You will need a 4x4 type of car for Carate section; contact Wild Rider www.wild-rider.com . Those are fairly long legs to drive, although on map they might look close. Assuming you will fly in and out of SJO, and that Puerto Viejo is Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, this would be my itinerary:
SJO - Dominical (1) - Carate (3) - Uvita (1) - Turrialba (2) - Puerto Viejo de Talamanca (3) - SJO. I have left 2 nights for potential overnights near the airport. If not needed then add them to 1-night stops.
You might want to look through the directions/travelling options on the site of Lookout Inn located in Carate: lookout-inn.com/how-to-get-to-costa-rica-rai… . Thee are shared shuttles you can get to get to Puerto Jimenez, from where you can take a collectivo (truck) going twice a day to Carate. Unless you are travelling after big rains, it should be able to cross the rivers vs returning back to Puerto Jimenez to spend a night and try again the next morning. The above link also suggests the type of vehicle you would need to rent if you want to drive yourself.
Thank you! I saw their info. I think I'll take car service to PJ. I just need to find a shared van there if you have any ideas who offers this service?
Thank you! I'll take a look at this. I know I'm making what was supposed to be an easy trip complicated, but I missed Corcovado last time and I fell in love with PV!
So, if you are not driving yourself, why Puerto Jimenez, why not Drake Bay? Is your goal to hike Corcovado, possibly 1-2 nights at one of the ranger stations? Then Drake Bay makes more sense. If your goal is to see wildlife, possibly without purchasing a super expensive Corcovado pkg, then Puerto Jimenez to Carate, by a collectivo truck. Should be some fun (and bumpy!) adventure ride for those last 1.5 hrs! ;)
If you are not flying, whether you want to go to PJ or to DB, it is not close to SJ.
You can get to Sierpe and ask your hotel in Drake Bay to reserve your seats on a boat Sierpe-Drake Bay, pay the captain. To Sierpe, get by a shared shuttle. https://www.easyridecostarica.com Is offering Sierpe. I have seen at least 1 other Co, too. But do your research. Possibly this Co: https://www.monkeyridecr.com/services.html . These are not the shuttles we tried ourselves elsewhere, so cannot vouch for the EasyRide or for MonkeyRide.
I have found that hostels might have the best maps and directions how to get to a destination. E.g., see the directions of how to get to Drake Bay on Martina's Place site: martinasplace.com/main/theme/plan.php#content . Includes bus info, etc.