South Caribbean Coast:
Cahuita - Puerto Viejo - Cocles - Manzanillo
The South Caribbean coast of Costa Rica is like the little Jamaica of Costa Rica. It is a very beautiful area with unique culture and traditions. Remote laid-back villages with a relaxed atmosphere. The unique blend of Latino, Afro-Caribbean and Bribri indigenous cultures. This part of Costa Rica features a blend of intense wilderness and some amenities but without the crowds of other beach destinations. Except for the first half of October, when the carnivals take place. Our Caribbean coast was settled by Africans brought in by way of Jamaica in the late 1800’s. The purpose was for them to work on the banana plantations as well as to help build the railroad from San José and . This area still offers magnificent natural surroundings and deserted beaches such as Uvita. Watch a 90 second video on this area:
Thatched roof bungalows and/or a tropical seaside villages by the intense jungle. Here you will find a world of beautifully exotic birds, playful animals and smiling, people. There is one wonderful boutique hotel. At Cahuita National Park, you can enjoy snorkeling to explore the coral reef and wonderful trails in the forest.
Amidst the exotic flora and fauna of Puerto Viejo, there is a vibrant seaside town. It features gorgeous beaches, clear blue waters, and some of the most amazing surfing opportunities. Bars, discos and restaurants as well. Manzanillo is located inside the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife and Marine Refuge. There is a beautiful white sanded beach strip lined with palm trees, and it is bathed in the calm and gentle waters of the Caribbean Sea. Manzanillo has a beautiful coral reef offshore. A great spot for snorkeling and swimming and some great scuba diving as well.
Other activities to be enjoyed in these areas are: boat ride to watch the dolphins, a guided tour through the tropical forest reserves. A guided visit to Cahuita National Park, galloping on deserted white sand beaches, snorkel or scuba dive in paradise, surf lessons on the waves of the Caribbean, river or sea kayaking, visiting butterfly farms, iguana farms, botanical gardens, bird watching or visiting the local Indian reservations, sloth sacntuaries and a relaxing massage.
Weather: The weather in this area is warm and humid and normally drier on February, March, September & October, but it can be enjoyed the whole year.
Approximate driving distances to Cahuita, Puerto Viejo & Manzanillo: From San Jose 5 to 6 hours. From Arenal 6 hours. From Guanacaste 10 hours. From Manuel Antonio 9 hours. From Jaco 8 hours. From Sarapiqui 4 to 5 hours.