Casa Colibri and Casa Mariposa are in the tiny village of Cocles on the Southern Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica. The nearest town that you will find in most guidebooks is Puerto Viejo de Talamanca which is about 2 miles north.
Within 10 miles of the houses there are more than 6 incredible beaches (the closest, Playa Cocles, a lazy 4 minute walk from the houses), two national parks with hiking trails, world class surfing, snorkeling along a very active coral reef about 25 feet from the water line on Punta Uva beach and in Manzanillo. Sign up for zipline canopy tours, indigenous reserve walks, visit botanical and butterfly gardens, tour the jaguar reserve and sloth rescue center, take yoga classes and go kayaking - most of which you can do on your own or with a guide or group.
The region offers really fantastic food. A few of our local favorites are El Refugio Grill, Cafe Rico, Tiare, Stasha con Fusion, Chili Rojo, Bread & Chocolate Cafe & Bamboocha. Some of the finest dining in the area can be found in Cocles, a short 5 minute walk from Casa Colibri and Casa Mariposa at La Pecora Nera. Also highly recommended for cocktails is Le Cameleon (pictured below). There are a few well stocked grocery stores nearby and several wonderful cafes & don't miss the farmers' market in Puerto Viejo on Saturday.
The earliest peoples of Talamanca that we are aware of were the Bribri and Cabecar Indians. These indigenous people were part of the Amazon Basin culture that lived for the most part in the interior, along watercourses. Later, Afro-Caribbean people settled along the coast. They brought with them knowledge about farming, fishing and culinary arts that can be traced back to their African origins. For generations everyone has coexisted in harmony, trading with each other, successfully living off the land. Many are trying to maintain their traditional customs and beliefs as much as possible given the development of tourism in the area over the last few years. It is important to remember that it was only in 1979 that a road was built to connect the Caribbean Coast villages to the port city of Limon, and in 1986 that electricity brought lights and refrigeration to the region. Prior to this the indigenous people lived in virtual isolation, except for the few brave surfers that made what was then a 4 day trek from San Jose to the area for the big waves.
The local people are among the most warm and kind folks you will ever meet. In the past our guests have asked how they might be of assistance, here are a couple of ideas and links. The Escuela Rio Cocles (K-6, little blue building by the soccer field) is always in need of school supplies. Their wish list includes; pencils, pens, colored pencils, notebooks, metric rulers, chalk, books (English and Spanish), art supplies and soccer equipment. If you wish to do so it is also possible to make donations of other goods or money or arrange to volunteer by contacting The Bridge, a nonprofit in the area. Here’s their link; El Puente - The Bridge Anything you are able to do to lend a helping hand would be greatly appreciated!