Puerto Viejo lies 55 kilometers south east of Puerto Limon on the shores of the Caribbean Sea. It is the largest tourist destination in Costa Rica's Caribbean coast. Known for its warm, crystal clear blue waters, pristine, uncrowned beaches, excellent restaurants, Rasta-Jamaican influence, and exotic tropical fauna, Puerto Viejo was built around a beautiful bay with calm water for swimming. The distance from San Jose to Puerto Viejo is 210 km. Puerto Viejo Costa Rica is fast becoming one of Costa Rica's premier tourist hot spots. 80% of the local inhabitants are indigenous Bri Bri. But they tend to live out of town and not be very visible. Maybe about 30-40% of the remaining local population is African Caribbean who are descendants from Jamaican workers that arrived here just over a century ago. The rest of the population is Tico and a huge smattering of expats that are mainly from Europe, South America and Canada. The area is also filled with abundant wildlife and bio diversity, with over 400 species of birds, almost 500 species of fish, and more than 40 species of coral including kingfishers, parrots, hummingbirds, sloths, toucans, monkeys, iguanas, lizards, frogs, a myriad of butterflies, basilisk lizards, otters, manatees.
There are many interesting attractions nearby such as at the Cahuita National Park, Talamanca Indian Reserve and Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge. Activities available in Puerto Viejo include scuba diving snorkeling, surfing, canopy tours, sea and river kayaking, fishing, boat tours, birding, visiting turtle sanctuaries, chocolate tours, eco tours, dolphin tours, indigenous Bri- Bri tours, horseback riding tours in the jungle and on the beach, hiking, biking, cultural and educational tours like visiting the animal rescue center, the iguana farm where you learn about Kekoldi history, folklore and land of the protected green iguana, or the sloth rescue center,a privately-owned wildlife sanctuary where you can learn about sloth habitats, life cycles and conservation.