Are you going to visit Puerto Viejo (Costa Rica), and want to enjoy the beach or snorkel in the natural pools of playa Chiquita (Limón)?
In this article I tell you what playa Chiquita is like, how to get there and what to visit nearby
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What is PLAYA CHIQUITA like (Costa Rica)
If you are planning a trip to Costa Rica (👉COSTA RICA GUIDE), you should know that it is a country characterized by the beauty of its beaches, mountains, volcanoes and the diversity of its wildlife.
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Playa Chiquita (Costa Rica) is located on the way to Manzanillo National Park in the province of Limón. In this stretch of the Caribbean coast there are small paradisiacal corners that will delight any traveler.
As you can see from the photos, the beach is very natural and wild, and you can easily find fallen logs and trees growing freely. The sand is golden in color and the water looks light blue during the day, it is also very clean and very well preserved.
It is a very suitable beach to go with children (and, depending on when you go, your children will surely make new friends), since small natural pools form and the water is very calm, transparent and shallow. In this way children can have fun safely.
During the weekends it gets a bit crowded, but in general it is a very quiet beach. If you decide to go during the week, you may have the beach to yourself and see someone on time.
snorkeling in the natural pools
If you are thinking of visiting Playa Chiquita, don’t forget to bring your snorkel goggles, since, if the water is calm and clear, you can see fish in the natural pools that are created between the rocks.
The aquatic fauna that is easiest to observe are zebrafish, needle fish, blue parrot fish, anemones, sea urchins, and some large white fish that search through the sand and I don’t know what they are called 🙂
If you are interested in snorkeling or scuba diving, you should know that in the Manzanillo National Park you will find the best preserved coral reef on the Atlantic coast. This reef is located in front of Punta Uva, Punta Manzanillo and Punta Mona, and you can see dolphins, turtles and manatees.
Accomodation in playa chiquita
The main town in the area is Puerto Viejo. This is where most of the hotels, restaurants, bars, craft or food markets, clothing stores, an information point and supermarkets are located.
If you prefer quieter places, you also have the possibility of staying at Chiquita beach, and escape from the people and the daily comings and goings. Although there are not as many shops as in Puerto Viejo, on the main road you will find some restaurants and a supermarket.
Playa Chiquita is very close to the main road and in the middle of the most important attractions:
- On one side you have Punta Uva, the Manzanillo National Park and Gandoca
- and on the other Puerto Viejo, the Cahuita and Cocles National Park. This last beach is known for being one of the places on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica where you can learn to surf.
If you are in Puerto Viejo and you like relaxed places, I recommend you visit Punta Mona (in the Manzanillo park) and go to the Punta Uva viewpoint (the views are beautiful).
Tours & activities in Costa Rica
In Costa Rica there are many different activities to do and new things to do. Most of the tourism spins around its nature and fauna, since it is a country with unspoiled and incredible natural spaces.
Below, you will find a list of the tours and activities that you can do during your stay:
How to get to Playa Chiquita
There are 3 main places from which to go to Playa Chiquita: from the closest main town (Puerto Viejo), from the Capital of Costa Rica (San José), or from one of the main tourist attractions in the area (Tortuguero).
I tell you how to get there from the 3 options:
How to get to playa Chiquita from Puerto Viejo
The beach is well connected by bus, although you have to ask for a stop or tell the driver that you want to get off at Chiquita beach because otherwise it will pass you by. The price of the journey from Puerto Viejo is 670 CRC.
Whether you go by car (there is no parking on the beach) or by bus, the main road is about a 10-minute walk away along a path that is easy to follow and that you will find at first sight.
How to get to playa Chiquita from San José
The trip from San José is not a problem, and you can do it by bus or minibus. The journey takes 4.5 to 5 hours to Puerto Viejo, and then you will have to take another bus to take you to your destination (in the case of the minibus, it takes you directly).
Here you’ll find an explanation step by step of the trip from San José to Puerto Viejo, with extra information about the journey.
How to get to playa Chiquita from Tortuguero
This is the most cumbersome route of the 3, since Tortuguero is isolated by road and can only be accessed by boat. After getting off the ship, you can choose between going by bus or minibus:
– If you decide to go by bus, you will have to make different transfers until you reach Puerto Viejo, and then take a last bus to Playa Chiquita (it is not the most comfortable option). Here you’ll find all the steps to get to Puerto Viejo from Tortuguero. Remember to go with time to spare!
– The other option is to go by minibus. It is more comfortable, since you save all the transfers you have to make if you go by bus and they take you directly to the agreed place.
👉 Boat + minibús prices from Tortuguero
Here is the map with the exact location of Playa Chiquita:
Useful stuff for your trip to Costa Rica
Below, you will find some products that will be very useful during your trip to Costa Rica.
In addition, the options that I recommend are committed to the environment/social causes and are vegan.
Carrying a waterproof windbreaker in your suitcase is essential in case temperatures drop, it rains unexpectedly, or to go hiking.
When traveling, it’s important to choose a jacket that is lightweight, takes up little space and that you can use in different situations; that is to say, that transpires, is waterproof and has a hood to protect you properly from bad weather.
Gopro 11 Black
The GOPRO 11 (👉 PRICE) is a great choice if you are visiting natural areas, practicing adventure sports or want to make videos underwater, e.g. while scuba diving or snorkeling.
In addition, with its stabilization and Horizon Lock function, it will allow you to make incredibly stable videos even in adverse situations (such as walking, running or riding a motorcycle). In addition, it comes with an amazing 5.3k image quality.
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3-in-1 hiking shoes
These La Sportiva shoes are designed to run in the mountains, thanks to this you can use them for hiking, go out to run and do tourism ; saving space in your suitcase.
They are made with goretex, which means they protect you from the inclement weather weather (such as rain, ice or cold) and are adherent to the ground. This makes them ideal for traveling due to their versatility.
What to do near Playa Chiquita
Playa Chiquita is located in a coastal area, but that is not limiting; since there are many activities and places that you can do in the surroundings.
I list some of the most important or that have more diversity of options:
Punta Uva is very close to Chiquita beach and can be reached on foot. It is a virgin beach where you can snorkel and scuba dive, although the fun does not end here.
Right on the beach you can rent a kayak to take a tour of the lagoon and, with a bit of luck, you will see crocodiles! In addition, Punta Uva has a beautiful viewpoint from where you can see a beautiful view of the Caribbean coast.
Playa Negra is located in the town of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, and differs from the other beaches in the area due to the dark color of its sand. It is a very long beach (more than 10 km) and quiet, which makes it a good place to go running.
Another curious aspect of this place is the ship that has been stranded on the shore for years. You will be able to snorkel and see some small fish, since over time a small reef has been formed.
If you are interested in surfing or want to learn this sport, the waves of Playa Negra are ideal for beginners, and groups of people gather next to the sunken ship (either independently or as part of courses with an instructor).
Cahuita National Park
In the Puerto Viejo area there are two natural parks: the Cahuita and Manzanillo National Parks, and both are well worth visiting.
A very peculiar characteristic of Cahuita is that it has coral beaches, that is, instead of sand, the beach is made up of white pieces of coral that accumulate on the shore. This is because the coral reef found on its shores is one of the most developed in the Caribbean.
If you like snorkeling, know that in Cahuita you will be able to observe beautiful aquatic life. The reef is a bit far from the beach, and you will have to get there by boat. Although it is not a problem, since in the park itself you will find people who will offer to take you (for a fee).
Is Costa Rica SAFE to Travel?
Costa Rica is a moderately dangerous country, where nothing should happen to you if you go carefully and take precautions. Remember to follow these recommendations:
- In case of robbery, do not resist physically.
- Do not show a high purchasing power, that is, do not go with jewels, bags, etc … that are expensive.
- Be careful if you go out at night, and stay in crowded places where you are surrounded by other people.
- Thefts are usual, so don’t go with the camera or mobile in your hand or hang out of your neck.
- Try to avoid carrying the backpack on the back. Put it in front of you, or use a belt pouch or a cross bag.
Personally, I spent 3 months traveling alone in Costa Rica (I visited San José, Puerto Viejo, Tortuguero, Dominical, Uvita, Bay Drake and Puerto Jiménez) and I did not find myself in any really serious situation.
Going down the street with the camera, several Costa Rican people approached and warned me that they were carefully with robberies, since they told me that they are very frequent.
In my case, during the trip they tried to steal 2 times and, luckily, I realized on time and I could avoid it. In any case, it is always a good idea to have travel insurance (👉5% discount) that can compensate you financially and help you if a medical emergency occurs.
If you are interested in traveling alone, I recommend this article about the reasons and benefits of traveling alone and this other article with tips for traveling alone being a woman. I encourage you to try it since it is a great and very profitable experience for oneself.
Eating VEGAN in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is not a country faced with vegan food. Anyway, they have some traditional dishes that are vegan or that you can ask without egg or sauces such as the pico of rooster (rice with beans for breakfast), black bean soup or rice with vegetables.
You should always ask if the purés or soups are made with some type of dairy product or meat broth, since at first glance they might seem vegan dishes but not be.
In San José you can find some vegan restaurants, but when you leave the capital the offer is very limited or non -existent. Next, I make three recommendations and in this link you can read tips to travel vegan.
- Try to stay in hotels that are characterized by cooking vegan and vegetarian dishes. This is the best option and the most practical for not having to be looking for places where to eat comfortable without always repeating the same dishes.
- Before going on a tour that includes a meal, always mention that you are vegan or vegetarian, so that they can adapt the food.
- Costa Rica is a country where you can find a variety of fresh products (fruits and vegetables) to prepare salads and breakfast with fruits. In any city or town, you will easily find some supermarket or stalls on the street where you can buy groceries.
I hope you enjoy your visit to Playa Chiquita to the fullest, and have a great time getting to know the beaches of Puerto Viejo!