Cariblue Beach & Jungle Resort

Overall 90.5% (71 Guest Ratings)

Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Cariblue Beach & Jungle Resort is a neat little lodge located just across the street from gorgeous Playa Cocles. Jungle and towering trees surround the property with tropical gardens spread throughout common areas. The gardens frame the freeform swimming pool and lounge area. Wildlife is abundant and with the Caribbean just steps away, you'll never be at a loss for what to do! Hotel Cariblue is a fantastic base for your Caribbean vacation. You'll find activity options ranging from bird watching to surfing. So why wait? Reserve your Cariblue Caribbean package today!

Sample Itinerary
  • 3 nights at Hotel Cariblue
  • Cahuita National Park and Snorkeling Combo
Starting at $345 per person*

*Sample rates are per person, double occupancy [Oct dates]

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Le Cameleon Hotel

Overall 92.8% (26 Guest Ratings)

Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

The Le Cameleon Hotel is the only boutique style hotel on the Caribbean coast. It's one of only a small handful that offers rooms with air conditioning and television. Located across from Playa Cocles, Le Cameleon is only steps away from the beach and guests can enjoy the private beach club. A visit to the Caribbean would not be complete without snorkeling or surfing. We offer surf lessons or a great snorkeling trip at Cahuita National Park to enhance your stay. Start customizing your Le Cameleon package and the Caribbean portion of your Costa Rica vacation today!

Sample Itinerary
  • 3 nights at Hotel Le Cameleon
  • Bri Bri Village
Starting at $520 per person*

*Sample rates are per person, double occupancy [Oct dates]

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Azania Bungalows

Overall 97.1% (13 Guest Ratings)

Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Located across the street from beautiful Cocles Beach, Azania Bungalows is an affordable lodge for your Caribbean vacation. All of the rustic, yet comfortable thatched-roof bungalows have a front porch with hammock. Rainforest surrounds the property, and tropical gardens add to the ambiance of the poolside lounge area. Days are easy as your most difficult decision will be whether to enjoy the beach, pool, or hammock. Of course, you have plenty of activities to choose from, and we encourage you to explore this beautiful area. So, if you're looking for an affordable, but unique experience on the Costa Rican Caribbean, the Azania Bungalows package is perfect for you!

Sample Itinerary
  • 3 nights at Azania Bungalows
  • Surf Lesson - Puerto Viejo Surf Camp
Starting at $306 per person*

*Sample rates are per person, double occupancy [Oct dates]

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The Caribbean offers unique beach bungalows and rustic eco-lodges

The Southern Caribbean offers unique hotels and lodges. You won't find all-inclusive resorts, corporate cookie-cutter chain hotels. You will find many small family-run bungalow style hotels. Cariblue Beach & Jungle Resort is one of the more popular Puerto Viejo hotels, offering bungalows and rooms across the street from Playa Cocles. Azania Bungalows and La Costa de Papito are both in the same Cocles neighborhood, providing affordable thatch-roofed bungalows. Le Cameleon Hotel is a step up and the only boutique style hotel in the Southern Caribbean. Namuwoki Lodge and Shawandha Lodge are excellent mid-range hotels in the gorgeous Playa Chiquita beach area, south of Cocles. Costa Rica's Caribbean is a beautiful place to visit with unique accommodations and an excellent addition to your vacation. Book your package deal today!

Activities & Things to do in the Southern Caribbean

Aside from beaching it and getting to know the meaning of pura vida, there are plenty of options for things to do in Puerto Viejo and the Southern Caribbean. Cahuita National Park and Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge are both perfect for hiking in the jungle in search of wildlife. They're also fantastic for snorkeling in March, April, September, and October. Gandoca Manzanillo is also a terrific place for scuba diving during the same period. You'll find year-round surfing and surf lessons on Playa Cocles. Those seeking a cultural experience can visit an indigenous village where you can learn the ways of this ancient society. Whether you want to monkey around or just hang at the beach, you'll find plenty of options to enhance your Costa Rican vacation on the Southern Caribbean!

Book Your Transfers to the Caribbean

You'll want to consider your transportation to the Caribbean carefully as it is a remote region and can be costly. For example, a transfer to or from San Jose will take four to five hours on average. Arenal is over five hours away. We offer private transportation to the Caribbean from everywhere in Costa Rica. We offer shuttle transfers from some select destinations. Private transfers are a door-to-door service scheduled at your convenience. Shuttles are shared with other travelers and based on set departure times. We also offer a shared transfer with whitewater rafting on the Rio Pacuare between San Jose, the Southern Caribbean, and Arenal Volcano. You can match any two of these three destinations and break up your transfer with a thrilling rafting ride on Costa Rica's best whitewater river. Reserve your Caribbean transportation today by clicking the link below!

What are the best places to combine with the Caribbean on my vacation?

Now that you've decided on visiting the Southern Caribbean, it's time to consider other destinations to add to your Costa Rica vacation. Most visitors stay in Puerto Viejo or Cahuita for three to five nights. It's a good idea to add an airport hotel between the airport and the Caribbean or vice-versa, but you'll likely want to experience another part of Costa Rica as well. Tortuguero and Arenal Volcano are the most common destinations to add, but you may also want to check out Turrialba or Sarapiqui.

Tortuguero is also on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica but located all the way up in the remote canals of the northern coast in Tortuguero National Park, only accessible by boat or plane. Tortuguero is a fantastic place to visit for rare and exotic wildlife observation. Sea turtles nest there from mid-July through September. The area is home to rustic eco-lodges with a high focus on observing animals in their natural habitat. Most visitors to Tortuguero stay for two nights, and it is approximately four to five hours from the Southern Caribbean using a combination of boat and land transfers.

Arenal Volcano is Costa Rica's number one tourist attraction for good reason! Eco-friendly hot springs resorts are lined up at the base of the massive conical volcano. Visitors will also find the best selection of adventure activities and tour operators. Of course, this area is surrounded by jungle and natural areas so this seeking slower paced activities and nature will enjoy the Arenal Volcano area as well. Most visitors to Arenal stay for three to four nights. The transfer from the Southern Caribbean usually takes five to five and a half hours. The long transfer is a great excuse to use an adventure connection transfer with a stop for whitewater rafting at the Rio Pacuare. Obviously, this adds time to the transfer but breaks up the ride nicely.

Sarapiqui is another excellent destination for wildlife observation and bird watching. Similar to Tortuguero, Sarapiqui is home to rustic eco-lodges that are more focused on ecotourism experiences than luxuries. Most visitors to this region stay for two nights. Sarapiqui is approximately four hours from the Southern Caribbean on the route to Arenal Volcano. Many ecotourists visit Sarapiqui not only for great wildlife experiences but also to break up the long drive to Arenal.

Turrialba is an off-the-beaten-path destination east of San Jose. The main draw is whitewater rafting on the Rio Pacuare, but this is also a volcanic area. Turrialba is between Irazu Volcano and the highly active Turrialba Volcano. Visitors are no longer permitted to visit Turrialba Volcano. Other attractions include canyoning and rappelling and the Guayabo National Monument. The monument is Costa Rica's most prominent ancient indigenous site with aqueducts, stone roads, and petroglyphs.

As you can see, the Southern Caribbean plays well with other destinations and can be an excellent addition to your vacation to Costa Rica. Start planning for the best hotels and activities today!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I visit?

Most visitors stay for three to five nights. It's a long drive from all other destinations, so you'll want to stay long enough to make it worth your travel time.

Is there a lot of crime in the Caribbean?

Unfortunately, crime is more prevalent on the Southern Caribbean than most tourist-geared towns on the Pacific coast. Most crime is easily preventable by leaving valuables locked up in hotel safes, not flashing money, and not walking or biking alone in unlit or poorly lit areas. We do not recommend walking around with expensive cameras or anything that could potentially make you a target. Never leave anything of value unattended on the beach.

When will I find the best prices?

May through August and November.

What is the weather like?

The Caribbean side of Costa Rica has opposite weather patterns than the Pacific coast. The best weather is typically in March, April, September, and October. Daytime temperatures are usually in the low 90s and night time temps are typically 15 degrees lower. No matter when you visit there is always a chance of rain on the Caribbean side so always be prepared with rain gear.

Which airport should I use?

Visitors to the Southern Caribbean should use San Jose Airport (SJO). Transfers usually take around four to five hours, so we recommend using an airport hotel between the airport and your Caribbean hotel.

Is the Caribbean a good fit for me?

While the Caribbean is a cool place for some, it’s far from perfect for others! Do NOT go to the Caribbean if you want to stay at an all-inclusive resort or large cookie-cutter chain resort. You won’t find anything like this on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. The Caribbean is very laid back, so don’t expect fast or even professional service in many situations. So if you’re somebody that expects or wants what you want when you want it, by all means, skip the Caribbean! When it rains, it pours. The Southern Caribbean receives a lot of rain, especially from November through the beginning of February and May through July. So in a nutshell, if you want gorgeous beaches, lush jungle, wildlife, and a laid-back vibe, and you’re open to basic lodging, unpredictable weather, and mediocre services, the Caribbean just may be a perfect addition to your vacation.

Where is Puerto Viejo?

Puerto Viejo is on the Southern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica in the Limon Province. From San Jose, head east on Rt. 32 to the city of Limon and then south on Rt. 36 along the coast until you reach Puerto Viejo. 

Location

Latitude: N 9°39'0.19". Longitude: W 83°15'48.42"

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