If you want to get a sense of what Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast was like prior to the arrival of mass tourism, this tiny coastal fishing village, wedged between the Canales de Tortuguero and the Caribbean Sea, is an excellent spot to explore. Bereft of zip lines, 4WD adventure tours and wi-fi everything, it’s the sort of spot where old men play dominoes on front porches and kids splash in muddy puddles in the road.
Sportfishing is the traditional tourist draw. (The top tarpon season is from January to mid-May, while snook are caught from September to November.) But a smattering of travelers also arrive to see and protect endangered sea turtles. Leatherbacks nest on the beach between late February and early October, with the peak season in April and May. Green turtles begin nesting in June, with a peak in August and September. Hawksbills are not as common, but they are sometimes seen between February and September.
In addition, every year around July 16, fishers and local boat captains have a small waterborne procession in honor of the Virgen del Carmen, the patron saint of sailors.