Puerto Viejo – No para cualquier persona

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La vida en Puerto Viejo no es la vibra que todos amarán, pero tal vez usted se enamorá!

Hay muchos mitos y falsedades que hay acerca de Puerto Viejo, cosas sobre el Caribe que les cuentan a menudo a los turistas en San José o en hoteles de la costa pacífica.

O, si usted está buscando información específica, haga clic en el tema deseado: El Clima, Dinero, Salud & Seguridad, Tours & Actividades, Voluntariados o El Turismo Sostenible

¿Por qué quiere vivir ahí? No hay nada ahí!

Eso fue un comentario de un expatriado americano que vive en el Valle Central de Costa Rica, donde la mayoría de los expatriados vive. En cierto modo, tiene razón. Puerto Viejo no tiene campos de golf, puertos deportivos o campos de tenis, casi no hay piscinas y muy pocos hoteles tienen aire acondicionado.

Hay muchos chismes y muchas verdades a medias sobre el Caribe de Costa Rica, por eso me decidí compartir mis propias observaciones después de vivir aquí por algunos años.

Personalmente, a mí me gusta como es, porque redució el desarrollo a un mínimo, sin "la plataforma de Disney". Se dirige más al viajero autóctono y yo creo que los chismes y mitos han beneficiado a muchos que se decidieron vivir aquí.

Solo hay negros ahí.

De hecho una investigación recién del Ministerio de Salud mostró que aproximadamente 80 % de los habitantes son de la población indígena BriBrí. Pero ellos suelen vivir afuera del pueblo y no son muy visibles. Tal vez 30-40 % de la restante población local son afrocaribeños, que son descendientes de trabajadores jamaicanos que llegaron aqui hace solamente un siglo. Su presencia agrega una vibra muy interesante a la cultura local. El caribe no sería lo que es sin su presencia. El resto de la población son ticos y un mosaíco grande de expatriados que vinieron principalmente de Europa, Sudamérica y Canada. Casi todos que vienen de los E.E.U.U. son totalmente izquierdistas. En el último censo al principio del 2002, se representaron 49 países diferentes en solamente un poco más de 2000 personas.

Todos ahí son malditos hippies fumando mota y abrazando árboles.

Sí, hay mucha gente "informal". Su presencia por los años ha sido valioso para mantener el lugar tan relajado y siempre interesante. Si usted mira a cualquier lugar donde le apetecería vivir en los E.E.U.U., en Canada y muchas partes de Europa (por ejemplo San Francisco y NYC vs. Oklahoma o Arkansas), verá que estos lugares tienen una cultura alternativa grande donde mucha gente se siente cómoda vivir. Con referencia a los que abrazan los árboles: gracias a (en lo que crea) que existen. Quedan muchos árboles para apreciar.

Siempre llueve.

Sí, esto es el bosque lluvioso y sabe qué? Hay lluvias. Pero si usted mira a la cantidad anual de las lluvias, notará que llueve más en los lugares populares en la costa pacífica que en el Caribe, este diagrama compara las diferentes zonas en Costa Rica. Notará que el Caribe Sur es una de las zonas más secas del país!

La diferencia más grande es que en el Caribe, la lluvia se distribuye más por todo el año. Además, la mayoría de las lluvias viene en la noche y normalmente es bienvenida. Haga clic aqui para más información sobre el clima local.

Las carreteras están en mal estado y es realmente peligroso.

Después de haber visitado todas las partes de Costa Rica, puedo asegurarle que las carreteras aquí estan en el mismo mal estado que en cualquier otro lugar. En realidad una gran parte de las carreteras es un poco mejor, porque Limón es una ciudad con puerto y la carretera principal para los camiones es de Limón a San José. Por eso la carretera ahí es bastante buena y eso aplica para más de 2/3 del viaje a Puerto Viejo (no, no es la California Interstate 5).

Sin embargo, sí, algunas carreteras en la zona están en mal estado y llenas de agujeros. Pero si tiene cuidado, puede pasar con cualquier vehículo. Encima, el viaje hasta aquí tiene 3 secciones, pasará por las montañas (en un nivel muy alto), luego por plantaciones de platano y piña y luego seguirá la costa de Limón a Puerto Viejo. Para la mayoría de la gente, este viaje en carro o en bus es muy agradable. Pero si usted es una de las personas que no disfruta los viajes y solamente quiere llegar a un destino en la vida, tal vez Jacó en el Pacífico sea mejor para usted. Hay vuelos regulares del aeropuerto en San José.

La página de instrucciones para llegar en carro tiene información detallada sobre conducir y los estados de las carreteras.

Hay tanto crimen ahí.

Este es uno de los mitos que me parece lo más interesante. ¿Cómo puede alguien pensar que Puerto Viejo es más peligroso que lugares como Quepos, Jacó o incluso Tamarindo? No consigo entenderlo. Ni siquiera voy a empezar a compararlo con San José. Sí, hay un componente de drogas. Pero qué ciudad no lo tiene. Si no desea tomar drogas, puede usar la única cosa que le dio fama a Nancy Reagan y "Just Say No – Simplemente diga ¡No!". Siempre ha funcionado para mi en todos los años viviendo aquí.

Creo que otra razón por la percepción de que el crimen es peor aqui es por la población africa-caribeña. La delincuencia menor es realmente un problema, pero crimenes violentos contra turistas no son la norma.

Es caliente y húmedo ahí.

Sí, es húmedo, pero a mí el Pacífico me parece mucho más caliente. Realmente la temperatura aquí es más estable y muy pocas veces es tan caliente que te sientes incapacitado. Para la mayoría de la gente, la temperatura es bastante agradable.

Es el paraíso?

Bueno, es lo más cercano al que he llegado yo en mi vida. Pero mientras vivir aquí no siempre es fácil, le puedo asegurar que siempre es interesante.

Colin on his way to the market

Autor

Artículo escrito por Colin Brownlee. Colin fui de Canada hace más de una decada con la idea de empecer una vida nueva en Costa Rica. Puerto Viejo es donde se aterrizó y donde el empezó el Hotel Banana Azul.

Comentarios de nuestros visitantes sobre Puerto Viejo, la Onda y Mitos

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What are people saying about us?

Gabriela Castillo

My family is from Limon and my mom was raised in Cahuita. Reading "It's all blacks down there" enrages me. Anybody who says (or thinks) this doesn't belong in such a beautiful place and should not be welcome. They can stay out of the Caribbean as far as I'm concerned.

August 14, 2018

What are people saying about us?

chris

honestly this is what ive heard from some americans as well. prejudice is real but we have to acknowledge it not pretend it doesnt exist.

September 18, 2018

What are people saying about us?

Yanny

Hello I’m very excited to be planning a trip to PV Limon in August. We’re looking for property there but I keep hearing drugs, theft and more drugs. I’m from LA, Lol So the thing that scares me is that it would be so bad that you can’t even walk at night or break ins. As far as buying something would you recommend buying a lot then building or buying something with a small House already in place? Please any recommendations greatly appreciated.

July 24, 2018

What are people saying about us?

Alexa

IMPORTANT: Anyone who has experience dealing with women’s issues in Latin America, specifically Costa Rica, we urgently need your help. My friend and travel companion Sonia Guimil are in a small town on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica called Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, known for its relaxed vibe and Jamaican influence. But last night we saw the underbelly of this place, which is not unique to this town but a sad reality for countless women worldwide that we just happened to witness.

We were walking back to our hotel around 11pm last night when we heard screams of sheer terror coming from a house down the street. We stopped to figure out what was happening and saw the shape of a man holding a large 2x4 wooden board over his head. He then brought it down full force onto a woman cowering on the ground. Her young son was standing nearby screaming for the man to stop while both mom and child screamed and sobbed. We yelled at the man to stop and when he raised the board again, without a second thought we were running over there. Of course the thought crossed my mind about the danger of the situation, but you can’t stand by and watch a man beat the shit out of a woman (and while her child looks on to boot).

He ran into his house by the time we had approached, and the woman was crumpled in a puddle on the street while her boy ran off sobbing into the night. Sonia stayed to help the woman while I ran after the kid, who turned a corner and promptly curled up into a ball on the curb and sobbed violently, shoulders shaking. I did my best to comfort and hold him and tell him lies like everything will be ok. Finally he calmed down enough to tell me at my prompting that they had no family here; they live an hour away, and that the man wasn’t his dad but the boyfriend of his mom. I finally picked up the boy- probably around 8 years old- and carried him around the corner where Sonia had gotten the woman up and started walking her away from the house. Apparently the man had come out again but did not threaten the woman again with Sonia there.

We took mom and son, still sobbing and mom going into shock — the top of her hand swollen to the size of an apple due to the pulverization of her hand or wrist; her son’s crying renewed when he looked up at his mom — to a friend’s house and urged them to call the police and get ready to take the woman to a hospital. She was hyperventilating and said the pain in her hand was extreme. She also had a rectangular board-sized red/swollen mark on her upper arm and a cut under a forming black eye.

Finally the police came and said the only way they could take any action would be if she renounced the guy and filed a report. Sadly as is the case with many battered women, they are reticent to take action against their abuser for a variety of reasons- they may have no way to support themselves; they may have nowhere to go; they may in fact actually love the man (who likely had beat her before but promised never to do it again, as often happens). Her friends encouraged her to make a report as did we, but when we left she was still in the police truck and we don’t know what she decided.

We finally left the woman when it was clear there was nothing more we could do — it has been about an hour and a half at that point. When we got back to our hotel we felt the crash from the earlier adrenaline; we were sickened and saddened and infuriated. I immediately felt like I wanted to leave this place, but the reality is that this kind of thing happens everywhere- most of the time we just don’t see or hear it. The other sad part was the fact that not ONE person came to the aid of this woman and her child despite the fact that every single neighbor would have heard the abuse happening. Even the local people and police didn’t seem terribly surprised or even concerned.

So finally, this is what we need help with: we are going to dedicate today, our last day in this town, to pulling together resources for this woman that we will give to her friend to hopefully pass along. CR has some programs to support women in this situation from what we’ve seen online, but we don’t know much about navigating this system especially in this remote place. We desperately need ANY recommendations people might have, even if it’s just that you take advantage of a reliable internet connection and research for us but especially if you or someone you know has worked here or in other parts of Central America and has ideas.

Because that man could have easily killed this woman last night (who couldn’t have been older than 22), or may do so still, and if there’s anything we can do to give her the strength and support to avoid going back to him, we need to try. And possibly we will educate a few of the local people here in the process that violence against woman should not/does not have to be tolerated. Because again, two gringas are the only ones who came to their aid —which says something about the acceptance level of violence against women in this culture.

Sorry to post something so awful here, but please SHARE with anyone who can help us pull together resources and ideas that we can pass on today — please leave comments with any suggestions. This will be our main task before we leave and is our last chance to help in an immediate way. Thank you so much for reading this and for any support you can offer.

-Kimber & Sonia

February 23, 2018

What are people saying about us?

Tess unger

Alexa, if possible, please provide a way for folks to get in touch- I would like to share this with folks i know who might be able to help. Can you comment with your email?

February 24, 2018

What are people saying about us?

Pee Jay

We stayed in Playa Negra 8 days and Cocles 8 days. We didn't like the first place, but since it was so close to Banana Azul, we ate there a lot! They had the best service, great grounds and great food! We found several other nice dining places too.
We enjoyed the tiny Town, beaches and learning Spanish.
No one bothered us. Everyone is realtor and Tour Guide, ????????. We plan to return next year!!

November 27, 2017

What are people saying about us?

susie

Great article! I'm a single mum and my daughters (age 21 and 10)and I rented a car in San Jose and drove to Puerto Viejo. The roads were fantastic. We stayed in PV for 10 days before moving on to Manuel Antonio and Nicoya and I regret that we didn't stay longer. It was by far the most beautiful area with safe coves for my little one to swim compared to the punishing surf on the Pacific Side. Snorkeling was a favorite past time and you could even do it off the town beach, which is a testament to the strong eco-preservation movement prevalent in the entire country. I've never seen such clean beaches, and no garbage roadside either. There was animal life EVERYWHERE. Literally bands of monkeys and sloths hanging right outside your door. Animal rescue center was incredible. Next time we will do some tours. amaamamaa

September 11, 2017

What are people saying about us?

Guzman

Hi, me and three friends are heading to PV in a few days planning to check different beaches around the coast. We are planning to rent a car, it's a common car enough or should we rent a truck/4x4 ? I checked the driving instructions page but didn't mention road qualities outside of the road between limón and pv.

August 16, 2017

What are people saying about us?

Puerto Viejo Satellite

The getting around locally page has more info. You won't need a 4x4 unless you go well off the beaten path. More at local transport page.

August 17, 2017

What are people saying about us?

Sobrien

A regular car is fine i

August 20, 2017

What are people saying about us?

Ashley

Is the city small like Dominical, a bit larger but spread out like Uvita or larger and closer to the other like Quepos?

July 25, 2017

What are people saying about us?

Puerto Viejo Satellite

The Puerto Viejo area is quite a bit bigger than Dominical and if you count the adjoining communities such down the coast such as Playa Cocles, Punta Uva and Manzanillo (and also Cahuita) you'll find a very large variety of activities, beaches and vibes. The size of the population is similar to Quepos/Manuel Antonio area but there's a wider variety of places and things to do.

July 25, 2017

What are people saying about us?

NJ

HI I am trying to figure the best dates for carnaval 2017 in puerto viejo or limon. Which Carnaval is better?

July 24, 2017

What are people saying about us?

SP

I just returned after spending 7 amazing days in PV! Best place iv been to in my entire life, PURA VIDA!!!

April 18, 2017

What are people saying about us?

Melissa

We spent a week in Costa Rica. Only a few days in Puerto Viejo but it was our favorite place we've ever been. It was so friendly and laid back. Everyone made us feel welcomed and safe.

March 31, 2017

What are people saying about us?

Juan

Hi, I'm Juan, I'm Cuban but I have lived a long time in Sweden. Now I'm tired to live out here, I miss my caribbean sea. I worked in San Jose back in 2012-2014. My wife lived there then. We moved back to Sweden 2014 but now I'm tired to live here and I have read and heard a lot of good about PV. I like what I heard and read, and would like to live in a place like PV. I'm a dropshiper so I can work from home via internet. My questions are: Is the in PV a good internet service? Which is the higher broadband I can get? Is it expensive? Is it hard to find a house or apartment there for long term rent in PV. I mean for 6 month up to years. Are they expensive? Thanks. Juan

May 31, 2016

What are people saying about us?

Geebo

What is the busiest time of year in PV? Do reservations need to be made in mid December if travelling there?

November 26, 2015

What are people saying about us?

Puerto Viejo Satellite

Peak season starts Christmas week so it depends on what you mean by mid-December, with Christmas on a Friday this year I'd guess things are going to book up starting the previous Saturday the 19th. And some of the best places can book up at any time of the year.

November 26, 2015

What are people saying about us?

Jon from Davis CA

Hi, my wife and I would love to visit next Summer for a few weeks, but are worried about the health and safety of our 8 and 5 yr old daughters. Is there any cause for concern? We are not the night types, and plan on spending our time in nature, on the beach, and in town practicing our Spanish.

Puerto Viejo looks wonderful, but I'm not sure if it is a safe place for young children.

September 14, 2015

What are people saying about us?

Puerto Viejo Satellite

Many families with kids come here and love it! You just need to take some basic precautions that would apply almost anywhere in the world. Please read our Health and Safety page, there's lots of good advice there. There are also lots of expats who have settled here with kids and love the cultural diversity and experiences they can provide their kids. You can read more from their on our Education page.

September 14, 2015

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