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Overnight Stopover - En Route to Bocas Del Toro

Toronto, Canada
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143 posts
82 reviews
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Overnight Stopover - En Route to Bocas Del Toro

We'll be heading to Bocas Del Toro in late November and I'm debating going via Costa Rica.

Our other alternative is flying to Panama City instead, but we are departing Bocas via PC, so if we can come in via SJO we thought it may be more interesting. There's no difference in costs, and it actually saves us 1 leg of flying.

We'd arrive just after noon on a Saturday and I believe the Bocas flights are on Sunday. Is there anything to see / do in proximity to the airport area for an afternoon / evening?

Thanks!

Costa Rica
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1. Re: Overnight Stopover - En Route to Bocas Del Toro

There are many types of lodging available near the airport and of all budgets. There are also some interesting things to do in the area - The Butterfly Farm, Doka Coffee Tour, Zoo Ave as well as a trip to one of the volcanoes.

You will fly into SJO which is located in the city of Alajuela, about 15 km from San Jose. You will fly out of a different airport which is located in a suburb of San Jose, Pavas. So you have a choice - you can stay in Alajuela for the night or closer to the Pavas airport.

The NatureAir flights to Bocas are at 10 am and 11 am on Sunday.

To me, Alajuela is more pleasant, less traffic and crime than San Jose but some people don't mind San Jose. There are tours available of San Jose, including walking tours, so it depends on what you want to do.

Toronto, Canada
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143 posts
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2. Re: Overnight Stopover - En Route to Bocas Del Toro

Thanks Hattie!

I figure we'll most likely stay closer to San Jose / Pavas so that it's a shorter ride to the ariport in the morning.

It would be amazing to get a volcano tour that afternoon, but perhaps we'll be too late to join anything organized. Will go and do some research. Sounds like a worthwhile stopover anyway.

Grecia, Costa Rica
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for Province of Alajuela
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3. Re: Overnight Stopover - En Route to Bocas Del Toro

You have Poas volcano, Doka Coffee Estate Tour, Irazu volcano all I think doable.

You could even make more of an adventure out of it and instead of taking the flight from Pavas go over land down the Caribbean coast of CR to Bocas del Toro. Spend a night in Puerto Viejo before hopping into Panama and crossing to Bocas.

Cheers

Inca

Costa Rica
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4. Re: Overnight Stopover - En Route to Bocas Del Toro

Oh, Inca! Great idea!

San Jose, Costa Rica
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5. Re: Overnight Stopover - En Route to Bocas Del Toro

Great advice INCA...Doka is a great option!

roadadvisor

Toronto, Canada
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143 posts
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6. Re: Overnight Stopover - En Route to Bocas Del Toro

Thanks all!

Can you tell me more about the overlad trip via PV? If we're landing around 2pm on Saturday is it realistic to get to PV for Saturday night, and then continue onto Bocas for a Sunday arrival there?

Off to do some research...

Munich, Germany
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343 posts
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7. Re: Overnight Stopover - En Route to Bocas Del Toro

If you want to use public transportation to Puerto Viejo, the last direct bus leaves at 4pm from the Terminal del Caribe in San José. If your flight is on time you should be able to make it there. But it's not for sure. You would need to grab a taxi at the airport and go to the bus station in San José. How long it will take depends on traffic. Anywhere between 30 minutes and 1 hour. You should be out of the airport within one hour though... It's a 4 1/2 hour bus ride from San José to Puerto Viejo. Long day... You could spend a couple of hours at the beach in the morning and then leave for Bocas. Another option is to get a private driver who will take you to Puerto Viejo. Luis who posts here on the forum as Roadadvisor is highly recommended.

8. Re: Overnight Stopover - En Route to Bocas Del Toro

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