Puerto Viejo was originally only planned to be a mere stepping stone to get into Panama. It turned out to be much more than we expected and would have easily spent at least one more day if it wasn’t for prior bookings.

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca (from Manuel Antonio)

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Puerto Viejo

Similar to how we got to Manuel Antonio, getting to Puerto Viejo also involved first catching a bus to San Jose, then another to Puerto Viejo.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to San Jose

Tracopa bus tickets from Manuel Antonio to San Jose were purchased a day before from Quepos bus station (yep, we learnt our lesson after having to sit on buckets for most of our ride). Bus tickets from Manuel Antonio to San Jose cost ₡4,730 each and the ride took 3 hours.

Getting from San Jose to Puerto Viejo

Bus company connecting San Jose to Puerto Viejo is called Mepe and their station is around a 25 minute drive away from Tracopa station (we used Uber to get there from Tracopa station and cost ₡1,300). 

San Jose MEPE Bus terminal

No tickets for the 10:00 bus were available (we could have gone anyway but would have had to stand up for the whole ride). We instead purchased tickets for the 12:00 bus at ₡5,710 each (one way). Ride duration from San Jose to Puerto Viejo was around 6 hours.

We were expecting to be swarmed by taxis upon arrival at Puerto Viejo but that wasn’t the case here. Walk to our hotel was around an hour, and the last thing we felt like doing following 12 hours of bus travel and waiting in stations was to walk another hour with backpacks. We didn’t really have much of a choice so away we went. Midway through, we stopped a tuk-tuk and paid ₡3,000 to drive us to our hotel

Getting around in Puerto Viejo 

We rented bicycles for a whole day from our hotel which cost us $5 each. We used them throughout the day to get to all places of interest. Since there aren’t bike lanes and you’re riding in the street, it can be somewhat nerve-racking at first but we found that car drivers are quite respectful when it comes to sharing the road with bicycles. 

Puerto Viejo - renting a bicycle

Things to do near Puerto Viejo 

Playa Chiquita

This small beach (says so in the name), has that white sand and clear waters one would expect when thinking about beaches in the caribbean. Thoughts of potentially spending more than just one day in Puerto Viejo reached a high when we were at this beach.

Puerto Viejo - Playa Chiquita

Playa Cocles

Another nice beach stretch. This is one of the most popular beaches in the area. 

Watch a baseball game

We coincidentally came across a baseball game at one of the fields close to Panaderia Frances. It seemed to be an amateur game between friends but was fun to watch. We were met with a lot of curious and strange looks from the locals in the stands. I guess locals are not used to seeing tourists at these games.

Puerto Viejo  - baseball

Visit the Jaguar Rescue Center 

If there’s one thing to do while in Puerto Viejo, we recommend visiting the Jaguar Rescue Center.

Jaguar Rescue Center - Puerto Viejo

Playa Punta Uva

We visited this beach and spent around an hour. Was a little too loud and busy for our liking, but we were here during the weekend, so that certainly didn’t help.

Visit Puerto Viejo town

Puerto Viejo town is where you’ll find many restaurants, bars and souvenir stores. It does pack a lot for a small town and can become quite chaotic, especially on a weekend where many locals visit the area and surrounding beaches.

Where to eat

Restaurants and cafeterias which offered vegetarian options, and we thoroughly enjoyed were:

  • El Rincon Porteno
  • Panaderia Frances
Panaderia Frances - Puerto Viejo
  • Joe Caribbean Food

3 thoughts on “Puerto Viejo de Talamanca (from Manuel Antonio)”

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