Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, just north of the border with Panama. It is considered a surfer haven with loads of big, rolling waves. It is a small town, well off the beaten tourist route.
I stayed at El Escape Caribena. It is about a 15 minute walk from town. The accommodations were lovely, with beautiful grounds. It was well kept and clean, with a hammock hanging in front of each room.
The town of Puerto Viejo is very small and it doesn't take very long to explore. Not too far away is the Gandoca-Manzanillo Reserve which can be reached by taking a public bus which stops in front of the hotel. (Be aware, though, that the bus leaves VERY early).
There is also a botanical garden that is about a 30 minute walk on the other side of town. I headed there and found a lovely garden that I was able to tour on my own with a brochure, made even easier by the well labeled plants.
A 15 minute walk from the hotel, in the direction away from town, brings you to the beach. With warm water, breaking waves and a hard sandy bottom, it is a great beach. And for an afternoon snack, you can head to the restaurant right across the street for one of their delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies.
For a midday light lunch, an excellent option is Pan Pay (try their chocolate croissants) and for typical Costa Rican food, the soda Miss Sam can't be beat.