I often get asked the question – “Why the Caribbean side of Costa Rica?”, or something similar. People just don’t know about this coast, they’ve only been exposed to the Pacific side…and therein lies one of the many reasons why we love the Caribbean side (Believe me, there are a lot more reason that i’ll mention later, but to be able to be part of something that isn’t where the masses go is something special.)
In a world where access to information on literally every spot on earth is available in seconds on the internet, and in a country that has experienced unprecedented tourist growth, it is pretty rare to find somewhere like Puerto Viejo and the surrounding areas that feels like it was forgotten about for a while.
The drive down from San Jose is an experience on it’s own – a beautiful twisting and turning (modern) road through the mountains and jungle as you head towards the coast (It is literally a continuous scene from Jurassic Park) and then when you do hit the flat lands, it is epic river after valley after river all the way to the beach. The scenery is next-to-none and green all year round (This is the only time i make a comparison, I promise, but it’s a huge positive for me compared to the Pacific side that experiences a dramatic dry season for half the year)
The vibe in Caribe Sur is just as you would expect – typically caribbean, bright colored buildings, relaxed days, friendly people, incredible local foods (i’ll touch on that in a bit as well), fun nights and a latin caribbean culture that you can’t get enough of. Even the visitors bring a mix of every different culture you can imagine – lots of Europeans, Americans, Canadians and local Costa Ricans down from the big smoke (San Jose).
The water….what can I say about the water, apart from that it is one of the most beautiful I have ever laid my eyes on. Like many places in the Caribbean, it can be crystal clear and turquoise with visibility for days, but unlike many of the Caribbean islands you may have been to, it often has a lagoon-type appearance with this incredible emerald coloring (Don’t take my word for it, check out this picture below on Punta Uva)
In addition to this, we get waves! And not just waves for learners (We do get those as well, don’t worry), but some serious, reserved for surfers with more skill than I have kind of waves (Although I think i’ll be out there this season, I just need need to get a little bit fitter!) The most famous wave is called Salsa Brava, well accepted to be the ‘Hawaiian Pipeline of Central America’ (If that means something to you, then you’re probably booking your flight down here now if you haven’t been here already)
There are plenty of other waves all the way along the coast, from beach breaks, to river mouths, reef breaks and sand bars – something for everyone, it is a waterman’s paradise. There are surfers, paddle boarders, kayakers, swimmers, sailers and sun bathers. So many beaches and hidden coves, beach paths for cycling or walking along, bluffs to climb up and watch the sun sets from and little beach bars to have one of the famous ceviches (seafood cocktail ‘cooked’ in lime juice) and a local beer from.
The local cafes and restaurants make it hard to cook at home. Whether you’re looking for a locally made organic breakfast at a beautiful spot, or one of my favorites – ‘rice an’ beans’ – cooked in coconut milk, with fresh fish for lunch or a fancy boho-style restaurant/bar with a menu you might hope for in a city like New York – There is an endless amount of choice to suit all budgets and taste! (I would be super happy to help make any suggestions, so if you would like, email me at email@example.com)
You can probably understand now why i mentioned that I need to get fitter before I surf Salsa Brava – what can i say, i’m a foodie!
There are some great places to stay as well if you’re thinking about visiting. Some awesome hotels, hostels and rental homes (Have a look and i bet you’ll be surprised what you’ll be able to get.
Of course, if you love it as much as I did, then you’ll want to buy a place – Thats what happened to us, and it’s why we help other people realize that same dream. There are some incredible homes for sale here, or if you really want to jump in and make it happen, there are some great land properties, both lots and raw land. We can even help with recommending builders, service providers, property managers etc to make the whole experience as easy as possible for you.
Have a look at our website: https://www.caribesur-realestate.com
and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’d love to hear from you and share more of our experiences or help you start your own dream down here!