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 Monday to Saturday schedule is:

Limon→Cahuita¹Puerto ViejoManzanillo
5:306:156:457:15
6:307:157:458:15
8:309:159:4510:15
10:3011:1511:4512:15
12:3013:1513:4514:15
15:3016:1516:4517:15
17:3018:1518:4519:15
18:3019:1519:4520:15
 
Manzanillo→Puerto ViejoCahuita¹Limon
5:005:306:006:45
7:007:308:008:45
8:008:309:009:45
10:0010:3011:0011:45
12:0012:3013:0013:45
14:0014:3015:0015:45
16:0016:3017:0017:45
18:0018:3019:0019:45

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

Additional buses travel between Limon and Puerto Viejo but do not continue to Manzanillo:

Limon→Cahuita¹Puerto Viejo
7:308:158:45
9:3010:1510:45
11:3012:1512:45
13:3014:1514:45
14:3015:1515:45
16:3017:1517:45
 
Puerto Viejo→Cahuita¹Limon
6:307:007:45
9:3010:0010:45
11:3012:0012:45
13:3014:0014:45
15:3016:0016:45
17:3018:0018:45

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

The schedule varies on Sundays and holidays so please check the schedule at the MEPE office before travel on those days.

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 two bus routes which service Sixaola (at the border with Panama). One goes between Puerto Viejo and Sixaola with stops in Hone Creek and Bribri. The other runs between Limon and Sixaola with stops in Cahuita, Hone Creek and Bribri. So for service to Bribri or Hone Creek there is effectively service every half hour, and for other stops hourly. Sixaola is the border town where you take the bus to if you're traveling to Bocas del Toro. See our Travel to Bocas del Toro page for full details on travel to Panama and Bocas del Toro via Sixaola.

The Puerto Viejo ↔ Sixoala schedule is (note that on Sundays and holidays the services with note 1 do not operate):

NotesPuerto ViejoHone Creek²Bribri²Sixaola
6:306:406:557:15
17:307:407:558:15
8:308:408:559:15
19:309:409:5510:15
10:3010:4010:5511:15
111:3011:4011:5512:15
12:3012:4012:5513:15
113:3013:4013:5514:15
14:3014:4014:5515:15
115:3015:4015:5516:15
16:3016:4016:5517:15
117:3017:4017:5518:15
18:3018:4018:5519:15
119:3019:4019:5520:15
NotesSixaolaBribri²Hone Creek²Puerto Viejo
5:306:156:306:40
16:307:157:307:40
7:308:158:308:40
18:309:159:309:40
9:3010:1510:3010:40
110:3011:1511:3011:40
11:3012:1512:3012:40
112:3013:1513:3013:40
13:3014:1514:3014:40
114:3015:1515:3015:40
15:3016:1516:3016:40
116:3017:1517:3017:40
17:3018:1518:3018:40

¹ This bus does not run on Sundays or holidays.
² MEPE schedules include only departure times from Limon or Puerto Viejo. Departure times at intermediate stops and arrival times are approximate so arrive in plenty of time.

The Limon ↔ Sixaola schedule is:

NotesLimonCahuita²Hone Creek²Bribri²Sixaola
5:006:006:156:306:50
6:007:007:157:307:50
7:008:008:158:308:50
8:009:009:159:309:50
9:0010:0010:1510:3010:50
10:0011:0011:1511:3011:50
11:0012:0012:1512:3012:50
12:0013:0013:1513:3013:50
13:0014:0014:1514:3014:50
14:0015:0015:1515:3015:50
15:0016:0016:1516:3016:50
16:0017:0017:1517:3017:50
17:0018:0018:1518:3018:50
18:0019:0019:1519:3019:50
119:0020:0020:15--

¹ Terminates Puerto Viejo

NotesSixaolaBribri²Hone Creek²Cahuita²Limon
5:005:205:355:506:50
6:006:206:356:507:50
7:007:207:357:508:50
8:008:208:358:509:50
9:009:209:359:5010:50
10:0010:2010:3510:5011:50
11:0011:2011:3511:5012:50
12:0012:2012:3512:5013:50
13:0013:2013:3513:5014:50
14:0014:2014:3514:5015:50
115:0015:2015:3515:5016:50
116:0016:2016:3516:5017:50
117:0017:2017:3517:5018:50
118:0018:2018:3518:5019:50
1,219:0019:2019:35--

¹If you're traveling to Panama via Sixaola, remember the border is only open until 5pm so make sure to arrive early enough in Sixaola to have time for border formalities.
² Terminates Puerto Viejo

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.

Taxi

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 Costa Rica, 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?

andre

Hi, when getting off the plane in Limon airport, where do we catch the bus to Sixaola? also after crossing the border, how do we get to the Boca Island?
thx
A

August 23, 2019

What are people saying about us?

Puerto Viejo Satelite

From Limón Airport, the best place to get the public bus to Sixaola is from the MEPE bus terminal in downtown Limón. It MAY be possible to flag down a bus on the highway opposite the airport but we don't really recommend it. Take a taxi there or prebook a shuttle to Puerto Viejo or all the way to Sixaola or contact Caribe Shuttle and ask them if they'll pick you up at the Limón Airport for transport to Bocas. There's more info on transport from Limón airport on our flying page.

August 25, 2019

What are people saying about us?

paulsmith

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?

June 24, 2019

What are people saying about us?

Puerto Viejo Satellite

Glad it helped! No, MEPE drivers don't generally speak English other than the basics. Sorry, I don't have rates for the local buses but they're all very cheap and your ticket should show the cost.

June 25, 2019

What are people saying about us?

Sofia

It's possible to travel to Gandoca by bus from Puerto Viejo?

April 13, 2019

What are people saying about us?

Puerto Viejo Satellite

No, you would need to take a bus to Sixaola then a taxi. There's a little more info on our Gandoca page

April 13, 2019

What are people saying about us?

Debra Morris

I can't find prices from Playa Chiquita to Punta Uva, or from Punta Uva to Playa Chiquita. The driver has charged us 3 different prices from Punta Uva back to Playa Chiquita. One day its 600 co lines another day its 700 colones, and I feel like we are getting robbed. I also wanted to know the price from Playa Chiquita to Puerto Viejo and back as well as from Playa Chiquita to Cahuita and back. I don't want to be charged more than I should be each time I take a bus. I can't find prices for these anywhere.

March 24, 2019

What are people saying about us?

Puerto Viejo Satellite

600-700 colones sounds about right. I believe the prices are printed on the ticket the driver gives you. If not you'll have to ask at the MEPE office. Keep in perspective that 100 colones = 15 cents. Neither of those are major stops so the difference is probably which zone the driver is punching.

March 24, 2019

What are people saying about us?

Jack Jacobsen

Hi, I'm having a hard time finding the answer to this online. We're planning a trip next year with our daughter who will be 8 years old. Do any of the bike rental placed have kid's sized bikes or tandem bikes that children can ride on the back of? She's a good biker but will need a smaller bike for sure. Thanks for your time.

January 19, 2019

What are people saying about us?

Puerto Viejo Satellite

Yes they do. Some of the rental places in town usually have one or a couple of kids bikes and I think there are tandem bikes too but I could not tell you which store

January 19, 2019

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?

Luis

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?

Louise

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?

Sabrina

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?

Sarah

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

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Bianca

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

Thanks!
Bianca

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?

Daniel

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.
Cheers.

August 18, 2015

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