From San Jose, I took a 4.5 hour bus ride to Puerto Viejo. It turns out that it’s good to buy your bus tickets more than 5 minutes prior to the bus leaving, otherwise you end up standing for the entire trip (which was not fun)! Puerto Viejo is a beach town on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica only a short distance away from Panama. Had I realized this when I was there, I would have probably taken a short detour to Bocas del Toro. Oh well, another trip I guess.
First, the hostel I stayed at was pretty unique. It was called Rockin’ J’s and backed up right to the beach. You could sleep in hammocks, tents, or cabanas. I think the hammocks were only $3 or $4 a night to sleep in, while the other ones were $7 or $8.
And since it had a private entrance to a beach, this was the view from there.
With some friends I had met in San Jose, we rented bikes and were going to ride up to Manzanillo National Park (I believe it was about 12 km way). Well things never really work out as planned. As we were about riding and about halfway there, the chain on one of the bikes snapped. We were debating what to do when a guy walks up and says that he can fix the chain for us. My first thought was, how is this random guy going to fix a bike chain for us? There were five of us and he wanted just the guy who’s bike it was to come to his house. We decided that this was not the best idea so another one of us went with him. It turns out that this guy actually fixes bikes and had a few spare chains laying around in his back yard. He was able to piece one together and get the bike back in working order, but told us it wasn’t the best and shouldn’t be ridden very hard. With this in mind, we decided not to go all the way up to Manzanillo, rode back to the bike shop and got a replacement, then headed to a beach a little ways down the road. We had lunch and did a little bodysurfing while we were there.
Since Puerto Viejo is a party town, there were a lot of people out at night. We found a couple awesome restaurants. At one, we all had paella and another fresh red snapper with passion fruit salsa and chopped up coconut on top! So good!!
The next morning before my bus left for our half-day rafting trip, I was able to get some pretty good shots of the sunrise on the beach.