THE finest locations ON COSTA RICA’S CARIBBEAN coastline

Last Updated: 3/17/21 | March 17th, 2021

Most travelers going to Costa Rica believe the Pacific side of the country is the much better coastline to visit. The remote Osa Peninsula, the monkey-filled area of Manuel Antonio, the surfing near Santa Theres, as well as the touristy Nicoya coastline make it the exceptional choice.

After all, the Caribbean coastline has much more rain, less wildlife, fewer “modern” conveniences, as well as uglier beaches. No matter where you go, the Caribbean side just won’t be as nice.

Or so they say.

But, having now been to both coasts several times, I’m not sure what these people are speaking about. traveling down the Caribbean side, it is true it has a tendency to be rainier, however it was no less gorgeous or fantastic to explore. There’s great deals of wildlife, lots of locations to party, as well as some gorgeous beaches.

Contrary to what you may have heard, there are lots of worthwhile destinations to check out on this side of the country. right here are a few of the very best locations to go to on Costa Rica’s Carribean coast:

Quick Highlights

Best location for Seeing Wildlife: Tortuguero

Best Surfing/Partying: Puerto Viejo

Best Hiking: Cahuita

Best Diving: Manzanillo

Best Beach: Punta Uva

1. Tortuguero

Tortuguero, the Costa Rican version of the Amazon rainforest, dominates the northern coastline of the country. This huge area is a series of rivers as well as canals that crisscross the jungle.

Not surprisingly, it rains right here often. Although the beaches are beautiful, a full day of sunny beach weather condition is rare. To top it off, the currents are strong as well as toothy barracudas as well as sharks roam the waters so you won’t do much swimming anyways.

The most significant draw right here is the big numbers of turtles (hence “Tortuguero,” which implies “region of turtles” in Spanish) that come to nest along the shoreline. the very best time to see them nesting is in April as well as May.

But, even during the off-season, Tortuguero provides a few locations to go hiking, great deals of canal cruises, as well as an abundance of wildlife (this area is understood for its birds).

Tortuguero is not simple to get to nor is it cheap. It takes five hours to get there from San José as well as supplies are brought in by boat. Hence, it’s not a budget plan destination.

But, if it’s something remote you’re searching for in central America, Tortuguero’s the location to go!

Top Attraction in Tortuguero: If you’re only going to do one thing during your visit, head to Tortuguero national Park. There are a couple of tracks you can hike on with the park however boat trips of the area are quite much the only method to get around because this is a river system. Admission to the park is $15 USD per person.

Where to stay in Tortuguero: Aracari garden Hostel – With totally free Wi-Fi, a completely eqipped kichen, as well as spacious typical area, this awesome backpacker hostel is best next to the national park. The personnel are friendly as well as the dorms are clean as well as spacious.

2. Puerto Viejo

Puerto Viejois a rocking seaside town with a strong Caribbean feel. It’s the region’s primary hub. It’s simple to get sucked into the surfer/party life here. I truly like it in spite of the truth that it’s touristy. The town is small, it’s simple to get around, there are beaches everywhere, as well as there are a ton of great restaurants, ranging from regional “sodas” where you can purchase inexpensive tico food to remarkable Western locations with tasty baked bread or great sushi.

Top Attraction in Puerto Viejo: Make sure you go to the Jaguar Rescue center while you’re here. It’s a foundation that works difficult to rescue as well as rehabilitate animals like jaguars as well as howler monkeys. You can take a guided trip of the facility for $22 USD per person (kids under 10 are free). trips last 90 minutes.

Where to stay in Puerto Viejo – rocking J’s – found on the beach outside of time, this hostel has a truly chill vibe. They have surfboards as well as snorkeling gear for lease as well as organize all type of tours. It’s one of the very best hostels in the country.


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3. Cahuita

Cahuita, a small town located best next to a spectacular national park with the exact same name, is about an hour north of Puerto Viejo.

Like Tortuguero, this is a location to relax. house to just 8,000 people, there’s one bar that gets vibrant on some nights but, for the most part, after a day of hiking, swimming, or surfing, many people just sit as well as read.

While you’re here, be sure togo to Cahuita national Park, unwind at Black Beach, as well as stuff your deal with with dessert crepes (a regional specialty).

Top Attraction in Cahuita: Cahuita national Park truly is the primary draw here, as it provides some fantastic hiking as well as a possibility to absorb the regional natural beauty. Admission to the park is totally free as well as guides can be hired for around $20 USD.

Where to stay in Cahuita: trick garden – This family-friendly hostel is fantastic for anybody searching for a much more peaceful as well as unwinding hostel. They have a terrace, garden, as well as hammocks for unwinding in. They likewise have a kitchen area in situation you want to make your own meals.

4. Manzanillo

Manzanillo is 12km south of Puerto Viejo. In fact, you can walk right here from Puerto Viejo in about two hours — just comply with the beach!

The town is even smaller than Cahuita as well as nobody ever truly visits. If you’re wanting to get away from the crowds as well as have a much more authentic experience, come stay right here Manzanillo.

The reef system right here is close to shore as well as this is the region’s primary diving spot. many of the people who come right here are older couples, families, or retirees. It likewise has one of the very best beaches in the country.

Top Attraction in Manzanillo: For the adventurous, that would be a canopy trip (ziplining). trips expense around $60 USD as well as last around 4 hours. If you’re not searching for an adrenaline rush, head out on a chocolate tour. The region is understood for its chocolate production. trips typically last around 5 hours as well as expense $60 USD.

Where to stay in Manzanillo: Se Ua Manzanillo – This rustic thatched-roofed B&B is found in the jungle. It’s a very calm, unwinding location to delight in nature as well as take in the scenery. They have totally free Wi-Fi as well though so you won’t be totally isolated!

5. Punta Uva

If you’re searching for a beautiful beach to lounge away the days, head to Punta Uva. It’s a small town found between Puerto Viejo as well as Manzanillo with a gorgeous strip of beach. regional legislations avoid advancement close to the beach, which has kept it from ending up being overcrowded. It’s ideal for swimming as well as surfing.

Top Attraction in Punta Uva: The beach! It’s one of the most gorgeous in the whole country.

Where to stay in Punta Uva: Casa Visa en la Selva – This vibrant lodge is found in the jungle. There’s no Web here, making it a good option for anybody wanting to disconnect as well as catch up on some R&R.

The Caribbean coastline is just as beautiful, interesting, as well as majestic as the Pacific coastline. And, because it rains much more on the Caribbean coast, you’ll discover far fewer people on this side of the country.

The big resorts, overpriced meals as well as tours, as well as countless expats that flood all parts of the Pacific, particularly the Nicoya Peninsula, are barely anywhere to be found.

So let them do what they want while you delight in the (fairly) empty beaches, inexpensive seafood, as well as amazing wildlife of the Caribbean coast!

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