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Expat Exchange - 7 Tips for Living in Puerto Viejo 2024
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Playa Cocles near Puerto Viejo on Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast


7 Tips for Living in Puerto Viejo

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Mondly by Pearson
Mondly by Pearson

Summary: Advice for people moving to Puerto Viejo or thinking about moving there.

This is a must read if you're moving to Puerto Viejo or thinking about moving there.

Living as an expat or digital nomad in Puerto Viejo can be an exciting adventure. This vibrant town offers a unique blend of cultures, stunning natural beauty, and a relaxed lifestyle. However, to make the most of your time in Puerto Viejo, it's important to understand the local customs, lifestyle, and opportunities. Here are seven key tips to help you navigate life in this beautiful coastal town.

1. Embrace the Pura Vida Lifestyle

The phrase 'Pura Vida' or 'Pure Life' is more than just a saying in Costa Rica, it's a way of life. It's about appreciating the simple things, living stress-free, and being grateful for what you have. As an expat or digital nomad, embracing this lifestyle can help you fit in with the locals and truly enjoy your time in Puerto Viejo. This might mean slowing down your pace, taking time to enjoy the natural beauty around you, or simply taking a moment to chat with a local.

2. Learn Some Spanish

While many locals in Puerto Viejo speak English, learning some Spanish can greatly enhance your experience. Not only will it make daily tasks like shopping or ordering food easier, but it will also open up opportunities for deeper connections with the locals. Plus, it shows respect for the local culture and can lead to more authentic experiences.

3. Explore the Local Cuisine

Puerto Viejo offers a diverse range of dining options, from traditional Costa Rican cuisine to international fare. Some popular local restaurants include Soda Tamara for traditional Costa Rican food, Madre Tierra for vegan options, and Koki Beach for a fusion of international and local dishes. Trying out these local eateries not only gives you a taste of the local cuisine but also supports local businesses.

4. Get to Know the Different Neighborhoods

Puerto Viejo is made up of several neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm. The town center is bustling with shops, restaurants, and nightlife, while the Playa Negra neighborhood offers a quieter, more residential feel. Cocles, on the other hand, is known for its beautiful beaches and surf culture. Spend some time exploring each neighborhood to find the one that suits your lifestyle and preferences best.

5. Enjoy the Natural Beauty

Puerto Viejo is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, from its pristine beaches to its lush rainforests. The Cahuita National Park and the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge are must-visit spots for nature lovers. Whether you enjoy hiking, bird watching, or simply relaxing on the beach, make sure to take time to appreciate the natural beauty of Puerto Viejo.

6. Be Aware of Safety

While Puerto Viejo is generally a safe town, like any place, it's important to take precautions. Be aware of your surroundings, especially at night, and keep your belongings secure. It's also a good idea to familiarize yourself with local emergency numbers and the location of the nearest hospital or clinic.

7. Get Involved in the Community

One of the best ways to feel at home in Puerto Viejo is to get involved in the local community. This could mean participating in local events, joining a local club or group, or volunteering. Research groups that align with your interests and get involved. Not only will this help you make connections, but it will also give you a deeper understanding of the local culture and community.

Living in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica as an expat or digital nomad can be a rewarding and enriching experience. By embracing the local lifestyle, learning some Spanish, exploring the local cuisine and neighborhoods, appreciating the natural beauty, staying safe, and getting involved in the community, you can make the most of your time in this beautiful coastal town.

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RelocateNow Costa RicaRelocateNow Costa Rica

RelocateNow Costa Rica's clients who run through the RelocateNow Program get quick results in formulating and successfully executing our laid out plan for moving to Costa Rica! Expert consulting for future expats in Costa Rica who wish to fast track the process of their move by receiving the specialized information they need, trustworthy connections within the country, and high level 1:1 support through the entire process.
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Click connect to have our partner contact you via e-mail and/or phone.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


Mondly by Pearson
Mondly by Pearson

Mondly by Pearson
Mondly by Pearson

Playa Cocles near Puerto Viejo on Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast

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