Puerto Viejo is a laid back village that moves to a reggae beat. Beaches - never crowded, surfing, snorkeling, biking, wildlife, hiking, excellent restaurants, and friendly people can make this your favorite vacation spot. (Most people return once they have visited Puerto Viejo.)
Puerto Viejo is a fun, inexpensive place to spend a month, week or weekend. Rent a bicycle and see it all. You can also take a bus or hire a guide for great day trips.
HURRICANE FREE ZONE!
The Southern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica is a hurricane free zone! We sit (9 degrees north of the equator) below the northern reaches of Columbia and Venezuela , where hurricanes cannot go. You can come to this Caribbean destination during hurricane season, and enjoy a worry free holiday!! When Atlantic hurricanes spiral, the sun shines here.
By Wendy Strebe
Owner of Cashew Hill
So, you are thinking of traveling to Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast for the weekend, the week or maybe only to sneak a peek. But, beware, IT IS DANGEROUS THERE. At least, that is what people from other areas of Costa Rica are known to repeat zealously and habitually. "You do not want to travel to the Caribbean because it is not safe."
And, in premise, I agree. There are many dangers to take into consideration. While riding a rental bicycle down the main road to visit the sparkling beaches of the Caribbean, you are in danger of hitting a pot hole. While swimming in the Caribbean Sea, you are in danger of getting a sun burn. While dancing on the beach at Reggae night in Puerto Viejo, you are in danger of staying out too late. While feasting at one of numerous gourmet restaurants owned by people from all over the world, you are in danger of overeating!! While attempting to decide which adventure to sign up for, you are in peril of choosing too many and staying longer than you had planned.
You see, the Caribbean is a few hours and a world away from the rest of Costa Rica. It is beautiful. The beaches are world class. The restaurants are three, four and five star. You have all sorts of lodging options and price ranges to choose from. You can walk or ride a bike around day and night in safety.
Many people who visit the Caribbean have been robbed. But, the vast majority of the robberies occurred elsewhere in the country. Need I name all of the places in Costa Rica that are truly dangerous?
So, why do Ticos say these things about the Caribbean? Why are they so threatened by the Rastafarian way of life? Why do dark skin and dreadlocks cause their knees to shake and their armpits to become moist?
Let me whisper a thought that comes to my mind: RACIAL DISCRIMINATION! Is there really such a thing as first-class and second-class citizens of Costa Rica? Is the color of a person"s skin more significant than the color of their eyes? Is there one race that is superior to another? Is it possible for Costa Rica, a peace loving country, to truly be a country that declares understanding, tolerance and good-will towards all its citizens? Even towards those of different cultures?
Maybe Rastafarians are scary to some, but all true Rastas signify peace and pride and righteousness. They are a loving people. Are there 'bad' Rastafarians? Gee, I don't know. Is there a pure race? After all, isn't this what we are talking about. Yin and yang are a fact of life, the world and all peoples.
Might you catch a whiff of ganja while strolling down the street? Yes. If that is a problem for you, don't come. It is around. But, is the area full of crazy, stoned, drunk, maniacs? No, definitely not. It is a mellow, tranquil area.
This is an area where you can dress any way you please, wear your hair any way you want. Shirts and shoes are optional at many restaurants. There is no class consciousness among the locals. Money won't impress, neither will poverty.
Prices in the Caribbean are still low. A very nice, single room can be had for $15, or you can spend $50. A hammock can be had for $5. You can eat three generous meals a day, including a beverage, for $12 - $15. Or you can spend $15 on a meal worthy of international recognition.
Is there crime on the Caribbean? Yes. However, there are few crimes against persons. Sticky fingers are your main concern here and the world over. Do not let fear or hearsay, largely spoken by people who have never set foot, keep you from enjoying the beauty and culture of the Caribbean.
Most visitors to the Caribbean return. Some return regularly. And most visitors who spend a week or more make friends. Some locals have stunning dark skin, some are pale skinned and mostly, inside they have warmhearted spirits, dazzling smiles and infectious laughter.
"Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds." --
Redemption Song -