Until recently Puerto Viejo has been basically this undiscovered jewel in Costa Rica that has attracted mainly a backpacker and surf crowd. The whole area is one huge melting pot of cultures. On top of the foreigners which are mostly South American, Canadian and European; you have 3 distinct local cultures living here (Indigenous, Jamaican Caribbean and Spanish)
Today, in addition to miles and miles of unspoiled beaches, and thousands of hectares of jungle, Puerto Viejo offers, a huge selection of all types of restaurants, craft shops, tours, nightlife. And if you are looking for more adventure, I have created a photo album of the many things to do in the area.
There are the BriBri natives which have lived here for centuries, The Jamaicans which initially came over as workers to build the railroad for the banana trade and then Costa Ricans from Spanish descent. In 2002 there was a census done for the area and they found people from 49 different countries in a population of just over 2,000.
Puerto Viejo is definitely not for everyone, but that is what makes it special.