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First time to the Caribbean side- suggestions?

Delray Beach...
Level Contributor
29 posts
10 reviews
First time to the Caribbean side- suggestions?

Hi all. My husband and I are Costa Rica lovers. We got married there 2 years ago and would like to spend our anniversary there in April 2014. We have never been to the Caribbean side and are excited to go somewhere new!

How is the weather there in late April? Should we stay in Puerto Viejo or in a smaller town nearby? Any suggestions for hostel like hotels? We've always rented a car but would like to avoid it if we can. Would we be restricted on what we can do if we didn't have a car? We met a couple while traveling in the Arena area who understandably were very limited on what they could do b/c they didn't have a car.

Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
20,005 posts
62 reviews
1. Re: First time to the Caribbean side- suggestions?

Already Puerto Viejo is too small to be called a town; either Cahuita or Manzanillo are even smaller. There is no need to have a car while in that area. Mostly transportation is done by foot or by bike, and by taxi if coming back to the hotel after sunset. For reaching out to Cahuita and Manzanillo use local bus. Myself I have spent twice a week there, one without and one with a car. And next time will be without a car again. If you will postpone your travel to May, many lodges started their low season rates May 1st.

Puerto Viejo de...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Level Contributor
2,370 posts
9 reviews
2. Re: First time to the Caribbean side- suggestions?

Good advice from Xelas as usual. Getting around is not a problem. It may be good to know that the destination Puerto Viejo is basically a stretch of about 16 kilometres between PV and Manzanillo where the road ends. Along that stretch are several stunning beaches, settlements like Cocles, Playa Chiquita and Punta Uva, shops and restaurants. Although some places offer lower rates in May, April usually has better weather. Have a look at www.puertoviejosatellite.com for accommodation options.

Edited: 6:33 pm, December 01, 2013
Punta Uva, Costa...
Level Contributor
291 posts
119 reviews
3. Re: First time to the Caribbean side- suggestions?

Whether or not you stay in PV will depend on your tastes. PV is probably the most "active" area of the Caribe towns stretching from Cahuita, PV, Cocles, Playa Chiquita, Punta Uva and Manzanillo: the gorgeous coastal areas after Limon proper.

Each little enclave has its own personality and own draw. Really, it's your call. I'd grab a travel guide or do some online research and decide what matches your personality.

The great news is, other than the long stretch between Cahuita and PV, south of PV all you need is a rental bike to access any beach you chose. From black to white sand, surf- or swim-friendly, the Caribe has it all.

Cahuita has an amazing national park (access it easily by bus if you do not stay in Cahuita), Cocles has the great Jaguar Rescue Centre, Uva has diving, Manzanillo has great stretches of white sand.

It's all amazing and lovely restaurants abound.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
52,439 posts
119 reviews
4. Re: First time to the Caribbean side- suggestions?

Check Korrigans Lodge...Gecko Lodge great places run by great people...avoid some places that will try to rent you a bicycle...sell you a tour...transfer you by a piece of junk vehicle to SJO...deal direct with Travel Serivices providers...avoid funny middle people starving to death ...they will offer you a lot...


Edited: 12:30 am, December 02, 2013
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
33 posts
5. Re: First time to the Caribbean side- suggestions?

I was in Cahuita 3 weeks ago, and its not what I expecteda. A quiet fishing town to my eyes, too quiet for confort, walk the main road and nothing interesting to see besides the National Park. The trail is free to walk, you do not bother with getting a guide, we encounter sloths and white faced monkeya. Keep driving south to Puerto Viejo instead...

Level Contributor
366 posts
18 reviews
6. Re: First time to the Caribbean side- suggestions?

Korrigan Lodge is lovely and quite central to the PV/Manzanillo area. There is bus service you can take to go into PV and Korrigan has bikes. You can also walk across the road to the beach that's gorgeous and there is good snorkeling right off the beach. The bungalows at Korrigan are very romantic and perfect for an anniversary trip

7. Re: First time to the Caribbean side- suggestions?

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