Costa Rica is a shutter bug’s dream come true, and on the Caribbean coast the raw beauty of the landscape elicits gasp effects even from seasoned travelers. From Cahuita to Manzanillo, there are numerous view points worth seeking out and pausing to savor. While you’re taking in the views, expect to witness wildlife like you’ve never seen and encounter a warm community of people from all corners of the globe, especially in Puerto Viejo de Limon, the most colorful enclave in the region.
Playa Negra beach. A rusted banana barge sits just off shore, a symbolic landmark that highlights the entrance to the town of Puerto Viejo. Black sand stretches north towards Cahuita, and a variety of colorful birds frequent the trees that line this beach.
Salsa Brava. For the sunsets, for the surf, and for the scene, this tiny elbow of coral reef is picturesque in every way, shape and form. The best views are from the shore, looking either direction, at any time of day or dusk. Find it south of the town center just past the Lazy Mon, which also boasts some of the best views in Puerto Viejo at sunset.
Manzanillo Gandoca Wildlife Refuge is exotic to say the least, and brimming with views. Not only does Manzanillo encompass 10km of stellar coastline, but rare habitats such as the only intact mangrove swamp in the Atlantic. This is the nesting area for several species of turtles, manatees, crocodiles, caimans, tarpons, dolphins, eagles, pelicans, and toucans, among hundreds of others. For the best views, hire a guide to take you inside, where you’ll hike little-trod paths through virgin rainforest and discover the best vantage point of the majestic rock that defines the coastline of Manzanillo. The best time to visit this refuge is between March and April and from September to October, which are considered drier months.
Photo: Flickr epha
Along the road, you’ll find views to take your breath away nearly every step of the way. The bridge over Rio Cocles is one such place.