From San Jose to Puerto Viejo, taking the most direct route 32, it is exactly 218km. However, in Costa Rica its much better to count distances in hours! For this route you can expect a 4-5 hour ride.
There are 3 possible routes to get to us:
-Route 32, which is the fastest and most recommendable if you are coming from San José.
-Route 10 which passes for Cartago (the historical capital of Costa Rica) and Turrialba (known for its fresh cheese). Although at 228km it is almost the same distance, you can expect this route to be about 6 hours and very beautiful with smaller roads passing coffee plantations. This is an excellent option if you are coming from Manuel Antonio or Drake Bay, passing through San Isidro el General.
-Route 4 to Route 32 if you are coming from La Fortuna/Arenal.
Rent a Car:
Go independent and rent a car! It’s important to keep in mind that between us and San Jose the driving is rather easy (if slow), however many roads in the central/north/pacific area of Costa Rica are dirt and stone. If you are traveling to Nicoya Peninsula, Monteverde or the Fortuna/Arenal areas we recommend renting a 4×4 car, especially during rainy seasons.
We’ve worked with Adobe Rent a Car with locations throughout Costa Rica, including Puerto Viejo and can highly recommend them as reliable, honest and professional. Nothing hidden, no surprises! Just use the box above to make your car request, fill out your specs and Adobe will be in contact shortly with a quote/confirmation.
Shared Ride Shuttles:
The shared ride shuttles are large passenger vans equipped with AC and WIFI providing services from hotel to hotel or near the airport (airport pickups are 1km away at Denny´s 1km, about $6 by taxi, airport drop offs are direct to the terminal) to hotel. Although service areas are large, if your transit point is not covered by the shuttles, we´ll let you know what the closest point of service is and you can take a taxi there.
Services run twice daily; early morning and midday/afternoon. Please contact us with the name of your pickup/dropoff hotel and preferred timing and we would be happy to assist with making your arrangements.
2024 pricing from San Jose to Puerto Viejo (direct to Caribe Town) is $57 per person. The current departure schedule from San Jose is 6:45am and 14:20pm and from Caribe Town is 6am and 12:30pm
-The Los Caribeños bus terminal is located at (Av. Central 13, San José, Calle Blancos). You need to keep in mind this bus will NOT take you to Puerto Viejo, but to Limon where you need to transfer bus terminals and take the Mepe bus to Puerto Viejo
-The Mepe bus terminal is located at (Terminal del Atlántico Note, Barrio México) and these are the buses that do come to Puerto Viejo and depending on the schedule go all the way to Manzanillo, passing Hotel Caribe Town in Cocles. 2022 pricing is about $16 for the bus and about $8 for a taxi from Puerto Viejo to Caribe Town.
Getting around in San Jose we generally recommend you use the official red taxis or Uber.
Hiring a private taxi/van is a terrific option if you want to select your departure time and be more in control of your travel. No need to get up earlier than necessary or wait many hours for the next Shuttle/bus! And if you want to stop on the way to do or see something extra this can always be negotiated with your driver. 2024 pricing from San Jose to Caribe Town is $300-400 in cash to the driver. We would be more than happy to set you up with our local trusted drivers who will monitor your flights arrival and be waiting with a sign with your name at the exit doors of the airport. Please contact us with your airline, flight number, date, expected arrival time and we can take care of the rest!
Domestic flights are available through Sansa Airlines at reasonable prices (hyperlink www.flysansa.com) From the smaller propeller planes enjoy majestic views of the jungle from the air. The closest domestic airport is in Limon, 64km from Caribe Town. Once in Limon you can take a taxi for about $80 or prearrange a shared ride Shuttle for $22/per person. Please check baggage limits to be sure you pack appropriately for domestic flights.
Interesting transit options for your journey to Puerto Viejo:
– We recommend taking an adventure on your route. Experience river rafting on the Pacuare river! You will be picked up early morning in San Jose or Arenal, provided breakfast and lunch, taken river rafting (your belongings are held safely for you) and brought to the Caribe Town parking lot by evening. Also offered as ongoing transit from Caribe Town to Arenal/San Jose.
-If you are coming from Tortuguero and don´t have a rental car, we recommend you take the 4 hour ocean/river boat ride to Moin. Once there you can take a taxi to Caribe Town or to the Limon Mepe bus terminal and take the bus to Puerto Viejo and then taxi on to us.
Please give us at least 48 hours’ notice for assistance with transit reservations.