Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is a coastal town in the Talamanca Canton in Limón Province. The town is located in southeastern Costa Rica. Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is known simply as Puerto Viejo to locals. A town in northeastern Costa Rica is also commonly known as Puerto Viejo; this fact can confuse visitors. Buses leaving the same San José terminal for either Puerto Viejo will simply display the destination "Puerto Viejo".
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is a popular destination for all types of tourists. It is known worldwide in the surfing community for the biggest and most powerful wave in Costa Rica, known as: "Salsa Brava". It is also home to beautiful beaches, such as Playa Chiquita and Punta Uva, which are a couple of Costa Rica's most spectacular beaches which can be found between Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo. Manzanillo is a popular location for kayaking and is 13 km (8 mi) south along the beach.
Many tourists stop in Puerto Viejo en route to the Panamanian border at Sixaola. This border crossing is popular with people going to/from Bocas del Toro. Puerto Viejo offers the closest accommodations, restaurants, and services to the border. The small border towns of Sixaola and Guabito, Panama are 49 km (30 mi) south of Puerto Viejo. The border towns have no accommodations or restaurants. Tourists need only stop at Costa Rican and Panamanian customs. Changuinola, Panama offers accommodations, restaurants, and services about 10 km (6 mi) away from the border.
The townspeople are made up of Ticos and Ticas (native Costa Ricans), a substantial Jamaican population, as well as a number of Europeans who have emigrated to the area.
The outskirts of town and the mountains are home to the Bribri Indians. The famous Howler monkey is native to the region.
Puerto Viejo has a tropical climate. Temperatures remain consistent during the year. Sunrise and sunset change very little during the year (about 6:00 AM and 6:00 PM, respectively). Limón International Airport is near by and has similar average temperatures and precipitation.