Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui Getting There
From San Jose, buses depart from the Terminal del Caribe, Ave.13, Calle Central. There are many daily departures, and tickets cost roughly $2.50. As schedules change frequently, travelers should call ahead to confirm departure times. Tel: 2222-0610 / 2257-6859.
Make sure to get a ticket to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui and not to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, which is on the Caribbean coast.
Buses to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui arrive from San Jose using two different routes. One passes through Heredia Province, taking a longer but more scenic route. The other travels via the Guapiles Highway and Braulio Carrillo National Park. The latter is a more direct route and takes less than two hours for the 50-mile journey.
Depending on road conditions and chosen route, travel time between San Jose/Alajuela /Heredia and Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui is roughly 1.5 to 2.5 hours by car.
From San Jose (Direct Route)
Take the Guapiles Highway toward Limon. After passing Braulio Carillo National Park, drive for about one hour and turn left at the exit for Rio Frio (look for the sign to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, not Puerto Viejo de Limon). Continue on this road for 18.6 miles until you get to the intersection of Puerto Viejo/La Virgen. Turn left toward La Virgen and drive roughly 15 miles farther, following signs to Puerto Viejo. This is the fastest route and takes about 1.5 hours by car.
From San Jose via Heredia
A more scenic drive from San Jose via Heredia: Follow signs in Heredia to Barva, continuing uphill to Vara Blanca. Turn right following signs to Vara Blanca at the gas station. Continue on this winding mountain road, passing La Paz Waterfall Gardens on your left. Pass the community of Cariblanco and continue to San Miguel where there is a fork in the road. The westbound (left) fork leads toward La Fortuna and Arenal Volcano and the north fork heads to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui to the northeast. Follow signs to Puerto Viejo.
Another slightly longer but scenic route departs from Alajuela and heads north through Vara Blanca, La Paz Waterfalls, and the towns of San Miguel and La Virgen. The 68 mile journey takes approximately 2.5 hours or less. Drive through downtown Alajuela and turn at the courthouse, following Poas Volcano signs. Follow this mountain road and turn right at the crossroads, toward Vara Blanca. You will see a Churasco Restaurant and signs for Vara Blanca and La Paz Waterfall Gardens here.
Continue through Vara Blanca until you reach signs for Puerto Viejo (34 miles or 55 km) and San Miguel. Turn left at the gas station, following signs for Puerto Viejo. You will pass La Paz Waterfall Gardens on your left and continue through San Miguel and La Virgen to Puerto Viejo.