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Puerto Viejo: Home of Reggaeton, Sloths, and the Caribbean

After a long and rainy week of classes in San José, there is no place I would rather go than to the beach to lay in the sun, see some wildlife, and relax. Luckily for me, without even so much as thinking about it, that was my destination this past weekend. Without the tedious task of planning a weekend trip (picking a destination, figuring out transportation, finding a place to stay, etc.), we had an awesome excursion planned for us by CEA to Puerto Viejo.
 The Costa Rican Caribbean.

Puerto Viejo is a vibrant coastal town that is heavily influenced by its location along the Caribbean. This town highlights the more eccentric side of Costa Rica. Puerto Viejo definitely has a specific cultural allure unlike other places in Costa Rica. The locals there are extremely friendly and laid back. Many spend most of their days at the beach surfing. The beaches near Puerto Viejo are beautiful with soft sand and clear water. Puerto Viejo is perfect for surfing, snorkeling, and exploring.

The CEA crew left San José right after classes on Friday afternoon and it was about a 5-hour drive to our destination. We had the evening to walk around and get acquainted with Puerto Viejo. The next morning a bunch of us decided to rent bikes and ride along the coast to see all the different beaches. We spent the whole day beach hopping. My favorite two beaches were Playa Chiquita and Punta Uva. They were absolutely beautiful, and so different from the other beaches that I have already visited on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. All the beaches that we visited were scattered with local surfers that were really talented and cool to sit and watch. For dinner, we went to a small restaurant on the beach and had fresh and local seafood.

 Meet Johnny Depp the sloth.

Before heading back to San José on Sunday, CEA took us to the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica. This was especially exciting for me because seeing sloths (especially up close) was definitely on my “Costa Rica Bucket List”. We were able to see both adult and baby sloths. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and extremely passionate about the work that the sanctuary does for the sloths. The tour was really interesting because I honestly did not know much about sloths before, and now I realize that they are very unique animals that are largely misunderstood. They are also incredibly cute!

As much as I love San José, it is always seems so hard to return after a weekend away. Everywhere I have been in Costa Rica is so beautiful, fun, and different from my previous travels abroad. I fall in love with each new destination in this vibrant country, and Puerto Viejo was no exception. I have so many great memories from Puerto Viejo, and I’m so lucky that I had the opportunity to travel to this cool place with CEA. I hope I make it back there soon!

 Pura Vida: that's the goal.

Peyton Black is the CEA MOJO in San José, Costa Rica. She is currently a Junior at College of Charleston.

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