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Bus from San Jose to Puerto Viejo + Alternative Travel Options

Traveling by bus from San Jose to Puerto Viejo is the most economical way. However, there are more ways to travel to Puerto Viejo, depending on your budget and travel style.

Puerto Viejo is a small Caribbean town on the Atlantic Coast of Costa Rica. It features some of the country’s most beautiful beaches and is a paradise for beach lovers and surfers.

To help you better plan your trip to Puerto Viejo, we created this guide with all available travel options from San Jose to Puerto Viejo.

Universal Traveller recommends the following websites to plan & book your trip

  • Get Your Guide helps you find the best tours wherever you are heading to.

Here you can find more information about Costa Rica transportation, and don’t forget to check out our detailed Costa Rica travel guide.

How far is Puerto Viejo from San Jose?

The road distance from San Jose to Puerto Viejo is about 217 kilometers or 135 miles.

The flight distance from San Jose to the nearest airport in Limon is 115 kilometers (71 miles).

Transportation Options from San Jose to Puerto Viejo

The following table outlines all transportation options from San Jose to Puerto Viejo. Here you can find more information about Costa Rica transportation.

MethodTravel timePrice
Public Bus from San Jose to Puerto Viejo4 hours 30 minutesUSD 10
Shared Shuttle from San Jose to Puerto Viejo4-5 hoursUSD 50
Private Transfer from San Jose to Puerto Viejo~4 hours~USD 230
Flight from San Jose to Puerto Viejo via Limon Airport~ 2 hours
Rental Car~ 4 hours

How to get from San Jose, Costa Rica to Puerto Viejo

Protect your trip: With all our travel experience, we highly recommend you hit the road with travel insurance. SafetyWing offers flexible & reliable Digital Nomads Travel Medical Insurance at just a third of the price of similar competitor plans.

1. Public Bus from San Jose to Puerto Viejo

Journey Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes

The public bus is the cheapest option to travel to Puerto Viejo. Bus transportation in Costa Rica is excellent, and around seven daily express buses leave San Jose to Puerto Viejo daily.

The direct buses to Puerto Viejo leave from the Terminal de Autobus Atlantico Norte which is located on Calle 12 between Avenidas 7 and 9 in Barrio Mexico in San Jose.

Make sure to board the bus to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca or also known as Puerto Viejo de Limon as there are is a second town called Puerto Viejo in Costa Rica.

The trip takes around 4.5 hours and includes a 15 minutes stop at the bus terminal in Limon. The price is about 10 USD, and the bus leaves at 6 AM, 8 AM, 10 AM, 12 PM, 2 PM, 4 PM, and 6 PM.

Alternatively, you can take a bus to Limon, which takes around three hours, and transfer to another bus for Puerto Viejo.

The second bus ride will take another 1.5 hours. I guess that’s only interesting if the direct bus is either fully booked or you don’t like the schedule.

Puerto Viejo, Manzanillo And Cocles Beach

GuateGo

On GuateGo, you can check all available transportation options from San Jose to Puerto Viejo. It is a reliable and easy-to-use platform to compare prices & schedules and make a booking online.

From San José Costa Rica To Puerto Viejo - Guatego

2. Shared Van Shuttle

Journey Duration: 4-5 hours

An affordable alternative to the public bus is the shared van service. Depending on your pick-up location, the trip takes around four to five hours and costs about 50 USD.

Several companies are offering this service, and they will pick you up at the airport in San Jose or just any location in San Jose.

Reserve your shared van shuttle in advance on GuateGo.

What To Do In Puerto Viejo Costa Rica

3. Private Transfer

Journey Duration: ~4 hours

If you don’t want to depend on the public bus or shared Van schedule, you can also book a private transfer from your hotel or the airport in San Jose to Puerto Viejo.

A Van for up to four people costs around 230 USD. Larger vehicles are also available if you are a big group or have lots of luggage. The cars usually have air condition and are in good condition.

Snorkeling In Puerto Viejo De Talamanca 1
©Simon Dannhauer via Canva.com

4. Flight from San Jose to Puerto Viejo

Journey Duration: ~2 hours

Unfortunately, there is no airport directly in Puerto Viejo.

However, it is possible to fly from San Jose to Limon airport, around 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Puerto Viejo.

GuateGo

On GuateGo, you can check all available transportation options from San Jose to Puerto Viejo. It is a reliable and easy-to-use platform to compare prices & schedules and make a booking online.

Going To Puerto Viejo?
10 Best Things To Do In Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

5. Driving with Rental Car

Journey Duration: ~4 hours

One of the best ways to explore Costa Rica independently is by hiring a rental car. Depending on where you want to go, I recommend a 4×4.

However, the road between San Jose and Puerto Viejo is drivable in a standard vehicle without problems.

Best day tours in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Get Your Guide helps you find the best tours wherever you are heading to. It’s usually the first website I check when I plan a trip to a new place.

Here you can find some of the best tours in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica.

Frequently Asked Questions

Protect your trip: With all our travel experience, we highly recommend you hit the road with travel insurance. SafetyWing offers flexible & reliable Digital Nomads Travel Medical Insurance at just a third of the price of similar competitor plans.

Can you fly from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San José?

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca doesn’t have an airport. The closest airport is in Limon. You must drive for about an hour to get to the airport in Limon and take a flight to San José.

What is the cheapest way to get to San José to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca?

The cheapest way for this trip is to go by public bus. It will cost 7-12 USD, and it takes 5 hours and 30 minutes to arrive.