Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Costa Rica - Puerto Viejo

Puerto Viejo is a small beach town on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. To my eyes it seems to have a really interesting meld of cultures. From ganja smoking rastafarians, to late teens/early twenty year old American and European tourists, from multiple generations of Ticos to yoga-loving expats, this town was small but diverse.

Costa Rica doesn't really do street addresses, rather they describe the location of places, often in relation to other places. For example: 50 meters south of the yellow church.  Or, in the case of the places we stayed at, the address was: the rainforest behind town. Let me tell you how to get there: from the bustling main road full of bikes and cars, you take a right onto a quieter road.

You'll walk past this building made out of plastic crates filled with dirt (ingenious!).

When you see a sloth (SLOTH!) in the tree, follow the road to the left.

If you pass by this pup and her fowl friends, you know you are heading the right way.

Walk through the middle of the grazing cows. They should be on your left and right.

After that, straight ahead you'll see the casa rotunda, surrounded by the rainforest.

Our lodging while we were in Puerto Viejo added so much to the experience for us. We were able to take a private yoga class on the front balcony and they arranged for us to have massages there with locally made coconut oil. We were served a few delicious and nourishing meals made with local ingredients, some of them healing plants grown on the property.

And, when we had time to relax, we could have our pick of hammocks on 2 sides of the building with plenty of birds, insects and monkeys making a rainforest soundtrack for us. Speaking of soundtracks, we awoke each morning as the forest woke up. The howler monkeys made spooky, other worldly sounds while the birds sang beautiful songs (except for that one bird that just yelled). I am so glad we found this thoughtfully created space to call home for a few nights. If you are so lucky to find yourself in this town, you should totally see if Hidden Garden has space for you.

Thanks for the picture, Jessy!
I think we could have happily spent all of our time at the Hidden Garden, but we didn't want to miss out on what the town and beach had to offer. Since we were both recovering from intense burns on our hands and faces, we had to move from shady spot to shady spot with a quickness. Good thing I packed my gigantic straw hat!

In the heat and humidity of a Caribbean coastal town, it is important to stay hydrated. I might have drank this coconut and then immediately bought another. This was one of the reasons I went to Costa Rica. I can't get enough of the agua de pipa!

Jessy took this one, too!
This local pup is no dummy. He dug himself a cool hole in the shade and took a nap in the middle of the hottest part of the day.

I didn't spend nearly enough time by the ocean. We actually considered abandoning our 3rd destination and just staying here. We didn't do it, but it was a close call.
Credit to Jessy for this one, too.

Next up: one more Puerto Viejo post...I went on a chocolate tour at a small, local farm that is doing amazing things for the community.

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