Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui used to be an important port town in colonial times. Boats floated the Rio Sarapiqui until they reached Rio San Juan to the north. Boats continued down the Rio San Juan to the open sea.
The Rio San Juan forms a natural border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
Kayakers and rafters enjoy their sport on the Rio Sarapiqui, which runs south of the Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui.
Various tour operators offer rafting tours on different sections of the river with varying levels of difficulty.
Further to the north the river runs calmer and it is possible to observe wildlife on the river banks.
Birds, Monkeys, Sloth, Crocodile, and Caimans have their natural habitat close to the river. Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui has a lot to offer, but the amount of tourists is still limited in this beautiful town.
One of the reasons for that is that travelers won't pass Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui on the average travel route. You only pass it when you are on your way from the Caribbean to the Arenal region or vice versa.
A good amount of the visitors are bird watchers. This is one of the places where the Scarlet Macaw can be observed. A variety of boat trips start at Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui. It is possible to travel by boat to Tortuguero.