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Super Nervous.... Puerto Viejo

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Toronto, Canada
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Super Nervous.... Puerto Viejo

Hey everyone,

I've travelled quite a bit, and have gone solo a couple times.... but this trip to Costa Rica, I don't know why, but I've been feeling very indecisive and very nervous - which is unusual for me.

I've changed my hotels a bunch of times, changed my itinerary and now I've even changed a location.

Originally, I planned to stay the first night in San Jose because I arrive after 10 pm, then I found out that the SJO isn't actually in San Jose, so I cancelled my hotel and will likely go with the Holiday Inn Express or Hampton Inn....

Then I planned to do 3 nights in Arenal, then 3 nights in Tamarindo....

I chose Tamarindo because I am going to be alone and thought it would be a good place to socialize and there is more to do at night (which is usually the hard part for me travelling solo in the past, the nights were boring and lonely)...

But after reading about Tamarindo, I feel like maybe it's going to be too touristy and I should go to Puerto Viejo because I can still have the nightlife and a small town vibe, but it will be less touristy.

So I cancelled my reservations at the Mirador Tamarindo (that place looks amazing, maybe next time).... and since I'm going in February (next month), most hotels are booked but I was able to get 3 nights in VIP Playa Negra (I may extrend to 4 nights).... then I will end in San Jose

I'm just nervous because this is apparently a very remote place to stay, and at night, very dark... and I'm alone... and I really wanted to go out at night, to enjoy the live music or whatever socializing the town has to offer....

Is this location a bad choice? I know the reviews were mostly great but all mentioned the dark surroundings being a bit of a challenge at night... you can take a cab into town though and it's 10 blocks from the beach.

Im unfamiliar with this area, is there a better hotel I should go to? One that's closer to the action?

Or is this a good choice? As long as I take a cab at night.

I wish I wasn't feeling so nervous but I also think that being outside of my comfort zone is supposed to be good... so I can really gain something from this experience. I'm usually a city chick, I like to be able to get around by foot or transit.

Sorry for the long post.

Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: Super Nervous.... Puerto Viejo

First calm down all will be well. Playa Negra is north of town and isolated from nightlife so you'll need to take a cab after dark but that's pretty much true unless you stay right in town. I prefer to stay south of town where there are tons of lodging options is Playa Chiquita and Punta Cocles, alose to restaurants and not far from nightlife. The beaches to the south are much more attractive than the town itself. Check www.puertoviejosatellite.com for info and lodging options. Once you're there be sure and rent a bike to explore the beaches south of town all the way to Manzanillo.

Costa Rica
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2. Re: Super Nervous.... Puerto Viejo

I agree - Playa Chiquita and Punta Cocles would be a better choice, in my opinion.

Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: Super Nervous.... Puerto Viejo

Thanks for your reply... the Playa Chiquita is fuily booked. I think most of those hot spots are full, so I guess I can just stick to this location and do the cab thing...

I was just wondering about cab safety at night... 1) is it easy to catch a cab? (I've read there isn't much driving around there) 2) how do I know it's a safe cab driver? 3) do they tend to be available late at night?

how late do people usually hang out at night?

Punta Uva, Costa...
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4. Re: Super Nervous.... Puerto Viejo

Try checking out http://www.lacostadepapito.com/ in Playa Cocles area. Centrally located an very safe.

Costa Rica
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5. Re: Super Nervous.... Puerto Viejo

La Costa de Papito is a good option - but - not every place in Playa Chiquita is booked - just the Playa Chiquita Lodge -- there are other options.

Puerto Viejo de...
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6. Re: Super Nervous.... Puerto Viejo

I do believe that your original choice in Playa Negra might be a bit too isolated for a single traveller. Have you checked www.puertoviejosatellite.com for most accommodation options? Every restaurant and bar will be able to get you a taxi, just make sure you know the rates. My advice would be to not stay long after midnight, things tend to heat up a bit after 12. Just be cautious, don't drink too much and don't do drugs and you will be fine.

Toronto, Canada
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7. Re: Super Nervous.... Puerto Viejo

Thanks for the suggestions everyone, I've canceled this reservation and will find something else.

I think the issue was I was only looking up rooms through expedia and it doesn't list every option.

Thanks for the tip about the taxis too, I am a cautious person and definitely drug free :-)

I'll stick to the curfew then.

Puerto Viejo de...
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8. Re: Super Nervous.... Puerto Viejo

If you are a cautious person I am sure you will be able to assess the atmosphere and act accordingly, have a great time.

Toronto, Canada
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9. Re: Super Nervous.... Puerto Viejo

My coworker has been to Puerto Viejo and was chatting with me about it, so that talk along with the response here has already put me more at ease.

Thanks again for the help! I'm looking forward to this trip!

San Francisco
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10. Re: Super Nervous.... Puerto Viejo

This thread was really good for me to read. The replies on this forum, from people who know about the places in Costa Rica, are really super helpful - as is the respect afforded the original poster~ Nice!