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The happenin’ bar at last visit was the Tex-Mex (6 p.m. daily until the last guest staggers home), which epitomizes Puerto Viejo’s laid-back philosophy; its cocktail list runs from mojitos to orgasmos, and its Jungle Open-Air Cinema shows Hollywood movies nightly at 6, 8, and 10 p.m.
A seven-piece band plays merengue, salsa, and calypso at Mango Sunset 4:30–6:30 p.m. daily. It has a Tuesday-night open jam, and Latin jazz and “roots” music on Thursday, plus occasional beach barbecues.
For a groovy disco-lounge scene, Baba Yaga (tel. 506/2750-0587) is the reggae hot spot on almost any night of the week, while next door, Oshi’s Lounge competes with live calypso.
Bar Maritza (on the waterfront, tel. 506/2750-0003) packs ’em in for karaoke (Fri.) and live music (Sat.–Sun.) with reggae, calypso, and salsa.
Johnny’s Place (tel. 506/2750-0445, 6 p.m.–2:30 a.m. Mon., noon–2:30 a.m. Tues.–Sat.) has a bonfire drawing patrons to dance in the sand.
El Dorado (tel. 506/2750-0604, 8 a.m.–midnight daily), on the main drag, has a bar, pool table, board games, and movies on a TV.
The ArteViva Festival (tel. 506/8842-1741, www.arteviva-puertoviejo.com) each fall features fireworks, live music, and art exhibits.
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Costa Rica, 8th Edition