You’ll never run out of things to do in Puerto Viejo, you can keep your pace as fast or as slow as you’d like. Get up at the crack of dawn and hit the ground running, or lounge around in one of our hammocks until noon. It’s up to you, no judgments here! Below you will find some suggestions to keep you busy throughout your stay.
Go Beach Hopping – Visit one of the many beaches along the coast. No matter what you’re looking for, swimming or snorkeling, surfing or just a secluded hideaway, there’s a beach in Puerto Viejo that is right for you! Click HERE to learn more about the beaches of Puerto Viejo.
Take Our Medicinal and Edible Garden Tour – We offer an informative and fun medicinal and edible plant class here at Hidden Jungle Beach House! On this guided tour of our garden you will learn to identify the medicinal and edible plants of the Talamanca region and how to use them. Click HERE for more information.
Visit Cahuita National Park – A trip to Puerto Viejo would be incomplete without visiting Cahuita National Park! You are guaranteed to see lots of wildlife here, including white-faced capuchin monkeys, coatis, and the ubiquitous howler monkeys. You can also go snorkeling and explore the reef at Punta Cahuita, for this you will need a guide since the reef is a protected area. It’s not necessary to hire a guide to walk through the park but you will definitely see a lot more wildlife if you do, their eyes are well-trained to spot the camouflaged creatures that are easy to overlook! No single-use plastics are allowed inside the park so keep this in mind as you’re preparing for your visit and be prepared for a day at the beach! The trail hugs the coastline and there are some amazing swimming spots to enjoy. An easy bus ride away from Hidden Jungle Beach House, a visit to Cahuita National Park is a must-do activity when you’re visiting Puerto Viejo!
Take a Chocolate Tour – Cacao has a long and storied history in the Talamanca area. It has cultural significance for the indigenous Bribri of this region and cacao played an important role in the lives of the Afro-Caribbean farmers that settled the coast.
There are several chocolate tours and experiences in the area, my personal favorite is with Ancel Mitchell at Talamanca Chocolate just down the road from us at Hidden Jungle Beach House, click HERE to visit her website. You will make your own chocolate on this unique and engaging experience, you will also learn that chocolate is medicine! Ancel is an amazing teacher and storyteller, she will take you on a journey through the history of cacao in this region and the medicinal properties this amazing tree has to offer. I’ve taken Ancel’s cacao workshop several times and each time I learn something new! Highly recommended experience, you can click HERE to learn more.
Caribeans also has a nice chocolate tour in Cocles that takes you on a walk up a hill through the jungle where you will learn about the process of making chocolate with a delicious chocolate tasting at the end. You can click HERE to visit their website.
Ecotourism With ATEC – Advocating for sustainable development and providing ecotourism in the Talamanca region since 1987, ATEC is my number one recommendation for booking tours in Puerto Viejo, especially for booking tours to indigenous territory. ATEC does so much to support the Talamanca community and we love to support them in return. You can visit their office in downtown Puerto Viejo, you can also click HERE to visit their website.
Ziplining Jungle Adventure Tours – Feeling adventurous? Want to create some memories that will last for a lifetime? Nativo offers zipline canopy tours of the jungle, they also have full jungle adventure tours with suspension bridges and a Tarzan swing! Click HERE to visit their website.
Explore the Dining Scene – You can’t leave Puerto Viejo without trying the Caribbean rice and beans, rondón, and patí that this region of Costa Rica is famous for! Along with Caribbean restaurants you will find food from all corners of the world in Puerto Viejo. You can click HERE to see our list of favorite restaurants in the area. Vegan or vegetarian? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Click HERE to see the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Puerto Viejo.
Enjoy a Chocolate and Wine, Beer, or Rum Pairing Experience – Choco is a chocolate shop and cafe that offers chocolate tastings and chocolate pairings with wine, beer, or rum. They sell over 80 varieties of locally made chocolate at their shop, all of the chocolate makers in the region are represented at Choco. With expertly made coffee and chocolate beverages this cafe is a lovely place to spend an afternoon. Choco is located in downtown Puerto Viejo, you can visit their website HERE.
Bike Ride to Manzanillo – Renting a bicycle is a great way to explore the Puerto Viejo area. The road is flat all the way out to Manzanillo save for two hills that are easy to manage, it’s a beautiful ride with a lot to see along the way. You can make a day of it, stopping to swim at the beaches you will find peeking through the jungle or for a snack at one of the many cafes and restaurants you will find throughout the journey. It takes about an hour and a half to get out to Manzanillo from Puerto Viejo, you can visit the Gandoca National Wildlife Refuge while you are there. The sun sets early all year long in Costa Rica, plan accordingly on the return trip to make sure you leave early enough that you’re not riding home in the dark.
Jaguar Rescue Center – Enjoy getting up close and personal with the fascinating creatures who share our home here in the jungle! Despite the name you won’t see any jaguars at the Jaguar Rescue Center, but you will still see lots of wildlife nonetheless. Monkeys, sloths, toucans, and other injured or abandoned jungle creatures reside here temporarily on their journey towards being released back into the wild. You can take a guided tour of this wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center, click HERE to visit their website.
Visit a Wild Macaw Rewilding Project – Ara Manzanillo is a reintroduction program for the Great Green macaw in Puerto Viejo, where back in 2010 the bird was in danger of extinction. The recolonization project has been a success and it is now common to see and hear these birds in the skies of Puerto Viejo once again. You can tour the Ara Manzanillo facilities and see the Great Green macaw in person, click HERE to learn more about the program and book a tour.
Walk the Coconut Trail – Although there aren’t as many coconut trees along the path as there were in years gone by, you can still imagine how things were before their were roads to connect the villages along the Talamanca coast. In those days your only options were to walk the trail or take a boat to travel between the villages and settlements along the coastline. This beautiful trail goes all the way out to Cocles, Playa Chiquita, and beyond with wildlife viewing opportunities along the way. I see sloths and monkeys almost every time I go and I go there a lot! These days there are restaurants and bars you can stop at on your way out to Cocles, there a lot of nice swimming holes along the path as well. You can find the entrance on the beach in Puerto Viejo right next to the restaurant Salsa Brava.
These are just a few of the things you can do in Puerto Viejo to keep yourself occupied, you won’t be bored around here! Remember that you’re on vacation, don’t feel obligated to overbook yourself with activities every single day. Make sure you take some time to relax while you are here!