Print this pagePrint this page

Local Services


We list the options that are friendly to the community and the environment…Look for our eco-tips throughout the list.

Alternative Medicines:

- Don Candido is an indigenous man who knows the “bush medicine.” Stop by

ATEC office and ask Tirza, his daughter, she can help you make an appointment. Have an open mind.

- Veronica at Veronica’s Place Health Food Store and Vegetarian Restaurant on main street in Puerto Viejo, the second floor.

- Ask Rachel at Jardin Escondido, located about 300 meters up the road beside Restaurante Elena’s, she knows bush medicine too.

- Go to the Farmer's Market in Puerto Viejo on Saturday mornings and ask the local farmers.


Banco de Costa Rica is located at the entrance to Puerto Viejo toward Black Beach. It has a cash machine the usually works. Bring your passport and VISA card if you want to get cash from the teller.

Banco Nacional in also in Puerto Viejo, around the corner from the main street. Their cash machine usually dispenses only colones, but the line is much shorter.

Bri-Bri-about 15 km from Puerto Viejo up the mountain also has a Banco Nacional.

Lots of other banks and ATMs in Limón—1 ½ hours by bus from PV.

Money Exchange at Cabinas Los Almendros: If you need cash and the bank is closed or not working, stop by Cabinas los Almendros around the block from ATEC in Puerto Viejo—use your credit card for a cash advance, exchange dollars and travelers’ checks for a fee.



Costa Rica’s national liquor company produces a few different kinds of quite good beer. The bottles are returnable; you pay a deposit for the bottles at any pulperia, so keep your receipt and remember to bring back your bottle—DON’T THROW THEM IN THE TRASH. We also recommend that you wipe off the mouth of the bottle before taking a swig since there is usually a little rust from the cap that make for a nasty first sip. Most imported beers come in disposable (recyclable) bottles, Go green, try the Pilsen or Imperial! Heineken is also bottled here in returnable bottles. You are often offered a glass with ice cubes with you beer, just ask if it’s “bien fría” if you get a Yes, then say no thank you to the ice cubes.

banana BIOFUEL:

We’ve just formed a new cooperative for biofuel in Costa Rica, we’re working on indexing the amount of used kitchen oil and converting it for direct use in diesel engines and a more long term project is to develop a mini-plant to produce Klean Air Fuel (KAF) a fuel produced from the leftovers from banana plantations. Both fuels that use second generation waste, do not destroy forested land for fuel production. Check out for more information.

Book Exhange:

There are book exchanges at EZ times, David’s books by the Lotus Garden, many hotels, and ATEC has a little one—donations accepted.


MEPE is the public bus line. Phone: 2750 0023. Show up at least 15 minutes before your bus departs, you have to by the ticket in the office now even if you’re just going to Manzanillo or Cahuita. CLICK HERE FOR THE BUS SCHEDULE.

The bus terminal in San Jose to our Caribbean Coast has moved to a more dangerous neighborhood, BE CAREFUL! Travel to and from the terminal in taxi.

We recommend traveling on public bus third only to traveling by foot or bicycle.


Baptist: All Services right now are in English:

Puerto Viejo: Sunday School for children 9:30.

Sunday 11AM Service,

Wednesday Bible study 7PM,

Friday Prayer meeting 7PM


Sunday 3PM.

Thursday Bible study-prayer meeting 6PM.


The first and third Sunday of the month at 3PM in the new big church by Maritza’s cabinas.

7th Day Adventist

Sunday and Wednesday at 7PM bilingual

Saturday 8:45 & 4 PM, more for young people.

Occasional Saturday night games on the beach

There are also Apostolistic and Evangelic churches.


We have a locally roasted fair trade organic coffee called “Caribbeans” sold around town or at their own shop in Cocles.


Talamanca is famous for its chocolate! Lots of opportunities to go on tours to learn about this product that many of us cannot live without! Try the Caribbeans tour, the Chocorart in Playa Chiquita (2750 0075), Finca La Isla has started producing chocolate, and  ATEC offers several chocolate tours.


There is an office in Puerto Viejo open Monday through Friday or by appointment. Located in Puerto Viejo across from Hotel Puerto Viejo. Phone: 2750 0149. Ask for Sol.


The municipal government in charge of garbage pick-up. They are scheduled to pick up garbage on Mondays from Manzanillo to Cocles, and Tuesday Cocles, Puerto Viejo, Black Beach.

We recommend you do not put food in the garbage you send to the dump—it decomposes in the yard very very fast.

We recycle aluminum, glass, plastic bottles, tetrapak, clean tin cans, other plastics that are clean, and dry office paper, newspaper, magazines, and cardboard!


We highly encourage visitors to travel by bus or shuttles and taxis. Take a break from petroleum consumption, relax and let someone else drive, save some money. BUT if you have to have a car you can get a couple of gallons of gas from Tony, on the corner in "Parquecito" in Puerto Viejo, or at a couple of shops in Hone Creek. The closest bomba (gas station) is in Hone Creek.



There’s a farmer’s market in Puerto Viejo on Saturday mornings, right behind the cultural center/high school.

Support one of Puerto Viejo’s oldest businesses. Comisario Manuel Leon—also known as “Pulperia el Chino” —is located on the beach named for him, Playa el Chino.

There’s a big grocery store in Puerto Viejo—Super Old Harbour—run by responsible folks. Specialty items can be found at Pirripli in Cocles and at Duende Gourmet (the gourmet ghost) in Playa Chiquita.

—bring your own bags to this and all pulperias.


Is Costa Rica’s national liquor, it’s made from cane sugar. It also comes in returnable bottles. We had a hard time listing this under services because, ooo hang over city, go easy.


"Jupa House" near the bus stop beside Hotel Maritza.

Hair Braiding--Trenzas:

Yilda Phone: 2750 0352

Glenda at ATEC: 2750 0398

Celia’s in Cocles, 100 meters after the football field. Phone: 2750-0691.


Hangover Cure: PIPAS

A pipa is a young coconut from which one drinks the coconut water. Cool and refreshing on a hot day. Drink this instead of Gatorade to re-hydrate, also a great hangover cure. Throw its biodegrable container on the beach, not in the garbage that is carried to the municipal dump. Mr. Brown sells them in front of Hotel Maritza by the bus stop. Be a Super-conservationist and say no to the straw.




The original and Puerto Viejo’s only Non-Profit "cyber service" is at ATEC on main street in Puerto Viejo.

And lots of hotels and businesses have wifi and internet service now.

If you bring you laptop, watch it carefully, there can be a bit of “sneaky crime” around here.

Laundry Service:

Café Rico and the Laundry across the road from Cabinas Casa Verde does laundry and they use bio-degradable soap.



Contact Roxanna: 8839 0992

One hour $50—relaxing, therapeutic and deep tissue combination massage. She'll come to you!

Maria at phone 2750-0216 in Cocles,


Medical Clinics:

  • Puerto Viejo Clinic, Next to Banco Costa Rica, Dr. Francisco Arguedas Pimentel, Medicina y Cirugia General (Doctor and General Surgery),, 2750 0079, 8870 8029

  • Clinica Hone Creek--5 kilometers North of Puerto Viejo at “El Cruce”

  • Clinica Puerto Viejo, Dr. Pablo Brenes Barquero, 50 meters east of Cabinas Grant, 8333 7317

  • Ciani Palmer,  free women's clinic, Next to Cabinas Jacaranda, 8912 6121

MINAET—The Ministry of Environment and Energy and Telecommunications

Call in Manzanillo: 2759-9001

Cahuita: 2755-0060

Gandoca: 8842-8963



We have two pharmacies in Puerto Viejo. “Farmacia los Amigos” located around the corner from the Banco Costa Rica and the other Pharmacy is in the mall across the street from ATEC 2750 2109. Sometimes they close for lunch.

PhonePhone Calling:

ATEC also will make "administrated" calls for you for local or long distance calls, ATEC has a Skype headsets. Cell phones are now available in Costa Rica for visitors too. Get your chip at the airport upon arrival.

Phone Phone Book:

You can call 1113 for free and get many phone numbers, but they don’t list many of the businesses on our coast. ATEC has a long list and are happy to share the numbers they have, phone 2750 0191.

Phone Public Telephones:

The public phones now can be used with coins or with Costa Rican phone cards. Cards can be purchased at the ATEC office and at other sites around town. International phone cards not purchased in Costa Rica have traditionally not worked in the public phones here on the coast.

Photocopier Photocopies:

You should carry a copy of your passport with you all the time—just the page with your smiling face and the page with your entry stamp on it. Get copies at ATEC or at the Libreria in Cocles. Lock up your real passport.

Camera Photography:

ATEC also has card readers for digital cameras—better to travel with the cord for your camera though.

NOTE: Don’t snap anyone’s picture with out first asking.

Policeman Police:

If you have a problem, call 911 first then call the local police:

Puerto Viejo: 2750-0230

Cahuita: 2755-0217

BriBri: 2751-0003.

Airmail Post Office:

Correos de Costa Rica is around the corner from BCR bank, the entrance to town.

For Sale Real Estate:

Lots of folks come to this green coast and fall in love with it and want to buy their own slice of paradise. We strongly recommend that before you do so, come spend some time here. There are lots of nice places for rent. Come spend six months or a year or two and get to know the place and the people before you come and develop a piece of land.

Once you do decide that you are really ready to be a responsible resident of Talamanca, you’ll have figured out who the responsible realtors are—and aren’t.

3 Rs Recycling:

ReciCaribe is the non-profit, community supported association of Talamanca. They recycle aluminum, glass, plastic bottles, other clean plastics, clean tin cans, tetrapak, dry office paper, newspaper (with no staples), magazines and cardboard! Deposit your recycling in your hotel (if they don’t offer it, suggest they do). Contact the Biological Corridor if you want to donate or question.

Car Rent A Car:

If ya gotta rent a car, we suggest you take the shuttle to Puerto and rent a car here—more secure, you don’t have to drive down that crazy mountain.

Poas Rent-a-car, phone 2750 0400


ATEC of course has all Costa Rican Souvenirs (have we mentioned ATEC? It’s a community supporting non-profit association?)

Casa Verde sells fair trade local hand made art.

LuLu Berlu, in the middle of town, by Cabinas Guaraná, has lots of beautiful work of a lot of local artists.

spa Spa:

Pure Jungle Spa” across from Rockin J's camping, phone 2756 8413.

Spa treatments include all fresh all natural ingredients hand mixed at the time of your treatment. They support local business by purchasing organic fruits (papaya, chocolate, coconut oil) for their products.

There’s also Samsati Nature Retreat up the mountain from the clinic in Hone Creek, they have Spa treatments, massage and yoga. 1 800 563 9643

Tell them that sent you.

teach Spanish Classes

Ana Piedra is also a local Spanish teacher with 18 years of experience teaching at the San Jose Language Institute. She offers many different options for travelers and even has a cabina at her house for students to stay with her.  For rates and more information contact Ana at 2750.0326 or

There are a couple of Spanish Schools in Puerto Viejo too.

Pamela at MiraFlores Lodge is a great teacher too!

Surf Surfing:

When the sea is high you can watch or participate in the surfing at Salsa Brava in front of Stanford’s disco or Beach Break in Cocles. Beginners often test the waters on black beach over by the barge. ATEC can hook you up with a responsible instructor.

Taxi Taxis:

Taxis hang out by the bus stop. We don’t have very many official taxi drivers in Puerto Viejo—the drivers offer “transportation services”. The pirate taxis traditionally have been safe, but if you want to be sure try these guys listed below or have ATEC or your hotel call you a cab:

  • Bull, phone 2750-0112, Cel: 8836 8219--cell
  • Luis 8838-3981
  • Delroy, 2750-0132--cell
  • Rene 8879-5033
  • Juni has a van—8824-4671
  • Adolfo in BriBri has a big bus 2756 0059 or 8389-0032


Drop Water and Water Bottle Refills:

The water in Puerto Viejo is treated, but if your stomach is sensitive it’s safer to buy water than drink the public water, buy a 5 gallon jug and refill your small bottle or refill your water bottle at ATEC, it costs half as much as buying a new bottle, reduces waste, and supports this community based association.

yogaers Yoga:

Playa Chiquita at the GAIA Center

OM in Cocles, across from beach break.

Other yoga instructors come and go.


Sponsored Links

This page last modified 18 Jan, 2016

Previous page: Guide Books
Next page: Activities

[Home] [About Us] [Hotels] [Tours & Attractions] [Area Information] [News] [Site Map]