Do you know that the coast on Costa Rica’s Caribbean side is best to visit? Most of the tourists who have visited Costa Rica revealed this hidden truth in their travelogues. Some people who spent time visiting the Pacific side of this beautiful Caribbean Island nation said that the coast on this side was better. Whether you choose to visit the touristy Nicoya coast or the monkey-filled area of Manuel Antonio or the remote Osa peninsula – all these places are simply great to visit. However, those who have visited the Caribbean side have their own telling account. This part is simply fascinating with many beautiful places worth exploring. Let’s visit Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast and get ready to be fascinated by all that you see here.
Tortuguero – Costa Rican version of Amazon Rainforest
Tortuguero dominates the northern coast. It resembles the Amazon rainforest and can be considered to be its Costa Rican version. A series of canals and meandering rivers can be seen crisscrossing the jungle in this huge land mass. This place is rainier. The beaches here are gorgeous. It is rare to enjoy an entire day of sunny beach weather. The river currents are strong. You will also discover sharks and toothy barracudas freely roaming the waters. Despite all these, you will find many reasons to visit this amazing place.
“Tortuguero” means “region of turtles” in Spanish. Truly so, the large numbers of turtles arriving here for nesting along the shoreline are the biggest draw for tourists visiting this area. Consider visiting in April and May as these are the best time for nesting. However, a sojourn to Tortuguero during off-season is also a good idea. You will get to see abundant wildlife (particularly different species of birds), enjoy canal cruises and go hiking.
Puerto Viejo – A rocking seaside town
Puerto Viejo is another important place in Costa Rica’s Caribbean side frequented by scores of tourists from different parts of the world. You will discover some great surf sites in this rocking seaside town. It is main hub of this Central American region with a strong Caribbean feel. This is a great place for deep sea diving and partying. This small seaside town is easily navigable and getting around is hassle free. It is also called backpackers’ paradise. Beaches can be found everywhere. Puerto Viejo is home to some good restaurants where you can gorge on sumptuous traditional Costa Rican food ‘Tico’ and also gulp down local ‘sodas’. There some restaurants which also serve Western dishes with delicious freshly baked bread or good sushi. There’s party mood everywhere as you wander along the streets here. You will find yourself rocking to reggae. In fact, Puerto Viejo is home to more Caribbeanites than Spaniards.
Must-visit towns of Cahuita and Manzanillo
The towns of Cahuita and Manzanillo are also great to visit during your Costa Rican sojourn. The tiny town of Cahuita is about an hour’s drive north of Puerto Viejo. This is a fantastic place for relaxation and fun like Tortuguero. This is indeed a place for all those who enjoy surfing, swimming or hiking. After spending time in Cahuita, you can head to Manzanillo – all within a day. With a distance of only 12 km from Puerto Viejo, you can choose to drive to Manzanillo or can reach here simply by walking along the beach in about two hours. This town is quite smaller than Cahuita. This is a great diving spot, and reef system can be found quite close to the shore. This is a great place for diving and relaxation.