Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose

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Overview Bus Minivan Taxi To Stay

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

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!

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

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability


4.5 hours6,015 CRC ($10)Read article for more info


5 hours31,620 CRC ($51)Check Minivan Tickets

Private Transfer

4 hours134,206.81 CRC ($215)Book a Private Transfer

You have 3 options when travelling the 215km distance from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose. These include a 4.5-hour bus, a 5-hour minivan, or a 4-hour private transfer. Rates range from 6,015 CRC ($10) to 134,206.81 CRC ($215).

With rates of 6,015 CRC ($10) for a bus ticket, the bus is the cheapest option. The bus is a good choice if you’re on a budget and would like to travel like a local. Aside from one bathroom break, buses from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose are quite direct so travel time is around 4.5 hours.

If you want a door-to-door service, you can take a minivan for 31,620 CRC ($51). This saves you the hassle of travelling to and from bus terminals. It’s definitely more expensive than the bus, so it’s up to you if you how much you want to pay for this extra comfort.

Travelling with a group? Private transfers can be cheaper than a minivan ticket when you split the cost. Rates start from 134,206.81 CRC ($215) for a minivan that can fit 4 persons. Bigger vehicles are also available for bigger groups!

Itinerary from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose

Bus icon

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose by Bus

Duration: 4.5 hours
Cost: 6,015 CRC ($10)

Autotransportes MEPE is the only bus company operating from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose. The good thing though is that this bus company offers 6 daily trips from 04:50 to 16:00. So you’ll still have a lot of choices.

Buses depart from the MEPE Bus Stop in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca city centre, just by the main beach. They arrive at Terminal Atlantico Norte in San Jose city centre after around 4.5 hours.

As for bathroom break, the buses make one stop at the MEPE Terminalin Limon about 1 hour into the journey. That takes around 15 minutes.

Bus OperatorScheduleDurationCosts
Autotransportes MEPE04:50-09:20
4.5 hours6,015 CRC ($10)

Tickets are available at their bus station for 6,015 CRC ($10).

minivan icon

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose by Minivan

Duration: 5 hours
Cost: 31,620 CRC ($51)

Interbus and Caribe Shuttle are two of the companies operating minivans from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose. Fares start from 31,620 CRC ($51), which already include 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 for those perks, then we definitely recommend taking a minivan!

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

Minivan OperatorScheduleDurationCosts
5 hours31,620 CRC ($51)
Caribe Shuttle06:00-11:00
5 hours34,100 CRC ($55)
Caribe Shuttle
(to San Jose Airport)
4.5 hours34,100 CRC ($55)

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.

Check Minivan Tickets with BookAway

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 134,206.81 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 134,206.81 CRC ($215) for a 4-seater minivan. Travelling with a bigger group? There are buses that can accommodate up to 18 persons too! You can rent one for 314,238.13 CRC ($503).

We highly 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 122,600 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!


My 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

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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

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