While the drive from Costa Rica’s capital city of San Jose to the Caribbean Coast beach towns of Limon, Cahuita and Puerto Viejo is very pretty driving through Braulio Carrillo National Park, and over the Sucio, Reventazon and Pacuare rivers, there is a much easier way to get to Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast. Fly!
It takes about four hours to drive the 217 kilometers – that’s 135 miles for folks from the States – to Puerto Viejo, where most people go for Caribbean beach holidays in Costa Rica. The stretch on Route 32 through the Braulio Carrillo National Park is certainly very beautiful, but can also be treacherous when raining, foggy, or after dark – a good portion of the time.
Save yourself the headache and stress of driving. Getting to the southern Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica is easy on 30-minute domestic flights between San Jose and Limon operated by Nature Air and Sansa Airlines. After the 30 minute flight, it is only a quick 30-minute drive from the Limon Airport to Puerto Viejo. In an hour from San Jose, you can be lounging under a palm tree on a stunning Caribbean beach with a cold fruit drink in your hand. Besides that, the views of Braulio Carrillo National Park and the Sucio, Reventazon and Pacuare rivers are even better from the air!
Costa Rican airline Nature Air operates flights four times per week to the Caribbean port city of Limon from San Jose. Flights depart from the Juan Santamaria International Airport by San Jose on Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, leaving at 5:50 a.m. and arriving to the Limon airport at 6:20 a.m. Return flights depart Limon at 6:30 a.m. and arrive to San Jose at 7:25 a.m., with a quick stop on the way to Tortuguero in the northern Caribbean.
Sansa Airlines operates flights between San Jose and Limon regularly, departing from Juan Santamaria International Airport:
- San Jose to Limon: depart 6:50 a.m. / arrive 7:35 a.m. Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun
- San Jose to Limon: depart 7:45 a.m. / arrive 8:05 a.m. Daily
- San Jose to Limon: depart 2:30 p.m. / arrive 3:30 p.m. Daily
- Limon to San Jose: depart 7:01 a.m. / arrive 7:56 a.m. Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun
- Limon to San Jose: depart 7:45 a.m. / arrive 8:47 a.m. Daily
- Limon to San Jose: depart 3:40 p.m. / arrive 4:20 p.m. Daily
Costa Rica Caribbean Coast
Sunshine, warm turquoise Caribbean Sea, palm trees, lush jungle, sloths in the trees, parrots and toucans flying overhead, cool restaurants, great hotels and a laid-back Caribbean vibe … what more could you want on holiday? The southern Costa Rica Caribbean Coast has everything for an idyllic Caribbean vacation.
Try out new adventures: snorkeling or scuba diving around coral reefs, go sea kayaking, hike in the jungle, visit a sloth sanctuary or a jaguar rescue center, learn how to make chocolate, surf some of the best waves in Costa Rica.
Whether you come to Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast for a romantic getaway, family vacation, friends’ trip, or honeymoon, the place to stay in Puerto Viejo is Hotel Le Caméléon. The Costa Rica boutique hotel offers upscale beach accommodations in the tropical rainforest, facing one of the area’s most beautiful beaches – Playa Cocles.
Hip, modern and chic, Le Cameleon Boutique Hotel has 23 rooms stylized in all-white minimalism with touches of bright colors that change every day like a chameleon, and all of the comforts you expect at a four-star resort. The hotel’s La Sula Sea Lounge Beach Club across the street is the place to hang out by the shore and meet friends for a cool drink or a light meal. Hotel Le Caméléon provides spa services, private yoga classes, first-class restaurant, reading/lounging areas, and a lap pool and cool water Jacuzzi.
Article by Shannon Farley