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place to stay between SJO and Puerto Viejo

Cool Canuck
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place to stay between SJO and Puerto Viejo

we arrive at 1 pm and would rather not take a shuttle late in the day to the Caribbean coast..but would be happy to take a shuttle partway to say, Turrialba or? to get out of the city and have a head start in the morning.What towns/small hotels would you recommend for a stopover for one night?

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Caribbean
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Toronto, Canada
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1. Re: place to stay between SJO and Puerto Viejo

Guapiles might be a good place to stop; check out the El Suerre to stay.

costaricapass.com/EN/…suerreguapiles.aspx

Puerto Viejo, Costa...
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2. Re: place to stay between SJO and Puerto Viejo

Personally I would never do that. Guapilies is not much more than a big truck stop.

The trip via tourist shuttle is 5 hours (possibly more). Also the drive down is beautiful. You first go through the mountains (cloud forest), then the banana plantations and then the last leg is all the way down the coast till Puerto Viejo.

I would stay in San Jose and catch early morning shuttle or publc bus. You will be in Puerto Viejo before noon.

Also, just an FYI... Public bus is faster. There are 5 direct buses a day. With shuttle, they have to pick all these people up and drop them off. So, depending where you are on the list determines how long you are in the bus.

Hotels of course push the shuttle bus as they make a commission on each booking. Anyone that lives here would not be caught dead taking the shuttle since it costs $29 versus $8 for public bus.

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Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Province of Limon, Costa Rica
San Jose
San Jose
San Jose Metro, Costa Rica
Tampa, FL
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3. Re: place to stay between SJO and Puerto Viejo

I agree with colinsito. Guapiles doesn't look that nice to me either and seems to be mainly a place where the tico truckers stop for a pitstop on the way down to the coast. However, I did notice and was rather struck by a hotel-CASINO operation that was either being built or recently opened just off the highway on my last visit. Still, its not an area I'd be much interested in staying at. With all the much more interesting and scenic places in CR to spend one's time at I'd either bite the bullet and drive the whole way arriving in the early evening (be careful over the last part if you're driving yourself) or relax after your flight in the SJ area, maybe do a little sightseeing in the afternoon, and leave for the coast early the next morning. All you're going to save is a couple of hours and you'll still wind up with just a partial day in PV when you first arrive either way.

As for his other remarks regarding buses versus taking the shuttle, I'm also in his camp and I don't even live in CR. I'm not so sure that the buses are that much faster if at all, if you include the time you might spend finding and getting to the terminal, securing your ticket and waiting around for the bus to leave. You probably don't want to play it too close if you haven't secured your ticket in advance. However what he said about the alternative of the shuttle is definitely true and, aside from cost, one fo the main reasons I don't see much if any advantage to being picked up. You can easily waste as much time as you save if not more driving around to all the various hotels to pick everyone up.

However, colinsito left out perhaps the biggest reason of all why your idea simply won't work. I don't believe any of the major shuttle companies even HAVE a shuttle from SJ (or SJO) to PV after 1PM. So if you wanted to take the shuttle you'd wouldn't be able to do it until the following morning. OTOH, there is 1 bus that leaves SJ for PV after 1PM and that is at 4:30PM. That wouldn't put you into PV until at least 9PM and you'd miss the view along the coast, but at least someone else would be doing the driving.

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4. Re: place to stay between SJO and Puerto Viejo

The other option is to rent a car and drive part way there the first afternoon. If you try this option you won't be dependent on bus and shuttle schedules. Three possible stops would be Casa Rio Blanco a small B&B near Guapiles(great website if you google them), the bunbgalows at the Rainforest Aerial Tram (you can reserve them from their website and you could take an early morning ride of the tram before heading for the coats) or for a more hotel like setting near Horquetas is the Hotel Suena Azul. Good luck trip planning

Cool Canuck
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5. Re: place to stay between SJO and Puerto Viejo

Thanks!! you folks are incredibly helpful.

I think I am doing too much reading because after reading of the dangerous road to PV I am wondering if we should FLY???!

Does anyone think it is worth it to hop on an early morning flight to PV as opposed to bussing it, aside from the cost?

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6. Re: place to stay between SJO and Puerto Viejo

There are not any direct flights to PV you would have to fly into Limon and then get transportion to PV.

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7. Re: place to stay between SJO and Puerto Viejo

Tranquillo Fellow Canuck. The roads are not that bad. Yes, there are accidents and most recently a tragic fatal one.

But all my guests and others I know of have arrived safely. If you drive in the day, and drive cautiously, you will be fine.

As for airport, I think after you add up costs (approx $60pp) along with hassle of transfer from Limon and airport hassles, it would be way easier to take bus.

One day they will have an airport in between PV and Cauhita. That is when the whole airport issue will make sense.

Hope you enjoy Puerto Viejo.

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Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Province of Limon, Costa Rica
8. Re: place to stay between SJO and Puerto Viejo

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