Cahuita & Puerto Viejo, The amazing Costa Rica`s south Caribbean


The beautiful Cahuita

About 45 km south of Limón, along the coastal road that passes forests and banana plantations, Cahuita´s beach–bum small town is set off the road to the left. The sandy streets have many more bicycles and pedestrians in shorts than cars. . It`s a town of loping dogs and blond surfers, black-skinned fishermen kicking a soccer ball and visitors bent under big backpacks, small shops and sodas (local food places), B&B´s ad restaurants. Hotels can be found in town or north of the village along a dirt road that follows the shoreline. The Park is at the southern town limit, across a wooden pedestrian bridge.

Cahuita Village is an increasingly desirable destination to all kinds of tourists. It`s best known for the beautiful oatmeal sand beaches in Cahuita National Park – set aside in 1978 to protect the shoreline.
Did you know - The name of “Cahuita”? The park`s wetland flora, dominated by yolillo palms and sangrillo trees, gave the town and park its name, derived from the indigenous language. “Kawa” means sangrillo tree, and “ta” means point which became known as Cahuita.

… Then the incomparable Puerto Viejo

Half an hour south of Cahuita is Puerto Viejo, “Old Harbor”, the most laid-back Caribbean beach town in Costa Rica. This lazy village, settled as a fishing center in the earliest part of the last century, didn`t get electricity until 1987 and only had three phones by 1997. Even thought Puerto Viejo is farther down the road from Cahuita, it`s much more popular, with a livelier vibe and more ongoing development. As you head still farther south, you will come to the more beautiful beaches on this coast, with white sand and turquoise seas. When it`s calm, the waters down here are some of the clearest anywhere in the country, with good snorkeling among the nearby coral reefs.

While surfers come December through March to Challenge the six-meter surf at Salsa Brava, “Angry Sauce”, others come for the laissez-faire lifestyle and boutique accommodations along the ribbon of road that hugs the coast.
The clock ticks slowly here, and things are never hurried. It`s an easy blend of Afro-Caribbean culture, escapist North Americans, indigenous families, intense eco-tourists heading on to explore the inland forest reserves or Gandoca-Manzanillo Preserve, beach-bums, surfer dudes and travelers from all over the world, here to absorb some sun and slow the pace of life down to simplicity.

  • Helpful tip. Be aware that the town`s popularity had grown immensely in recent years and many hotels recommended reservations on weekends, holidays and at dry season.
  • Plenty of stays: Luxury, Moderate and Budget hotels, Airbnb´s, hostels and family stays is easy to find.


How to get to Cahuita and Puerto Viejo

Private Shuttles

Can be booked from any destination. If you are departing from SJO Airport, the price is $240.00 + tax (year 2021 is 4%, year 2022 is 8% and year 2023 is 13%).
This Services operates 24/7 including: Bilingual driver, Stops along the way, Door to Door, Travel Insurance, Pets Allowed, Accredited Latest Model Minivans.
Feel free to choose and book your Private Shuttle connection to the Caribbean at: SJO airport to Cahuita & Puerto Viejo Private Shuttle

Shared Shuttles

It works great for 1 or 2 people departing from San Jose city and SJO Airport daily and only in the mornings so far. There are connections from Arenal Volcano as well departing at 7am approx. You can book it at: SJO Airport to Cahuita & Puerto Viejo Shared Shuttle

Public Buses: This is the budget way to get from San Jose to Cahuita and Puerto Viejo. The distance is 241 km / 149.7 miles and the driving time is at least 4.5 hours. The Bus Station is located in San Jose downtown named Gran Terminal del Caribe.
How to catch it? You must get to the bus terminal 30 minutes prior departure and buy the ticket in cash