Playa Cocles is about ten minutes away from Hidden Jungle Beach House on a bicycle and is one of the biggest and most social beaches in Puerto Viejo. There’s also a beautiful walking trail through the jungle that will take you there, it runs along the water and you can see sloths and monkeys along the way! The trail to Playa Cocles begins at Salsa Brava, if you go to the beach at the end of our road, make a right and keep hugging the coastline you will find it! I like to walk this trail with the dogs sometimes, they enjoy the change of pace from our usual Playa Negra and there is so much for us to see along the way. There are lots of swimming holes you can dip into along the path with amazing views, culminating in a beautiful stretch of white sand once you reach Playa Cocles. It’s a great surfing beach but not the greatest for swimming because of the strong waves and even stronger current, lots of riptides at this beach. You can still splash around in the water, just use caution at all times and only swim between the green or yellow flags, don’t go in the water if the red flags are posted. Surfers of all levels will be in heaven at this beach, plenty of boards for rent and surfing lessons are available for beginners. Experienced surfers will get plenty of action, there are even national surfing competitions held at Playa Cocles several times a year. Surfers arrive to compete from all parts of Costa Rica, the event draws a healthy crowd of onlookers as well. Playa Cocles is a busy beach but it’s also long and wide, no matter how crowded it gets you can always find room for personal space. Never leave your valuable unattended at any of the beaches in the Puerto Viejo area.
As I mentioned, Playa Cocles is a busy and social beach. Unlike most beaches in the Puerto Viejo area, which are generally pretty quiet during the week but get busy on the weekends, Playa Cocles stays lively throughout the week and is extra lively on weekends. There are fire shows at sunset on Saturdays and lots of social events throughout the week. Restaurants and bars line the main road in front and food carts pepper the beachside. Find the falafel guy if you can, don’t miss the Iriria coffee truck, and if you’re lucky Tara will be out there selling her Trinidadian street food! Playa Cocles is quiet in the early mornings save for some devoted surfers, by mid-morning the beach starts to fill up and the party begins. Definitely make sure to hit this beach on your visit to Puerto Viejo!
*Playa Cocles is one of the only beaches in the Puerto Viejo area that has lifeguards, be mindful of the flags that are posted and pay attention to the lifeguard’s warnings. Do not swim in areas where red flags are posted. Riptides are strong here and drownings frequently occur. Use extreme caution in the water at Playa Cocles.