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What to Do in Costa Rica, from Surfing to Soul Food

Make the most of your trip to the undiscovered Caribbean coast with these activities.

Lidia’s Place

01 Two blocks inland from the bustle of Puerto Viejo’s main street, Lidia’s Place is the go-to for Caribbean soul food, with a menu of heaping casados, including the local favourite: fresh red snapper topped with housemade salsa. (506-2750-0598)

Cahuita National Park

02 Walk a coastal trail around the Cahuita National Park, 1,067 hectares of coastal forest, wetlands and protected coral reefs. Say hello to howler and capuchin monkeys, Swainson’s toucans, green ibis, sloths and caimans.

03 See and hear mealtime for macaws during feeding hour for flocks of these endangered tropical birds at the Manzanillo Great Green Macaw Reintroduction Station. Call ahead to arrange a visit. (; 506-8971-1436)

Luluberlu Art Gallery

04 At Luluberlu Art Gallery in Puerto Viejo, Belgian-born Natacha Nokin curates a collection of her own mosaics, lamps and bikinis as well as paintings by local and nationally renowned artists, such as Adrian Gomez. (506-2750-0394)

05 Misael Avalos, who’s been surfing Playa Cocles and Salsa Brava since he was a kid, shares his knowledge with custom lessons at Surf the Jungle. (

06 From cacao bean harvest to finished fair-trade chocolate, immerse yourself in the chocolate-making process with the Chocolate Forest Experience Tour run by Jeff Ghiotto. (

Where to Stay

Tree House Lodge

Tree House Lodge is a complex of five private suites, each a unique blend of art and tropical luxury, surrounded by a botanical garden within a leafy 10-acre property next to secluded Playa Punta Uva. The Crystal House has walls made of glass bottles and an indoor minigolf course set around a massive sangrillo tree.



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