We are nearing the end of our week in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica so we thought we’d recap what we’ve seen so far.
Day 4 – Renting Bikes & a Chocolate Tour
Everyone around here scoots around on backbreaking bikes
with baskets so we thought we would join in. Heads up – the breaks for these bikes are used by peddling backwards. It takes some getting used to. And as we still haven’t really figured out the rules for intersections between cars, bikes, and pedestrians you’ll want to be cautious (Clair: “Soooo, these bikes don’t come with helmets?” There are many places to rent bikes in town, but be sure to inquire about price and deposit before committing. Some places required either a $100.00 USD deposit or leaving a passport behind. The one we found didn’t require anything. Rolling out with our sweet looking rides, we headed further down the coast to Playa Cocles (Beach Break). We found a little coffee and chocolate shop called the Caribeans. They harvest their own coffee and cacao beans, and host chocolate tours daily. We were a little skeptical at first about doing the tour. It cost $50.00 USD/each, but wow… this is a must do activity if you ever make it down to Puerto Viejo!
Who knew chocolate had such an important and rich history?
Paul, our tour guide and part owner of Caribeans, was very interesting and laid back. Originally from Minnesota, he came to Costa Rica to house sit for a friend and never left. The land had been bought from a previous cocoa farmer but the trees hand been abandoned. With the knowledge and help of some local cocoa farmers, Paul was able to harvest the cocoa to make his own brand of chocolate (from bean to bar). Paul emphasizes the local workers to be crucial because they are the ones actually harvesting the cocoa . We really want to do our best to travel in a responsible and sustainable way and supporting a business like Caribean felt right. They are able to pay their workers not only for their work but for their unique knowledge that they bring to the table. According to Paul the average wage for cacao farmers around the world is around 0.58 cents a day. They never even get to taste the chocolate in which they are a huge part in producing.
Here are some pictures of the harvesting and chocolate making process from bean to bar.
Day 5 – Manzanillo/Punta Uva
We met two Canadians who recommended we check out a beach in Punta Uva (Grape Point) a short bike ride away. We initially missed the turn off to the beach an ended up all the way in Manzanillo which is 13 km away.
We set out our beach towels and took some photos but didn’t stay too long. It was really crowded and the
town and beach were a little run down. We also still wanted to find the beach at Punta Uva. What a spectacular beach and day. We are both super sun burnt and happy.
Now off to work on Clair’s walking handstand!