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jmaglich Jul 6th, 2008 05:26 PM

Several Questions about Puerto Viejo
Hello all,
Had a few questions I was hoping you could answer for me....Really appreciate any input/suggestions you can provide.

I am heading to CR in early August...doing PV for a few days in the beginning. My first issue is transportation from SJ to PV. My flight unfortunately doesnt arrive until 3:50 P.M., so, after clearing customs, etc, I'm afraid that takes me out of the timeframe for catching any buses to PV/Manzanillo. How hard is it to drive from SJ to PV at night? I am planning on renting a car at some point, but not sure when. Speaking of car, will I need to get a 4x4 for the drive from SJ to PV, and then later to Jaco and back to SJ? I drove the nicoya peninsula earlier this year, and definitely needed the 4x4, but I'm pretty sure the roads/conditions are better east of I correct? Finally, I also entertained the possibility of crashing in SJ that night, and taking the 6am bus to PV. Any suggestions on which choice I should make?

So, thats the transportation issue. I am planning on staying at Azania Bungalows...they come well-recommended, and I like what I see so far. Can someone who has stayed there confirm that it is a short walk to the beach? I will have a car there as well, but hear that renting a bike works perfectly for going back and forth between Cocles/PV/Manzanillo. How is the surfing at Azania? Any other suggestions for things to do/places to eat in that area? your comments are much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Jeff_Costa_Rica Jul 6th, 2008 06:26 PM

The road heading north out of San Jose (the way to head toward the Caribbean) fogs over quite badly after dark, and has a lot of twists and turns as you pass through a moutainous area. I would never attempt the trip at night. Get a good night's sleep at a hotel near the airport or in the city and be on your way the next day. There's a 6 a.m. public bus, or a more lesiurely departure time of 10 a.m. The bus trip to PV takes about four hours.

shillmac Jul 7th, 2008 05:38 AM

We like having a car in that area so that we can drive between Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo. We have biked it also when without a car, but at night, if you want to go up the road to a particular restaurant, it is nice to have a car to get you there. Taxis, at least year before last, were not that prevalent.

Yes, absolutely stay the night in San Jose. Here´s what I would do: Get a taxi from the airport to the Don Carlos. It is near the highway to Limon. Juan Carlos, at the tour desk, will arrange a vehicle for you through Tricolor and they will bring it to the hotel. The front desk will give you good directions to the highway. Get a 4X4 because south of Limon, around Cahuita, and on down to the end of the road at Manzanillo, you will need it.

Also, that night, if you are not too tired, hire a $2 taxi to El Pueblo for dinner. EP is a mall of sorts, with bars, discos, restaurants, artisan shops. Close to the hotel.

jmaglich Jul 7th, 2008 07:26 AM

jeff and shillmac,
appreciate the quick and informative responses. As is now, my hotel choices are down to banana azul and la costa de papito. Any suggestions on one over the other? How close are each of those to town?
I'm thinking that staying in SJ the night of the flight, and either a rental/bus to PV in the am makes the most sense...although I would like to make the most of PV. Look forward to your suggestions/comments. Thanks again

hipvirgochick Jul 7th, 2008 12:34 PM

We enjoyed both Azania and Banana Azul for different reasons. They are on opposite sides of Puerto Viejo, so BA is closer to Cahuita, while AB is closer to Manzanillo. They are both within walking distance to town. Azania and Costa de Papito are next to each other and directly across the street from Cocles. BA is on the beach of Playa Negra (about 50 metres). Azania has the pool, which is nice, and the bungalows are really nice, but BA has them beat when it comes to the friendliness and beauty and detail they've put into their lodge. The grounds and rooms/bungalows are wonderful at both of them.

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