Once you're here what's the best way to get around?

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Biking is one of the most popular ways to get around here.

Overview of local transport options

There are a number of options for getting around in the Puerto Viejo area:

•  The area between Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo is quite compact and mostly flat so bicycle rental is an excellent option.

•  Buses run frequently between Limon and Puerto Viejo and on to inland destinations such as Hone Creek, Bri Bri and Sixaola. Somewhat less frequently is the bus service between Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo which is helpful for reaching Playa Chiquita and Punta Uva. View schedules.

•  Driving is easy enough and the road is now paved all the way between Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo and Cahuita and Puerto Viejo but there's lots of pedestrian and bicycle traffic so take it slowly. A four-wheel-drive vehicle is not required. And if you want a car just for a day or two or to take onward from Puerto Viejo car rentals are now available in the Puerto Viejo area. View local driving and car rental info.

•  Taxis are available. View our taxi page..

Local Bus Routes

As well as the express bus from San José to Puerto Viejo, the local bus company Transportes MEPE also operates local buses on the Caribbean Coast.

The main routes of interest for visitors are the route which operates between Limon and Manzanillo via Puerto Viejo and towns along the beach road and the routes from Limon to Puerto Viejo and from Limon to Sixaola (the Panama border).

Limon - Cahuita - Hone Creek - Puerto Viejo - Cocles - Playa Chiquita - Punta Uva - Manzanillo

The Limon-Puerto Viejo bus is an economical way to get to the various beaches in the area as it stops at many places along the road including Cahuita, Hone Creek, Puerto Viejo, Cocles, Playa Chiquita, Punta Uva and Manzanillo. However, it is not particularly frequent. The schedule is:

Cahuita¹ Puerto Viejo¹ Manzanillo¹
05:30 06:15 06:45 07:15
06:30 07:15 07:45 08:15
10:30 11:15 11:45 12:15
12:30 13:15 13:45 14:15
15:30 16:15 16:45 17:15
17:30 18:15 18:45 19:15
Puerto Viejo¹ Cahuita¹ Limón¹
05:00 05:30 06:00 07:00
07:00 07:30 08:00 09:00
08:00 08:30 09:00 10:00
10:00 10:30 11:00 12:00
14:00 14:30 15:00 16:00
16:00 16:30 17:00 18:00

¹ MEPE schedules include only departure times from Limon or Manzanillo. Departure times at intermediate stops including for Puerto Viejo are approximate so arrive in plenty of time.

The highway south to Sixaola is lined with banana plantations and worker housing. Photo by Costa Rica Dog Lover.

Limon - Cahuita - Hone Creek - Puerto Viejo - Bribri - Sixaola

MEPE runs an almost hourly service between Limon and Sixaola (at the border with Panama) most of which come into Puerto Viejo as well so this bus is also helpful for getting from Puerto Viejo to Cahuita, Sixaola or Hone Creek. See our Travel to Bocas del Toro page for full details on travel to Panama and Bocas del Toro via Sixaola. The schedule is:

LimonCahuita¹Hone Creek¹Puerto Viejo¹Hone Creek¹Bribri¹Sixaola¹
5:00 6:00 6:15 6:30 6:45 7:00 7:45
6:00 7:00 7:15 7:30 7:45 8:00 8:45
7:00 8:00 8:15 8:30 8:45 9:00 9:45
8:00 9:00 9:15 9:30 9:45 10:00 10:45
9:00 10:00 10:15 10:30 10:45 11:00 11:45
10:00 11:00 11:15 11:30 11:45 12:00 12:45
11:00 12:00 12:15 12:30 12:45 13:00 13:45
12:00 13:00 13:15 13:30 13:45 14:00 14:45
13:00 14:00 14:15 14:30 14:45 15:00 15:45
14:00 15:00 15:15 15:30 15:45 16:00 16:45
16:00 17:00 17:15 17:30 17:45 18:00 18:45
17:00 18:00 18:15 18:30 18:45 19:00 19:45
18:00 19:00 19:15 19:30 19:45 20:00 20:45

And the return schedule is (note only about every 2nd bus comes into Puerto Viejo in this direction so the nearest stop would be Hone Creek):

SixaolaBribri¹Hone Creek¹Puerto Viejo¹Hone Creek¹Cahuita¹Limon¹
5:00 6:00 6:15 6:30 6:45 7:00 8:00
6:00 7:00 7:15 - - 7:30 8:30
7:00 8:00 8:15 - - 8:30 9:30
8:00 9:00 9:15 9:30 9:45 10:00 11:00
9:00 10:00 10:15 - - 10:30 11:30
10:00 11:00 11:15 11:30 11:45 12:00 13:00
11:00 12:00 12:15 - - 12:30 13:30
12:00 13:00 13:15 13:30 13:45 14:00 15:00
13:00 14:00 14:15 - - 14:30 15:30
14:00 15:00 15:15 15:30 15:45 16:00 17:00
15:00 16:00 16:15 - - 16:30 17:30
16:00 17:00 17:15 17:30 17:45 18:00 19:00
17:00² 18:00 18:15 18:30 18:45 19:00

¹ MEPE schedules include only departure times from Limon or Sixaola. Departure times at intermediate stops and arrival times are approximate so arrive in plenty of time.
² The last northbound bus of the day terminates at Penshurt; it does not continue to Limón

Photo 1 of 3. Click to view slideshow.
Getting around by bicycle is a popular option in Puerto Viejo: The roads are generally flat and most things are within easy cycling distance.

Bike Rental

Many Hotels rent bicycles. If your hotel doesn't have bike rentals available, there are tons of options in downtown Puerto Viejo and in other communities—you'll see them everywhere. There are a few specific places mentioned on the services page which may offer more options than most. Note that almost all the bikes have no gears and pedal brakes. Make sure you always lock your bike. Prices are very reasonable, generally $5-7 per day for basic bikes. Ask if roadside service is included in the case of a breakdown. You can also book a bike rental online here.

A few places in town also rent scooters although they are significantly more expensive.

The road between Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo is mostly flat so it is well suited for cycling. That said, there are potholes and there can be a fair amount of traffic on it so exercise caution especially on the busiest sections from Puerto Viejo north to Playa Negra and from Puerto Viejo south to Cocles. On the more remote sections of the road, especially between Punta Uva and Manzanillo there are occasional reports of robberies so keep your rides to the daytime, don't go alone and/or ask around if there have been any problems lately.

There are both official red taxis in Puerto Viejo but also many informal taxis. Ask a local hotel or restaurant to call one for you.


Our taxi page has lots of information and tips for taking taxis in Costa Rica.

Taxis in Puerto Viejo generally operate based on predetermined rate for common routes based on distance and on time (some back roads are slow). If the taxi has a meter, you may request the driver use it. See our price list for common routes on the taxi page.

The once famously bad road from Hone Creek to Puerto Viejo was finally paved in 2010. Photo by Dr. Francisco Arguedas Pimentel

Driving and Local Car Rental

Local Driving Conditions

The highway is paved and in good condition all the way from San Jose to Puerto Viejo. The final 5km section from the highway turn-off in Hone Creek to Puerto Viejo was paved in 2010 but there are lots of pedestrians and cyclists so please take your time. The road south of Puerto Viejo to Cocles, Playa Chiquita, Punta Una and Manzanillo is also paved but again has lots of slower traffic so take care.

A 4WD vehicle is not necessary anywhere on this route unless you leave the main road for any distance. But there are few places to go off the road, the one local exception being Margarita Road between Punta Uva and Sixaola which a 4WD would definitely be recommended. But this road is not signed and it would be easy to get lost so it is not recommended unless you have a local along for navigation.

If you do get into an accident anywhere in Costa Rica, the procedure is to not move your vehicle - even if it is blocking the road! - until police have been able to inspect the scene and make a report.

Note that there is no gas station in Puerto Viejo, but there now is a gas station in Hone Creek, 5km before Puerto Viejo. There is no gas station in Cahuita.

You will be sharing the road with pedestrians, cyclists and wildlife so please drive with care. Photo by Nikolay Titov

Car Rental

If you're considering renting a car and driving to Puerto Viejo, all the major international car rental companies operate at or nearby San José International Airport as well as in downtown San José. Keep in mind that rates quoted online generally do not include any sort of insurance (which is sometimes even more than the rental rate) and that the car rental companies will definitely require proof of coverage elsewhere before agreeing to let you waive any insurance coverage they will sell you.

Please also keep in mind that only three car rental companies currently have offices in the South Caribbean area. Adobe and Alamo/National are in Puerto Viejo and Poas is in Hone Creek. So if you want to pick up or return your car in Puerto Viejo those are your only choices. Our travel partner, Gecko Trail Adventures, can assist you in booking a car in either San José or Puerto Viejo if you like.

The driving to Puerto Viejo page has full information on getting here if you are driving from San José or elsewhere in Costa Rica.

Looking for other transport options?

If you're looking for information on how to get TO Puerto Viejo, check our Getting Here: Transport Options to Puerto Viejo page. Or go directly to our pages for San Jose - Puerto Viejo bus schedules, San Jose or Arenal shuttle schedules, travel to Bocas del Toro or travel to Tortuguero.

Additional comments from our visitors about Local Transportation in the Puerto Viejo Area

Write a comment/review

What are people saying about us?

Puerto Viejo Satellite

You'll need to go to the bus stop

May 04, 2018

What are people saying about us?


I'll be using the public bus to travel to Punta Uva to Cahuita, my rented house is on the beach side, do I have to go to the Punta Uva bus stop or can I just go outside to the street and wait for the bus there?

May 04, 2018

What are people saying about us?


Single ticket PV to Cahuita is 790 colones. Note that they don’t do return tickets here. There are ticket offices at both PV and Cahuita to buy tickets from. The Cahuita ‘stop’ is actually a bus terminal, so it’s pretty obvious when you arrive.

April 30, 2018

What are people saying about us?


Hi there! I'm thinking about bringing my family to PV in Jan. My daughters will be 3yrs old and 7 months. Do you know if we can rent a trailer attachment like a chariot for our bikes?

October 30, 2017

What are people saying about us?

Puerto Viejo Satellite

Hi, I'm not aware of any place that has carriers or trailers but they may exist. This same question was asked in 2014 but unfortunately no one answered it so please let us know if you do find out! The biggest bike rental place in town is Gallo; the phone we have for them is +506 8641-4314 so maybe you can ask them and please post a follow-up here if you get an answer.

October 30, 2017

What are people saying about us?


Tip: don't put your backpack or personal belongings in your basket of the bike. Guys on mopeds with drive close to you and try to snatch whatever you have in your basket. Witnessed this on my ride from Cocles to Punta Uva

March 30, 2017

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Puerto Viejo Satellite

Ugh, that sucks. Thanks for the tip Sarah.

March 31, 2017

What are people saying about us?


Wondering, is Punta Uva safe in terms of leaving our things on the beach while we swim around?


September 13, 2017

What are people saying about us?

Puerto Viejo Satellite

Unfortunately, no. Leaving your belongings out on the beach unattended is asking for them to be taken and encourages those types of petty thieves to hang around the beaches. Make a buddy on the beach and drop your bag with them while you're in the water. And either way, don't bring valuables to the beach.

September 13, 2017

What are people saying about us?


Many thanks for this excellent and informative page, and your site in general is really good and very helpful.

I'll be renting a place long term in either Cahuita or Manzanillo area, and was wondering if it is possible to rent a scooter long term, on a monthly basis, in those areas (or perhaps even pick it up in Puerto Viejo, if it's only available there)? If yes, any idea about the going rate for a monthly long term rent of a scooter?

I'd really appreciate any info or pointer on this, if someone knows.

August 18, 2015

What are people saying about us?


Excelente página!! Muy útil. Muchas gracias !!

August 11, 2015

What are people saying about us?

Jami from Portland, OR
Local bus prices and communication

Hi! Thanks for the great info about local buses in the area. Can you also provide sample fares from main points, i.e., PV to Cahuita, PV to Manzanillo, etc?
Also, do MEPE drivers often speak English?

January 27, 2015

What are people saying about us?

Puerto Viejo Satellite

I'm afraid I don't have a list of local prices. They are always very affordable though and you should get a receipt with your to/from points listed and the rate. I think most local routes would be in the 1,000 colon range or less. Maybe someone else has these rates?

Most MEPE drivers in my experience speak enough English to let you know the fare in English if you don't speak Spanish but not much more. But there's almost always an international crowd onboard who can translate if needed!

January 29, 2015

What are people saying about us?

Amanda from Canada
bicycle rental

Hello, my hubby and I will be staying there in Jan/Feb and wonder if the bike rental places provide locks or should we bring ours from home?


November 26, 2014

What are people saying about us?

Puerto Viejo Satellite

Yes, cheapo little combo cable locks are generally supplied.

November 26, 2014

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Greg Deemer from Fairbanks, Alaska
Traveling with Mountain Bike


I'm going to be racing in La Ruta de los Conquistadores, a three-day mountain bike stage race. I plan on staying in Costa Rica for another two weeks and was wondering what difficulties I might run into when traveling with a mountain bike. Will buses take bikes as luggage? I have a travel case that the bike can be placed it, but it is quite large and bulky.

October 29, 2014

What are people saying about us?


I just found this info and was wondering if somebody knows a close range of prices for renting a bike the whole day there and if there are places where i can rent it for let's say 4 days in a row. If you know the name of any of these places would be great. Thanks

October 16, 2014

What are people saying about us?


Hi Erick , there is a lot of places where You can rent a bike, It is about 6 us S /day

October 22, 2014

What are people saying about us?

susan from new jersey

We will be traveling from sjo airport to Puerto Viejo , by the time the bus gets there it will be around 8pm... will there still be taxis available around there or local establishment open to call?

July 27, 2014

What are people saying about us?

Puerto Viejo Satellite

Yes, PV doesn't close down early. There are taxis that always meet the buses and there will be plenty of restaurants, bars and some stores still open.

July 28, 2014

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