewhat odd) and two of their cigar-like chocolates. Each color represents a different flavor.

Cacao bean juice

Cigar-like chocolate

Chocorart chocolates - blue=coconut, brown="crunchy" (with cacao nibs)

After eating one of the chocolates, we promptly returned to the store and bought 20 more. For “gifts.” Of course.

For dinner we enjoyed sitting in the outside lounge area of Koki Beach with guacamole and yucca chips (wow), then headed to Flip-Flop for sushi (ok sushi, but fun vibe – next time I would order something else on the menu).

Rounding out our tour of Puerto Viejo, we stopped in for breakfast at Bread and Chocolate, which we both highly recommend. And they offer some good words of advice, which tells you a little bit about the vibe in this town…

As a consideration to your fellow patrons...

Stay tuned for Part 3: BriBri Land!


About Danielle Hart

The three foundational aspects of my life, that keep me healthy and sane, are love, food and music. I am truly blessed to have the love of, and to give my love to, my husband, family and friends. I choose to surround myself with and to seek out healthy, yummy, nourishing food. The soundtrack of my life is upbeat, fun and totally danceable. As I begin this blog, I have embarked on a new journey to open my heart to new love, food and music. I hope to share some of my experiences here as a travelog for my friends and family back home in the US. As they say here in Costa Rica, pura vida!


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