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Cariblue Hotel 3.0

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Province of Limon, Costa Rica

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Review Summary

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  • Sprawling jungle grounds directly across from the foliage-lined Playa Cocles beach
  • Five-minute drive to Puerto Viejo town centre
  • Main pool is large with it's own swim-up bar and plenty of lounge space
  • Bungalows, rooms, and apartments are spacious and clean
  • Free diverse breakfast buffet with omelette station
  • Sole Luna Restaurant and Totem Beach Bar and Restaurant
  • Bike and surf gear rental is available
  • Easy to spot many animals like sloths and butterflies
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout
  • Free fruity beverages offered upon check-in
  • Security checkpoint prior to entry maintains safe, guest-only grounds


  • Bungalows are dimly lit
  • Ocean may be ideal for surfing but rough for swimming
  • Wi-Fi is spotty and is strongest in lobby

Bottom Line

One of the larger mid-range properties in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, the sprawling 45-room Cariblue Hotel is ideal for groups and families with long stays and equally long to-do lists. Nearly everything at the hotel comes in multiples: there are two pools, two whirlpools, two restaurants, three bars, and several lounge areas. The laid-back and tree-lined Cocles Beach, ideal for surfing due to its choppy waves, is directly across the street. Rooms and bungalows are spacious and all come with their own hammocks and balconies. While Cariblue may not have as many spa services as the similarly priced La Costa de Papito a few meters away, Cariblue's assortment of on-site activities and meeting areas may make it a more desirable social option.

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Five acres of tidy grounds, manicured forest, and unhurried vibes

When driving in past the security drive-thru at Cariblue Hotel, the first thing in sight is an abundance of green. Like most of the hotels in Puerto Viejo, Cariblue was built in the middle of jungle territory, careful not disturb the natural ecosystem of the area. Expect to see and hear a fair amount of wildlife -- such as sloths, agouti, lizards, monkeys, frogs, and exotic birds. Thatched roofs and a partially open-air lobby add to the Costa Rican vibe. With 45 rooms, Cariblue is one of the larger hotels within the vicinity, meaning there will be a fair amount of families and tour groups on the grounds. While the atmosphere is indeed social, especially by the main pool and in the restaurant, Cariblue seldom feels loud or busy.


Directly across from the beach with close proximity to Puerto Viejo's lively town centre

Cariblue Hotel is located in Costa Rica's Caribbean leisure town, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. The jungle-surrounded establishment is directly across the street from Cocles Beach, or Playa Cocles. Although the area is quiet, Cariblue is housed on Puerto Viejo's main road, just a five-minute drive away from all the shops, restaurants, and bars in the main town. While it's easy to get around the small town by bike or taxi, Puerto Viejo is far from the region's major airports. San Jose's Juan Santamaria International Airport is a four-hour drive away and Limon International Airport is an hour away. In addition to beaches and bars, other worthwhile sights include Jaguar Rescue Center, Manzanillo Wildlife Reserve, and Cahuita National Park, to name a few.


Large, airy and simple in decor with hammocks, decorative bathrooms and limited beach views

When staying at Cariblue, guests have a variety of room options to accommodate tastes and family size. Out of 45 rooms, there are nine different categories: Standard, Standard Jungle, Superior, Deluxe, Ocean Beach Front, Bungalow, Jungle Family House, Beach Front Apartment, and Junior Suite. Some rooms are located in the heart of the garden closer to the Sole Luna Restaurant while others are housed on the side of the hotel closest to the beach. Apart from the bungalow-style rooms, most rooms are similar when it comes to design. Bungalows ensure much more privacy as they stem from the main walkway with individual pathways and high plants sprout on all sides. Interiors are dark due to the deep wood colors of the doors, walls, ceilings, and floors. Side tables, shelves, desks and benches are also the same rich tone. The brightest spots are the cream curtains and bedspread. Wall art, potted plants, hammocks, and sofas both inside the bungalow and on the porch provide extra pops of color to the chocolate color scheme. Bungalow bathrooms are a bit more lively due to mosaic tiled shower art. 

All other rooms and apartments are just as spacious, but much brighter in contrast with white textured stone walls, white pillows and sheets, and lime green blankets. The vibrant nature-themed artwork hanging over beds broadcast a wider assortment of colors from the spectrum, not just earth tones. Bathrooms are toned down with plain tan, yellow, or blue tiles throughout. Both Bungalow and Apartment Rooms come equipped with hairdryers, Cariblue branded toiletries, drinking glasses, and shampoo dispensers attached to shower walls. Wi-Fi is free in all of the rooms and small flat-screen TVs are attached to the walls. 


Doubles of major features -- pools, whirlpools, bars, parking lots, restaurants and lounges

Whether guests want to spend an entire day on the property or venture off on their own to explore, there's no shortage of activities to be found at Cariblue. There are two outdoor pools: one closest to the lobby area and one closest to the beach. The main pool is the cleanest, largest, and most inviting of the two, with an attached whirlpool, swim-up bar, multiple lounging options, and a prime spot next to the restaurant. The pool by the beach is much less frequented given it's isolated location behind the Ocean Beach Front rooms and lack of seating. It's also more grassy on that side, which leads to stray leaves and particles floating in the water. Along the walk between the two pools is another whirlpools nestled beside a row of public hammocks and a small reading gazebo.

Playa Cocles—which is directly across the street from their lunchtime eatery, Totem Beach Bar and Restaurant,—is a pleasant spot for both quiet loungers and adventure seekers. The choppy waters of this jungle-lined beach are perfect for surfers (surf lessons and rentals are offered along the beach for a fee), but the soft sand hosts a scattered assortment of unhurried beach bums. There are families with children occasionally running about, but the energy of Playa Cocles remains relatively tranquil.

Guests have two dining options at Cariblue Hotel: Sole Luna Restaurant and Totem Beach Bar and Restaurant. Sole Luna Restaurant hosts both an impressive breakfast and dinner. In the mornings, Sole serves the free breakfast buffet, complete with an omelette station, various breakfast meats, gallo pinto (traditional rice and beans), fruits, sweet and salty pastries, cereals, breads, fruit juice, tea, and coffee. Seated dinner is served during evening hours. Lunch hours belong to Totem.

Additionally, there are two parking lots, one close to each entrance of the hotel, free (but spotty) Wi-Fi, bike rentals, and an entertainment area right outside of the hotel's gift shop. Cariblue provides one free fruity drink at check-in, but for those who wish to further indulge in libations, both bars offer happy hour specials.

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Playa Cocles, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 7304, Costa Rica