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The border closure has been extended until June 30. Only citizens and legal residents are able to enter Costa Rica until then (and it may be extended). However for those already in Costa Rica, many more restrictions will be easing on June 1. All hotels, restaurants and many more businesses will be allowed to open, generally at 50% capacity. Meanwhile at the border with Nicaragua, a line of trucks stretches 22 km due to the restrictions.
The Guardian covers Puerto Viejo during lockdown and how people are coping with the crisis and helping out those in need.
The health ministry has announced a detailed timeline for reopening. The first restrictions will be eased as of this Friday May 15.
Costa Rica reported just 4 new cases today and 17 recoveries. Which means like all of the last 21 days the number of active cases has decreased.
The government has extended the border closure until June 15. Only citizens and legal residents may enter the country until at least that date.
The first case in a resident of the canton of Talamanca has been diagnosed. The case showed up in the daily statistics per canton released by the ministry of health on May 5. However local sources are reporting that the case assigned to Talamanca was a Nicaraguan truck driver who was identified while in Talamanca while crossing from Panama.
Delta has announced resumption of select international routes during May including flights starting May 17 Atlanta to San José. The border is closed to non-residents until May 15 so if that doesn't change things will start to get back to normal soon.
Costa Rica has been very successful in their measures to control Covid-19 with only 681 confirmed cases and the actual number of active cases falling for the last week with more recoveries than new cases. Talamanca is so far one of the few cantons in Costa Rica with no cases at all, thanks to the great efforts of the local community and no doubt a little luck. That doesn't however mean things are going back to normal just yet. The borders are closed until at least May 15 to new arrivals. Please keep Puerto Viejo and area in mind for rebooking your holiday and we hope to welcome you back soon!
New bus schedules have been published effective today. We've included the most important schedules here. Confused about what's still running? You can now ask MEPE via WhatsApp +506 7285 2592.
Nuevos horarios de bus a parte de hoy y podría preguntar MEPE por WhatsApp si tiene preguntas. Podría ver los horarios de las rutas mas importante aqui.
Please stay home as the South Caribbean is closed to protect all of us. We look forward to welcoming you when this is all over. #QuedateEnCasa
With the reduced boat traffic, manatees have been spotted off of Limon for the first time in decades #naturereturns
Por la primera vez en décadas, se puede ver manatíes en el mar cerca de Limón #naturalezaregresa
With the health alert, MEPE has cancelled additional buses; there are just a few that continue to operate. Make sure to check with MEPE before you head to the bus. The phone number for the Transportes Mepe offices are below.
MEPE ha cancelado más buses; hay pocos que continúan a operar. Por favor, llame antes de ir a la estación de bus.
Transportes MEPE numeros:
Puerto Viejo 2750-0023
San Jose 2257-8129
Various groups have started a food and supplies donation drive to help those families affected by the Covid-19 crisis. See the image to see how you can help or you can also drop off donations at Súper Negro Green Market, Old Harbour, Súper Hone Creek or Súper Negro Hone Creek.
Como respuesta a la crisis nacional provocada por el COVID-19, CATCCAS, la ADI de Puerto Viejo y otros grupos organizados del Caribe Sur, han tomado la iniciativa de crear un banco solidario de alimentos para apoyar a las familias que por esta situación se encuentran en riesgo social, ayudándoles por medio de donaciones de alimentos y productos de higiene para que puedan sobrellevar esta situación que nos afecta a todos. Ver la imagen para métodos que puede ayudar. También podría dar donaciones a Súper Negro Green Market, Old Harbour, Súper Hone Creek o Súper Negro Hone Creek.
Municipality of Talamanca has prohibited all alcoholic beverage sales until April 14. Prohibido la venta de bebidas alcolicas en Talamanca hasta el 14 de abril. This includes Puerto Viejo and the whole South Caribbean zone. They tried this a few days and reversed themselves the following day but this edict from yesterday will likely stick.
If you're a visitor still in Costa Rica, Tico Times has published a guide to what is still running and what is not. Very few international flights remain on the schedule so travelers who don't leave soon may be stuck here for at least all of April.
Si eres un visitante y todavía está en Costa Rica, habrá pocos vuelos internacionales operando. Tico Times ha publicado una guía detallada.
If you're not a Costa Rican citizen and wish to remain in Costa Rica during this period of high alert some special rules apply now. Including those here as tourists who will have their 90 day stay automatically extended to May 17.
Make sure to check with MEPE before you head to the bus. The phone number for the Transportes Mepe offices are below.
Con la alerta amarillo, MEPE ha cambiado el horario mucho. Por favor, llame antes de ir a la estación de bus.
Transportes MEPE numeros:
Puerto Viejo 2750-0023
San Jose 2257-8129
Everyone else is closing borders so I guess this is not a surprise. Schools also to close. Border closures start Wednesday, March 18th from 23:59 and continue until Sunday, April 12th 2020 at 23:59.
Gobierno decreta estado de emergencia nacional. Fronteras se cerrarán a extranjeros y no residentes. También las escuelas se cerrarán.
There are a lot of needs in the local community, especially when you go a little ways away from the tourist and beach areas. Nina of Gecko Trail Costa Rica is always on the lookout for people who could really use a hand up and this family could really use your help!
Beaches, wildlife, people and scenery!
Recognize anything? Boy have things ever changed. These great photos were published by the South Caribe Roots Archive and were taken 26 years ago by Lode Greven Photography
Some thoughts on what really is sustainable tourism. Good conversation starter!
From one little flagship store on Puerto Viejo's main street to a global lifestyle brand! Check out the new website from House of Roam or just drop by their apparel and surf shop on main st for some excellent coffee!
Banana Azul has completed some new rooms and they look fantastic! Beautifully designed, with A/C and private plunge pool.
Banana Azul ha abierto unos habitaciones nuevos y se ve fantásticos! Designo hermoso y cada uno con A/C y su propia piscinita.
In addition to the changes announced to the express buses last week, MEPE has now announced changes in the local routes between Limon and Sixaola. The local bus schedules page will be adjusted shortly.
MEPE ha anunciado más cambios en los horarios de buses a partir de 24 de diciembre. En adición a los cambios en los directos a San José la semana pasada, esos cambios van a afectar las rutas locales entre Sixaola y Limón. Las horarios en la página de transportación local en el Caribe Sur estará actualizado en los siguientes días.
Blue Zones are those areas of the world where people live much longer than average. Residents of these places produce a high rate of centenarians. Researchers identified 5 areas in the world where some combination of genetics, lifestyle and environment seem to have come together to produce this effect which included the Nicoya Penninsula in Costa Rica along with locations in the Mediterranean and Japan.
But three recent 100th birthdays in our area have us wondering if "there's something in the water" here too? At least among the men of Afro-Caribbean descent as all of the recent birthdays have been this community.
The most recent man to reach this milestone is Mr Dudley Waite of Puerto Viejo who today turns 100. Sadly, as reported in this La Nación article yesterday, his house just burned down. We will be following up this post on community efforts to help when we have more information.
Mr Dudley was born in Jamaica but then his family moved first to Cuba then they arrived in Costa Rica when he was 6. By fifteen they were living in Puerto Viejo and he has spent his long life working in baking, in farming cacao and then by working as a musician. He raised three children with his wife Ms Evelyn Hines and has many grandchildren and some great grandchildren. This interesting bio was written by Mr Dudley and his family.
Mr Cleveland from Cocles also turned 100 this year and earned his living as a fisherman.
The most well known of the centenarians is Walter Ferguson of Cahuita. He is known as the father of Calypso in Cahuita and has been composing and singing his songs for over 70 years. The annual Festival International de Calypso Walter Ferguson is held each year and was named in his honor. There's much more info about him and his career on his Wikipedia page and you can listen to many of his songs on YouTube.
None of these men would have had easy lives but they managed to live and thrive despite the hard life and very basic medical and other facilities available in the area for most of their lives. There's definitely something here should researchers want to visit our part of the world!
The times for the first three buses will change as per the image here. We need to confirm the times from Puerto Viejo but generally they buses pick up in Puerto Viejo approximately 1 hour after they leave Sixaola.
Auto Transportes MEPE ha anunciado un nuevo horario para los buses expresos de Sixaola->Puerto Viejo->San José a partir del 16 de diciembre. Tenemos que confirmar el horario desde Puerto Viejo pero generalmente los buses salen de Puerto Viejo aproximadamente un hora después de Sixaola.
Everyone is hungry! (Video) And the banana bread was delish for us humans too. #puertoviejotoppick
Today in the Centro of Puerto Viejo!
A year after the historic Manuel Leon store closed in Puerto Viejo this is what it looks like today and a year ago. The store was an icon on the area and would've been lovely to have it preserved as is but instead it's undergone a completely generic renovation and sits empty with a for rent sign. Famous for their hand lettered "Please don't smoke marijuana inside, smoke it outside" sign.
If you're visiting Puerto Viejo and haven't been to KOKi Beach yet then tonight is your last chance before their 4 week vacation closure for some amazing cocktails, food and great people. #PuertoViejoTopPick
Skyway has announced they will be starting this service as of Dec 1. Before Nature Air went under almost two years ago, a popular and efficient routing to visit both Puerto Viejo and Bocas del Toro was to travel San José to Puerto Viejo by land, enjoy all we have to offer here then travel on to Bocas by land and sea. Then a quick flight back to San Jose. Or of course the reverse.
This is now possible again. Booking and more information will be available soon on our travel to Bocas page.