Costa RicaCosta Rica

Traveling to the Southern Caribbean

Destination: Puerto Viejo

It takes about 4 hours to get to Puerto Viejo from San Jose. The roads are good most of the way now that they have repaved the Braulio Carrillo road from the pay toll all the way to Guapiles. One you turn off the main road towards Puerto Viejo though, the road alternates between being paved and slightly pot-holey to unpaved and very pot-holey.

We arrive at Coco Loco Lodge, tucked in a quiet corner in Puerto Viejo. The spacious lodge has a nicely manicured appearance and plenty of plantings to offer privacy between some of the cabinas and to encourage birds onto the property. Immediately, we are greeted by the call of a laughing falcon off in the distance and the sweet song of Costa Rica's national bird, the clay colored robin, echoes in the brush.

The Coco Loco Lodge features 11 cabinas in all, suitable for housing anywhere from 2 to 30 people. All rooms are equipped with private bathroom, hot water, a porch with hammock and mosquito nets over the beds. The rooms are not air-conditioned but have fans. Doors have secure locks as do windows.

Once settled into our rooms, the late afternoon hours are ideal for bird watching. Just by walking around the perimeter of the Coco Loco Lodge we spot 18 different species of bird including the olive backed euphonia, long tailed tyrant, passerinni tanager and the eastern wood phoebe, just to name a few. Oh, and the sloths, the two and three-toed are both found in the neighboring treetops.

Nighttime in Puerto Viejo is hoppin', even on a Monday night. Bars are open and people are out enjoying the pleasant evening and dry weather. Many people rent bikes and this accounts for most of the traffic on the streets. After a few beers and a delicious pizza, it is time to retire to the room.

The night brings thunderstorms and downpours. We have cable TV in the room, which helps to pass along the rainy night.

Traveling to the Southern Caribbean in Pictures