Travel Guide: What to Do on Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast

Warm weather, magnificent beaches, and stunning ecotourism is what you’ll find on Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast. The spring months are an especially fantastic time to visit this side of the country as there tends to be less rainfall. Indulge in the beauty of this incredible area with this guide to the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica.

Explore the biodiverse Tortuguero National Park.

Explore the biodiverse Tortuguero National Park.

There’s over 600 species of birds in Costa Rica as well as a variety of other extraordinary wildlife from sloths to monkeys to turtles. To experience some of Costa Rica’s best wildlife, visit the secluded Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean side, which is only accessible via boat or small plane. Here you’ll feel inspired by the variety of wildlife living in its rainforest and beaches.

Just in Tortuguero, there’s more than 300 species of birds, 60 mammal species, as well as around more than a hundred reptiles and amphibians. It’s a must visit when visiting Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast.

Surf, chill, and party in Puerto Viejo.

Surf, chill, and party in Puerto Viejo.

One of the liveliest towns on the Caribbean side is Puerto Viejo. It’s a great place to base yourself for some days. It’s full of locals, expats, and volunteers all living harmoniously in this amazing Caribbean town.

Cycle around the town and experience it the local way, grab a delicious coffee at House of ROAM, and visit Caribeans to sample chocolate, drink smoothies, and enjoy tasty brunch foods.There’s also several yoga studios, surf lessons, and slacklining on the Cocles Beach.

If you’re looking to go out in Puerto Viejo, you’ve got lots of choices. For bar games, karaoke, craft beer, and mojitos hop over to Hot Rocks. If you’re a lady, visit on a Tuesday night from 10 p.m. and enjoy free frozen daiquiris and margaritas! Then, Wednesdays are free drinks for ladies until midnight at Johnny’s Place. This is also one of the best spots for salsa dancing in Puerto Viejo.

Finally, immerse yourself in Puerto Viejo’s tremendous beaches such as Chino Beach, Cocles Beach, and Playa Chiquita. Here’s a guide to Puerto Viejo’s best beaches.

Take a tour of the Jaguar Rescue Center.

Take a tour of the Jaguar Rescue Center.

Just outside of Puerto Viejo, you’ll find the Jaguar Rescue Center. No, there aren’t any jaguars here, but there’s so much more. It’s a volunteer-ran organization where wildlife animals are rehabilitated and, if able, sent back into the wild. It’s an amazing organization to support and it’s a real treat to take a tour. You’ll get up close to sloths, birds, monkeys, reptiles, and even a deer—surprisingly, Costa Rica’s national animal.

Go on a tasty chocolate tour.

Did you know one of Costa Rica’s major crops is cacao? Yep! Costa Rica produces an abundance of delicious chocolate as a result. Book a tour and taste the cacao fruit, learn all about the bean to bar process, sample some chocolate, and enjoy the stunning ocean views, as well.

Enjoy a visit to the Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge.

Enjoy a visit to the Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge.

Head to the Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge to take in its rainforest, swamp land, white sandy beaches, and colorful tropical coral reef. Keep an eye out for dolphins, manatees, various types of turtles as well as birds, sloths, turtles, and other fascinating creatures.

Author :


Christa Adams is a writer, photographer, and sustainable traveler based in Barcelona. She’s been traveling solo since 2014 has a passion for the outdoors, coffee culture, and exploring quaint European towns. Follow her adventures at www.thespiritedexplorer.com

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