The beautiful Caribbean coast in Costa Rica

Its 6a and we're waiting for the bus to pick us up for river rafting and then we'll be dropped in san jose where Gina flies out and i head out on my own for the next week... We are so sad to leave samasati :-( lt seriously is an incredible place! We both highly highly (highly) recommend it - from incredible people, great yoga, hikes and unreal natural surroundings - we feel like we've done so much here, yet also done so little - truly just going with the moment and seeing where each day, each hour took us... We were saying how much slower time goes (in a good way!) when you're just enjoying the moment and somehow thru all the r&r we did still manage to see a ton in the surrounding coastal area! Here's a recap of places, people and spots we found that I so recommend for anyone traveling to Costa Rica's Caribbean region:

•The main town of Puerto Viejo happened to only be a ten minute car ride from our hotel so we ended up spending a good amount of time there :-) and, from endless jungles, white sand (& black sand!) beaches, crazy cool wild life and an eclectic mix of locals, surfers and tourists, it's good reason - Puerto Viejo is really probably one of the neatest beach towns I've ever visited!

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Known for its Reggae and island-influenced vibe, it's character, flavor and raw authenticity really is woven throughout this tiny beachfront town. Although always appearing to be hustling and bustling there's still something sleepy and serene about the place. It's people seem to have this same yin-yang dynamic with a seemingly simple life intertwined with a lively and fun aura...

•Spent one day on bikes going from pto viejo to the beautiful beaches of Punta Uva, about 7km from town, another five takes you to Manzanillo - we didn't end up going there but hear its beautiful too! If you do bike, walk toward the edge of puerto viejo before renting a bike bc they go from $20 in the centre of town to only $5 :-). But don't get me wrong you do get what you pay for...Our rusty bikes had probably seen their day-Gina's had only one functioning pedal, mine didn't brake and both were clicking and clanking the whole way! But, hey, They were only five bucks and got the job done ;-)

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•Watched surfers on the infamous pro-ridden waves of salsa bravo. This beach is in the middle of all the action so it's perfect to just lounge in the sand and observe the eclectic mix of local merchants, laid-back hippies, crazy surfers and wandering tourists. If you get hot go to Salsa Bravo bar/restaurant and have Andres make you a 'Guaro' - the local specialty-, but be warned I'm told they cause wicked hangovers ;-)

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•We had the best ceviche and mojitos (i mean really the best) in town at The beach Hut Garden Lounge. Ceviche was served with super fresh red snapper, homemade chips and yum-yum-yum guacamole! If you go make sure you ask for Funky (super sweet Venezuelan who moved here 8 months ago and now runs the restaurant with his sis and brother-in-law) who will make you a super delish mojito and promise you it's free if you don't like...I really doubt that'll happen though as I'm sure you'll love it :)

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•In the midst of Caribbean jerked chicken, fried fish tacos and copious amounts of rice and beans sits one of the best raw/vegan cafes I've been to! Veronica's Place is family run by Veronica Gordon Crooke, her husband and their son Demarc. This place was just so dang cute and with my apparent radar for all things raw & vegan, I spotted it instantly as we were walking on the main drag in Puerto Viejo. There's a little fenced garden courtyard as you enter to go up the stairs to the 2nd floor open-air cafe - seriously so cute & the food delicious, fresh & light for a hot humid day! Try the aloe & noni juice, raw veggie wrap and plantain ceviche! I'll post more on this place later....

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In the meantime we're off to raft the Rio Pacuare!!!

PURA VIDA!!!! (ok i know I may start overusing it, but i'm going to be cheezy and indulge myself right now in thinking i'm a local :-))

travelJamie Wagener