The South Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica is one of the hidden gems that the travel industry has not yet discovered, due to many reasons. As changes are coming to this magnificent nature jewel, we decided to write a guide about it for you to consider it for your next vacation.
The South Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica has been one of the most forgotten, neglected, and misunderstood touristic regions of Costa Rica. And yet, it could be one of the best kept and hidden secrets of the thriving travel industry of Costa Rica.
With problems in infrastructure and poverty, the South Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica is getting a renaissance with several good news and changes.
- Route 32 is in expansion and repair
- AyA (Costa Rican national water company) is building better water treatment plants for the whole area
- A new bi-national bridge will easily connect the Costa Rican South Caribbean with the gorgeous archipelago Bocas del Toro in Panama
- Installation of fiber optic and copper telecommunication networks
- Two small marine docks in Puerto Viejo and Cahuita will open the possibilities for boat trips to Bocas del Toro and Tortuguero.
- $3 investment in the Limon International Airport
- Installation of a police station in Puerto Viejo
- Significant improvements in the Cahuita National Park infrastructure.
The SouthCaribbean coast of Costa Rica epitomizes the essence of the Caribbean tropics.
With the welcoming reggae vibe that sees everyone with the same smile, luscious rainforests full of wildlife sightings, and half of its territory in national parks, indigenous and private reserves, this area of Costa Rica promises to become the new golden egg of the World travel industry.
Let’s talk about geography
The South Caribbean coast of Costa Rica is contained in the Limon Province and the county of Talamanca. The second biggest in Costa Rica. When we talk about the South Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica this includes:
Cahuita, Punta Cocles, Puerto Viejo, and Manzanillo.
- You will see these destinations on the map below.
- Take in regards also that the airport to use if you want to go to the South Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica is the Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO).
The routes to see the South Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica:
The closest airport to the region is the Limon International Airport. South of it, there are no commercial airports or authorized airfields.
There are three fights from SJO to Limón during the high season (Two during the low season), and this will save you at least 3 hours drive. Although, still from Limón, you have to drive about 40 minutes to arrive in Cahuita and almost an hour to Puerto Viejo.
The distance from the SJO, San Jose International Airport (SJO) to 137.52 mi. (221.31 km, ) to Puerto Viejo in the South Caribbean.
The primary route to go to the South Caribbean coast of Costa Rica is the Braulio Carrilo Highway or Route 32, going across the Central Volcanic Mountain Range and the Caribbean Plains to the beach.
Once in the Caribbean, you drive parallel to the ocean until you reach Cahuita.
An alternative route is #10, through Turrialba, when, for any reason, Route #32 is closed.
The weather of the South Caribbean coast of Costa Rica
The Caribbean side of Costa Rica has an exciting climate (To say the least).
Humid and hot throughout the whole year, its average temperature is 88 F° (30°C). Although on a warm day in the sunny season (September or March) in it can go up to 100° F (38°).
Seasons in this part of Costa Rica are different from the rest of the country. It has two very distinctive two months sunny periods in March and April, as well as in September and October.
However, even in the rainiest months in the Caribbean (December and January), there are extended periods of sunny hours with extreme storms and downpours that may last a couple of hours.
Hotels on the Caribbean Side of Costa Rica:
Although in the area you can find several amazing hotels, and lodges it’s better to ask our travel consultants on this.
This is a region of small rustic lodges and breathtaking unique hotels. We are mentioning the two most beautiful places in the area, but please know that there are many other fantastic options.
Located in Playa Chiquita in Puerto Viejo. Aguas Claras is an extravagant Victorian-Caribbean resort, with a dynamic, playful and diverse tone.
Immersed in the breathtaking rainforest of Costa Rica and right by the beach, Aguas Claras is a hotel that offers a gastronomic fusion taste, the natural joy of the Caribbean, and the luxury and comfort of any high-end resort.
Aguas Claras is the only five-star hotel on Costa Rica’s South Caribbean Coast. Nestled in stunning tropical gardens right by the ocean, you will enjoy the cocktail of luxury, arts, nature, and community.
As you arrive in Le Cameleon, you will notice the hotel’s name is a dynamic presence from day to day.
Smart changing décor easily blends with the atmosphere adding a sophisticated sense of fun.
Le Cameleon offers an elegant minimalist and relaxing ambiance, mainly created for upscale needs.
Activities on the South Caribbean coast of Costa Rica
Everywhere in the South Caribbean Coast, you will find great adventuring hikes through the rainforest with local naturalist experts that will discover its mysteries for you.
You can also find:
- Extraordinary wildlife rescue centers
- Intriguing experiences in genuine indigenous communities
- Chocolate and other eco-agronomic tours
- Excellent snorkeling, and artisanal fishing
- Great ziplining through pristine forests.
- Tubing in the Estrella River
- Breathtaking birdwatching (Especially in the raptors migration time when millions of birds go across the region and are observed from specialized towers)
- Turtle nesting tours
- Going to the Bocas Del Toro area for a day.
There is a renowned wave called Salsa Brava breaking over the coral reef of Puerto Viejo. Surfers from everywhere in the world come to test it. Would you dare?
Everywhere in the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, you will discover the exquisite coconut-based diet.
We particularly recommend you to try the “Rice and Beans” (In English) made in coconut milk as well as the Caribbean Style Chicken.
In the area, as you would anticipate, the primary rhythms are Reggae and Calypso.
However, if you visit in September and October, you may hear dancers for the Limon Carnival that happens in October rehearsing with a thousand drums rhythms.
The South Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica is a place to discover and enjoy at its best!
From its pristine wild nature to the breathtaking resorts, it will not fail to give you a great relaxing vacation.
Ask our travel consultants about it, and we will make it happen!