It wasn't that long ago that electricity came toPuerto Viejo de Limon,and even though there's wi-fi now,the simple life still reigns supreme.This remote Caribbean town subscribes to an enviable lifestyle.Three-toed Sloth — Photo courtesy of Sophia LaMonica
First,fill your belly with some delicious local fare–Puerto Viejo has slowly earned a reputation as a haven for foodies,especially those who appreciate the farm-to-table concept.Try the "Health Nut" pancakes at theLizard King Resort,drizzled in honey and yogurt and topped with organic fruit."Health Nut" Pancakes at Lizard King Resort —Photo courtesy of Lizard King Resort
Rent a bicycle from one of the many spots along the main road,likeCafe Rico,where you can also refuel with a cup of the town's best coffee and even rent some snorkeling gear.
Ride around the center of Puerto Viejo and get acquainted with its few streets.When you come acrossBread and Chocolate,pick up some tasty homemade snacks for your ride.Then direct yourself south,keeping the ocean on your left as you pedal out of town.
If you time it right you can catch a tour of the Jaguar Rescue Center inPlaya Chiquitaand experience hands-on play time with injured and abandoned animals such as sloths and monkeys that are awaiting release back into the jungle (9:30 and 11:30 Mon-Sat).
The beach across the road from the Rescue Center is a bit secluded but worth asking around for an entry point.If you've brought snorkeling gear,the placid tide pools here are excellent.
If you're feeling up to it,bike to the end of the road–it's just 13 kilometers (approximately 6 miles) from the bridge at the entrance to Puerto Viejo–and check outManzanilloand Punta Uva,two of the Caribbean's most beautiful beaches.
Sunset at Salsa Brava — Photo courtesy of Sophia LaMonica
On the way back into town enjoy happy hour with a variety of options.Cocles Beach,PV's most popular place to hang out,provides a big rock and surf scene.TinySalsa Bravadraws a crowd for its stellar sunsets and the spot many pros paddle out past the reef when the surf's up.The Lazy Monis right at the water's edge and offers happy hour refreshments and ping pong tables.Flip flops are welcome,of course.
For dinner,there'sLa Pecora Nera,a lovely and secluded Italian restaurant hidden just south of town.You'll probably want to take a taxi since it will be dark on the way home.
If you have a hankering for some Caribbean food,try the affordable and authentic Soda Lidia behind the Diamante supermarket in the center of Puerto Viejo.
Once the sun has set you may feel like hitting the hay after such a long day,but if you've got the itch to get your groove on,wait until after 11 and head toJohnny's Place,a local favorite on the beach with the best dance floor and drink specials in town.