These are a few of my favorite things...
A goodbye tour of our most favorite memories, meals and adventures during our month of happiness in Puerto Viejo:
1) Stashu's - The very first Caribbean meal we enjoyed was at Stashu's. It is a Thai, Caribbean, and Indian infusion restaurant with a delicious menu and beautiful, artistic plates. The ambience is funky, eclectic and unique. Every item on the menu is equally delicious, but our favorites are the Tandoori coconut chicken, the spicy red curry mussels, and the colorful butterfly salad that comes with the entrees. Stash, the friendly owner, can be seen wandering the restaurant, mingling with the patrons, and making sure everyone is enjoying their meal. If you ever visit Puerto Viejo this restaurant is a must-try.
2) Punta Uva - Our favorite spot to chill for the day at the beach is definitely Punta Uva, located just outside Puerto Viejo. A long, pristine stretch of white sand coastline that meets up with the vibrant blue sea. Many days can be wasted at this special spot, swinging in a hammock, napping in the shade of a palm tree, and swimming in the salt water. We like to pack up a cooler of pipa fria, ice cold coconuts, for a refreshing beverage break in between our naps and swims.
3) The Point - Another one of our favorite places to enjoy an unforgettable and flavorful Caribbean meal is at The Point. It is located on the quiet end of town, along the water. At first sight it appears to be an Americanized bar, but don't let that fool you. Their menu contains some special Caribbean treats. My personal favorite is the chicken fajitas. A pile of chicken, peppers, and onions cooked in a unique sauce, served on patacones (fried plantains) instead of tortillas, topped with a flavorful black bean sauce and spicy mango salsa. Incredibly unique and mouth-watering.
4) Our Jungle Waterfall - Right outside the town of Bribri, there is a secret waterfall hidden and buried in the jungle. Trekking through three rivers and up and down some steep jungle terrain, using vines to repel down the rocks, you eventually stumble onto this breathtaking waterfall and swimming hole.
5) TRITS - Through our friend Damion we have been introduced to one of the best desserts in all of Costa Rica: Trits! A crumbly, buttery graham cracker cookie crust, filled with delicate vanilla ice cream with a ribbon swirl of chocolate sauce, we have enjoyed many of these during our time in Puerto Viejo. Thanks Damion!
6) The Farmer's Market - We made sure to make the Saturday Farmer's Market a part of our weekly routine. Each Saturday we would arrive early and stock up on coconut biscuits, plantain chips, fruit, veggies and fresh chocolate from our friend Christina. This market is incredibly affordable with a large variety of items available. Make sure to add this to your agenda when you are in Puerto Viejo.
7) Banana Azul - This cozy beach resort, just down the road from our beach cabin, is the perfect spot to sit on the beach with a beverage while watching the waves, or to enjoy a delicious lunch while surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens, decorated with overflowing ponds and rivers, filled with turtles, koi, frogs and lizards. Our favorite lunch items are the jerk chicken wrap and the chicken and waffles.
8) Happy hour 2 for 1 mojitos at The Lazy Mon - Another Puerto Viejo gem shared with us by our friend Damion, The Lazy Mon is a great spot to enjoy the sunset right along the shoreline. Their happy hour 2 for 1 mojitos are strong and delicious, and the staff is very laid-back and friendly. Two beach swings hang from a tree branch beside the water, which is a perfect spot to swing and enjoy the view.
9) Bread & Chocolate - A cozy and unique restaurant in Puerto Viejo that we fell in love with. A delicious spot for breakfast or lunch, their menu is filled with decadent items such as coconut pancakes, crispy waffles with fruit and flavorful jerk potatoes. The coffee is strong and aromatic, and the chocolates and desserts are incredible. If you're spending time in Puerto Viejo I recommend stopping by for breakfast and coffee at this adorable, quaint restaurant.
10) sloth encounters - The wildlife is abundant in this Caribbean town. Majestic sloths fill the trees along the beach and throughout the jungle. Seeing one in person is an experience that will be seared permanently into your memory. We've had many extremely up-close sloth encounters, which is one of the many reasons we fell in love with this part of Costa Rica.
11) street meat - As the sun sets in Puerto Viejo, the streets are lined with vendors selling what we call "street meat". Skewers stuffed with grilled meat and fresh veggies, covered in hot sauce and served with a warm corn tortilla that acts as your fork, for only $2 these make a great mini-meal.
12) The Birds - The Caribbean side of Costa Rica has a wide variety of bird species. We've spent our month here marking off many new bird species in our bird nerd book. We experienced numerous Toucan sightings, which was our favorite new bird encounter in Puerto Viejo. Toucan do it!
Kari Pinkerton Silcox
It would be a tragedy to die, having never really lived. Which is why my husband Andy and I quit our jobs, sold our house and decided to chase our dreams. We moved to Costa Rica without a plan, and this is the story of our adventure.