Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose

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Overview Compare Bus Minivan Taxi To Stay

Located in the Central Valley, San Jose is Costa Rica’s business and cultural capital. With its bustling urban landscape, it’s definitely not your ideal tropical destination. But dig deeper and you’ll find that San Jose has its own charm, maybe even worth 1 or 2 days of your itinerary.

Check out the colonial buildings turned museums at Barrio Amon, try out the famed restaurants at Barrio Escalante, or party the night away in El Pueblo. You can even venture outside the city limits to visit Poas Volcano or La Paz Waterfall Gardens!

How to get from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose?

The driving distance between Puerto Viejo de Talamanca and San José is 215 km. The flight distance is 148 km. The cheapest way is the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San José bus. The bus drive between Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San José takes approximately 4-5 hours and costs between $10-$11.

The taxi is the quickest way to get to San Jose from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca and costs around $200.

3 ways to get from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Bus4.5-5 hours7,000 CRC ($10)Read article for more info
Minivan4-5 hours32,000 CRC ($47)Check Minivan Tickets
Private Transfer4 hours135,000 CRC ($195)Book a Private Transfer

With rates of 7,000 CRC ($10), the bus is the cheapest option. The bus is a good choice if you’re on a budget and want to travel like a local. Aside from one bathroom break, buses from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose don’t make extra stops. Travel time is 4.5-5 hours.

If you want a door-to-door service including pick up, you can book a shared minivan for 32,000 CRC ($47). This saves you the hassle of travelling to and from bus terminals in San Jose and Puerto Viejo.

Travelling with a group? Private transfers can be cheaper than a shared minivan when you split the cost. Rates start from 135,000 CRC ($195) for a shuttle van that can fit 4 persons. Bigger vehicles are also available for bigger groups.

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

Itinerary from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose by Bus

Duration: 4.5-5 hours
Cost: 7,000 CRC ($10)
Duration: 4.5-5 hours
Cost: 7,000 CRC ($10)

Autotransportes MEPE is the only bus company operating from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose.

The good thing is that this bus company offers 6 daily trips from 04:50 to 16:00, which means you’ll still have a lot of choices for when to depart.

The buses make one stop at the MEPE Terminal in Limon for a bathroom break about 1 hour into the journey. The break takes around 15 minutes.

Departure & Arrival station

Buses depart from the MEPE Bus Stop in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca city centre, just by the main beach.

The arrival station is at Terminal Atlantico Norte in San Jose city centre after around 4.5-5 hours.

Bus schedule from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose

Bus OperatorScheduleCosts
Autotransportes MEPE04:50-09:20
7,000 CRC ($10)

Tickets are available at the bus station for 7,000 CRC ($10).

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose by Minivan

Duration: 4-5 hours
Cost: 35,000 CRC ($51)
Duration: 4-5 hours
Cost: 35,000 CRC ($51)

Interbus and Caribe Shuttle are two of the companies operating minivans from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose.

Fares start from 35,000 CRC ($51), which already includes hotel pick-up and drop-off. Caribe Shuttle can also take you directly to San Jose Airport if that’s where you’re heading.

What we love about the minivans aside from the pick-up and drop-off, is that they are safer and more comfortable than taking a bus. If you don’t mind spending more on these perks, we definitely recommend taking a minivan instead of a bus.

The journey from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is 4.5-5 hours to San Jose city centre and 4-4.5 hours to San Jose Airport.

Minivan schedule from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose

Minivan OperatorScheduleCosts
35,000 CRC ($51)
Buy Your Van Tickets
Caribe Shuttle06:00-11:00
38,000 CRC ($55)
Buy Your Van Tickets
Caribe Shuttle
(to San Jose Airport)
38,000 CRC ($55)
Buy Your Van Tickets

For a completely hassle-free journey, it’s best to purchase your tickets online. This way, you won’t have to go to the minivan terminals at all. All options on this route are best booked on BookAway, which offers excellent customer service and a really easy user interface.

It’s worth noting though that Caribe Shuttle is $2 cheaper when booked via its own website.

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose by Private Transfer

Duration: 4 hours
Cost: from 149,000 CRC ($215)
Duration: 4 hours
Cost: from 149,000 CRC ($215)

Private transfers from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose are also available. These are hotel-to-hotel rides, but you can also get one that goes straight to San Jose Airport.

You can choose from various vehicles depending on the number of persons in your group.

Rates start from 149,000 CRC ($215) for a 4-seater minivan. Travelling with a bigger group? There are buses that can accommodate up to 18 people too! You can rent one for 348,000 CRC ($503).

We recommend booking your private ride via BookAway for spacious cars and trusted drivers.

Book a Private Transfer with BookAway

Taxis are also available for this long-distance journey. Fares for a 3 to 4-seater car are a bit cheaper from 138,000 CRC ($200), but we can’t guarantee the reliability of both the car and the driver. If you do choose to take a taxi though, make sure you agree on the rate before getting on board!


Our favourite places to stay in San Jose

Barceló San José - Treating yourself

Barceló hotel blows most other city hotels out of the water. It has amenities usually only found in resorts and for extortionate prices. Here you’ll find an outdoor pool, spa, gym, 3 squash courts and 2 tennis courts. Plus they offer a free airport shuttle.

If you don’t fancy venturing out of the hotel to get some food, no worries! There’s 3 restaurants and a bar on site offering a variety of different cuisines. The rooms are spacious and clean, offering comfortable beds for a good night's sleep.

  • Outdoor swimming pool and spa
  • Tennis courts
  • Free airport shuttle
  • 3 onsite restaurants and a bar

Double rooms start from $80 per night

Read More


Isla Verde Hotel - Mid-Range

Isla Verde Hotel is a real gem within the urban jungle that is San Jose. They have so many extras that you wouldn’t expect for the price - a gym, free shuttle to the airport and a great breakfast every morning.

The hotel is ultra-modern, boasting some beautifully designed rooms and seating areas. All of which are very clean and comfortable. If you don’t feel like venturing too far for food, their onsite restaurant selling Cantonese food is highly reviewed!

  • Free airport shuttle
  • Breakfast included
  • Onsite gym
  • Modern and clean rooms

Double rooms between $50-$80 per night

Read More


Eco Stay Hostel - Budget Friendly

Eco Stay Hostel can start to feel like home after a while as it has a shared living room, communal kitchen, a lovely garden area, and even barbeque facilities. You can also spend your evenings having a friendly competition of snooker or darts.

The friendly hosts also make you feel at home. Making sure that your room is clean and comfortable, whilst offering their help in any way that they can. The rooms are basic, but nicely decorated and have everything you could need whilst in San Jose.

  • Shared living room
  • Communal kitchen
  • Good location
  • Friendly hosts

Double rooms between $15-$50 per night

Read More


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