Caribbean Costa Rica
This was the first stop on my seven-month backpacking and photography adventure through Central America. What a great first location to choose. Other than a run-in with a pack of wild dogs, this was a relaxing and beautiful place to start the adventure.
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is a laid-back Caribbean town with an ever-present rasta vibe. The Costa Rican town is known for surfing and beautiful jungles and beaches. The Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge is only miles from Puerto Viejo. Many travelers rent bikes to ride to Manzanillo, although the ride can feel very long in the humid jungle of Costa Rica. Make sure and check out Rocking Jays, for either cheap accommodations or a cocktail and dance party.
The Jungles of Manzanillo
Manzanillo is a ridiculously beautiful jungle environment, and endangered animal refuge. Manatees live in the rivers, and jaguars hunt from the treetops. Also, an amazing coral reef is just offshore from the town, with great snorkeling and diving. If you are looking to get in a couple of SCUBA dives, check out Punta Uva dive center.
I stayed in Puerto Viejo for about a week, sharing my time between a hostel and camping on the beach. Days were spent walking around town taking photo, or drinking rum and cokes on the beach. The jungle in Manzanillo was amazing to explore and I kept my eyes out for harpy eagles and jaguars. Although I wasn’t lucky enough to see any.
I also snorkeled on the coral reef right off the beach at Manzanillo. The reef was in fairly good shape and the water was clear. On the last day when I woke from the sweaty tent early in the morning, I was treated to an amazing sunrise. While taking photos over the tide pools in the Caribbean, the light was changing and shifting. Beautiful sun rays came down from the sky, and I captured some really nice images. It was a perfect end to my time in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.