There's no shortage of activities in Puerto Viejo. How will you spend your days?

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The sign at the beginning of the canopy / zipline course

Photo 1 of 10. Click to view slideshow of Caribbean Tours & Activities.
The sign at the beginning of the canopy / zipline course. But it could just as well refer to your arrival in the Caribbean where a plethora of adventure awaits you!

There's tons to do and see on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast so you definitely won't be bored! And there's something for every type of traveler: From high adventure on a wild river, nature hikes viewing the unique fauna and flora of the area or close up opportunities to learn about rescuing animals or making chocolate.

These are some of the tours and activities we recommend that are either in the area or which pick up/drop off at area hotels. And you can even book it directly with our tour partners right from here!

Most tours will pick you up and return you right to your hotel (or sometimes to another Costa Rica destination!). Tours which do not include transportation are indicated below and we will be happy to assist to you in getting to the start point in those cases.

We have special pages for whitewater rafting, jungle and nature, local activities and discover the Caribbean Coast.

Our tour partners have also put together packages which include transport, hotels and tours so you can either get your full trip to Costa Rica organized in one go or have them organize add-ons to popular destinations such as Arenal and Monteverde, Tortuguero or Bocas del Toro.

tours whitewater rafting pacuare river

Whitewater Rafting

Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast has some of the world's best whitewater rafting, with unparalleled adventure and nature viewing opportunities.

Many of the rafting trips include transportation between San Jose or Arenal and Puerto Viejo so it's like getting your transport to/from Puerto Viejo for free! Your luggage is secure throughout the trip so you're free to enjoy your day on the river.

Here is our most popular tour:

Pacuare One Day Rafting Trip

Our most popular trip and Costa Rica's most stunning white water river. Class III-IV rapids. Suitable for 12+ years of age. Daily pickups from Puerto Viejo, San Jose and Arenal and you can return to a different location making it a way to travel without a day lost to travel!

More Info/Book

See all Rafting tours
Baby sloth seen near Playa Chiquita

Baby sloth seen near Playa Chiquita. Photo by Heidi Horner.

Jungle, Nature & Wildlife

Costa Rica is considered to be the most biodiverse country in the world, not only due to its location at intersection of the Americas but also to a very high proportion of protected areas. The Puerto Viejo area has some of the most spectacular natural areas in the country and many are even of international importance. The area includes several protected areas including Cahuita National Park and the Gandoca-Manzanillo Refuge.

Sloths and monkies are frequent sights here as are a huge variety of birds. In season, turtles make their way to our beaches to lay their eggs. The flora is equally interesting with spectactular flowers and many interesting and colorful plants. Offshore there are colorful fish and dolphins to see on a snorkelling, diving or fishing trip.

These are a few of our most popular tours:

Animal Rescue Center, Chocolate Lady and Waterfall

Three of our favorite local activities are combined in this tour. A visit to the Jaguar Rescue Center where you'll see monkeys, sloths and other animals rescued by the center. Then learn how to make chocolate from local cacao with an indigenous family. Finally a walk to a waterfall for a swim. A memorable day which supports animal rescue efforts and indigenous communities.

More Info/Book

Cahuita Boat, Snorkel and Hiking Trip

Cahuita National Park is one of the highlights of the area with an incredible variety of wildlife such as monkeys, sloths and birds. This trip includes a guided hike and a boat ride with a stop for snorkeling in the coral reefs.

More Info/Book

See all Jungle and Nature tours
Facials with locally sourced ingredients and massages are a great way to restore after an activity filled day

Facials with locally sourced ingredients and massages are a great way to restore after an activity filled day.

Local Activities & Learning

There are many local activities we can help you arrange. Many of these do book up so if you want to experience horseback riding along the beach or learning to surf in one of the best spots in the world, then have us book these activities for you.

We can even arrange a massage or a facial!

Here is our favorite:

Horseback Riding

Riding horseback along the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean Coast is the perfect way to explore the area. Suitable for riders of all experiences (or none).

More Info/Book

See all Activities and Learning
The canals in Tortuguero National Park are full of unique wildlife, especially birds & reptiles

The canals in Tortuguero National Park are full of unique wildlife, especially birds & reptiles. If you can't spend a night or two there then you can visit as a day trip.

Discover the Caribbean Coast

These tours will let you immerse yourself in another nearby area such as Bocas del Toro in Panama or Tortuguero and are a great alternative if you don't have time to spend several days in the area. If you have more time and want to add several nights then check our destination packages page.

Our favorite discovery tour is:

Tortuguero Canal Wildlife Watching

See the Tortuguero canals by boat on this day trip from Puerto Viejo or Cahuita. Your knowledgeable bilingual guide will pick you up in a comfortable mini-van and we will first do a small city tour through Limon to learn about the Caribbean port city. Then we will take a boat to the Tortuguero canals where you can see a great variety of wildlife: birds, monkeys, sloths, reptiles and more are all possible.

More Info/Book

See all day trips from the Caribbean
Bocas del Toro, Panama

Bocas del Toro, Panama

Multi-day Packages

Looking for multi-day packages which includes hotels, transportation and activities? Check the packages page. You can either get your full trip to Costa Rica organized in one go or have them organize add-ons to popular destinations such as Arenal, Tortuguero or Bocas del Toro.

See all packages

Additional comments from our visitors about Tours and Activities

Write a comment/review

What are people saying about us?

Eileen Kennedy

Firstly, thank you for your information and links. They have been so helpful.

I was wondering if you would recommend ziplining in this Puerto Viejo area? We want to fit it in somewhere on our travels to Costa Rica but I am not sure where.

We are coming from San Jose (we are going to have a couple of day trips out of that location - not sure exactly what at this time). We are taking an 8 day tour including some central/Pacific stops. After our tour we want to spent 2 days in Tortugero followed by 3-4 days in Puerto Viejo. We are also considering going for day trip to Panama. We would like to take the rafting trip back to San Jose too.

How I could book these to include transportation. Also; would you recommend a rental car in Puerto Viejo? We want the most adventurous ziplining - what would you suggest? It can be in another area.

March 19, 2023

What are people saying about us?

Puerto Viejo Satellite

I can't speak to how the Caribbean ziplining compares to others, I've heard good things but it isn't the biggest in the country or anything. It is quite close to Puerto Viejo though which is nice since some of the others, e.g. from San Jose, require a long transport first.

Booking a couple days in Tortuguero is an excellent idea. The Tortuguero package that we recommend can be booked with different start and end points so you could have them pick you up in San José and drop you in Puerto Viejo at the end. As you've discovered the rafting trip works that way too so it's a great idea to book it on the day you leave Puerto Viejo and then you'll end up in San Jose.

I personally don't think a rental car is needed for Puerto Viejo. The whole area from Puerto Viejo south to Manzanillo along the beach is quite flat and quite bikeable and bike rental are everywhere and cheap. There are also lots of taxis, local buses (albeit not too frequent) and other options too such as golf carts, tuktuks. The local transport page has more info.

March 21, 2023

What are people saying about us?


I am looking for a working coffee plantation tour any information is appreciated

December 13, 2022

What are people saying about us?

Puerto Viejo Satellite

This isn't really the zone for that...that would be something you'd find near Monteverde, Arenal or the Central Valley from San Jose.

December 16, 2022

What are people saying about us?

tom veasy

Any one know if there is any where to fish off the beach. I need to know if I should bring a fly or spin rod. Thanks, Tom

November 16, 2022

What are people saying about us?


What a fantastic, informative website. I have just discovered this and so much information available, I will certainly read on. My wife and I are travelling from the UK for 2 weeks in Costa Rica in March 2019 ( not long to wait now!!) . We are touring around staying in 5 locations in total, ending our stay with 6 nights in Peurto Viejo. Pure Vida!

December 08, 2018

What are people saying about us?

Samantha Andrews Ascioti

Are most tours running in July? We are staying on the Caribbean coast July 2-10.

February 20, 2015

What are people saying about us?

Doug Dosdall

Yes, pretty much all the tours run daily year round. Some tours at slow periods don't run if they don't have enough people but July and August are actually one of the busier times of the year. Enjoy!

February 20, 2015

What are people saying about us?


I'm getting married in December in the Puerto Viejo area, and am looking for a manicurist. A saw several spa treatments listed, but no nails. Any local contacts? I was hoping I wouldn't have to go to Limon and back for this.

October 29, 2010

What are people saying about us?

Natasha from New York, USA
General Costa Rica Question: Are Attractions open on Easter?

We'll be moseying back to San Jose on Easter Sunday (April 4, 2010) and want to swing by Poas Volcano National Park and one of the nearby coffee plantations. Are attractions usually open on the holiday?

Thank you!

February 23, 2010

What are people saying about us?

Doug Dosdall from Puerto Viejo

Semana Santa (Easter) is the biggest week of the year for tourism in Costa Rica. It's the week the locals are all traveling. So yes everything should pretty much be open. The only thing you might have trouble finding is a cold beer. There are restrictions on alcohol sales over Easter weekend.

February 23, 2010

What are people saying about us?

Nancy from jerzee USA
mtb rental


"time spent mountain biking is not deducted from one's lifespan"

July 22, 2009

What are people saying about us?

margo Wilkinson from texas and puerto viejo
mountain bikes

So one has opened a mountain bike shop with good bikes. I think that is a good idea. The bikes we have ridden are not at all good for mountain biking! Lots of beach cruisers with rust on them though! Oh..maybe a few that don't have rust! But...not many! Good luck! Have fun anyway!`

July 23, 2009

What are people saying about us?

Ben & Sarah from Canada
bike rentals

We rented great bike's from Surf rentals they were in excellent shape and came with a roadside help program, should you have a flat or broken chain they come out a fix it> and the rates were reasonable. The best bike we have had in all of Costa Rica

October 26, 2009

What are people saying about us?

Tac from Bend, OR
All Day Jungle Tour

Anyone have any feedback or pics from the All Day Jungle Tour. I am part of a group of gals that want to try it but are quite frankly a little afraid.

May 04, 2009

What are people saying about us?

Marie from San Francisco, California USA
surfing lessons

I just returned from a week in Puerto Viejo. As an "older" woman traveling alone, I had the best vacation I've ever had there. The highlight was taking surf lessons for the first time from Hershel Lewis at "caribbean surf school and tours" His cell phone: 8357-7703. Lonely Planet recommended him and they were absolutely right: He is an AWESOME teacher, really clear, careful, motivating and encouraging. He worked very hard to find the perfect waves and get me surfing and I loved it! He's also a singer with a wonderful reggae album.

April 25, 2009

What are people saying about us?

RazorbackTraveler from Fayetteville, Arkansas
Two day rafting trip

I just got back from CR. The rafting trip was AWESOME! I must recommend that you do the overnight trip. You get to do so much more than the one day trip and get to go through several more miles of river. We were lucky enough to be the only two on the overnight trip and ended up with three personal guides, who made us several meals including a candle light dinner overlooking the river.

June 18, 2008

What are people saying about us?

Chelsea from USA
Rafting Trip

Thanks for the awesome time on the rafting tour!!! Our guide, Elberto, had a great personality, was very informative and up beat, and really made the experience an unforgettable one. We love you guys and will definitely recommend you all to our friends!!!
pura vida, Chelsea

December 18, 2007

What are people saying about us?

Doug Dosdall from Vancouver, BC
Pacuare River Rafting

I did the Pacuare 1 day River Trip some years ago and I still remember this as one of the most memorable vacation days of my life. For almost the entire time on the river, we saw no sign of human habitation -- just pure jungle with lots of birds, monkeys, etc. Even if river rafting doesn't neccesarily appeal to you, this is a spectacular way to see Costa Rican nature.

December 05, 2007

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