Costa Rica Transportation:
How to Get Here
Flying in to Costa Rica
In Costa Rica there are two international airports to which you can arrive. The major airport is the Juan Santa Maria Airport (SJO) outside of San Jose in Alajuela. The other is the airport in Liberia, which is northwest of San Jose. I’ll discuss the San Jose airport here, as that is the one you’ll fly into if you are coming to the Caribbean. For details on the airport, take a look at my post Flying in to San Jose.
Aside from the major airlines that fly into San Jose, smaller airlines that sometimes offer good deals are JetBlue, SpiritAir and Taca. For travel within Costa Rica there are two small airlines NatureAir and Sansa. There is an airport in Limon, a city one hour north of Puerto Viejo, however there are no airlines flying scheduled flights to Limon airport at this time. NatureAir offers charter flights to Limon.
When planning your trip to the Caribbean, bear in mind that it is a five hour drive from the airport to Puerto Viejo and that it gets dark at 6 p.m. Consequently, if your flight arrives after noon, it may work out better to stay over night in the San Jose area and get an early start for the Caribbean the next morning.
For your return flight home, many people prefer to leave for San Jose the day before the flight so as to be sure to get to the airport in time. Costa Rica is the land of Murphy’s Law (Anything that can go wrong will go wrong). Route 32, the main highway between San Jose and the Caribbean, is a two lane road that at times has been blocked by traffic backups, accidents, road work and even land slides. The best plans and intentions can be delayed. If your flight leaves in the afternoon and you head out super early in the morning, you’ll probably make it on time.
COSTA RICA WEATHER
The Costa Rica climate varies from place to place in this small country, due to the different weather patterns created by oceans on either side and great mountain ranges inland.
The Caribbean side is nicest in the late summer and fall. I love it best from August through October. The sun is out, the waves are small and good for snorkeling and swimming. It’s not so good for surfing at that time of year.
Springtime in the Caribbean is not too hot and often just lovely. The day time temperatures in my part of Costa Rica are usually in the high 80′s. In the summer it can get into the 90′s. In the winter, the low 80′s and even the high 70′s. Of course it is somewhat cooler at night.
In the Caribbean we get the most rain from November to January. It also rains in May thru July but there’s lots of sun, too. It is warm when it rains. You won’t need more than a light jacket for outer wear.
Getting to the Caribbean
There are a number of ways to get from the airport to Puerto Viejo in the Caribbean. I offer a guide service and I can pick you up. Check my Guide Service pages for details and contact me for the cost.
Check the links below for detailed information on:
PRIVATE SHUTTLE SERVICE – A carefree way from San Jose to Puerto Viejo
RENTAL CAR – for the freedom of driving
PUBLIC BUS – the most economical way to go
RAFTING- For the adventurous – you can actually take a raft trip to get here!
Each form of transportation has its benefits.
Through my Personal Guide Service, I pick you up you get a guided tour with inside information on San Jose and the surrounding area. Along the way we can stop and sight see, while I tell you about the history of Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. I’ll point out all the interesting places We can stop and eat at a restaurant that serves fresh Tilapia from their ponds. (Photo Above) And we can even take a dip in the pool.
The private shuttle service is a good choice for your first trip to Costa Rica. It is much easier and relatively stress free compared to taking the bus. And you don’t have to lug your luggage from plane to bus to taxi to bus to hotel. This frees you up to simply look around and enjoy yourself.CONTACT ME to reserve the private shuttle.
Driving gives you freedom and independence but for newcomers it is my least recommended way to travel. You have to go through San Jose, which can be nerve wracking. It is easy to get lost. The traffic is terrible and the drivers are crazy. You’ve got to plan your trip so that you are not driving in the dark and if there is construction or an accident you can be delayed for hours. Besides, you don’t really need a car in Puerto Viejo. You can go anywhere you want to go by taxi, bus, bike or on foot. I say: save your car rental expenses and use the cash for fun excursions when you get here.
Besides the obvious economic advantage of taking the bus, it can be fun. You can practice your Spanish with the person sitting next to you. Most people you meet will be friendly and congenial. When you get tired of looking out the window at the gigantic plants or the infinite pineapple fields you can people watch and learn something about the culture. The bus ride can also be long and tedious on a hot afternoon. But the seats are comfortable. That’s a good time to take a nap.
And of course for the most adventurous, rafting is the way to go!
Whatever way you decide to get here – just get here! I’ll be waiting for you at Hidden Jungle Beach House.
Walking Directions to Hidden Jungle Beach House from the town of Puerto Viejo
Take the main street out of town in the direction of Limon. You’ll go over a little bridge at the edge of town. The beach will be on your right. Make your FIRST LEFT.WE HAVE NO SIGN for Hidden Jungle Beach House. You’ll see white painted palm trees on the beach side and you’ll see Kaya’s Place across the street. Go only about 50 meters (half a block). Then make your FIRST LEFT into my driveway. Pass the blue house in the front and go to my house at the END of the driveway. Or just take a taxi from town for $2.00. Have the driver call me for directions: 8917-1201.