“Let’s go to the Full Moon Festival in Puerto Viejo tomorrow!” my friend, Macy, excitedly shouted at me as I entered our Environmental Impact and Social Development class. “You don’t have to tell me twice,” I exclaimed as we quickly searched the web for the bus schedule to Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. I had never been to Puerto Viejo but had heard great things about it and was eager to go check out what all the fuss was about for myself. Just like that, we purchased our tickets and would be leaving at 4:45 AM (!!!) the following morning.
Our weekend trip started off with a 5-hour drive to Puerto Viejo, which is located in the province of Limón. To our disappointment, the weather was a little gloomy and the beach was covered by a thick layer of fog. We decided to skip the beach and check into our hostel hoping that the weather would clear up within time. The full moon festival was being held at our hostel, Rocking J’s, and upon arrival I knew it was going to be a fun night. Our hostel was a little… eccentric. The beds were not beds, but hammocks. The “room” resembled a large leaf with dangling cocoons. So fun! I couldn’t wait to see what the night had in store for us.
We locked our belongings in our locker and set off to explore Puerto Viejo. Luckily, the skies cleared up and we could hear the beach calling our names! We rented horses and went on a two-hour tour along the coast.
Our guide, Annie, taught us a little bit about Puerto Viejo’s history. The town originally went by the name of Old Harbor until the government institutionalized Spanish as the official language and changed the name. Thus, Old Harbor became Puerto Viejo. She also told us that Puerto Viejo is well known for having some of the most powerful waves in Costa Rica. We considered renting surf boards and attempting to take on the waves, but after an exhilarating experiences with our horses, I decided not to test my luck in the waters with my unrefined swimming skills. Instead, we finished our horse tour and went out and about to explore the rest of Puerto Viejo.
I’d love to go on and tell you about the moon festival. But I would be lying if I told you how it went. You see, after our fun-filled day of beach exploration Macy and I decided to take a “short” nap before the festival. Our short nap turned from 20 minutes to 8 hours and, well, we slept right through the darn thing. Until the next full moon, Puerto Viejo!