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At the beginning of the last century "Old Harbour" started to grow like a little village. In 1914 Old Harbour had two stores, a catholic church, a english school and a judge to form the first social structure. Most of the habitants were black and came from the Caribbean Islands, nevertheless the catholic priests in the area were all germans.

Coconuts were first cultivated and the resident people lived from hunting, fishing and agriculture. In the 30's and later cocao and bananas were the mostly cultivated plants. Cacao was very important in the Caribbean, 85% of Costa Rica's export came from here, until the world price and the Monilia fungus made him unprofitable.

Before the road to Puerto Viejo was finished in 1967 the only way to get there was by boat or on foot. The extension to Manzanillo was finished in 1984. At the beginning of the 80's Puerto Viejo finally got electricity. In the 70's the first tourists came to explore the nature, for surfing or just hang out and relax. Tourism got more and more important in the last few years. Locals and people from outside the country came to open small businesses. Big Hotel chains didn't invest yet in the costarican caribbean coast, because there is no good weather guarantee, which is not bad in this case...

Tourists are still coming for the same reasons like 30 years ago although it became more comfortable and easier to explore and enjoy Old Harbour and its ambience.