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Colin....Where to stay and what bus to go to Puerta Viejo?

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Newport Beach...
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Colin....Where to stay and what bus to go to Puerta Viejo?

I know this question has been presented, but I have read so many topics, that now I am a bit confused.

Where is the best place to stay in San Jose by airport. Coming in late for one night and then traveling to Cocles beach. Coming back a week later and staying in S.J. again and leaving at 7:00 a.m. from airport. Would it be best to stay by airport? Which transportation is the best to get to Puerta Viejo. I think I read the local bus and if so, where do we catch this. do we need to make reservations before arriving, or can we purchase at the bus?

Also, someone mentioned Orquidea Inn...can't find it..do you recommend?

You are great help..thank you

Newport Beach...
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1. Re: Colin....Where to stay and what bus to go to Puerta Viejo?

Just to let anyone know..found the Orquidea Inn and booked it. Seems like a great botique hotel and only 10 min. from the airport. Really excited about that.

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Colin....Where to stay and what bus to go to Puerta Viejo?

In terms hotels, stay where you want. Whether you stay near the airport in downtown, you still need to physically drive to the airport. I think it's silly to let a difference of 10-20 minutes travel time and a free ride vs. $15 taxi dictate where you spend the last night of your vacation.

If you want to take the public bus to Puerto Viejo, you'll have to get to its terminal in downtown San Jose (either taxi or public bus from Alajuela). Bus schedule here:

visitcostarica.com/ict/paginas/LEYES/pdf/Iti…

Tampa, FL
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3. Re: Colin....Where to stay and what bus to go to Puerta Viejo?

I had written this earlier while the system was down for maintenance and Josh beat me to the punch when it came back up, but it still has some info he didn't cover.

_________________

The Orquideas Inn in Alajuela is supposed to be a very charming place. Helpful tip: if you stay there, try to get a room towards the back since there have been reports that those closer to the road suffer from noise from passing trucks. It is normally a highly recommended option for those looking for aplce to stay closer to the airport. Unfortunately, in your particular case, I'm not sure it is the best way to go because it is in the exact opposite direction you want to go the next morning and because you'll evidentally be relying on some form of public transportation.

I know someone really trashed SJ in your other thread but it sounds like they had a car and, if I had a car, SJ would be the last place I'd want to hang out too. Driving in town and securing your car when not driving can be a real pain in the patooty. However, you won't HAVE a car. I also know others also counsel against SJ for other reasons, but IMHO those complaints are greatly overblown and don't really apply to you. First of all, in your case no matter where you stay, if you're heading on to PV, you're not going to be doing any local sightseeing anyway, so who cares if someone else thinks there is nothing worthwhile to see in SJ? Secondly, you're also going to need to pass through SJ at some point anyway as well. Staying out near the airport won't help you avoid any of that. Thirdly, the few real problems of SJ, namely the hustle and bustle, traffic and pollution, greatly ease up after dark and so won't really be a problem for the one night you're in town. Finally, no matter which form of public transport you choose to take, catching it from in or nearer to SJ is much easier than making the various connections that would be involved coming from some place as far out as Orquideas.

Let's consider more closely your two best options.

First, you mentioned taking the bus. The bus for PV leaves at regular intervals through out the day from the Caribe terminal which is located just north of downtown SJ. You probably don't need advance reservations but could just show up at the terminal a little earlier to insure you get a seat on the bus you want (cost <$5/pp). If you stay downtown you'd be only minutes away by a $1-2 cab ride. You'd also have a far wider selection of the charming little boutiquey hotels that you seem to prefer (my preference too). Finally, if you didn't get in too late, you also might even be able to enjoy a nice late dinner at one of the many fine restaurants around town. Staying at the Orquideas, I'm not even sure where you'd catch the bus into town and being even further from town than the airport, the cab ride would cost even more. And, although Orquideas' breakfast is supposed to be pretty good, their restaurant would be your only real dining option. However, frankly speaking, if the idea of transiting through an urban environment is so distasteful to you, then I probably wouldn't recommend hanging out at bus terminals and navigating a foreign transportation system either.

Which brings me to your second option, using a tourist shuttle. IMHO, this option is no quicker or any more comfortable than taking the express bus and costs considerably more ($29/pp), but it has the advantage for many gringo tourists of being the simplest to use, since they pick you up and drop you off at your hotel. The big problem, I have with it, aside from its greater cost, is that they also pick up and drop off everyone else on the bus at their hotels too. This isn't bad if you're the last pick-up and the first dropped off, but can make your trip take even longer than the public express if you're at the wrong end of the list. In the case of staying out by the airport that means you'd definitely be the first or among the first to be picked up (definitely the 1st if you stay at Orquideas). You'd then have to visit all the other hotels on the list as you wind you're way around SJ before heading out, up and over to the Caribbean coast. You can probably avoid most of this and get some extra sleep in the morning if you stay somewhere more likely to be at the bottom of the pick-up list.

I'd recommend someplace like the Hotel Bougainvillea. It is listed as being in Heredia but is actually in a little town between Heredia and SJ (about 10 minutes to the NW of downtown SJ). You'd have to check with the shuttle company, but I'm guessing they'd probably be dead last on the list of pickups. Unlike the downtown hotels, they're located in a more natural setting, which might be a plus for you, though I'm not sure how important that would be if you're only going to be there during the dark. They also might be a decent option if you plan to take the bus, since they provide a free shuttle into the northern downtown part of SJ that passes fairly close to the Caribe Terminal (not sure how early that runs). Helpful tip: if you stay at Bougainvillea be sure to copy down good directions on how to find it for the airport taxista the night before.

Let me know which option appeals to you more and I'll add even more detailed info about it.

Newport Beach...
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4. Re: Colin....Where to stay and what bus to go to Puerta Viejo?

Thank you for all of your info. But last night we reserved the first and last night of our trip at the Orquidea's inn. We are getting their so late, 8:30, on our first night that we will probably be wiped out to do anything..but then who knows. But I was thinking that we caught the bus to P.V. across from the airport. So it is in town? I am sure that they can taxi us from Orquideas to the bus terminal, right? Since I don't really want to do the shuttle..been there and done that and it makes a long day, especially since we have a long drive as it is. The last day we will be there too, but if all else, we will just get whatever transportation their is to where we decide to go....

The bottom line is my most concern is that we will be able to get to the bus terminal from where we are at. How far is Orquidea from the bus as far a min's...approx?

Thank you

Tampa, FL
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5. Re: Colin....Where to stay and what bus to go to Puerta Viejo?

Depends on time of day and traffic. From Orquideas back to the airport its about 10-15 minutes. From the airport to the Caribe Terminal in town its between 20-30 minutes. I'd say 30-45 minutes overall. Cost? I'm not really sure the set price from the airport into town is now $19. Since Orquideas is 10-15 minutes further, I guess it would be a little more but since you don't have to use an airport taxi it might actually be less.

Newport Beach...
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6. Re: Colin....Where to stay and what bus to go to Puerta Viejo?

Thanks...we will have a p/u from the airport to Orquideas and then will have to find transportation to the bus terminal, then back to Orquideas on our last day. That is our only question, but I am sure that the hotel can help us, knowing all that you have shared with us.

Thank you, you have been great help

Tampa, FL
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7. Re: Colin....Where to stay and what bus to go to Puerta Viejo?

You could also have them give you a ride back to the airport and catch the bus that leaves from in front of the parking garage to downtown SJ every 5 minutes and that would cost you less than a buck but since you'll be dealing with bags and would still need to catch a cab for the short ride between terminals downtown (they're about 10-12 blocks apart) it would probably be simpler to just pay for the cab the whole way to the Caribe Terminal

8. Re: Colin....Where to stay and what bus to go to Puerta Viejo?

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