I am pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Heather, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Heather lives in the United States, and submitted the following report about Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!
Solo travel rating: 1.5 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult. Please see chart below)
Languages spoken: Spanish, English
Reasons to Visit Puerto Viejo
Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica is a melting pot of cultures of similar souls convening all in one paradise of a location. It draws in the wanderer, but mostly it's a place to chill, relax, and find yourself again.
There is plenty to do, like swim or snorkel the blue waters of the reefs, visit the local animal sanctuaries, volunteer to help at the schools or organizations for the indigenous people, take a hike to a jungle waterfall, float the rio (river) border to Panama, or my favorite, snuggle in a hammock listening to the rain hit the canopy above and swinging to the rhythm of the waves.
This South Caribbean area of Costa Rica is particularly inexpensive to stay, but as it has become more well known, the prices have gone up slightly. However, you can still find a decent hostel style room for under US$20 a night or you can even rent a casita (small house) by the week or month and keep your monthly expenses under $500. There are a few more luxurious places, if that's your style, but PV prides itself on eco-friendly accommodations.
There is a healthy night life in Puerto Viejo where locals, ex-pats, and visitors come together to dance the night away to calypso music, local artists, and even US Top 40 hits. There are also many events like the Chocolate Festival that indulges in the local grown cacao (chocolate) bean, from which everything from candies to drinks are created.
One of the best waves, the “Salsa Brava” is surfed right off the Playa Negra beach and pulls in surfers and surf fans from all over the world. There are many other festivals and gatherings that run throughout the year, as well as celebrations of American holidays.
The best part of traveling to Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica is that it will stay in your soul, live and grow, and become a part of you. It allows people of all kinds to settle, whether for a day or years. It appeals to the solo traveler, the adventurer, the socialist, the volunteer, or even the tourist. Puerto Viejo turns no one down and welcomes all.
Solo Travel Rating
Safety – 2 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)
Language – 2 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)
Navigation – 1 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)
Culture – 1 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)
Average Rating – 1.5 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult)