Visas: Citizens of the following countries are allowed 90 days’ stay with no visa: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, South Africa, the US and most Western European countries. Other visitors might require a visa from a Costa Rican embassy or consulate.
Local transportation: Puerto Viejo has a bus system that runs between the beaches. Buses run frequently between Limon and Puerto Viejo and on to inland destinations such as Hone Creek, Bri Bri and Sixaola. The buses between Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo runs less frequently.
There are many taxis operating in Puerto Viejo, both red taxis and unmarked taxis, and are as expensive as western countries. The majority of the taxis in Puerto Viejo are not metered so you should agree on a fare with the driver before getting in. If your taxi has a meter, ask the driver to use the meter ("ponga la maria por favor").
A cheaper way to get around town would be to rent a bicycle or a bike. The area between Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo is quite compact and mostly flat.
Where to buy a SIM card: There are three big providers for prepaid SIMs in Costa Rica: Kolbi ICE, Claro and Movistar. The state-owned Kolbi ICE is widely known to have the best service in the country. You can buy SIM cards at any of the telco stores or at some of the larger electronics stores. Do not not toss the plastic card the SIMs were originally attached to - Kolbi requires you to enter the four digit PIN on the back of that plastic card each time your phone is rebooted.
Popular areas: Playa Negra, Playa Cocles, Cahuita, Punta Uva
Popular food: Caribbean Chicken Casado (chicken stew in coconut sauce with rice and beans, patacones and salad), Rondon (caribbean fish soup), Patí (pastries filled with spicy meat, veggies or fruits)
Puerto Viejo is a small coastal town in Caribbean Costa Rica in the province of Limón, and has a blend of Afro-Caribbean descendants, expat Europeans and indigenous Costa Ricans. It consists of 6 small towns that run along a long flat road next to the Carribean sea, surrounded by lush green forests. Puerto Viejo is popular with surfers, drawn to the famous Salsa Brava waves and have made Puerto Viejo a hotspot on the surfing circuit. Other travelers are attracted by the clear water, coconut palms, buzzing night life, great surf and a laid-back Caribbean atmosphere. Rastafari culture has a firm foothold in the town, and many Rastas sell handmade jewelry and other wares along the town’s vibrant roadside.
Women digital nomads should take the usual travel precaution in Puerto Viejo. Avoid walking down the main road after dark - there are long stretches of complete darkness and you become quite vulnerable. Instead, have a local business call you a taxi at night. It is also recommended that you avoid the beaches after dark, unless you are with a large group. The beaches are surrounded by lush jungles which keeps it very dark and the waves drown out all sounds. Break-ins do happen so keep your valuables in the safe provided by your hotel/guesthouse. As Puerto Viejo is surrounded by jungles, you would want to take precaution against the mosquitoes, tarantulas and all kinds of insects and wild animals.
The most consistently dry months are February to May and September to October. There's a moderate chance of hurricanes or tropical storms making landfall along the town's coast. To minimize your risk of being in Puerto Viejo during a hurricane, avoid traveling between June to November.
Cafes with wifi
Don't want to work at a coworking space? Check out these cafes with wifi instead.