Traveling to Puerto Viejo on a Budget

If you are traveling to Costa Rica and you don’t have more than $25 a day to spend, you can still visit one of the most beautiful beaches of this country and enjoy a once-in-a-life experience there. If you have a bigger budget, you can get one of Costa Rica adventure vacation packages.

How? Let me tell you!

Puerto Viejo, in the South Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica, is one of the most amazing places of this small country. Because of the Caribbean influence, this is a picturesque town with a relaxing atmosphere all day long. There amidst the exotic flora and fauna, lies a vibrant seaside town with gorgeous, isolated beaches, crystal clear blue water, and some of the most amazing surfing opportunities. Without a doubt, Puerto Viejo is a beach lover´s paradise.

To get to Puerto Viejo from Juan Santamaría International Airport, you have to take a road trip of 4 and a half hours approximately, if you are doing solo travel remember Costa Ricans are always willing to help with directions. It’s a little bit long, but on the way you will cross the Braulio Carrillo National Park so you will have the chance to see a lot of flora, beautiful rivers and some fauna like birds and monkeys. The best part? The bus ticket will no cost you more than $11.

Once you get to the town, it’s time to find a place to sleep. In Puerto Viejo there are no large hotels or resorts, only small buildings adapted to the Caribbean weather, where you can get the perfect dose of comfort while you enjoy the charms of this beautiful zone. Many of these hotels are characterized by their colorful decorations and their palm tree roofs. Also, you can find some beautiful hostels such as Rocking J’s, one of the most popular hostels in town because of its hammock concept. $7 per night including sheet, locker and lock doesn’t sounds bad, right?

An Upstairs Window in Puerto Viejo
An Upstairs Window in Puerto Viejo. Photo credit: Bob Boyer.

Finally, the best way to move into the town and visit some other nearby beaches like Cocles, Cahuita and Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge is renting a bicycle. This is the most popular way of transportation in town, in fact you will see a lot of people using it, rather than cars or buses. You can rent a bike for $7 per day in any of the local rentals you will find along the road.

For the meals, you don’t have to worry a lot. Puerto Viejo has a wide variety of bars, international and local restaurants and super and mini markets where you can buy fruits, coffee and some easy-to-cook things that you can prepare at your hostel for example. There’s is always different ways to make money while traveling.

Would you like to visit Puerto Viejo in the future?

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Agness Walewinder
Agness Walewinder
Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"
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31 thoughts on “Traveling to Puerto Viejo on a Budget”

  1. Vanessa @ The Travelling Colognian

    Puerto Viejo is indeed an amazing place on Earth! In 2003 I spent two months in Costa Rica doing volunteer work and taking Spanish classes and during that time I visited Puerto Viejo twice. I loved the laid-back atmosphere, the charme of the village, the National parks and the beaches, of course. I can only agree: finding a place to sleep in Costa Rica was really easy, every time we left the overland bus there were numerous hotel and guesthouse owners offering rooms and we were spoilt for choice. Costa Rica is a country where I really want to return to and Puerto Viejo is one of the places which is definitely on my list for another revisit.

  2. I loved Costa Rica, I’ll have to check out Puerto Viejo next time! I didn’t find CR to be that expensive. More than SE Asia, yes, but less than Europe and even Mexico. I loved the food – I still make gallo pinto all the time! And the fresh fruit is amazing. :D

  3. Constance - Foreign Sanctuary

    I would love to visit Puerto Viejo! It looks like my kind of place, especially the vibe. I would love to lounge around on the beaches there for awhile and test out the local cuisine!

  4. Uh I cannot wait to be in Costa Rica myself next year. It’s one of those countries you always dream of going. After being in Mexico, I will head down south and will make sure to explore Costa Rica properly and under $25 a day :)

  5. I’m actually going to Puerto Viejo next month, but oh my Costa Rica isn’t a cheap place to travel! We have a $30 budget per day and sometimes that is really a stretch to stay under. It, of course, depends a lot on the place. Rural places that don’t see a lot of tourism make it a lot harder. Hoping that the Caribbean side will be easier to keep under budget with.

  6. Definitely! Costa Rica is one of the destinations that have fascinated me in the recent times. And it seems it’s easy to enjoy it on a budget. Great!

  7. Miriam of Adventurous Miriam

    I would love to! I went to Tamarindo which was lovely, too, but I’ll definitely check out Puerto Viejo next time I’m there. Love Costa Rica!

  8. The more I read about Costa Rica the more I want to visit, there is something about this country that really appeals to me. I’ve always thought that it was quite an expensive place to travel to, apparently I was wrong and somehow there are always ways to stay on a budget, thanks for the tips! :)

  9. Jess @UsedYorkCity

    I still have not traveled to Costa Rica, but recently I’ve had a few different conversations with people who claim it’s been their favorite destination yet! Will definitely be bumping it up on my travel bucket list!;-)

  10. Escaping Abroad

    Puerto Viejo is indeed a wonderful place and can be cheap as described.. although I’m not sure how you could possibly do the hostel + bike rental + eat 3 meals per day for $25 or less. Food is very expensive in Costa Rica.

    Another great area is the Pacific beaches.. most amazing sunsets I’ve ever seen were in Manuel Antonio.

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