Costa Rica’s Caribbean

Explore Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast - Tortuguero, Puerto Viejo, Cahuita & Punta Uva

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The Costa Rica Caribbean

If you’re looking for Jurassic Park-like jungles, abundant wildlife, a chilled out surfing vibe and spectacular beaches, look no further than Costa Rica’s Caribbean side. Culturally rich in Afro-Caribbean influences, the Caribbean Coast is unlike any other region in Costa Rica. The laid-back communities are often less crowded than the Pacific Coast, alive with catchy reggae beats and full of surfers, yogis and travelers looking for true pura vida vacation.

The Caribbean side is also rich in wildlife. Some of the most beautiful national parks in the country like Cahuita National Park and Tortuguero National Park are home to sloths, monkeys, Scarlet Macaws and more. It’s not unusual to see wildlife outside the national parks either. Make sure to look for sloths, monkeys and crabs while you wander through Puerto Viejo or relax on Punta Uva Beach. 

Top Destinations

Puerto Viejo

Puerto Viejo is a must-see on the Caribbean side. The easy going community is right on the beach and a great starting point for your Caribbean vacation. From Puerto Viejo you’ll find many nearby beaches easily accessible as well as national parks teeming with wildlife. You can also find exciting nightlife in Puerto Viejo where you find live music almost every night of the week. 

Cahuita National Park

Cahuita-National-Park-beachIf you only visit one national park in Costa Rica, make it Cahuita National Park. Entrance is free and you’ll get a chance to see monkeys, sloths and tropical birds as you walk through the park and towards some of the most breath-taking beaches in the country. Water activities are also available, including snorkeling and scuba diving. 

Tortuguero National Park

Tortuguero Costa RicaTortuguero National Park protects one the biggest tropical rainforests in Central America and here you can see even more wildlife and stunning beaches. However Tortuguero is most famous for turtle watching. Visit between June and October and take a night tour to see giant turtles climb up the beach to lay their eggs. It’s truly unforgettable. 

Punta Uva

Punta UvaPunta Uva is a protected beach just north of the Panama border. No development is allowed within 50 meters from high tide, letting you relax completely surrounded by nature. It is also home to some of Costa Rica’s most beautiful butterflies, including the the Blue Morpho. While in Punta Uva you can also visit the nearby BriBri indigenous Reserve. 

Facts

Caribbean Vacation Tours

Caribbean  Pacuare RaftingYou’ll find no shortage of amazing tours to take advantage of on the Caribbean. Tours include visits to local indigenous tribes, hiking through protected national parks, snorkeling over the largest coral reef in Costa Rica and visiting sloths in the Jaguar Rescue Center. More adventurous travelers will also enjoy white water rafting and ATV tours through the jungle. 

Caribbean Weather

Costa Rica's CaribbeanYou’ll find quite a bit more rain on the east side of the country and very hot humid temperatures in between the bursts of rain. The driest months are September-October and February-March while the wettest months are July and December-January. the temperatures remain pretty stable most of the year. The days tend to average highs around 90 degrees and lows in the high 70s. 

Caribbean Nature

all inclusive resorts on the caribbean coast of costa rica riverWith 125 miles of coastline and huge protected national parks and rugged mountains you’ll find some of the most diverse flora and fauna on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. You can take boat rides through wetlands and then hike in the mountains the next day. Off the coast of Cahuita you’ll find 600 acres of coral reef with over 400 fish species. One of the most geographically diverse areas in the world, the Caribbean side will not disappoint nature lovers ready to explore the Jurassic Park-like jungles and beaches. 

Costa Rica Caribbean Culture

Carnival Limon

The culture found on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica is very different than the rest of the country. The population is largely Afro-Caribbean and you’ll hear Spanish, English and Creole English throughout the region. On the streets and in restaurants and bars you’ll hear light-hearted Calypso and Reggae music while you enjoy Afro-Caribbean food. You can’t miss the infamous Rice and Beans dish which features coconut rice, a local favorite. If you visit in October you can celebrate the Limón Carnival, which celebrate’s Christopher Columbus’ arrival to the Caribbean coast in 1502. 

Getting There

Closest International Airport: Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO)

sansa airline airplaneThere are two international airports in Costa Rica but the closest one can be found the capital of Costa Rica, San Jose. Most major airlines fly there. Click for more information on flights to Costa Rica. Once you’ve landed in San Jose, you have a few options to get to the Caribbean Side. You can take a domestic flight, a shuttle, private transfer or you can rent a car. Talk with one our expert Travel Agents to figure out which transportation method is best for you! 

Map of Costa Rica’s Caribbean

Costa Rica Caribbean Map

Costa Rica’s Caribbean - Get Info

Costa Rica’s Caribbean Map

See all the best tours, hotels and destinations to visit on the Caribbean coast! 

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Hotel Hotels Rental Rentals Rental Tours Beach Beaches City Cities Island Islands River Rivers Volcano Volcanoes Waterfall Waterfalls National Park National Parks
Costa Rica’s Caribbean

Costa Rica’s Caribbean

The cultural mix created by the clash of Caribbean culture and Costa Rican Latin flavor produces a unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else in the country.

Costa Rica’s Caribbean Vacation Packages

Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a surfing adventure, we can help you create your ideal vacation package! 

Caribbean Dream with Manuel Antonio

Caribbean Dream with Manuel Antonio

12
SJO
$1500-$2000 p.p.
Extended Costa Rica Highlights

Extended Costa Rica Highlights

20
SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
Best of Birding in Costa Rica’s Caribbean

Best of Birding in Costa Rica’s Caribbean

SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
Full Board Birding Trip!

Full Board Birding Trip!

8
SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
Nature Birding Tour

Nature Birding Tour

10
SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
Pacific & Caribbean Combo

Pacific & Caribbean Combo

10
SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
Yoga in the Caribbean

Yoga in the Caribbean

SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
Caribbean Jungle Exploration

Caribbean Jungle Exploration

7
SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
Caribbean Exploration Tour

Caribbean Exploration Tour

SJO
$1500-$2000 p.p.
Tarpon Fishing on Costa Rica’s Caribbean

Tarpon Fishing on Costa Rica’s Caribbean

6
SJO
More than $2000 p.p.
Costa Rica’s Top Birding Spots

Costa Rica’s Top Birding Spots

11
SJO
Caribbean Lowlands Birding Tour

Caribbean Lowlands Birding Tour

11
SJO
More than $2000 p.p.

Beaches

Punta Uva

Punta Uva

Punta Uva is an untouched beach area of Costa Rica's southern Caribbean not far from the Panamanian boarder. Come and expl...

Cahuita

Cahuita

Discover the magic and natural beauty with this Caribbean beauty. The Cahuita National Park is an example of the bio diver...

Puerto Viejo

Puerto Viejo

The mix of open-air bars and laid back surfer attitudes make Puerto Viejo one of the most chilled places to hang out in Co...

Gandoca Manzanillo

Gandoca Manzanillo

The Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge is situated on one of the most wild and remote areas of Costa Rica, a few kilometer...

Cocles Beach

Cocles Beach

Playa Cocles is considered a perfect destination for all level of surfers. Many are looking for an uncrowded surf location...

Cities

Limón Costa Rica

Limón Costa Rica

Limon Costa Rica is both a province and a city. Established in 1854 you will find a large English and Creole Population he...

National Parks

Tortuguero National Park

Tortuguero National Park

Witness some of the world’s most exotic and rare wildlife in the wilds of remote Tortuguero including splendid tropical bi...

Costa Rica’s Caribbean Hotels

Find luxurious boutique hotels, eco-lodges and romantic honeymoon accommodations along the Caribbean Coast. 

Azania Bungalows

Azania Bungalows

3
From: Under $125
Cariblue Bungalows

Cariblue Bungalows

3
1
From: Under $125
Ciudad Perdida Ecolodge

Ciudad Perdida Ecolodge

3
From: Under $125
Hotel Banana Azul

Hotel Banana Azul

3
From: $125 - $200
Hotel Escape Caribeño

Hotel Escape Caribeño

3
From: Under $125
Hotel Le Cameleon

Hotel Le Cameleon

4
From: $200 - $300
Kenaki Lodge

Kenaki Lodge

3
From: Under $125
Samasati Nature Retreat

Samasati Nature Retreat

3
2
From: $125 - $200
Shawandha Lodge

Shawandha Lodge

3
From: Under $125
Villas del Caribe

Villas del Caribe

3
2
From: $125 - $200
Mawamba Lodge

Mawamba Lodge

3
From: $125 - $200
Selva Bananito Lodge

Selva Bananito Lodge

3
5
From: $125 - $200
Aninga Lodge

Aninga Lodge

4
From: Under $125
Aguas Claras

Aguas Claras

3
From: Over $300

Costa Rica’s Caribbean Tours

Chose from relaxing nature tours to adrenaline-pumping adventure tours. There are tours for everyone in the Caribbean. 

BriBri  Indigenous Reserve

BriBri Indigenous Reserve

From: $50 - $75
Misha Yorkin Indigenous Community Cahuita

Misha Yorkin Indigenous Community Cahuita

From: Over $100
Hike Cahuita National Park Tour

Hike Cahuita National Park Tour

From: Under $50
Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge Day Tour

Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge Day Tour

From: $50 - $75
Jaguar Rescue Center

Jaguar Rescue Center

3
From: Under $50
Pacuare River Rafting Adventure

Pacuare River Rafting Adventure

From: $75 - $100
Sarapiqui River Rafting

Sarapiqui River Rafting

From: $75 - $100
Sloth Sanctuary and Rescue Center

Sloth Sanctuary and Rescue Center

Cahuita National Park Snorkeling Tour

Cahuita National Park Snorkeling Tour

From: $50 - $75
Bribri Indigenous Reserve Tour with Willie’s Tours

Bribri Indigenous Reserve Tour with Willie’s Tours

Cahuita National Park Snorkeling Tour with Willie’s Tours

Cahuita National Park Snorkeling Tour with Willie’s Tours

Jaguar Rescue Center, Chocolate House & Waterfall Tour with Willie’s Tours

Jaguar Rescue Center, Chocolate House & Waterfall Tour with Willie’s Tours

Hike to Cahuita National Park with Cahuita Tours

Hike to Cahuita National Park with Cahuita Tours

Sloth Sanctuary & Rescue Center Tour with Cahuita Tours

Sloth Sanctuary & Rescue Center Tour with Cahuita Tours

Punta Uva Sea Kayaking and Rain Forest Hike with Exploradores Outdoors

Punta Uva Sea Kayaking and Rain Forest Hike with Exploradores Outdoors

Pacuare River Rafting Adventure: Class III – IV with Exploradores Outdoors

Pacuare River Rafting Adventure: Class III – IV with Exploradores Outdoors

ATV Mountain Trip / Tropical Dry Forest of Guanacaste with Arenas Adventures

ATV Mountain Trip / Tropical Dry Forest of Guanacaste with Arenas Adventures

Costa Rica Regions and Destinations Map

Southern Zone

Quetzal in the southern ZoneWhy Visit?

Costa Rica’s Southern Zone is where you’ll find the tallest mountains, pristine cloud forest areas, and a virtually unexplored paradise. Find a large variety of birds and just an endless array of biodiversity.  


Things to Do 

Top Destinations

Central Valley

Why Visit?

Cartago Costa RicaCosta Rica’s Central Valley is home to the capital of San José and the Juan Santamaría International Airport. Steeped in History & Culture, many people use the capital as the jumping off point for their vacations.


Things to Do 

Top Destinations

Northern Zone

National Parks of Costa RicaWhy Visit? 

Costa Rica’s Northern Zone is home to the country’s most famous Volcano and Cloud Forest Areas.

You will be amazed at the wildlife and all the biodiversity.


Things to Do 

Top Destinations

Osa Peninsula

Jaguar of Costa RicaWhy Visit?

The Osa Peninsula is truly an unexplored paradise and a must see for nature lovers. If you are looking to get off the beaten path and explore – this is the spot for you.


Things to Do 

Top Destinations

Guanacaste

Costa Rica BeachesWhy Visit? 

Guanacaste is home to Costa Rica’s most popular beach destinations and all-inclusive resorts. If you are looking for a beach vacation, this is your destination for sun, sand, and surf.


Things to Do

Top Destinations

Nicoya Peninsula

Beachfront HotelsWhy Visit?

The Nicoya Peninsula is still largely undeveloped and home to some of Costa Rica’s most beautiful beaches. Known for it’s laid back surfer vibe and boutique beach resorts.


Things to Do 

Top Destinations

Central Pacific

Manuel Antonio National ParkWhy Visit?

Costa Rica’s Central Pacific Coast is home to some of the closest beaches from the capital of San José, which are easily accessible from the highway.


Things to Do

Top Destinations

Caribbean

Costa Rica's CaribbeanWhy Visit?

Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast is a rich cultural area offering a laid back tropical atmosphere. Experience what Tico Time truly is on this Afro-Caribbean influenced area. 


Things to Do 

Top Destinations

Nicaragua

Granada Nicaragua Why Visit?

Nicaragua is a unique country full of culture and historical parts. You can see a lot of the old part of the colonial age including the cobblestone streets and old forts. 


Top Destinations

Panama

Panama CanalWhy Visit?

Panama is a totally different level of destination. It has so much to offer. You can experience history and modern architecture all in one in Panama City with skyscrapers and the old part of the city. 


Top Destinations

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