Visiting Punta Uva
Punta Uva is located on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, just south of Cahuita and just north of the Panamanian border. This is a very fresh beach and small coastal town well worth visiting. The beach itself has been kept pristine due to development laws, all buildings have to stay 50 meters from high tide. The literal translation of Punta Uva means grape point, this is due to the well-known sea grape tree that grows along the beachside.
Punta Uva is also known for its amazing butterfly gardens, it has some of Costa Rica’s most exotic butterflies, including the blue Morpho. Also, the Bri Bri Indigenous Reserve located nearby.
Staying in Punta Uva is a little bit different from a vacation that you might be used to. This is due to the seclusion of the southern Caribbean. Large resorts and agencies haven’t over developed this area and kept the natural way of the land. When you come here, you get the full experience of what Costa Rica’s Caribbean should be.
Relax on the beach
Punta Uva has a reputation for being a peaceful, quiet beach on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. It is a fantastic beach for swimming with kids, picnicking and relaxing. Keep your eye on trees, you might see a sloth or monkey!
Punta Uva is near several different beautiful Caribbean beaches. It is a great starting point for a day of beach hopping. Some examples include Playa Chiquita, Playa Cocles and Puerto Viejo. Don’t forget your sunscreen!
Jaguar Rescue Center
The Jaguar Rescue Center is about 30 minutes from Puerto Viejo. Since 2008 they have been rescuing 500-700 animals per year in order to release them back to their natural habitat. The center works with many different animals including, toucans, snakes, wildcats, parrots, monkeys and sloths. It is a great organization to support!
Cahuita National Park and beach is one of the most popular Caribbean destinations. Walk through the national park and spot sloths and monkeys or go snorkeling to see up to 500 species of fish and beautiful coral. Don’t miss traditional Caribbean food while you’re there either!
The Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge protects endangered species and some of the most valuable flora and fauna in the Caribbean. The refuge is a nesting ara for turtles, manatees, caimans, dolphins, crocodiles and tarpons. It is just over 70 kilometers from Limon, past Puerto Viejo, Cahuita and Manzanillo. Beware that the roads leading to it are mainly dirt.
Visit February-March, September-October:
Punta Uva is on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, which means the “dry season” happens between February-March and September to October. The weather is a little unpredictable on the Caribbean side, so it’s good come prepared for a little rain regardless.
Bring suncreen and bug spray:
The Caribbean sunshine is beautiful and strong! Don’t let sunburn or bug bites bring your Costa Rica vacation down.
Rent a bike (or car):
There are a lot of little towns and beaches close to Punta Uva, including Puerto Viejo. You’ll see many people traveling between them on bike. It’s a great and sustainable way to get around. Just make sure to beware of cars AND animals crossing the road.
Getting to Punta Uva is pretty straightforward. You can take a shuttle or private transfer from San Jose. Shuttle transfers are usually more affordable, but they will make stops along the way and carry other passengers. You can also fly domestically from San Jose to Limón and take a shuttle or private transfer from there. Finally, you can rent a car. This is a great option because it gives you freedom and flexibility to travel in between the beaches, national parks and nature refuges!
There are not a lot of dining options in Punta Uva. You might have to travel to Puerto Viejo to find more variety. However Restaurante Selvin’s is a great restaurant near by that offers authentic Caribbean Costa Rican food. Make sure to try the famous rice and beans dish, which usually features coconut rice.
Where to Stay
The Punta Uva area has several stunning hotels in the jungle, one of them being the Kanaki Lodge. The lodge feature Balinese bungalows and wooden lodges to keep you cozy at night. It’s also very close to the Cahuita National Park. Or maybe try the Samasati Nature Retreat, an eco lodge located on 250 acres of rainforest. Finally, you might stay at El Encanto Inn, located within walking distance of the beach.