By Plane: See the info for Limón. Note: While taxis do meet all incoming flights, it’s best to arrange a private transfer with your hotel if possible.
By Car: To reach Puerto Viejo, continue south from Cahuita on CR36 for another 16km (10 miles). Watch for a prominent and well-marked fork in the highway. The right-hand fork continues on to Bribri, Sixaola, and the Panamanian border. The left-hand fork (it actually appears to be a straight shot) takes you to Puerto Viejo within 5km (3 miles). Gas up in Hone Creek, because there are no gas stations farther south.
By Bus: Mepe express buses (www.mepecr.com; tel. 2257-8129 in San José, or 2758-1572 in Puerto Viejo) to Puerto Viejo leave San José daily at 6 and 10am, noon, and 2 and 4pm from the Caribbean terminal (Gran Terminal del Caribe) on Calle Central, Avenida 13. The trip’s duration is 4[bf]1/2 to 5 hours; the fare is C6,000. During peak periods, extra buses are sometimes added. Always ask if the bus is continuing on to Manzanillo (helpful if you’re staying in a hotel south of town).
Interbus (www.interbusonline.com; tel. 4100-0888) has daily buses that leave San José for Puerto Viejo at 7:20am and 2:30pm. The fare is $54. Interbus buses leave Puerto Viejo daily at 6am and 1:30pm. Interbus will pick you up at most hotels in both San José and Puerto Viejo, and offers connections to various other destinations around Costa Rica.
Or you can catch a bus to Limón and then transfer to a Puerto Viejo–bound bus in Limón. These latter buses (tel. 2758-1572) leave roughly every hour between 7:30am and 4:30pm from the main terminal in Limón. Buses from Limón to Manzanillo stop in Puerto Viejo and leave daily about every 2 hours between 5:50am and 6:30pm. The trip is 11/2 hours; the fare is C2,000 to Puerto Viejo, and C2,550 to Manzanillo.
If you arrive in Puerto Viejo by bus, be leery of street salesmen offering hotel rooms. In most cases, they work on a small commission from whatever hotel or cabina is hiring, and, in some cases, they’ll steer you away from a better hotel or falsely claim that it’s full.
Express buses leave Puerto Viejo for San José daily at 9 and 11am and 4pm. Buses for Limón leave daily roughly every 2 hours between 9:30am and 6:30pm. However, schedules are subject to change, so it’s best to check with your hotel. Buses to Punta Uva and Manzanillo leave Puerto Viejo about a half-dozen times throughout the day.
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.