La Fortuna to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Overview Compare Minivan Taxi Bus To Stay

How to get from La Fortuna to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is one of the most charming destinations on Costa Rica’s eastern coast. Facing the Caribbean Sea, its laidback vibe enchants surfing and yoga enthusiasts alike. Imagine amazing waves, turquoise waters, fine beaches, palm trees, and reggae music in the background!

But it’s not just the natural gifts that attract us to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. It’s the people and their beautiful culture. The town is home to a mix of indigenous people and Afro-Caribbean residents, living in harmony with the many different nationalities that have decided to settle down here.

A note: there are two places called Puerto Viejo in Costa Rica. These are Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui (north of San Jose) and Puerto Viejo de Talamanca (southeast of San Jose). Make sure you are going to the correct Puerto Viejo when booking and boarding your ride!

New to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca? Our compact Puerto Viejo de Talamanca guide shows you the best areas to stay, restaurants you don’t want to miss and many more tips for your visit to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca!

3 ways to get from La Fortuna to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Minivan6 hours$60 (35,000 CRC)Check Minivan Tickets
Private Transfer6 hours$333 (193,000 CRC)Book a Private Transfer
Indirect Bus8.5 hours$16 (9,000 CRC)Read article for more info

There are 3 ways to travel the 270 km distance from La Fortuna to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. You can take a 6-hour minivan, a 6-hour private transfer, or an 8.5-hour indirect bus. Rates are from $16 (9,000 CRC) to $333 (193,000 CRC).

The minivan is a tourist-favourite for its convenience. Although minivan shuttles are a bit pricey with fares from $60 (35,000 CRC), they are direct transfers that also offer free hotel pick-up and drop-off. So you won’t really have to worry about anything on your journey from La Fortuna to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

If you’re travelling in a group, it might be cheaper to just get your own private ride. Rates for a 6-seater minivan from La Fortuna to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca start from $333 (193,000 CRC). That’s about $55 per person when you split the cost.

The indirect bus is the cheapest way to get from La Fortuna to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. Combined rates start from only $16 (9,000 CRC), about 1/4 the price of a minivan ticket. However, you will have to take 3 buses and the journey takes about 8.5 hours.

Where to stay in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca?

Still looking for accommodation? Don’t forget to check out our favourite places to stay in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca at the bottom of this page.

Itinerary from La Fortuna to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

La Fortuna to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca by Minivan

Duration: 6 hours
Cost: $60 (35,000 CRC)
Duration: 6 hours
Cost: $60 (35,000 CRC)

If you’re travelling solo or with a small group, there’s really no more comfortable option than taking a minivan shuttle. It’s a shared ride that will pick you up from your hotel in La Fortuna and drop you off wherever you’re staying at Puerto Viejo de Talamanca town centre.

Rates for a 6-hour minivan shuttle from La Fortuna to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca start from $60 (35,000 CRC). Quite pricey, but is it worth it? It’s a door-to-door ride that is 2.5 hours faster than the bus, so if you want speed and convenience, it’s definitely worth it!

Minivan schedule

Minivan OperatorScheduleCosts
Interbus06:30-12:30$60 (35,000 CRC)
Check Van Tickets
Caribe Shuttle13:00-19:00$65 (38,000 CRC)
Check Van Tickets
Desafio Adventure Company07:00-12:00
$66 (38,000 CRC)
Check Van Tickets
Tropical Tours Shuttles06:30-12:30$70 (41,000 CRC)
Check Van Tickets

It’s best to book your ride online for guaranteed seats, and also so you won’t have to visit the minivan offices just to buy a ticket. Tropical Tours can be booked directly on its website. As for Interbus, Caribe Shuttle, and Desafio Company, tickets are cheaper when you buy them on BookAway.

La Fortuna to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca by Private Transfer

Duration: 6 hours
Cost: $333 (193,000 CRC)
Duration: 6 hours
Cost: $333 (193,000 CRC)

Are you travelling with a larger group? Then we think it’s better to just get your own private ride from La Fortuna to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. Especially if you’re in a group of 5 to 6 people, you’ll only have to pay around the same cost or even cheaper than that of a minivan ticket.

Private transfer rates start from $333 (193,000 CRC) for a 6-seater minivan. When you divide the cost among 6 passengers, then that’s around $55 per person.

We recommend booking your ride via BookAway, which offers different types of vehicles depending on the number of people in your group and your preferred level of luxury.

Book a Private Transfer with BookAway

La Fortuna to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca by Bus

Duration: 8.5 hours
Cost: $16 (9,000 CRC)
Duration: 8.5 hours
Cost: $16 (9,000 CRC)

The bus is definitely the cheapest option, but also the slowest. There are no direct buses from La Fortuna to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca so you’ll have to take 3 buses. That includes a stop in San Jose, even though it’s technically out of the way, as that is the only route available if you want to travel completely by bus.

Travel time is around 8.5 hours, excluding the possible waiting time for your connecting buses. Still, with combined rates from as low as $16 (9,000 CRC), we have to admit that taking the bus can be very appealing.

Step 1: La Fortuna to Ciudad Quesada by Bus

Duration: 1 hour
Cost: $3 (2,000 CRC)
Duration: 1 hour
Cost: $3 (2,000 CRC)

It’s worth noting that there is actually one daily bus that operates straight from La Fortuna to San Jose, but this arrives in the capital at 18:45 so you won’t make it in time for the last trip going to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

So instead of taking that direct trip, you’ll first have to make your way from La Fortuna to Ciudad Quesada, a business hub located some 45 km southeast. Buses are available for this route every day from 05:10 in the morning to 21:20 in the evening.

It’s best to take a morning trip to ensure that you’ll arrive in Puerto Viejo on the same day.

A ticket costs $3 (2,000 CRC) and you can buy them at La Fortuna Bus Station. You might be confused with the schedules as there are two routes going to Ciudad Quesada: one via El Tanque (a bit faster) and another one via Chachagua (more scenic). They both arrive at the same bus station so we advice that you just take whichever’s leaving next.

Travel time to Ciudad Quesada Terminal is about 1 hour.

Step 2: Ciudad Quesada to San Jose by Bus

Duration: 3 hours
Cost: $3 (2,000 CRC)
Duration: 3 hours
Cost: $3 (2,000 CRC)

Buses operating from Ciudad Quesada to San Jose depart from the same terminal you arrive in, so you simply have to look around for the buses bound for the capital. They are available from 04:30 to 18:15.

A ticket costs around $3 (2,000 CRC) for the 3-hour journey. Buses park at Terminal 7-10 in San Jose city centre. From here, you’ll have to walk about 500m to another bus station, Terminal Atlantico Norte, where you will find the buses bound for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Step 3: San Jose to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca by Bus

Duration: 4.5 hours
Cost: $10 (6,000 CRC)
Duration: 4.5 hours
Cost: $10 (6,000 CRC)

For the last leg of this bus journey, you’ll have to travel 220 km southeast from San Jose to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. Travel time is around 4.5 hours and a ticket costs $10 (6,000 CRC).

Autotransportes MEPE offers several trips daily. Make sure you’re in San Jose before 18:00 to make it to the last trip.

We also recommend taking a bathroom and food break before boarding the bus. The buses make only one restroom stop and that’s at MEPE Terminal in Limon, around 3 hours into the journey

Bus schedule

Bus OperatorScheduleCosts
Autotransportes MEPE06:00-10:30
$10 (6,000 CRC)

You will be dropped off at MEPE Bus Stop in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca city centre.

For more details, you can also check out our complete guide for travelling from San Jose to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

PRO TIP: Local travel links, including the bus station in San Jose, can attract thieves, so keep your belongings in sight. Don't board the bus until your bigger bags are inside the luggage compartment, and be sure to get your luggage ticket. It's best to keep smaller bags, containing your valuables, in front of you or between your feet, instead of in overhead storage.


Our favourite places to stay in Puerto Viejo

Black Bamboo B&B - Treating yourself

If you are looking for a beautifully designed hotel, with a swimming pool, Black Bamboo B&B is the place to book. The whole hotel oozes a tropical vibe due to its rustic bamboo design. The rooms are tranquil escapes, designed to be bright and comfortable.

The owners welcome you like you're part of their family, and help you to organise anything you need during your stay in Puerto Viejo. It’s also situated in a great location, close to the town and Playa Negra.

  • Close to the beach and town
  • Beautifully designed
  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • Shared kitchen

Double rooms start from $90 per night

Read More


Colina Secreta - Mid range

Offering both glamping and villas, no matter which option you chose, you’ll be surrounded by comfort and luxury at Colina Secreta. It’s clear that every aspect of the accommodation has been carefully thought about. It’s absolutely stunning and so unique!

The owners are incredibly friendly, and will do anything to make your stay even better. They’ve put so much love and care into their hotel, which you will see in the homemade breakfast every morning.

  • Luxury villas and glamping
  • Homemade breakfast included
  • Beautiful design
  • Friendly and helpful hosts

Double rooms between $50-$90 per night

Read More


Kalunai Hostel - Budget friendly

Whether you’re looking for a dorm bed or a private room, Kalunai is a great choice. All of the rooms are colourful and clean, with some of them having their own kitchen facilities.

This place really has a communal feel due to the number of places to hang out and lots of hammocks. The location is great, not far from lots of restaurants, bars and most importantly, the beach

  • Sociable atmosphere
  • Great location
  • Lots of places to relax
  • Bicycles available for rent

Double rooms between $15-$50 per night

Read More


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About the author(s)

Travel Planning Expert

Ela is a storyteller, content producer, solo traveller and a mermaid-in-training. When she’s not in front of her laptop, you will find her barefoot and living her best tan on some island in the Philippines… Or exploring the depths of its seas as a budding freediver. An island girl at heart, she’ll be happy anywhere there is sea, sand, sun and coffee.


Based in Bali, Maarten’s passion for travel is undeniable. In 2016, he decided to quit his job as a stock analyst and started doing what he always dreamed of: travelling through South East Asia and helping other people plan their trips. When he is not working on Gecko Routes, you’ll find him surfing in the ocean or exploring the best gems of Indonesia.