A few days in paradise: vacations in the province of lemon

Sunday, August 21, 2022 | 6:00 a.m.

From time to time, everyone dreams of taking a getaway to the Caribbean, but for thousands of reasons, sometimes that trip remains just vague ideas. The one who had the opportunity to meet him was Alba, who also knows that she will return because her family decided to choose Costa Rica as her place of residence. “I want everyone to know because the place is very beautiful and the people are very good,” said the traveler who was going to enjoy a moment on the beach every day that she was on the trip.

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, a small town in the province of Limón, the heart of travelers who came to this distant and at the same time hospitable place in search of waves, good times and an area in which to enjoy the pure life of Costa Rica . This is the destination chosen to live by the relatives of Alba Brandt, a town surrounded by beautiful beaches where you can surf and relax with the swing of a hammock, although the main attraction is to explore the natural environment that surrounds this fishing village such as the National Park of Cahuita.

The beach is the meeting and entertainment center for locals and tourists.

The Cahuita National Park, one of the best National Parks in Costa Rica, is characterized by its Coastal Path, an 8-kilometer path that practically borders the entire coastal area, passing through dreamlike beaches. In addition, this park is located in an environment of great natural wealth, which largely ensures the sighting of animals such as the sloth bear, the coati, several species of monkey and the basilisk, among many others.

“Costa Rica has a very extraordinary beauty because it is like a virgin forest and where I went is in the small town of Puerto Viejo, I traveled five hours to get there from San José, Costa Rica,” Alba recalled, adding that “I never saw a beach that is jungle and beach. Besides, it was all hill, a jungle in the middle of the hill. It is also a jungle with many animals, in the window of my daughter’s house you could see how the monkeys were going from one side to the other but they did not get close, they were quite high up, the one I did find on the street was the sloth. They also had a zoo with the animals from that place.”

Spending a lot of time on the beach was one of the favorite activities of the visitor and among those she met were Kokles, Playa chiquita, Punta Uva, Arrecifes, Playa Negra, Playa Grande, Manzanillo, Cahuita (the last two are national parks). She also took a few days to visit the neighboring country of Panama, where Bocas del Toro was the stop, which she described as a natural environment similar to that of Costa Rica. “It is forty-some kilometers from Costa Rica, I went to the beaches for two days, which are beautiful. I snorkeled there, I could see all the little colored fish, they were blue, orange, beautiful. But I also did that on the reef, ”she highlighted.

If Bocas del Toro is the Caribbean part of Panama, Puerto Viejo maintains the same surfing and reggae atmosphere that Bocas had. Something that caught Alba’s attention was the tranquility of the residents, which generated a harmony that was transformed into tranquility and the desire to never leave again. The respect for nature was evident and that is why all of Costa Rica has much to offer.

“There is a lot of respect for animals and plants, including insects. People are very simple. There is a lot of tourism but everything is like freer, it’s another kind of life, another kind of food, the people who live there in Puerto Viejo are Afro-descendants and had long dreadlocks, that was quite common and also that they are all very mystical. The center is very nice and very picturesque. The houses are Caribbean, there are no ostentatious houses or hotels, there was even a hotel that had straw on the roof. There are many hotels and hostels and it seemed that they were inside the vegetation. The tourists who arrive are not looking for “fashion” but rest and nature”.

Crystal clear waters, white sands and infinite skies crown the landscape.

Another situation highlighted by Alba is the fact that ethnic differences go unnoticed “they make no difference or discrimination. That place is approximately 50 years old, it is very new, there were those who live there along with the Europeans who settled there”. The variety of nationalities that visit Puerto Viejo stands out, giving the place a very cosmopolitan atmosphere, and an interesting cultural diversity.

Most of the shops, restaurants and nightlife venues are concentrated on the main street of Puerto Viejo, many of them with live music every night, supermarkets and others. “It seemed to me that there was very little nightlife, restaurants closed early, people ate and left. What they do dance on the beach and make fire, they meet a lot in the houses. Old town has its center, a pedestrian street, it’s tiny”.

In relation to the local gastronomy, Alba recalled that the dishes were very varied and colorful, with a lot to choose from. “The food is totally different, they eat a lot of beans, like feijoada. It comes very assorted on a plate and there is a lot of variety of food. They eat a lot of banana, a lot of fish and a lot of spicy food. They do not have livestock but they are producers of cocoa and coffee, there are also many banana plantations, there are even on the sidewalk of any house, it is like a plague”.

The Afro-Caribbean rhythm is present in practically every corner and it is something that is perceived upon arrival. It is not necessary to think too much and only, pay attention to the senses and do what they ask at each moment. Only in this way will it be possible to live, enjoy and feel everything that this fascinating and magical place can offer.

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