There’s not much we don’t like about Puerto Viejo. If we could, we’d definitely stay longer, and the chances that we come back are very high. But not everybody knows about this small town and that’s why I want to sell it to you. So here are my five reasons for coming back in the future.
1. The People
You can’t talk about how nice the Ticos are without sharing a story. Here’s what happened to us. Chris was desperately trying to get a coconut in one of those very tall coconut trees in front of our house. He was sweaty and he had no clue what he was doing. That’s when the man who was cutting the grass at the neighbor’s house stopped what he was doing, grabbed a ladder and told Chris to stand back. He then got a few coconuts. Once he handed them to us, he started explaining how to open it and which parts were good to eat. When he was done explaining the pipas (the young coconut that are still green), he found an old coconut (the brown kind) on the ground and opened that one. He tried explaining the difference in taste and what you use it in (apparently, you can use the flesh in the traditional rice and beans) and told us that you can even eat the seed.
We didn’t know much Spanish at the time (still don’t know that much), but we were able to communicate with that very nice man with a mix of hand gesture and one word sentences.
All the Ticos in Puerto Viejo have been really nice to us, giving us a hand if we needed one.
2. The Food
So. Many. Fruits. I can’t get enough of those! And of how good they are. If you’ve lived in North America or Europe all your life, I doubt you know what a fresh mango tastes like. Or a papaya. Have you ever seen a passion fruit? I didn’t even know what it looked like until I came down here. There are so many new flavors to discover. You can try all of those by visiting the Saturday Farmers’ Market.
There’s more than just the fruits, though. Every restaurant that you go to also has delicious food. I fell in love with the casado and especially the chicken they serve with it. I don’t know what they do with it, but it’s the tastiest chicken I have even had! Even our Friday nights pizzas are great, made by a real Italian.
So there’s definitely a lot to try here. Even in three months, we couldn’t taste everything. We’re not… you know… rich yet. But if you like good and tasty food, I promise you will be happy in Puerto Viejo.
3. The Yoga
I have to admit, I just started yoga. Well actually, I only went to two classes. But those classes were AMAZING! I can see myself falling in love with yoga very easily.
Puerto Viejo has a great beach and lots of jungle. So whether you want to bring your mat on the sand or spend a week in a yoga retreat in the jungle, that is all possible. There’s a few studios around here. I’ve been to OM Yoga and loved my experience. Their studio is on the second flood, facing the ocean. (Okay, you can’t really see the ocean, since there’s a bunch of trees in front, but those trees are great to look at!)
If you’re a fan of yoga, you already know that Costa Rica is a great place to go to. If you haven’t tried yoga before, then go to Puerto Viejo and book a class. Just one. And you’ll fall in love with it, the same way I did.
4. The Beach
Depending on which season you are here, you can either get a super calm ocean (February-April or September-October) that actually looks like a giant lake, or strong waves that are perfect for surfing (November-January or May-August).
Along the coast, there’s many kind of beaches. Some rocky, some dark, some white, some easily accessible and some very well hidden. It’s up to you to explore and find the perfect spot. And there are perfect spots!
5. The Jungle
There’s nothing I love better than nature and fresh air. It makes me feel alive. In Puerto Viejo, there’s nowhere you can look without seeing a little patch of green. The trees are tall and the flowers are bright! It’s such a lush jungle and spending some time in it is just relaxing. There are so many plants to discover and so many animals to look for. I love how I can just sit outside with my computer and have a hummingbird fly by my head, or look up and see a sloth going down a tree. There’s always something to amaze you when you stop and take the time to look around you.