Hey guys! My name is Sarah Yak. I grew up in Austin, Texas and I have always loved traveling the world. I pursued Vanlife because it enabled me to travel full-time. And without having to pay rent, I’m able to save more money to travel abroad to awesome places like Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica too!
My trip to Costa Rica lasted a little over two weeks. This trip also included a week spent in Panama. It all started in the city of San Jose (capital of Costa Rica) and then I quickly made my way over to Santa Teresa. I took a shuttle ride and ferry and eventually made it to this beautiful surf town.
The beaches in Santa Teresa were so stunning and each night everyone joined beneath the palm trees to watch the sunset. After about a week in Santa Teresa, I eventually headed back to San Jose and walked around the city a bit. I also ate some delicious vegan food at Arbol de Seda in the city.
After San Jose, I made my way down to Puerto Viejo. In Puerto Viejo I saw wild snakes, monkeys and sloths. I also went to this beautiful beach in Puerto Viejo called Punta Uva. Afterwards, I went to Panama for a week and eventually went back to San Jose and took a flight back to the US.
Chill Beach Days in Puerto Viejo
I was traveling with my friend Taylor while I was in Costa Rica. She had been living in Costa Rica for several months and heard about Puerto Viejo from people she met who suggested we go there. So it was more of a spontaneous trip for me, but it ended up being one of my favorite places!
Puerto Viejo is a little surf town with so much charm. There are small red tuk-tuk’s all around the town, driving tourists to and from destinations. The beaches are relaxing and there is so much wildlife to look at.
Punta Uva was my favorite beach in Puerto Viejo. I loved going there with my friend Taylor and my girlfriend Tori. The three of us spent time by the ocean drinking coconut water and periodically getting in the ocean to let the waves crash into us. We had so many magical moments at that beach.
Best Things To Do in Puerto Viejo
One of my favorite things that I did in Puerto Viejo was a sound healing ceremony at the Selina Hostel. It felt so incredibly powerful. At the end of it, I felt serenely peaceful and calm. We loved spending time at Playa Punta Uva, and taking tuk-tuk’s around town was another fun activity!
You can also rent bikes and ride them to Manzanillo, which is a beautiful ride. Isla Cocles is a wonderful Island that you can look at from the beach. I spent a lot of time at this beach watching the island and reading books.
Perhaps my best experience from my stay in Puerto Viejo was when we went hiking through the jungle to the beach that looks over Isla Cocles. We saw so many unique plants and trees, and wildlife like sloths and monkeys.
When we finally got to the beach, the jungle opened up and we saw the island far away, and the waves crashing into it. It was so magical to see the island for the first time. My friends and I laid out a blanket and hung out for hours at the beach. We loved it so much that we went again the next day.
Vegan Restaurants & Hostel Accommodations
My friends and I are all vegan, meaning we don’t eat animals or their byproducts. And there were so many hidden gems with good vegan food in Puerto Viejo! Some of our favorite vegan restaurants in the Puerto Viejo area were Jammin Comunidad Vegana, Puerto&Co, Corazana and Amazer.
When it comes to the best hostel accommodations, I stayed my entire time at the Selina Hostel and so I can only recommend that one. The Selina Hostel had good food, a nice pool, yoga classes and a community kitchen.
Need to Know Before you Go
We went to Puerto Viejo during the rainy season, which is from late October to late January. If you are going during that time I recommend taking a dry bag with you to keep your camera, phone and belongings dry. I also suggest getting the number of a tuk-tuk driver if you don’t plan on renting a bike. That way you can call them when you need rides!