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Playa Cocles: surf and views of the Caribbean from the viewpoint

Are you in Puerto Viejo (Costa Rica) and want to surf in the Caribbean? Playa Cocles offers you the indicated waves and a nice viewpoint to observe the coast of Limón

I tell you what Playa Cocles is like, how to get there, where the viewpoint is, where to stay and what to do in Puerto Viejo

Best Travel insurance for Costa Rica

Here is what you will find:

Cocles beach in Puerto Viejo (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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When browsing the internet during your trip, it is essential to use a 👉 QUALITY VPN to ensure your privacy and security. Additionally, bringing a ⭐ TRAVEL DEBIT CARD will help you avoid issues with carrying cash and reduce the risk of theft.

Playa Cocles (Costa Rica) is a meeting point for surfing in Puerto Viejo or simply for travelers who want to enjoy a quiet day at the beach.

If you are not interested in surfing, it is also a nice beach to sunbathe and swim for a while; plus there are always street vendors selling homemade food (empanadas, alfajores, etc.) and coconuts, and it’s easy to buy something to snack on if you get hungry.

Don’t imagine an overwhelming and touristy environment, it’s quite the opposite: a long, long, long beach with a lot of sand, good shade, a nice viewpoint, palm trees, sloths and different kinds of monkeys, among them howler monkeys.

If you want to avoid the rains, let me tell you that the dry season is from December to April.

playa cocles costa rica surf caribe

Surfing at Cocles beach

One of the many charms of Costa Rica is surfing. On the Caribbean side of the coast, one of the best spots to learn and practice surfing is Playa Cocles.

Here the sea is not as calm as in the area of ​​Puerto Viejo and the waves they get bigger. If you don’t have your own board, you can rent it right there, as there are different people scattered around the beach who offer them.

If what you plan is to take your first steps in the world of surfing and you are looking for someone to teach you, surely by asking there they will tell you where to find an instructor.

Cocles beach viewpoint

If you are in Puerto Viejo you can take the opportunity to go and observe the views from the viewpoint that is located at the entrance of the beach (coming from Puerto Viejo).

You can get there by bus, bike or on foot. For me the best way is walking along the coast, it’s about 30-40 minutes from the town of Puerto Viejo and the landscape is precise.

This is what you will see before reaching Cocles beach (photo below). The beach is after the point (which is where the viewpoint is). 

playa cocles mirador costa rica

The path to go up to the viewpoint is also on the other side. To get there you will have to follow the main path all the way straight to the beach and there you turn left (you can’t get lost, it’s super easy to find it).

You walk and you will reach the viewpoint (it is all natural, no constructions). There are two levels where you can climb, the first is between the rocks and the second level is a bit more hidden and offers some very nice views.

You only have You have to climb a bit (more or less on the side of the next photo), keep walking and there you will see a trunk-bench where you can sit. It is a quiet corner where you can rest for a while and see all that area of ​​the Caribbean coast.

You can use the small islet you see in the image as a reference point: the viewpoint is right in front of and before Cocles beach.

How to get to Cocles beach

Below I will tell you how to get there from three different places: the town of Puerto Viejo, San José (the capital of Costa Rica) and Tortuguero

How to get to Cocles from Puerto Viejo

You have 3 options to get to Cocles beach from Puerto Viejo: by bus, bike or on foot.

By bus

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 the beach Cocles because otherwise it will pass by. The price of the journey from Puerto Viejo should not exceed 670 CRC.

The bus leaves in the direction of Manzanillo to go to Cocles from the main stop in Puerto Viejo, and you will get there easily since it is located in the center of town.


Cocles beach can be reached by taking a nice walk from Puerto Viejo (it takes about 40 minutes and everything is shaded). The landscape you will walk through is beautiful and you can see howler monkeys.

by bike

From Puerto Viejo, you can easily go by bike. The road is not lost, since you only have to follow the coastal road in the direction of Manzanillo. Keep in mind the weather, as Costa Rica can get very hot.

The cheapest bikes are around US$4 or US$5 a day, but don’t expect any wonders: these are somewhat old bikes and the gear change may not work properly.

How to get to Cocles from San José

The trip from San José is not a problem, and you can do it by bus or minibus. The journey takes a total of 4.5 to 5 hours to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Remember that if you stay in Cocles, you will have to take another bus to take you there when you arrive in Puerto Viejo.

If you want to go more calmly and save yourself the change of bus, you can choose to arrive by minibus.

👉 Check out the price of the minibus from San José to Puerto Viejo

Here you’ll find the detailed explanation of the trip from San José to Puerto Viejo, with extra information about the journey.

How to get to Cocles from Tortuguero

This is the most cumbersome route, since Tortuguero is isolated by road and can only be accessed by boat.

The most comfortable option is to go by minibus + boat. It is faster, since you save all the transfers you have to do if you go by bus and they take you directly to the agreed place.

👉 Price of boat + minibus from Tortuguero

If you decide to go by bus + boat, you will have to make different transfers until you reach Puerto Viejo, and from aññí one last transfer to Cocles.

I leave you all the steps to getting to Puerto Viejo from Tortuguero. Remember to go with time to spare!

Below is the map with the exact location of Playa Cocles:

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.

Waterproof windbreaker

vegan+ environment commitment

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.

👉 Price windbreaker for MAN and windbreaker for WOMAN

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.

👉 GOPRO 11 PRICE + specs

3-in-1 hiking shoes

vegan + environment commitment

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.

👉 Price shoes for MAN and for shoes for WOMAN

Where to stay in Puerto Viejo

When you visit Puerto Viejo, you can choose between quieter and more remote beaches; or the town that has more options and facilities.

Puerto Viejo

The town of Puerto Viejo is the main area and where you will find most hotels, beach bars, restaurants, bars, craft or food markets, clothing stores, an information point and supermarkets. 

If you want to stay here, I recommend that you look for an accommodation that is near the beach, since the views are prettier and it is safer to go see the sunset and if you want to have a drink at night.

Quieter beaches

If you prefer more relaxed places and want to get away from the people and the daily comings and goings, you also have the possibility of staying at Chiquita beach, Cocles beach and different points on the coastal highway that goes from Cahuita to Manzanillo.

Although there are not as many shops as in Puerto Viejo, on the main road you will find accommodation and some restaurants and small supermarkets.

Tours in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a country with a wide variety of fauna and nature. You can visit volcanoes, national parks, towering waterfalls, sunbathe at the beach, go kayaking,…

There are different TOURS and ACTIVITIES that you can do during your trip, so you can make the most of your stay:

What to do near Cocles beach

There are many things to do in the Puerto Viejo area and along the coast where Cocles Beach is located. I name some of them so you can get ideas:


Manzanillo is a natural park made up of different beaches where you can see dolphins, enjoy beaches virgins and you can even learn about the spawning of turtles.

The beaches are really beautiful, with palm trees full of coconuts, small secluded coves and kilometers of sand. It is an unmissable place and you should visit if you are in Talamanca. 

If you like aquatic life, you should know that the Manzanillo National Park has the best preserved coral reef on the Atlantic coast and is an ideal place to practice snorkeling and diving. Here you can observe sea turtles, manatees and dolphins in their natural habitat.

In addition, crocodiles and alligators also live in the interior area, although to see them I recommend that you hire a tour.


Playa Chiquita is a very quiet beach that receives much less tourism than Playa Cocles or Puerto Old; although it also has accommodation in case you want to spend a few days here.

The place is very calm and there are not many people walking around. The only time you’ll see more people is on the weekends, as they come to spend the day or have a picnic.

Playa Chiquita has the peculiarity that small natural pools are formed on its coast where the water is much calmer.

There are people who take advantage of it to go swimming with their children, since they can snorkel in the pools and bathe without worries. The beach is natural and has golden sand, and the water does not have strong waves. 

This beach is located near Punta Uva, Cocles and Manzanillo. If you plan a busier excursion and visit different beaches in the same day, you will be able to see both places without problems.


In the area of ​​Puerto Viejo there are two natural parks: the Cahuita National Park and Manzanillo, 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 formed by 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.

  1. 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.
  2. Before going on a tour that includes a meal, always mention that you are vegan or vegetarian, so that they can adapt the food.
  3. 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.

Have a great time at Cocles beach and make the most of your trip through Puerto Viejo and Costa Rica!

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