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Puerto Jimenez Costa Rica

Reasons for Loving Life in Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica

Writer and Meta Travel News founder Christine Muncy talks about living in Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica and why this small town on the remote Osa Peninsula is perfect for her. Some links in this article are affiliate links, where we make a small commission if you purchase anything after clicking, at no extra cost to you. 

In 2016, I moved to Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica, where I have experienced the authentic and unfiltered way of life of a small community.

Puerto Jimenez, on the remote Osa Peninsula in the far south of Costa Rica, is a hidden gem with stunning beaches and wildlife galore. It’s a thriving community of some 2,000 people, famous for its tranquil vibe and beautiful scenery.

The beat of daily living in Puerto Jimenez was one of my first impressions of the place.

Things in Puerto Jimenez are much more relaxed than in, say, the Central Valley. Bicycle use has increased and automobile use has decreased. While things may move at a slower speed, they’re never boring.

The beautiful landscape, surrounding rainforest, and welcoming locals all contribute to the unique character of this community.

As an avid admirer of the natural world, Puerto Jimenez never ceases to amaze and impress me. There are countless chances to get in touch with nature, what with all the untouched beaches, lush jungles, and diverse wildlife that surrounds you.

If you want to see monkeys, tapirs, jaguars, and macaws, among many other species, then go to the Corcovado National Park. Being the largest town on the Osa Peninsula, Puerto Jimenez is the main gateway to the park. You can, though, appreciate the Osa’s natural beauty, even if you don’t visit Corcovado.

Two stunning Golfo Dulce beaches, Playa Platanares and Playa Preciosa, are great for swimming, sunbathing, and sailing. You should also check out the Golfo Dulce Forest Reserve. It’s also a wonderful place for kayaking, horseback riding, surfing, and fishing.

If you’re looking for a more off-the-beaten-path experience, I can’t say enough good things about the world-class surfing at Cabo Matapalo on the tip of the peninsula.

Puerto Jimenez and the surrounding area has a wide range of hotels, so there’s something for everyone.

Lapa Rios is the best option for those who want to spend their vacation surrounded by wildlife. It’s a private nature sanctuary in the midst of pristine rainforest, with breathtaking ocean views.

Agua Dulce is a charming boutique hotel right next to the water, perfect for those seeking a more classic beach vacation. Ojo de Oro Corcovado provides pleasant accommodations at reasonable rates for those who prefer to remain within the city.

You can find a great hotel in Puerto Jimenez, regardless of your needs.

But Puerto Jimenez is not always a haven of tranquility.

Because of the community’s remoteness, infrastructure can fall short of expectations. Sometimes it’s tough to get your hands on what you want, and that includes reliable internet.

Being hours away from the nearest big city can make it difficult to run certain errands. There’s also a chance that the standard of local healthcare isn’t up to par, meaning anyone seeking more comprehensive treatment will have to travel for it.

Puerto Jimenez’s people and their rich heritage and culture, however, are what set the town apart. A gold rush in the 1970s turned a once sleepy fishing hamlet into a major center for the precious metal’s extraction. Now the prosperous regional center of the Osa, it attracts visitors from all over the globe, especially eco-tourists coming to explore Corcovado National Park.

Given the challenges of acclimating to a new society and community as an outsider, I find the people of Puerto Jimenez welcoming and friendly.

My time in this town has been greatly enriched by the people I’ve encountered and the relationships I’ve forged.

The town’s residents are very involved in their society. The Los Higuerones Association, which runs the Saturday farmer’s market, is a great example.

In showcasing the region’s fresh produce and artisanal wares, this market is a genuine reflection of the local way of life. It’s a wonderful chance for tourists to experience the local flavor and spend their money in the community.

Many groups in town organize local beach cleanups and tree-planting drives to keep the area’s natural attractiveness and biodiversity intact.

There’s a wide variety of restaurants in Puerto Jimenez, from those right on the shore to neighborhood soda shops.

Soda Johanna is the place to go for a sample of the local fare, including the national dish of gallo pinto (rice and beans) and the popular casado consisting of rice, beans, plantains, salad, and your choice of meat.

Some of the best restaurants for seafood and ocean views are Soda Marbella and Los Delfines. La Esquina, in the center of town, is a local favorite for a fun night out thanks to its convenient location and lively bar scene. If you’re looking for a more chill seaside bar atmosphere on the weekend, try Martina’s near Cabo Matapalo.

Since moving to Puerto Jimenez, I’ve been able to fully accept the pura vida philosophy. I’ve discovered the joy in simple things like the warm welcome I receive from strangers and the awe-inspiring beauty of my new surroundings.

In this region (and in most of rural Costa Rica), “pura vida” (pure life) is more than a slogan; it’s a way of life.

Whenever I go out, I’m mindful of how important it is to live in the moment and appreciate what’s around me. Embracing the pura vida ethos has been an unforgettable turning point in my life.

My time spent in Puerto Jimenez has been remarkable. Thanks to its beautiful scenery and friendly locals, I feel at home here.

Despite the challenges, I’m better prepared to deal with future circumstances and more able to enjoy life’s little pleasures. I’ve been able to kick back and enjoy the beautiful surroundings, friendly locals, and welcoming Costa Rican culture.

Christine Muncy is the founder of Meta Travel News. She splits her time between her native United States and the southern Costa Rican town of Puerto Jimenez.

Christine Muncy

Christine Muncy

Christine Muncy is the CEO and founder of Meta Travel News, a go-to source for travel news, trends, destinations, and experiences. An accomplished author and world traveler, she has over 30 years of experience in the tourism industry. When not traveling, she splits her time between her native United States and the southern Costa Rican town of Puerto Jimenez.