Puerto Jiménez Costa Rica: A Beach and Nature Paradise
A relaxed beach town on the Golfo Dulce near Corcovado National Park
The Puerto Jimenez Costa Rica Vibes
Typically in Costa Rica, I find that every town exudes a particular vibe. With Puerto Jiménez, I did not get that feeling.
However, after spending a few days in the area the town grew on me. I realized the reason it did not have a particular vibe is because it is still a local small town.
There are tourists in Puerto Jimenez, but not to the extent that you see in other towns in Costa Rica. It has stuck to its roots and I like that about Puerto Jimenez.
Within just a short drive out of the town, you can visit beautiful beaches with turquoise waters and lush jungles filled with wildlife.
Alright, let’s get to planning your perfect trip to Puerto Jimenez Costa Rica!
Background Info About Puerto Jimenez Costa Rica
Nearest International Airport
Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose
Popular Things to Do
Corcovado tours, relaxing on the beach, fishing
Best Way to Get Around
Rental car, walking in the downtown area
Best Time of Year to Visit
Dry season is from late December until mid-April
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Thomas (the German) and Sarah (the US-er).
We met in Virginia, moved to Germany, and have called sunny Costa Rica home since 2016.
We are on a mission to help you plan the perfect Costa Rican vacation.
Map Of Puerto Jimenez
Puerto Jimenez is about as far south on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica as you can get.
It is located on the little hook of the country called the Osa Peninsula.
It is in the bay so you can enjoy the calm waters of Golfo Dulce here.
Flights to Costa Rica
Your best option for getting to Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica is to fly into San Jose International Airport.
The full name is Juan Santamaria International Airport. And the airport code is SJO.
If you haven’t booked your flight yet, we suggest using Skyscanner.
We consistently find the best rates through their website.
Driving to Puerto Jimenez from San Jose
From the San Jose airport, it will take you about six hours to drive to Puerto Jimenez. This is actually a really nice drive because it goes past a bunch of other beach towns on the way down. The road is also well-maintained the whole way.
Just make sure that your GPS directs you along the coastal road by Jaco and Manuel Antonio and not through the mountains. The trip through the mountains is rough!
If you need a good place to pull off for a quick lunch along the way we suggest stopping in Dominical. It is about halfway into the drive and really easy to pull off into Dominical from the main road.
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There is a cute fish and chips shop called Pescado Loco that makes some killer fish tacos located right in the downtown area. We like to stop there because it is a great place for a quick but tasty lunch.
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Private Shuttle to Puerto Jimenez
You can always opt to take a private shuttle to Puerto Jimenez. We suggest this for groups of friends or a family that doesn’t feel comfortable driving to Puerto Jimenez.
Public Bus to Puerto Jimeneza Costa Rica
If you do not plan on renting a car you can also take the public bus to Puerto Jimenez.
The bus runs twice daily at 8:00am and 12:00pm from downtown San Jose.
The ride will take about 8 hours.
Domestic Flights to puerto Jimenez
There is a small airport in Puerto Jimenez that offers direct flights to and from San Jose daily.
This is usually a bit more expensive, but it is definitely the fastest way to get here.
Transportation In Puerto Jimenez
The downtown area of Puerto Jimenez is small enough to easily walk around. However, you probably won’t be spending much time in the downtown area.
A lot of the fun activities happen away from the downtown.
We had our car with us in Puerto Jimenez and it was definitely helpful. It allowed us to visit a lot of nice beaches that we would not have been able to get to otherwise.
Also, if you do a tour to Corcovado National Park you can opt to have transportation provided by your tour company but it will be cheaper if you just drive yourself to the national park.
We definitely suggest renting a vehicle with high clearance and 4 wheel drive. The roads around Puerto Jimenez are not paved and sometimes you will have to drive through rivers.
Just keep in mind that this is a lot easier and safer during the dry season. During the rainy season, the water level can get very high.
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Puerto Jimenez Costa Rica Weather
This area follows a similar weather pattern to the rest of the South Pacific coast.
You can expect hot and dry weather from the end of December until April or May. After that, the rainy season begins.
During the rainy season, you can expect afternoon rainstorms that come like clockwork.
From September until December the weather becomes kind of unpredictable. You may have days that are complete washouts and other days with perfect weather.
Things to Do in Puerto Jimenez Costa Rica
Go Bioluminescent Kayaking
Have you ever seen bioluminescence before? It is one of the most unique things you can experience in Costa Rica. We love this evening kayak tour with Aventuras Tropicales Golfo Dulce.
Go Mangrove Kayaking
This calm tour takes you through the winding mangrove estuaries of the Preciosa Platanares Wildlife Refuge. Your experienced guide will post out a variety of flora and fauna along the way.
Relax on a Beautiful Beach
There are plenty of nice beaches near Puerto Jimenez with bright turquoise waters.
Our favorite is Playa Platanares. It’s a short drive from downtown Puerto Jimenez and you can just walk for miles there without seeing another person.
We suggest having a car with 4 wheel drive though because the road near the beach is basically just sand.
Hike up a Waterfall
About an hour away from the town of Puerto Jimenez there is a waterfall called the King Louis waterfall. The road to get here is not the best so you definitely need 4 wheel drive, but it is a fun free activity.
After visiting the waterfall, head to the nearby secluded beach that you will pass just before the waterfall. It’s awesome!
We suggest booking your half or full-day fishing tour with Captain Gerry. During your trip you might catch; mackerel, mahi-mahi, grouper, jack, or baracudas.
Corcovado National Park from Puerto Jimenez
The main attraction in the Puerto Jimenez area is Corcovado National Park.
Corcovado National Park can only be accessed with a guided tour. It is possible to visit as a day tour or a multi-day tour.
At the park you can spot a variety of wildlife and you may even get lucky enough to see a jaguar.
We created a Corcovado National Park guide to give you all the info on the different ranger station access points, how to book a tour, and more!
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Puerto Jimenez Restaurants
Pizzamail.it: This place has a cute and relaxed vibe to it. Their pizza is delicious but they also offer other great items such as tasty fresh fish.
Marisqueria Corcovado: Super tasty fresh fish and seafood. We loved the outdoor seating with the view of the harbor. This is a great dinner spot, but bring bug spray!
Germinar: This is our favorite lunch spot in Puerto Jimenez. All of their food is super fresh and organic.
Soda Jimenez: This is the place to go if you want delicious typical Costa Rican food at a good price. Plus their portions are huge! It may not look like much from the outside but try not to let that deter you.
Puerto Jimenez Costa Rica Hotels
Crocodile Bay Resort– If sport fishing is your thing, this is the all-inclusive resort for you. However, it is also just an all-around beautiful resort.
Avatar Eco Lodge– Beautiful resort with multiple pools, amazing views, a nice restaurant and more.
Iguana Lodge Beach Resort– Unique accommodation option directly across from the beach. There is a restaurant, outdoor pool, spa and more on the property.
Hotel Inn Jimenez– Nice hotel located in downtown Puerto Jimenez with a pool.
Cabinas Jimenez– Basic accommodations with a view of Golfo Dulce. There is a pool and all rooms have a kitchenette.
Waleskas Place– Basic, but nice cabins located across the street from the beach. This place is somewhat remote.
Cabinas The Corner– Cute basic accommodations in the downtown area. There are private rooms and shared dorms available.
Vacation Rentals in Puerto Jimenez
We always love renting a home or villa for our vacation in Costa Rica. This gives you more privacy and allows you the flexibility to cook your own meals.
Note: We try to only ever suggest places with good cancellation policies, but always double-check before booking.
Atrevida – A 5 bedroom home that can sleep up to 10 guests. Some words I would use to describe this home are; modern, unique, and rustic.
Finca Sombrero y Camisas – This home is located in a remote beach area south of Puerto Jimenez. It can sleep 10 guests in 3 bedrooms. There is a pool and it is located just next to the beach. Casa Rio Sombrero – I personally love the rustic open-air feel to this home, but if you are not a fan of any outdoor critters, this probably not the best spot for you. The home sleeps 6 guests in 2 bedrooms.
Group Tours to the Puerto Jimenez Area
Take the planning, stress, and guess work out of traveling by booking a multi-day tour with an experienced guide.
For more tour ideas check out Tour Radar.
Costa Rica See and Do it All
An interesting and unique way to see the country…by bike! Visit Manuel Antonio, Osa Peninsula, San Gerardo, Cahuita, Tortuguero, and the La Fortuna area.
Puerto Jimenez Travel Tips
– This area can get extremely hot. Don’t forget to drink tons of water and wear a lot of sunscreen.
– Not so much in the downtown area, but the surrounding jungle and beaches are filled with wildlife. This includes some things like poisonous snakes and African killer bees.
Just keep an eye out and be careful where you put your hands while hiking. If you get attacked in a swarm of bees you need to run in a zig-zag motion rather than straight ahead.
Don’t get too worried though, you will also see things like many species of birds, monkeys, etc.
Packing for Puerto Jimenez Costa Rica
You will most likely be doing some hiking here, so definitely bring hiking shoes (or sneakers you can walk in well).
We suggest packing a lightweight UV protected shirt for hiking and for swimming.
Also, we love having pocket binoculars here for spotting wildlife while in Corcovado National Park.
Check out our Puerto Jimenez Packing List on Amazon for all the essentials.
Puerto Jimenez Costa Rica FAQ
Is Puerto Jimenez safe?
In general, Puerto Jimenez is safe. However, it is best to always use caution and not carry large amounts of money on you. Petty theft sometimes happens.
Which is better Drake Bay or Puerto Jimenez?
Drake Bay is better for a more authentic natural experience, but it is harder to get to. Puerto Jimenez is better for ease of traveling to and for more infrastructure.
How many days should I spend in Puerto Jimenez?
A minimum of three days is good. This will give you one day at Corcovado National Park, one day to relax at the beach, and one day to do another fun day tour.
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You Might Also Like Visiting
Drake Bay: A remote beach village surrounded by nature
Pavones: A remote beach village that is a popular pro-surfer destination
Uvita: A vibrant beach town that is a great place to go whale watching
….if none of those appeal to you, check out our Guide to the Osa Peninsula for more ideas of places to visit in this area.