I arrived into Puerto Viejo around lunchtime after crossing the border from Panama. I was welcomed with sunshine, palm trees, clear water and crowds of people. It was awesome!
My first stop was a veggie restaurant I’d been recommended, right on the beach. It was a great spot to people watch.
My guest house, Vista Verde, was a short stroll from main bar and restaurant area. I was thankful for this as it got pretty rowdy at night.
After a stroll around town to get my bearings, I went for a run out of town along the main road. Coming in the opposite direction were dozens of bikers returning from the ride to Manzanillo.
My first morning I got up before sunrise to chat to Ange and see my little sweetie Moj. It was great to check in with Ange and share some stories. Mojo could hear my voice but didn’t really know what was going on. She was so cute though, wiggling around, looking for food scraps in the kitchen. I miss my baby girl!
After our chat, I took a walk to the beach. It was a gorgeous morning and a much quieter vibe than the days & evenings.
I did my own yoga practice in the yoga hut at the hostel. It was a beautiful spot for this.
I think organised a bike rental for the day & set off for Manzanillo. The ride follows the main road the whole way, with jungle on both sides. For some stretches I was right next to the beach. Thankfully there wasn’t much traffic at all. I got to Manzanillo after about an hour (12km). Manzanillo itself if a super tiny town. A few of sodas and rental places, but not much else.
I rode past the sodas and came to a little bridge where I was asked to make a donation to cross. I’m pretty sure what I’d come across was a reserve or national park of some sort. It was really similar to Cahuita National Park where the trail winds through the jungle right along the beach. A little way in was a set of steps leading up to Punta Manzanillo. It was an area that the word ‘paradise’ might provoke images of.
There were people galore so after a few snaps, I turned back. I set up a little base before the park exit, right on the fringe of the beach and jungle. It had started drizzling so I picked a great spot that sheltered me from the rain. Here I read for a while, did a bit of trip planning and just relaxed a bit.
I noticed the rain pick up a bit and took that as a cue to move on. It was a good call, as the rain started coming down HARD, as it does here! I found retreat in a soda opposite the beach.
Once the rain eased back, I made my way back to Puerto Viejo. I stopped in at the Jaguar Rescue Centre hoping to see some animals, but had missed the tours for the day. I rode to the other side of town (not that far, it’s so little) and found a traditional Caribbean soda. There were no menus, just set ‘plates’ of different meats, or if course for me, a vegetarian option. I also got a watermelon shake which was the biggest shake I’d seen in my life. It was so refreshing and delish too! The casado was incredible…I think it was the best food I had so far on my trip. Definitely in Costa Rica. It was made up of rice, beans, fried plantains and an assortment of vegetables in an interesting but flavoursome sauce or marinade. Yum!
Full and content, I dropped my bike back and I took a walk around town and the beach.
I chatted to the host, Francesco about his gorgeous pets, mainly his dog. She is beautifully natured with these adorable giant paws. The best thing about hostels is definitely having pets around!
Another epic travel day awaits me as I head off to Tortuguero National Park.