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Puerto Viejo de Talamanca picture in Costa Rica
Cocles Beach picture in Costa Rica
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca picture in Costa Rica
Cocles Beach picture in Costa Rica

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  • Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
4.3
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    5.0
  • Food Scene
    4.5
  • Atmosphere
    4.0

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The village of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, located on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast, comes alive with reggae music, funky bamboo bars and a wild nightlife. Surfers crowd coconut-fringed Cocles Beach; nature-lovers venture inland to explore rainforests; and foodies check out downtown's delectable cuisine. Off the beaten path, you'll find dusty biking and walking paths running through tropical farms and gardens. Along the coast, you'll discover remote bungalows and empty stretches of sand.

Travelers recommend visiting Playa Negra's black-sand beach – located in the northwest end of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca – for a less touristy retreat. Visit between September and October for the best chance of sunlight in this often damp, tropical region.

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is located about 11 miles south of Cahuita in the Limón province. The easiest way to reach Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is by car or public bus from Cahuita. From San José, the trip will take three to four hours by car and roughly five hours by bus. For more information, check out our guide to Getting Around Costa Rica.

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#1 Nicoya Peninsula The Nicoya Peninsula's sparkling 80-mile shoreline boasts beach-centric towns with cream-colored shores and dense forests. Half of the peninsula is found in the Guanacaste province, while the other half ... Read more » Matteo Colombo / Getty Images

#2 Arenal Volcano Arenal, one of the world's most active volcanoes, stands more than 5,000 feet high. For the latter half of the 20th century, admirers traveled to its base in ... Read more » Courtesy Visit Costa Rica

#3 Guanacaste Costa Rica's "Gold Coast" is one of the nation's most unique destinations and that's not just because of its secluded beaches. The region's dry, sunny savannas ... Read more » Kryssia Campos / Getty Images

#4 Corcovado National Park Travelers come to this 160-square-mile misty rainforest for its diverse wildlife. Buzzing insects and chirping birds can be seen and heard as you stroll through the verdant jungle. Trek along ... Read more » Arctic-Images / Getty Images

#5 Manuel Antonio National Park Manuel Antonio National Park is one of Costa Rica's smallest protected green spaces, but don't let its size throw you off. Within the park's 3 square miles ... Read more » Marco Simoni / Getty Images

#6 Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve Imagine winding through a misty oasis; strikingly tall trees wrap you in a sea of green. Add to that more than 100 mammals, 400 types of birds and 2,500 ... Read more » Courtesy Visit Costa Rica

#7 Puerto Viejo de Talamanca The village of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, located on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast, comes alive with reggae music, funky bamboo bars and a wild nightlife. Surfers crowd coconut-fringed Cocles ... Read more » F.J. Jiménez / Getty Images

#8 Jaco Far away from northern Costa Rica's foggy rainforests lies Jacó, a beautiful town teeming with shops, restaurants and beachfront hotels. It's also the closest beachside retreat to San ... Read more » mihtiander / Getty Images

#9 La Paz Waterfall Gardens Short for Catarata La Paz (or "peace waterfall"), La Paz may seem quiet and still at first glance. But take another look, and you'll find this rainforest buzzing with ... Read more » Riddhish Chakraborty / Getty Images

Courtesy Visit Costa Rica

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#12 San Jose San José, Costa Rica's vibrant capital, serves as a central base for exploration. You'll likely want to stop here before heading to the country's magnificent rainforests and ... Read more » francisco sosa / Getty Images

#13 Tortuguero National Park Tortuguero National Park sits tucked away in a northeastern pocket of the Caribbean coast. Tied to Costa Rica's mainland by weaving rivers and canals, this isolated park lures nature-seekers ... Read more » Courtesy Visit Costa Rica

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Visit the Monteverde Cloud Forest for breathtaking views and to be in two places at once  you can step on the Continental Divide with one foot in the Caribbean and another in the Pacific.  Courtesy Visit Costa Rica

Spend a day louning on the black-sand beaches, dancing to reggae music or strolling the gardens and farms in the village of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. F.J. Jiménez / Getty Images

Jaco is home to shops, restaurants and hotels galore.  mihtiander / Getty Images

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WhatsAllThisThen / Flickr

John Seaton Callahan / Getty Images

silvia cozzi / Getty Images

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