Things To Do
At Casa Verde our staff are very knowledgeable about the town, the surroundings and all there is on offer to make your stay memorable. They will be delighted to help you choose a tour or decide where you might like to eat. They can tell you what live music is playing in town or where you can buy a sun hat (or a rain poncho!). They know when the buses leave to take you up and down the coast or they can rent you a bike if you are feeling energetic. If they can help, they will…..so please feel free to ask.
Relaxing moments at the Hotel
– Our beautiful, pure rainwater pool with its jacuzzi and waterfall is open from 8am to 9pm. Top up your tan by day or discover this magical place on a starlit night, lie back and gently float your cares away
– Relax with one of our experienced massage therapists in our private, pool-side therapy room.
– Casa Verde is home to a huge variety of extraordinary wildlife. Exotic, brightly coloured birds feed on fruit a few feet from where you sit, or play in the pool and the waterpipes. Huge turquoise butterflies swoop across the gardens and bright blue land crabs scuttle into hiding at the sound of footsteps. Little red squirrels jump from tree to tree and after a shower, tiny red frogs, no bigger than a thumbnail, sing out loudly from the undergrowth.
Sometimes, in the evening, our family of sloths can be seen making their ponderous,up-side-down journey from their home in the almond tree, through the reception and across the street to delight the diners in the neighbouring restaurant. All this wonderful, natural theatre is right here for you to experience, to photograph and film or just observe at your leisure.
Puerto Viejo has many exciting and very well organised tours which offer visitors experiences they might be unable to organise independently. Tours offer the opportunity to learn from experienced and local guides, to visit local indigenous communities, to understand and appreciate the precious eco system and also to have some real fun and wild adventures.
At Casa Verde we can organise all the following activities:
Jungle canopy zip-lining, white-water rafting, horseback riding along the beach, trecking through the national parks, visiting local indigenous communities and learning about traditional medicines and pure chocolate making, tours of local wildlife refuges, giant turtle watching (in season), yoga classes. Sunset cruises and dolphin watching can also be arranged.
The Caribbean is known world-wide for its white sand beaches and turquoise clear waters. We have all at some point dreamed of relaxing on holiday in this picture-postcard setting.
Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast offers all these typical beaches with the extra delight that they are completely untouched by tourist development and as such are of special interest to those of us who prefer nature unspoilt.
Along this coastline there are beaches to suit everyone; from pure white sand to the black volcanic sand found at Playa Negra and beaches where the coral reef stretches out of the water and forms rock pools which can be explored for their aquatic wildlife.
Here are waves to suit everyone, too. From the world class surfer’s wave known as Salsa Brava to completely tranquil, calm waters where you can snorkel and children can safely play all day in the shallows.
Whatever your ideal image of a wonderful Caribbean beach, it can be found here in Costa Rica.
Playa Negra: situated at the entrance to the town of Puerto Viejo and extending for 10kms, this is an important surfing spot. Just before the bridge as you come in to the town you can see the Lanchon, a semi submerged iron vessel from where local children love to dive into the waves and tourists cannot resist taking photos.
Playas de Puerto Viejo: there are several small beaches in the town of Puerto Viejo which are favourites with local families with small children. The waves are small and the water is crystal clear.
Playa Cocles: situated 3kms outside of Puerto Viejo on the road to Manzanillo, this is where the famous Beach Break Island can be seen. Here the waves break on the beach making it another very popular surfing destination. The sand is white and even if you are not a surfer this is a great beach to watch the sport while relaxing with a delicious cold “pipa” – the local coconut water which is drunk straight from the fruit.
Playa Chiquita: further on from Playa Cocles at about 5kms distance from Puerto Viejo is the coral reef beach of Playa Chiquita. Here the reefs protect the beach from heavy waves and form little pools of crystal clear water. This beach is absolutely idyllic – quiet and secluded with nature at its wildest all around – here you can lose yourself in a paradise desert island dream. To get to this beach you have to leave your car on the main road and walk about 100m through the jungle.
Playa Punta Uva: past Playa Cocles and at around 8kms from Puerto Viejo lies one of the most beautiful beaches on the Caribbean coast, combining all the best of the other beaches, with long stretches of pure white sand, turquoise waters, calm seas and coral reefs. This is a perfect choice for a family day out. If you are planning to spend the day here we recommend you bring a picnic and drinks as there are few restaurants in this area.
Manzanillo: is a small town at the end of the road, past Punta Uva and about 12kms from Puerto Viejo. This is a very popular destination for tourists and local families alike, especially at the weekend, as there are a variety of restaurants here serving excellent local dishes as well as several, extensive beaches. From Manzanillo you can also visit the wildlife refuge of Gandoca.
The Gandoca Wildlife Refuge: is the nearest to Puerto Viejo, at about 12 kms from the centre of town. You can get there by bike, by bus or by car but inside the park itself is for walking/hiking only. This park is the perfect combination of jungle, beach and sea. It’s greatest attractions are the jungle paths which lead to a lagoon and to one of the most famous vista points on the Caribbean coast – perfect for that memorable photo.
Cahuita National Park: extends for 6 kms along the coast. You can get there by public bus or by car or you can arrange to go with a tour company. At the entrance in Cahuita you will be asked to make a voluntary contribution towards the maintenance of the park and at the Puerto Vargas entrance you will be charged $15. Local buses stop at both entrances.
One of the great attractions of Cahuita National Park is it’s coral reef, home to more than 240 aquatic species, including 123 different species of fish and 35 different species of coral including red and black which are exclusive to this area. Snorkelling is understandably very popular here and you can easily arrange for supervised tours if you are a novice.
In both of these national parks you can enjoy the beaches and the jungle walks. You can arrange tours to see dolphins, birds, monkeys, turtles, sloths and other tropical wildlife typical in these surroundings.
Restaurants and Nightlife
The food in Costa Rica is great. Here in Puerto Viejo we have such a wonderful variety of cuisines and styles of restaurant that you will be spoilt for choice.
In the small family-run “Sodas” you will find home-cooked, Caribbean style dishes including the famous “rice and beans”. These small cafes also serve fried chicken, local fish, salads, sandwiches, fresh fruit drinks and the local breakfast speciality Gallo Pinto – a combination of rice and beans cooked together in a typical Costa Rican sauce.
There are many mid-range restaurants in and around the town offering fresh, local specialities plus pizza, pasta, burgers, Thai, kebabs, falafel and sushi are all on offer.
Puerto Viejo also boasts some of the finest dining experiences in Costa Rica. For that special night out there is international cuisine at its best right in the town centre or a short taxi ride away.
For night time entertainment there is often live music playing in the bars on the beach and in town there are salsa classes, tango shows, karaoke and live DJs playing the latest sounds. There are also great cocktail bars serving fabulous inventions made from local fruits. For a change of beat, about 10kms up the coast is the little town of Cahuita where Calypso music was born.