Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

A popular backpacker town with a relaxed feel

The Puerto Viejo Vibe

First off, there are two places named Puerto Viejo in Costa Rica. There is a very small town in the middle of the woods called Puerto Viejo, which is not really a tourist destination and then there is Puerto Viejo de Talamanca located on the Caribbean coast near the Panama border. 

The second is the Puerto Viejo you probably are interested in visiting and what this guide is about. 

Ok, now that we have that out of the way, Puerto Viejo is a backpacker paradise with its Caribbean vibe, beautiful beaches, and nightlife.

Now on to the rest of the Puerto Viejo (de Talamanca) Costa Rica guide!

Map Of Puerto Viejo

Puerto Viejo is located on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica near the Panama border. 

Puerto Viejo at a Glance

Nearest International Airport

Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose

Popular Things to Do

surfing, cacao tours, relax on beaches, enjoy the nightlife scne

Best Way to Get Around

Rental car, walking in the downtown area, biking

Best Time of Year to Visit

The best weather is from late July to October


Getting to Puerto Viejo

Flights to Costa Rica

The easiest way of getting to Puerto Viejo is by flying into the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose.



Rental Car to Puerto Viejo

The drive is not too bad for first time Costa Rica drivers. In the beginning, you will have to do a little driving through San Jose though which can be a bit daunting and stressful.

After making it through San Jose you will drive through Braulio Carillo national park which is really pretty. The roads are well maintained here but there are a lot of curves in spots. However, there has been a lot of road work here recently (they are widening the road so I doubt it will be over anytime soon) and there have been a lot of major backups.

From there you follow a straight road to Limon and then drive down the coast.

I absolutely love the drive along the coast. The roads are in good condition and it’s beautiful.

You do not need a 4×4 for this route, but you might want something with a bit of power while driving through the national park.

We suggest renting your car with Adobe Rent-a-Car. They are a local company which we know we can always rely on to provide exceptional service. 

If you are interested in renting a car, check out our Adobe guide for a 10% discount plus other great perks

Private Shuttle to Puerto Viejo

Adobe now has a private shuttle service. It is a great way to get from point A to point B without having to deal with the stress of driving in a foreign country. 

Check out our private shuttle guide to find out more info and to get a price quote for your trip. 

Public Bus to Puerto Viejo

If coming from San Jose you can take the Mepe bus to Puerto Viejo Costa Rica. You can see a complete time schedule here.

The ride will take you about four and a half hours and will cost about $12 per person for one way.

The bus stops in Limon (about two and a half hours into the drive) so you can buy snacks and use the bathroom. There is no bathroom on the bus.

What Do We Suggest?

If you are only going to Puerto Viejo or are heading down to Panama after, we suggest taking a private shuttle or public bus. 

If you would like to take lots of day trips or check out other areas in Costa Rica after visiting Puerto Viejo we suggest renting a car. 

Getting Around in Puerto Viejo

Downtown Puerto Viejo is a small area and easy to explore by foot. If you would like to explore other places nearby (which we definitely recommend) you can rent a bike, take a taxi, or rent a car for a day.

Adobe, our favorite rental car company has an office in Puerto Viejo if you opt to rent a car for some day trips.

Pro Tip: We have partnered with Adobe to give our readers a 10% discount on your rental car. Find out more here

Book Your Transportation

Puerto Viejo Weather

In Puerto Viejo, the rainy season runs from mid-December until end of July. I know, that sounds like a whole lot of rainy time, but let me explain.

Although it can be rainy, you just never really know. We have visited in January and had amazing weather. We have also visited in January and had total washout days.

One thing we have noticed though is that usually when it rains, it at least rains at night. Daytime rainstorms don’t happen that often. Also, the temperature stays fairly warm even when raining.

Another weird thing is that usually, July is the rainiest month to visit Costa Rica, but come August, it almost completely dries up.

You just never know in this country!

During the dry months the weather is amazing and warm!