Our People
  • Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

  • Heroes and Heroines

    The people who lead the way when it comes to those things which matter to us: exploration, the environment, women’s empowerment and education.

Manzanillo Beach, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Puerto Viejo & Caribbean Coast

At the southern end of Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast in the Limon Province, lies Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, a charming and vibrant seaside town with a unique blend of Bribri, Latino and Afro-Caribbean cultures.

It has wonderful beaches with fine volcanic sand lapped by warm water. The Salsa Brava waves that come ashore here are some of the most powerful in Costa Rica and attract surfers from around the world. This stretch of coast that neighbours Panama’s Bocas del Toro Islands is culturally a world apart from the rest of the country. Most residents here are of Afro-Caribbean descent and were drafted in from Jamaica, among other Caribbean islands, to work on banana plantations that still grow this important cash crop.

Cordillera de Talamanca, Costa Rica
Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

A little about Talamanca

Visit any of the small laid-back towns around Talamanca and you’ll be greeted by the sounds of reggae and calypso music, the smell of jerk chicken and a challenging local dialect that blends Spanish and English. Talamanca town (called Puerto Viejo by the locals) is a lively place with a variety of bars and restaurants. It’s fun to visit but the forest-lined beaches are the biggest draw. Punta Uva, Playa Chiquita and Playa Negra offer scenic spots for a few days rest on the coast.

Gandoca Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge, Limon, Costa Rica
Gandoca Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica

Gandoca-Manzanillo Reserve

The Gandoca-Manzanillo Reserve near the Panama border encompasses several rare habitats and hosts some extraordinary wildlife including tapirs, turtles, eagles, caimans and West Indian Manatees in its mangroves.

Baby Turtle, Costa Rica
Costa Rica

Cahuita National Park

Cahuita National Park has one of the most stunning beaches in Costa Rica. The park was created in 1970 to protect the country’s largest coral reef and this amazingly colourful underwater world provides some of the best snorkelling and diving in the country. Over 35 species of coral, green turtles, carey turtles, lobsters and manta rays can be seen in the crystal clear waters.


Tell us what you love doing and we’ll curate a journey that’s perfect for you.

Snorkelling, Caribbean

Snorkelling Adventure

Discover the best snorkelling in Costa Rica at Cahuita National Park.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Caiman crocodile in Costa Rica

Visit a local Wildlife Refuge

Tour Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge to see turtles, crocodiles and manatees.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Beach palm tree, Casa Corcovado Lodge, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Dancing in Puerto Viejo

Dance to reggae and calypso music with the local people at bars along the coast in Puerto Viejo.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Manzanillo Beach, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Relax on the beaches

Unwind on beautiful beaches in simple but chic shacks.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Need Holiday Inspiration?
Browse our Costa Rica holiday ideas.

Our Costa Rica experts have created and curated these holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something to spark ideas for a unique adventure.

Where to stay

Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.

Aguas Claras £££££

  • Costa Rica
  • Beach and Island Escapes

Just 10 minutes from the Caribbean town of Puerto Viejo, Aguas Claras is a small boutique hotel with just six casitas ranging from one bed to five. Owned by a local artist. The property has a wonderfully traditional style amidst tropical gardens accentuated by the use of bright colours, mosaics, and recycled materials to create a unique blend of traditional crafts, modern art and Caribbean flair.

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Le Cameleon Hotel £££££

  • Costa Rica
  • Boutique

Hotel Le Cameleon is a very comfortable modern boutique hotel on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast at Puerto Viejo, near the Panamanian border. The property is surrounded by tropical forest and wildlife. Lots of activities are available including hiking, snorkelling, diving, surfing, mountain biking, kayaking and cultural visits to local communities. The long, golden stretch of Cocles beach is just a short stroll from the property. There is also a spa that provides a range of therapies. Rooms are bright, white and modern. It’s a 3km hike along the beach and jungle trails into town although there is a very good Italian restaurant within 5 minutes walk of the hotel.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

John Faithfull

Costa Rica is simply the best spot in Central America for nature lovers, and is always John’s top recommendation for those wishing to hike, swim, zip, raft, ride or float through outstanding scenery and rich biodiversity.

Talk with our experts
  • 1 800 571 2985

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We found it extremely helpful to visit the Steppes office and have a face to face discussion with James about what our requirements were for our adventures in Costa Rica. He really listened and made sure that the trip was tailored to our needs.

Destination: Costa Rica
Travel Expert: James

Great work from John. The additions of zip-lining and surfing lessons were exciting experiences that we would not have considered without his expert guidance.

Destination: Costa Rica
Travel Expert: John

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

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