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:

Monday to Saturday

Limón
Cahuita¹ Puerto Viejo¹ Manzanillo¹
05:30 06:30 06:45 07:15
06:30 07:30 07:45 08:15
08:30 09:30 09:45 10:15
10:30 11:30 11:45 12:15
12:30 13:30 13:45 14:15
15:30 16:30 16:45 17:15
17:30 18:30 18:45 19:15
18:30 19:30 19:45 20:15
Manzanillo
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
12:00 12:30 13:00 14:00
14:00 14:30 15:00 16:00
16:00 16:30 17:00 18:00
18:00 18:30 19:00 20:00

Sundays & Holidays

Limón
Cahuita¹ Puerto Viejo¹ Manzanillo¹
06:30 07:30 07:45 08:15
08:30 09:30 09:45 10:15
09:30 10:30 10:45 11:15
10:30 11:30 11:45 12:15
11:30 12:30 12:45 13:15
12:30 13:30 13:45 14:15
14:30 15:30 15:45 16:15
16:30 17:30 17:45 18:15
18:30 19:30 19:45 20:15
Manzanillo
Puerto Viejo¹ Cahuita¹ Limón¹
05:00 05:30 06:00 07:00
07:00 07:30 08:00 09:00
09:00 09:30 10:00 11:00
11:00 11:30 12:00 13:00
13:00 13:30 14:00 15:00
15:00 15:30 16:00 17:00
17:00 17:30 18:00 19:00
18:00 18:30 19:00 20:00
 

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.

Limon - Cahuita - Hone Creek - Puerto Viejo

MEPE runs a service between Limon and Puerto Viejo which is also helpful for getting from Puerto Viejo to Cahuita or Hone Creek. The schedule is:

LimonCahuita¹Hone Creek¹Puerto Viejo¹
7:308:308:459:00
9:3010:3010:4511:00
11:3012:3012:4513:00
13:3014:3014:4515:00
14:3015:3015:4516:00
16:3017:3017:4518:00
Puerto ViejoHone Creek¹Cahuita¹Limon¹
9:309:4510:0011:00
11:3011:4512:0013:00
13:3013:4514:0015:00
15:3015:4516:0017:00
17:3017:4518:0019:00
18:3018:4519:0020:00

¹ 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 highway south to Sixaola is lined with banana plantations and worker housing. Photo by Costa Rica Dog Lover.

Puerto Viejo - Hone Creek - Bribri - Sixaola

MEPE runs an hourly service (every two hours on Sundays) from Puerto Viejo to Sixaola, at the border with Panama. See our Travel to Bocas del Toro page for full details on travel to Panama and Bocas del Toro. The schedule is:

Puerto ViejoHone CreekBribriSixaolaNotes
     
6:306:457:008:00 
7:307:458:009:001
8:308:459:0010:00 
9:309:4510:0011:001
10:3010:4511:0012:00 
11:3011:4512:0013:001
12:3012:4513:0014:00 
13:3013:4514:0015:001
14:3014:4515:0016:00 
15:3015:4516:0017:001
16:3016:4517:0018:00 
17:3017:4518:0019:001
18:3018:4519:0020:00 
19:3019:4520:0021:001
SixaolaBribriHone CreekPuerto ViejoNotes
5:306:306:457:00 
6:307:307:458:001
7:308:308:459:00 
8:309:309:4510:001
9:3010:3010:4511:00 
10:3011:3011:4512:001
11:3012:3012:4513:00 
12:3013:3013:4514:001
13:3014:3014:4515:00 
14:3015:3015:4516:001
15:3016:3016:4517:00 
16:3017:3017:4518:001
17:3018:3018:4519:00 
18:3019:30--1,2
19:3020:30--2

¹ Does not operate on Sundays or Holidays
² This bus terminates at Bribri, does not go to Puerto Viejo

Limon - Cahuita - Hone Creek - Bri Bri - Sixaola

MEPE also runs a frequent service from Limon to Sixaola, at the border with Panama. If you are travelling from Cahuita you can use this bus to reach the border. See our Travel to Bocas del Toro page for full details on travel to Panama and Bocas del Toro. This service does NOT come into Puerto Viejo, see the schedule above for the bus which does, but you can catch it from Hone Creek. The schedule is:

LimonCahuita¹Hone Creek¹Bribri¹Sixaola¹
5:006:006:156:307:30
6:007:007:157:308:30
7:008:008:158:309:30
8:009:009:159:3010:30
9:0010:0010:1510:3011:30
10:0011:0011:1511:3012:30
11:0012:0012:1512:3013:30
12:0013:0013:1513:3014:30
13:0014:0014:1514:3015:30
14:0015:0015:1515:3016:30
15:0016:0016:1516:3017:30
16:0017:0017:1517:3018:30
17:0018:0018:1518:3019:30
18:0019:0019:1519:3020:30
19:0020:0020:15²20:45²21:45
SixaolaBribri¹Hone Creek¹Cahuita¹Limon¹
5:006:006:156:307:30
6:007:007:157:308:30
7:008:008:158:309:30
8:009:009:159:3010:30
9:0010:0010:1510:3011:30
10:0011:0011:1511:3012:30
11:0012:0012:1512:3013:30
12:0013:0013:1513:3014:30
13:0014:0014:1514:3015:30
14:0015:0015:1515:3016:30
15:0016:0016:1516:3017:30
16:0017:0017:1517:3018:30
17:0018:0018:1518:3019:30
18:0019:0019:1519:3020:30
19:0020:0020:15²20:45²21:45

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 final bus of the day goes into Puerto Viejo between Hone Creek and Cahuita

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 and Scooter Rental

Many Hotels rent bicycles. If your hotel doesn't have bike rentals available, there are lots of options in downtown Puerto Viejo. Just ask around or look for the bike racks outside and signs. Make sure you always lock your bike. Prices are very reasonable, from about $6 per day.

Several 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 Adventures, recommends Adobe. You can check Adobe rates here.

Check the Driving to Puerto Viejo page to search for the best priced car rental from San Jose.

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?

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

What are people saying about us?

Puerto Viejo Satellite

Ugh, that sucks. Thanks for the tip Sarah.

March 31, 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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Rodrigo

Excelente página!! Muy útil. Muchas gracias !!

August 11, 2015

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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

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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?

Thanks!

November 26, 2014

What are people saying about us?

Puerto Viejo Satellite

Yes, cheapo little combo cable locks are generally supplied.

November 26, 2014

What are people saying about us?

Greg Deemer from Fairbanks, Alaska
Traveling with Mountain Bike

Hello,

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?

erick

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?

Marco

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

October 22, 2014

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susan from new jersey
question

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

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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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Loreta
Beach Access

Hello! Thank you so much for this very informative page. Going to puerto viejo for 4-6 weeks beginning in mid-May. Still deciding on a place to live (either in puerto viejo or in cocles, I want to be close to om yoga next to caribeans and to the gym - which is next to le cameleon? or has it closed? - My question is, I can't find a map of beach access anywhere. I just want to make sure that I choose the right place with the best location. Could you help me with some general pointers of where there is beach access in cocles? Thank you so much in advance for your time.

April 27, 2014

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dustin from canada
catching the bus in puerto viejo

hi there! im just wondering where do i buy tickets/catch the bus to san jose from puerto viejo?
thanks

April 05, 2014

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Patrice from Silverthorne, Colorado USA
Bike rentals

So it sounds like the streets are fairly busy. We are looking into staying near Playa Chiquita. Are you able to rent bikes for kids and can you rent a baby carrier for the back of a bike?

March 20, 2014

What are people saying about us?

Doug

Busiest stretch is right around Puerto Viejo and to the beach at Playa Cocles (but there is also a trail off the road for this part). Other than that the road is pretty quiet. Not sure about your question about the baby carrier. There are tons of places to rent bikes but I really don't recall seeing any of them renting bikes with carriers. You might try contacting Gallo's or Tuanis which are the biggest bike rental places (many hotels rent them too). Unfortunately I don't have phone numbers or email for them. Alternatively you could bring your own carrier and it would be no problem getting one of those places to install it for you. Anyone else have advice?

March 21, 2014

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Nina from Puerto Viejo

Most bike rentals also offer baby seats. The one I know for sure is right in town, next to Multicentro. Not sure about the bike rentals in Playa Chiquita though. The street has become more and more busy and unfortunately, since it is in good condition now, cars can go fast. You may want to check out first how you feel about riding with a child on it.

March 22, 2014

What are people saying about us?

lorraine from toronto canada

I'd like to book an atv in puerto viego, but need transportation from the port of limon. Is is best to take taxi or bus. how close is the bus station to the port? And do they make a lot of stops on the way?

November 17, 2013

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