Bus and Shuttle Travel
Grupo Caribeños buses, some snazzy double-deckers, connect San José’s Gran Terminal del Caribe with hourly service to Guápiles, Siquirres, and Limón. Autotransportes MEPE, which has a lock on bus service to the south Caribbean coast, has a reputation for being lackadaisical, but is really quite dependable. Its San José buses depart from the capital’s Terminal Atlántico Norte. MEPE drivers and ticket sellers are accustomed to dealing with foreigners; even if their English is limited, they'll figure out what you want. MEPE occasionally runs extra buses to Cahuita and Puerto Viejo de Talamanca during the high season. Bus fares to this region are reasonable. From San José, expect to pay $3 to Guápiles, $6 to Limón, $10 to Cahuita, $11 to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, and $15 to Sixaola on the Panamanian border.
If you prefer a more private form of travel, consider taking a shuttle. Comfortable air-conditioned vans of the nationwide company Interbus or the Caribbean-based Caribe Shuttle depart from San José hotels daily for Cahuita and Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. Reserve tickets ($49 one way) at least a day in advance.
Autotransportes MEPE. C. 9 and Avda. 12, Downtown, San José, San José, 10102. 2257–8129.
Caribe Shuttle. 2750-0626; www.caribeshuttle.com.
Grupo Caribeños. C. Central and Avda. 13, Barrio Tournón, San José, San José, 10102. 2222–0610; www.grupocaribenos.com.
Interbus. 4100–0888; www.interbusonline.com.