Jonathan Gregson

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

This burgeoning party town is no longer a destination for intrepid surfers only; it's bustling with tourist activity. Street vendors tout trinkets and Bob Marley T-shirts, stylish eateries serve global fusion, and intentionally rustic bamboo bars pump dancehall and reggaetón. It can get downright hedonistic, attracting revelers wanting to marinate in ganja and guaro (a local firewater made from sugarcane).

Despite that reputation, Puerto Viejo manages to hold onto an easy charm. Stray a couple of blocks off the main commercial strip and you might find yourself on a quiet dirt road, savoring a spicy Caribbean stew in the company of local families. Nearby you’ll find rainforest fruit and cacao farms set to a soundtrack of cackling birds and croaking frogs, and wide-open beaches where the daily itinerary revolves around surfing and snoozing. If you're looking to chill a little, party a little and eat a little, you’ve come to the right place.

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These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.


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