Everyone I’d spoken to about Costa Rica said that I must head to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. Even though it was very out of the way from Dominical (you have to go through San Jose despite the fact that they look close on the map), we decided to make the trip, and we are thrilled that we did! Puerto Viejo is this really cute, caribbean-inspired town that offers plenty of places to eat, little shops, and street vendors.
Rocking J’s Hostel was particularly vibrant and loud. If you’re camping you can get away from the noise somewhat easily, but if you’re sleeping in the communal hammock rooms you’ll be at the mercy of when they stop the music. This is definitely the place to stay if you’re traveling solo, as this hostel is exceptionally social. The highlight to Rocking J’s is, without a doubt, the fish tacos! For only $6, your tastebuds WILL thank you.
After waking up for sunrise on the beach next to our tent, we took a day trip to Parque Nacional Cahuita, 8km away from Puerto Viejo. It’s a beautiful national park to walk through, filled with White Head Capuchin Monkeys and warm, clear waters for swimming. We had such a nice, relaxing afternoon in Cahuita.