On April 15th, Dwight and I headed out on a four-and-a-half-hour drive from Asserí, San Jose, Costa Rica to Puerto Viejo. Here are the deets:
The Drive. So, when I say we drove, I should say, Dwight drove. I wouldn’t drive five hours in this country to save my life. Driving here is like riding a rollercoaster, while playing one of those driving video games where you’re dodging people, cars, roosters, and dogs, except you legit may fall off a cliff if you’re not careful. On this day, it rained from the time we left at 10:30 AM until the time we arrived, around six o’clock. If you’re paying attention, you’ll remember I said it was a four-and-a-half-hour drive. Well, what happened is Ruta 32, the easiest way there, was closed, so we had to take an alternate route up, down, and around a mountain. Then, we were stuck on the side of a mountain for at least an hour due to a mudslide, and because it was raining, we drove well below the speed limit, so we wouldn’t die.
But the drive was worth it!
The Hotel. I booked a couple nights at Le Cameleon Boutique Hotel. When we arrived, the concierge/receptionist was ready to complete our check-in, schedule us for the following day’s breakfast, add an afternoon massage, and walk us to our room, which was fabulous. The rooms have an all-white theme: white walls, bedding, furniture, and art, so it’s very streamlined and clean looking. From the patio, you can see what looks like a jungle. I’m not sure if this hotel was built around what used to be the jungle or if they built a replica of a jungle; either way, it’s pretty dope. Birds, insects, and other animals live here.
The Beach. Puerto Viejo is off the Caribbean Sea. And if you know me personally, or follow me on Instagram, then you know I love a good beach; however, all beaches are not created equally. While it was nice to put my feet in the water and to see a bit of black sand, this part of the sea isn’t meant for swimming. It’s way too choppy and you will literally risk your life going out there. Dwight and I walked around and took a few photos, instead.
The pools made up for the lack of beach time.
The Pools. Le Cameleon has two pools. Dwight and I first hung out at the one nearest our room, mainly because there was a jacuzzi. But there was a spider swimming for his life in there (because again, it’s like we were in the jungle), so we left because it was a bit distracting. The pool near the hotel restaurant was much nicer. It was chic and had one of those lounge chairs where you’re sitting in the chair and in the pool water simultaneously, and on top of that, the beach was about fifty feet away. This was so relaxing to me that I almost fell asleep.
The Massage. The massage I scheduled for us was quite unique. We met our masseurs at the reception area. One was named Laura and she spoke fluent English, so we held a brief conversation. She walked us up some stairs into what felt like a treehouse situation. It was open, as in there was a panoramic-type window facing the rest of the jungle and there was no door. I just want to be clear here. I felt like we had a massage inside a hut. Anywho, we did all the regular massage stuff. But you know how in your hometown, they may turn on some relaxing nature music? Well, she didn’t have to because we could hear actual nature sounds. That was pretty cool.
Overall, Puerto Viejo was nice. I haven’t talked much about the town itself because it is reminiscent of many island/beach cities. No offense to anyone from the islands; I realize each place has a distinct personality. Also, we could’ve done other things, like take a tour of the Bribri tribe to see how they live, but the idea didn’t sit well with me. It reminded me of when tourist take photos with the Maasai tribe…it always looks a bit colonialist and exploitative to me.
Until next time, ya’ll ✌🏽