Old vessel with tree in Puerto Viejo
Old vessel with tree in Puerto Viejo

As any traveler will tell you, Costa Rica is a tropical paradise that boasts a scenic beauty and biodiversity unlike anywhere else in the world. No matter where in the country their adventure may take them, visitors will find plenty to see, do and explore throughout the Central American nation. Guests will get more out of their trip if they plan to visit an entire region rather than spend all of their time in urban centers like San Jose, and a journey across the Caribbean coast is a great place to start.

Beach at Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Beach at Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Surf, sun and sand: Puerto Viejo

It may come as no surprise that the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica is an ideal destination for beachgoers. Found on the eastern side of the country, the southern Caribbean coast boasts miles of bright white sand and warm turquoise waters, notably the sunny shores of Puerto Viejo. The steady rainfall experienced by the region year-round means the jungles that line the coast are perennially verdant and green, and the Talamanca Mountains that line much of the area provide an excellent backdrop for those family photos of your exciting adventure!

Palm trees on the beach at the Caribbean Coast
Palm trees on the beach at the Caribbean Coast

Natural beauty: Tortuguero National Park

Though much of the country is set aside for protected national parks, few are as beautiful and diverse as Tortuguero National Park. This 312-square-kilometer (77,000 acre) park boasts 11 unique habitats, which makes it a natural nesting ground for a wide variety of plants and animals including tree frogs like yours truly! The park takes its name from the populations of turtle that typically lay their eggs on the shores of Tortuguero between February and July. Some of the turtle species you might see on your trip include hawksbill, loggerhead, green and leatherback turtles!

Calm canal in Tortuguero
Calm canal in Tortuguero

Local culture: Puerto Limon

Though the area may be a little sleepier than its Pacific counterpart, visitors hoping to find some city life during their stay on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica will find all they need in the city of Limon. An up-and-coming area that is rich in Afro-Caribbean tradition, Puerto Limon is the country's most important port, providing it a multicultural and cosmopolitan atmosphere that blends well with the upbeat and accommodating nature of the native Ticos.

No matter what you're looking for in your adventure, whether it's relaxing on a beach or hiking through the jungle, the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica is a always a hopping destination!

Sunset at Playa Manzanillo
Sunset at Playa Manzanillo