Colin from Playa Negra, Puerto Viejo Buses on Holidays
As a resident of the area, it is my observation that it almost takes a hurricane for the local buses to stop running. They run on holidays as well. Given that it is a holiday in CR the buses will be very busy. Best to buy tickets in advance with the service offered on this site.
As for private shuttle to Panama from San Jose, just contact the people at Gecko Trail and see if it is running on that day. I am pretty sure it will be.
Amanda Need to get from San Jose CR to Bocas (Isla Colon) Mar 31 or April 1st?
Hello my travel companion and I are planning to travel to bocas del toro from San Jose, CR our flight to San Jose gets in on March 31st at noon, since the border closes and everything and probably cannot get a bus on that day we will probably have to find a hotel in San Jose, I am looking into what our options are many people tell me since this will be Semana Santa (April 1st) I will have a hard time finding a bus/transport? I am interested in the private vans on here too from SJ to Bocas for $51/pp is this available on April 1st, if not what buses are available and how would I go about getting a ticket and in advance (someone in CR that I kind of know suggested they can pick them up for us in advance for $25) anyways I am just trying to find the best/easiest way possible (not flying) to get from San Jose to Bocas del Toro hopefully on April 1st 2010. Thanks for any help you can provide !
They we super nice to us in making sure we found the place and were very nice and professional to deal with. Great house if you want privacy and to be off the beaten path of tourists. Best resturants I found were Maxis (very close) and Flip Flop ( Puerto Viejo )
We stayed at Villa Luz y Sombra (managed by Green Management) in March, 2010 and we had a wonderful time. Shialo and Emmanuel at Green Management were very professional, helpful, courteous and friendly. Their service is very thorough and they pay attention to every detail needed by independent travelers. We will definitely be back and we highly recommend Green Management to anyone looking for a private vacation rental.
We were a group of 16 guys traveling together and being a big group we were hard to accommodate in many restaurants but not at this place. We were promptly seated and the feast began. They treated us to complimentary appetizers and a round of drinks while we waited for our food which we thought was an exceptionally nice welcoming touch. They told us there might be a little wait due to the size of our group and that everything is made fresh to order. Actually, surprisingly, the wait felt less then most other restaurants we visited. The staff was very accommodating and fun, music was great and prices were good. We tried tons of different stuff on the menu and many drinks might we add. We all concurred that this was undoubtedly our best restaurant experience during our trip and would have gone back hadn't it been our last night. Check it out - you wont regret it.
Murray White from Vancouver Canada Peurto Viejo travel
After looking all day for transportation from San Jose to Bocas del Toro found it accidentally at your site. When you "click here to make shuttle reservations" you are able to choose pick up at San Jose air port at 7:00 & destination city of Bocas del Toro drop off at your hotel at 16:30 all for $51.00 each way!! This resolves the connection problems, the return ticket problems at the border. Having to stay overnight in Peurto Viejo (though it is a lovely spot to stay)& many connection problems with buses, shuttles , taxis, water taxis, etc.
Semana Santa (Easter) is the biggest week of the year for tourism in Costa Rica. It's the week the locals are all traveling. So yes everything should pretty much be open. The only thing you might have trouble finding is a cold beer. There are restrictions on alcohol sales over Easter weekend.
Natasha from New York, USA General Costa Rica Question: Are Attractions open on Easter?
We'll be moseying back to San Jose on Easter Sunday (April 4, 2010) and want to swing by Poas Volcano National Park and one of the nearby coffee plantations. Are attractions usually open on the holiday?
MEPE bus tickets can be RESERVED in advance the day of or day before only and only from San Jose by calling their San Jose ticket office at (506) 2257-8129. Their agents speak Spanish only though! They will hold the number of tickets you ask for. Alternatively you can book the taxi and bus service here which includes advance purchase of your bus tickets and pickup by taxi at the airport or your San Jose area hotel and delivery to the bus terminal.
I believe there are some competing services which offer pre-purchase of the bus ticket only (without the taxi service) but they also just buy the tickets the day before at full price and then charge a fee to deliver them to a San Jose hotel and the fee is similar to what the Taxi/Bus service charges and you get pickup!
kelly from virginia, u.s. puerto viejo transportation
my boyfriend and i are arriving in san jose airport at 10:20 AM. is the best way to travel to book the 2 PM bus ticket? we were planning on reserving the tickets ahead of time. it is our first trip to costa rica and we're staying on the outskirts of puerto viejo. any suggestions or advice would be so helpful!
Sara Rumley from Ft. Collin, Colorado Caribbean Trip during last two weeks in December
My husband and I are planning a trip to the Caribbean during the last two weeks of December. We'd like something close to the beach, convenient to restaurants, mid price range. We'd like a good hot shower, clean, maybe a tv, and a kitchenette. Any ideas on where to stay?
I feel compelled to write to counter the previous two comments. The food was average ( and cold), the atmosphere pretentious, the service non-existent and the price astronomical. I had a miserable experience. Everything was cold, the wait was interminable and the final insult was being brought a new glass with a new straw every time I asked for a refill of water. Given that plastic is disposed of by burning out here and water precious, this is just the wrong message to send and a poor reason to justify the ridiculous prices. Boycott this place and have a better cheaper meal next door.
I would contact renta4x4incostarica. They have all inclusive rates. That is very rare. We rented from Dollar and we had to tack on insurance , because our credit card would not cover our car if we were on gravel roads. Duh? Costa Rica has lots of those! We enjoyed having a car. Poas is not cheap! Taxi's are plentiful and so are buses . We ride bikes and take taxis. Even to the store. All bikes have baskets on them. Have fun. Driving is a little stressful in C.R.
We're arriving in Puerto Viejo on Sunday morning and we'll be staying in a rental property. We've been throwing around the idea of renting a car just to have for convenience purposes (i.e. groceries, quick errands, etc). Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Good idea...bad idea? has anyone ever used Poas car rental company? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!!
If you're taking the 4pm, you have enough time but you're not guaranteed a ticket for or a seat on the bus, they do occasionally sell out or only sell standing tickets. And the taxi/bus service is at a minimal additional cost when you add up about $20-25 for a taxi plus $9 for each bus ticket.
For an arrival that late, the only possibilities are rental car and private transport/driver. However, I do not recommend the rental car option for driving alone at night. Private transport is $190 and they will meet her at the airport.
There is a good dentist office right beside bus station in Limon. It has all latest equipment. Do not know name of it. It is easy to find.
As for prescriptions, whatever they do not sell over the counter, you can most likely get a doctor to write you a prescription.
I'd say with a 12:40pm arrival you have a 50-50 or less chance of making the 2pm bus if you prebuy your bus ticket; almost no chance if you don't buy your ticket. It usually takes close to an hour to get out of the airport and about half an hour to get from the airport to the bus terminal. Bus if you prebook the 2pm taxi/bus service and don't make it you won't lose the taxi portion you'll just have to buy the later bus ticket. But my advise would be to not stress and just book the 4pm. You can head to the Caribbean Bus Terminal or to downtown, have a nice lunch and then grab the 4pm bus (Café del Mundo is nice and not far from the terminal, the taxi driver can leave you there instead and then you can take another $2-3 taxi to the station).
And yes, the door-to-door tourist shuttles to the Caribbean coast leave only in the morning.
How likely am i going to be able to catch the 2 pm bus if i arrive at 12:40 PM? Am i reading correctly that if i don't make the 2 i need to take the 4 since the the other tourist buses (more expensive options)leave in the morning? Thanks
Joanna and Jon from Rehoboth, MA Stress-free traveling!
Hi there! Just a quick note to thank you for all your help arranging transportation for us for our 12-day honeymoon. With it being our first time visiting Costa Rica, we thought it would be a little too stressful trying to rent a car and find a way around. The cabs and busses that you booked for us were all on time and our drivers were all very professional. And the white water rafting trip from Puerto Viejo to Arenal was one of the biggest highlights of our trip! We LOVED our tour. Thank you so much! Cheers!
The nearest Costa Rican operating airport to Puerto Viejo with regular flights is ... San Jose. Yup, sorry, the Caribbean coast is poorly served by Sansa and Nature Air. This was all covered above in the "Flying" section.
The other airports which could be of interest would be Changuinola or Bocas del Toro in Panama (if you wanted to go into Panama at all anyway) or Tortuguero (again, if you wanted to go there, you could book a Tortuguero package that included air into Tortuguero and then onward transport to Puerto Viejo).
Your timing will be tight so I'd definitely recommend this. Not only will you save 10-15 minutes by having your ticket pre-purchased, you will be guaranteed a ticket and a seat on the bus. Standing on that bus as it winds down the hills is not a pleasant experience. Nor is them telling you that they've sold out which does happen (although if there are enough extra people they might put on an additional bus)
Nicky from Winnipeg, Canada Pre booking bus tickets online?
My boyfriend and I are arriving in San Jose at 2pm and are hoping to make it to Puerto Viejo on the 4pm bus. We were wondering if we should pre book our tickets online and arrange for transportation to the bus station to minimize our time spent in San Jose.
We dont mind spending more money to not spend the night.
All of our bookings with Gecko Trail were great. Nina found us ideal accommodation that was our style and within our budget range at the last minute both in Monte Verde and on the Caribbean coast. We were grateful to have booked our night hike, guided trek and hanging bridges tours in Monte Verde through these travel specialists - they have good, reliable contacts, making this portion of our trip smooth and fun.
We miss Costa Rica and all the Pura Vida! Hope to be back soon. Muchas gracias Gecko!
People should be aware that this doctor owns the new pharmacy just behind Cafe Viejo. That fact is never disclosed and he is very heavy on issuing prescriptions. He also makes sure "he calls in order" before you go to pharmacy so you will go to the "right one".
Personally, I go to public clinic in Hone Creek. I feel the treatment is just as good if not better and I don't have to second guess this blatant conflict of interest.
Absolutely a treat not to be missed. A hidden treasure of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, tucked into the jungle, is Echo Books. Not only is it a fun walk through the jungle, but the proprietors and employees are a blast to hang out with. They have a great selection of used books, wonderful coffee and the best chocolate truffles (organic) we have ever enjoyed. We were very fortunate to have gotten to know these fine folks while hanging out on their charming patio. We even saw a sloth. Echo Books is just a couple of blocks down the street from Rockin J’s (away from PV) and there are plenty of signs to guide you. We hardly know them but miss being able to see them. It is one of the best memories of our trip.
I'm looking at visiting this area in Spring '11. I'm wondering how far Playa Negra is from Puerto Viejo proper? Would it be safe to bike from this beach to town? Also, is there any calm water kayaking? This place looks awesome.
If your plane is ontime, there will not be any problem catching the 2pm bus. Calculate 2 hours and you're fine. Should you miss the 2pm bus, you can always buy tickets for the 4pm bus. The taxi driver will wait for you, so that part you won't loose.
If you're plane is already late at the departure, inform the company you bought the ticket with. They than can reschedule the trip to the 4pm bus.
Hi, I am considering buying my shuttle ticket online but have one concern. My flight gets in about noon and I would like to take the 2pm shuttle to PV but you never know with traffic/customs. If I book/pay for the 2pm but miss it can I still take the 4pm?
You've got the times right -- 2pm and 4pm. But the buses leave from the Caribe Bus Station near downtown San Jose which is 20-40 minutes by taxi from the airport depending on traffic. It often takes a good hour to clear customs and get your luggage so you should allow at least two hours to make your bus. However if you're aiming for the 2pm and miss it you can always take the 4pm with no problem.
Hi Doug, I've seen and read the schedule, I just don't totally understand it. So, if I'm reading it correctly. Than there is a 2pm bus from San Jose airport that arrives in Puerto viejo at 6:15pm or a 4pm bus that doesn't arrive until 8:15 pm. And then returning to San Jose the earliest bus is at 7:30 am which should arrive around noon?
Thank you so much, sorry I'm just trying to make sure I can get to my flights.
Monica Sullivan from Ireland and San Francisco Casa tres Monos
What an amazing place, we went to Costa rica for a month Dec - Jan 2010 and this was one of our highlights - Casa Tres Monos.
It is located in an amazing garden - Cute wee tree frogs come out at night and you can take a stroll with your flashlight to discover all kinds of bizarre spiders, bugs etc, under the plants. There was a 3-toed sloth right there on the tree in front of us while we ate or meals, and her babe. Wonderful space and peace and quiet. Would highly recommend it.Worth the long drive from the airport for sure.
Put in on your list of destinations for an amazing stay in CR
Dr. Monica Sullivan
I arrive at the airport at 12:15 p.m. and wanted to know if it is possible to make the 2 p.m. bus. In addition, if I chose not to use the bus ticket pre-purchase, can I take a 3 p.m. to Limon and transfer to a bus from PV? If the bus happened to be sold out in San Jose, will I be able to board in Limon? Thanks so much for all of your information.
I just wanted to say thank you for handling some of our arrangements on our Christmas trip to Costa Rica!! We loved your country and were so happy that everything went so smoothly. We really enjoyed our bus trip from San Jose to Cahuita and Javier did a wonderful job with our snorkeling adventure during our stay there.
Thank you again for everything - this was a very special first overseas trip for us as a family!!
Doug Dosdall from Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica ATM Withdrawal limit
I think you can get $500 per transaction (or Colone equivalent) from the Puerto Viejo ATM; as long as it has enough cash. You can make as many withdrawals as you like though -- your daily withdrawal limit will be determined by your bank back home so if you need to withdraw a large amount of cash (to pay for a hotel on arrival for example) you could call your bank and ask them to raise your limit. But remember that there is only one ATM in PV and so if it's out of order or out of cash it's a long way out of the way to the next nearest (Cahuita or Bri Bri).