Costa Rica is filled with colour. The tropical green trees, the vivid blue sky, the bright red and yellow birds. And most shockingly, the black sand. Charcoal coloured black. Or at least the beach ‘Playa Negra’ was at Puerto Viejo… the first stop when visiting Costa Rica.
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is a small coastal town previously known as Old Harbor. As one of the most popular tourist destinations it’s renowned for having the biggest and most powerful waves in the country. Its beaches are beautiful. From a birds-eye view you can see the black sand of Playa Negra gradually turn into a dusty white further along the coast.
Most noticeably, Costa Rica is filled with wildlife and exotic animals of all shapes and sizes. Several tours and excursions will take you through the national parks of Costa Rica allowing you to spot them roaming about.
Fancy seeing them a bit closer? Head to the Jaguar Rescue Centre. Somewhere which ironically doesn’t have any jaguars whatsoever. The foundation was set up after a couple were given a baby jaguar whose mother had been murdered. They nursed the baby back to health and decided to set up the scheme to provide a temporary or permanent home for ill, injured and orphaned animals.
Within the centre you can see various types of birds, monkeys, snakes and even baby sloths.
So what else?
For a few dollars you can hire a bike for the day allowing you to explore the area yourself. If you’re a chocoholic head to Caribeans, the chocolate and coffee factory. Before buying anything you can go into the tasting lounge to choose which chocolate you prefer. Then using the chocolate you like best you can order a hot chocolate, or coffee, or chocolate shot, or milkshake… you name it.
Or if you like relaxing try lazing around in a hammock all day, or sunning on the beach, or just getting a drink and listening to the waves.
Want to know where to head after Puerto Viejo? Check out Getting an Adrenaline Rush Abroad