Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí, Heredia

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Sarapiqui is the largest county in Heredia, covering over 85% of the province’s total area. Located in the northeastern region of the country and bordered by Nicaragua in the north, Sarapiqui is a popular tourist destination mainly for adventure seekers who enjoy white water rafting down the Sarapiqui River. This region is also well known as there are a number of wildlife and nature reserves nearby. Fast becoming an important ecotourism destination in Costa Rica, Sarapiqui lies near the base of the Cordillera Central range.

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The capital of Sarapiqui County is Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui or the ‘old port of Sarapiqui.’ Formerly a quiet town Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui is now fast becoming one of the country’s key commercial and tourist areas. Located at the convergence of the Rio Sarapiqui and Rio Puerto Viejo, the city of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui lies 30 km south of the Nicaraguan border. Situated 37 meters above sea level, this city lies on the Northern plains and is surrounded by agricultural plantations and lush forests.

Brief History

Seventy kilometers north of Heredia city past the town of Tigre, Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui has a colorful history. A small village that was used by the American invader William Walker, Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui was until a few years ago off limits due to Costa Rica’s conflict with Nicaragua. However, now this town has developed into a rapidly expanding city with a number of services and facilities available here. Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui has plenty of affordable and budget hotels, bars and restaurants as well as a number of luxury resorts, lodges and rafting companies in the area.

Outdoor Adventure Paradise

A great place to enjoy this country’s amazing natural beauty, Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui is prefect for those who enjoy spending time outdoors hiking, horseback riding, bird watching, white water rafting, or kayaking. There are some lovely banana plantations nearby which one can explore, as well as visit the lovely butterfly gardens in the area. A great way to spend a day here would be to take a rafting trip down the Sarapiqui River, one of the most important trade routes between this region and the Caribbean coast.

Getting Here

To get to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui from the capital San Jose, head north into Heredia province and go past the town of Santa Clara; from here, head northwest to Tigre. An alternative scenic route would be to travel from Brava to San Miguel passing the Poas Volcano and then head onwards to this city. When here, do tour the La Selva Biological Station, part of the Brauilo Carrillo National Park. This area is a virgin tropical jungle and home to hundreds of species of birds, animals and snakes.

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