The Nomad team was fortunate enough to take a little road trip to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica recently to explore this coast. Although this wasn’t our first time here, we were shocked by the change in climate, wildlife, culture, and flavor. Our home base here in the Guanacaste is a predictable sunny, dry tropical area, with a defined rainy season, while the Caribbean surprised us with high humidity, intermittent overcast skies, sudden downpours, and chilly nights! Trever was in search of waves at the well-known Salsa Brava, and the sea was churning with an energy that was also much different from the Pacific side.
We stayed in a secluded jungle cabin outside of Puerto Viejo, the perfect location for enjoying the shops and restaurants in town, and exploring the surrounding beaches of Punta Uva and Manzanillo, where we watched a local fisherman reel in and release a manta ray who bit his line. We also visited a local wildlife rescue center (www.jaguarrescue.com) where we took an amazing guided tour and got to see sloths, wildcats, tropical birds and owls, snakes, monkeys, crocodiles and more – up close and personal. The center rescues injured animals and rehabilitates them until they are ready to be released into the wild. The founders and volunteers are extremely knowledgeable and caring, and all the money they earn from tours goes directly back to the care of the animals. We would definitely recommend visiting and supporting this foundation if you are in the area.
If you are a fan of good food and music, we’d say Puerto Viejo is the top place to visit in Costa Rica. The Caribbean flavor infuses the cooking with coconut milk and spices, and the reggae beats are ever-present. After spending so much time in the Guanacaste, it was a nice change for our senses to experience the sights, sounds, tastes, and feel of the Caribe! We will definitely be using this flavor for inspiration in our designs.