Sunday, December 9, 2007

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, just north of the border with Panama. It is considered a surfer haven with loads of big, rolling waves. It is a small town, well off the beaten tourist route.

I stayed at El Escape Caribena. It is about a 15 minute walk from town. The accommodations were lovely, with beautiful grounds. It was well kept and clean, with a hammock hanging in front of each room.

The town of Puerto Viejo is very small and it doesn't take very long to explore. Not too far away is the Gandoca-Manzanillo Reserve which can be reached by taking a public bus which stops in front of the hotel. (Be aware, though, that the bus leaves VERY early).

There is also a botanical garden that is about a 30 minute walk on the other side of town. I headed there and found a lovely garden that I was able to tour on my own with a brochure, made even easier by the well labeled plants.

A 15 minute walk from the hotel, in the direction away from town, brings you to the beach. With warm water, breaking waves and a hard sandy bottom, it is a great beach. And for an afternoon snack, you can head to the restaurant right across the street for one of their delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies.

For a midday light lunch, an excellent option is Pan Pay (try their chocolate croissants) and for typical Costa Rican food, the soda Miss Sam can't be beat.

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