By Plane: Sansa (www.flysansa.com; tel. 877/767-2672 in the U.S. and Canada, or 2290-4100 in Costa Rica)began daily flights into Limón’s small seaside airstrip in 2015. They offer afternoon flights from San José to Limón to Tortuguero and back to San José. Fares run between $65 and $90, one-way. The airport is located a few miles south of the city, on the coastal road to Cahuita and Puerto Viejo.
Local taxis are usually waiting for arriving flights. However, if you’re looking to head down the coast to Cahuita or Puerto Viejo and beyond, it’s recommended to arrange a transfer beforehand either with your hotel, or Gecko Trail Adventures (www.geckotrail.com; tel. 2756-8412), a Puerto Viejo–based tour agency and transfer company.
By Car: The Guápiles Highway (CR32) heads north out of San José on Calle 3 before turning east and passing close to Barva Volcano and through the rainforests of Braulio Carrillo National Park en route to Limón. The route, lined with stands selling sweet loaves of pan bon, takes about 2 and 1/2 hours and is spectacularly beautiful, especially when it’s not raining or misty. Alternately, you can take the old highway, which is also scenic but slower. It heads east out of San José on Avenida Central and passes through San Pedro and then Curridabat before reaching Cartago. From Cartago on, the narrow and winding road passes through Turrialba before descending out of the mountains to Siquirres, where the old highway meets the new. This route takes around 4 hours to get to Limón.
By Bus: Transportes Caribeños buses (tel. 2222-0610 in San José, or 2758-2575 in Limón) leave San José every hour daily between 5am and 7pm from the Caribbean bus terminal (Gran Terminal del Caribe) on Calle Central, Avenida 13. Friday and Sunday, the last bus leaves at 8pm. The trip duration is around 3 hours. The buses are either direct or local (corriente), and they don’t alternate in any particularly predictable fashion. The local buses are generally older and less comfortable and stop en route to pick up passengers from the roadside. The fare is around C3,500 one-way.
Buses leave Limón for San José every hour between 5am and 7pm, and similarly alternate between local and direct, with the last bus leaving 1 hour later on Sundays. The Limón bus terminal is on the main road into town, several blocks west of the downtown area and Parque Vargas.
Buses (tel. 2758-1572 for the terminal) to Cahuita and Puerto Viejo leave here roughly every hour from 7:30am to 4:30pm daily. Buses to Punta Uva and Manzanillo, both of which are south of Puerto Viejo, leave Limón daily at 5:30, 6:30, 8:30, 10:30am, and 12:30, 3:30, 5:30, and 6:30pm from the same station.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.