I just wanted to post a warning for anyone wanting to travel to the Caribbean coast from San Jose.
Be aware that most transport companies will NOT take you to the coast at night. I tried to arrange transport from San Jose to Puerto Viejo after 9 pm (when our plane landed) and could not find anyone to do it due to safety concerns on the highway (accidents, people/livestock on highway, poor visibility, etc...). I did not know this until after we had booked our trip and tried to arrange transport. I emailed at least 3 transport companies and not one would do it.
As a result, we ended up paying for 3 nights at La Perla Negra that we didn't stay there. I had emailed the hotel immediately, a month before we were due to arrive, when I discovered this to tell them we'd be arriving a day late, and checking out on the Thursday instead of Friday (which is essentially 2 days because we were checked out on time). In that email, I was told I could get a credit for the first night (still have that email), and then near the end of our stay, the manager, Wesley, told us if we checked out before noon, we'd get a credit for Thursday and Friday and to email Expedia about this.
I just got done with Expedia and the staff at the hotel totally lied. I don't know who the Expedia rep spoke to but the staff at the hotel said they were charging for the whole 11 days that we booked, even though I have an email from Firdous saying we'd get a refund for the first night, and the front desk guy, Wesley, told me I'd get a credit for the last two days, which my teen son also heard. Nice deception there guys, hope you sleep well ripping off a single mother and her son!! Will never stay there again, nor will I recommend your hotel to anyone!
I realize that this could have been avoided had I known that getting to the Caribbean coast at night is next to impossible, but I didn't find out until after I paid for the trip and tried booking transport about a month before we were to be there. This was our first time in Costa Rica, and definitely wont be our last, we both loved it there and plan to return (but to a different hotel, I don't appreciate liars and con artists!). I just wanted people to be aware of this and not get ripped off like we did (on top of this all, we also paid for 2 nights at a hotel in San Jose because of the time we arrived and the time we were to be at the airport when we were leaving). It is a 4+ hour drive to the Caribbean coast so please take that into consideration if you're booking a trip. If you're due to leave the airport early morning, you'll have to spend the night in San Jose so book accordingly. Lesson learned, will know for next time!