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How to get to Puerto Jiménez from San José & Drake Bay (bus, car and shuttle)

Are you currently in Costa Rica and looking for ways to get to Puerto Jiménez? This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to get from SAN JOSÉ to Puerto Jiménez using different modes of transportation such as SHUTTLE (👉price), bus, PLANE (👉price), or car.

It also covers the transportation options from DRAKE BAY using SHUTTLE (👉price) and bus. Additionally, you’ll find recommendations for things to do and places to stay in Puerto Jiménez.

Best Travel insurance for Costa Rica

Here is what you will find:

How to get to Puerto Jiménez

If you are planning a trip to Costa Rica (👉COSTA RICA GUIDE), you should know that it is a country characterized by the beauty of its beaches, mountains, volcanoes and the diversity of its wildlife.

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When browsing the internet during your trip, it is essential to use a 👉 QUALITY VPN to ensure your privacy and security. Additionally, bringing a ⭐ TRAVEL DEBIT CARD will help you avoid issues with carrying cash and reduce the risk of theft.

How to get to Puerto Jiménez from SAN JOSÉ

Next, I will tell you how to get to Puerto Jiménez from San José (or vice versa) in three different means of transport: transfer, car and bus.

How to get Puerto Jiménez by TRANSFER

Hiring a transfer is the fastest and most comfortable way to make the journey between Puerto Jiménez and San José (they will arrive in about 5h 30min or 6h). It’s also safer, because you won’t have to go up and down with your bags.

It is particularly useful if you are staying in a hotel or hostel that is further away from the bus terminal (such as Playa Preciosa or Cabo Matapalo), since the transfer will take you to your hotel.

👉 Check out the price of the San José to Puerto Jiménez and from Puerto Jimenez to San Jose

How to get to Puerto Jiménez by car/car

Puerto Jiménez is located at a distance of 374 km from San José, and it will take about 5h 30min or 6h to reach your destination.

These are the steps leaving San José. If you leave Puerto Jiménez, the road is exactly the same but in reverse:

  1. Follow the José María Castro Madriz Highway to Pacific Highway Fernández Oreamuno (route 34).
  2. The Pacific highway takes you You will go straight until Chacarita.
  3. There take the detour to Route 245 until you reach Puerto Jiménez.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can travel with your own vehicle or rent a car to travel through Costa Rica by road. I’ll tell you all the details you need to make the journey and some useful information.

Renting a car in Costa Rica

Road trips are a fantastic option and, in Costa Rica, you have a variety of vehicles and pick-up locations to choose from to meet your needs. In case you decide to RENT A CAR, I’ve listed a few pick-up locations near your destination and tourist areas that you might want to visit on your trip.

Also, keep in mind that you have the option of picking up and dropping off the car at different locations. For instance, you can pick up the car in San José and return it in La Fortuna.

Car rental in SAN JOSÉCar rental in LA FORTUNA
Car rental in LIMÓNCar rental in TAMARINDO
Car rental in UVITACar rental in PUERTO JIMÉNEZ
Car rental in QUEPOS y MANUEL ANTONIOCar rental in LIBERIA

If your destination is not listed above, you can also check the availability of vehicles and prices using the following search engine:

How to get to Puerto Jiménez by BUS

Go from Puerto Jiménez to San José by bus (or vice versa) is very simple, since you don’t have to do any kind of transfer.

The journey takes about 7 hours, including a stop to go to the bathroom or buy something to eat. Also, in Costa Rica there are food vendors that go up between stops, so you probably won’t go hungry.

From Puerto Jimenez

The bus leaves from the bus terminal which is located in the very center of Puerto Jiménez and you can buy the ticket right there for a price of 8190 CRC.

I took the first thing in the morning, but you should always ask the hotel to make sure of the times, because they can change.

From San José

The bus to Puerto Jiménez departs from the San Carlos Bus Terminal in San José. I recommend that you leave early, since the journey is long and it is always better to arrive during the day and with enough time to find the hotel. The ticket price is 8,265 CRC.

The bus stop is a bit far from the beach and quite far from Cabo Matapalo. It is better to check with your hotel if there is a possibility of pick-up.

Warning: I almost get robbed when I got off the bus with the suitcase and looking like a tourist.

How to get to Puerto Jiménez from BAHÍA DRAKE

You have two ways to make the journey from Puerto Jimenez to Drake Bay and vice versa: by shuttle or by bus.

I tell you the details about the two options:

How to get to Puerto Jiménez by SHUTTLE

This is the most comfortable option since they will pick you up at the hotel and take you to your new accommodation in Puerto Jiménez. In addition, the vehicle is newer and has air conditioning.

I leave you two links where you can see the price and details of the transfer from Drake Bay to Puerto Jiménez and also the opposite route from Puerto Jiménez to Drake Bay.

How to get to Puerto Jiménez by BUS (colectivo)

After spending a few days in Drake Bay, I decided to end my trip by visiting Puerto Jiménez, a place that was not part of my itinerary. And luckily I went! because I liked Puerto Jiménez a lot and I lived from the best experiences of the trip.

1) That day I got up early (the bus passed at 5 in the morning), I had to book from the hostel, I’ve been told that it was more practical because that way I would stop at the door. Although at the beginning there was little light and the landscape could not be seen well, that journey was a super fun experience.

The road is not paved and goes through some rivers where there are crocodiles (although I did not see any) and, when I say that it goes through the river, I mean that there is no bridge, the bus circulated inside the river.

Plus there were pigs walking around so happily! Then I saw the sun rise and the beautiful Costa Rican landscape. All this adventure continued to La Palma and cost 4000 CRC.

2) The bus stop and the next bus stop are exactly in the same place; If you tell the driver that you are going to Puerto Jimenez, he will tell you where to get off. The schedules are very well done and just arriving from Drake Bay you can already see the bus approaching. The latter costs 970 CRC and will leave you in the town of Puerto Jiménez itself.

Where to stay in Puerto Jiménez

There are two areas that I recommend to stay in Puerto Jiménez, depending on whether you are looking for something calmer or to have more facilities.

More facilities

First there is the most central area (that of the town itself), here you will have several restaurants and a large supermarket. Within the town, the best area to stay is next to the beach, since the views are more beautiful and there is more atmosphere. The only drawback I see is that it is a bit far from the main supermarket.

High budget: BOTANIKA OSA



If you are looking for something further from the downtown area to be able to enjoy the beach and relax, I recommend that you stay at Preciosa beach. It is a beach not far from the center of Puerto Jiménez (you can get there by bike) and the beach is long and quiet. You can spend the afternoon on a sun lounger and enjoy nature.

High budget: IGUANA LODGE

Quiet and a bit far away

There are also quite a few lodgings in Cabo Matapalo; although they are far from the center of Puerto Jiménez. The advantage of staying here is that the beaches are very beautiful, you will be in the middle of the jungle and you can visit the waterfalls!

There are very nice hotels next to the beach, and they will be perfect to unwind for a few days. You can get to Cabo Matapalo by private transport or by bus.

Tours in Puerto Jiménez

Puerto Jiménez is a region abundant in wildlife and nature, boasting opportunities for visiting pristine beaches, snorkeling, birdwatching, crocodile viewing, kayaking, and more.

There are different TOURS and ACTIVITIES that you can do during your trip, so you can make the most of your stay:

Useful stuff for your trip to Costa Rica

Below, you will find some products that will be very useful during your trip to Costa Rica.

In addition, the options that I recommend are committed to the environment/social causes and are vegan.

Waterproof windbreaker

vegan+ environment commitment

Carrying a waterproof windbreaker in your suitcase is essential in case temperatures drop, it rains unexpectedly, or to go hiking.

When traveling, it’s important to choose a jacket that is lightweight, takes up little space and that you can use in different situations; that is to say, that transpires, is waterproof and has a hood to protect you properly from bad weather.

👉 Price windbreaker for MAN and windbreaker for WOMAN

Gopro 11 Black

The GOPRO 11 (👉 PRICE) is a great choice if you are visiting natural areas, practicing adventure sports or want to make videos underwater, e.g. while scuba diving or snorkeling.

In addition, with its stabilization and Horizon Lock function, it will allow you to make incredibly stable videos even in adverse situations (such as walking, running or riding a motorcycle). In addition, it comes with an amazing 5.3k image quality.

👉 GOPRO 11 PRICE + specs

3-in-1 hiking shoes

vegan + environment commitment

These La Sportiva shoes are designed to run in the mountains, thanks to this you can use them for hiking, go out to run and do tourism ; saving space in your suitcase.

They are made with goretex, which means they protect you from the inclement weather weather (such as rain, ice or cold) and are adherent to the ground. This makes them ideal for traveling due to their versatility.

👉 Price shoes for MAN and for shoes for WOMAN

What to do in Puerto Jiménez

Puerto Jiménez is not one of the main tourist places in the country, and most people who end up here aim to visit the Corcovado National Park.

It is a great idea to spend a few extra days in this corner of Costa Rica, since it has beautiful places that are worth visiting. For me, it was one of the best stops on the route.

Kayaking to see the dolphins and CROCODILE

In the dock area they rent kayaks for an excursion in Puerto Jiménez from the sea to the lagoons. You can venture alone or go with a guide, so that he can tell you things about the place.

The mouth of the river that leads to the lagoon area is an ideal location since it is the territory of crocodiles and, at the same time, dolphins can be spotted.

It is a very nice excursion to do, both for the natural landscape and for the fauna that you can see.


It is a pleasant place because of the atmosphere. The main area of ​​Puerto Jiménez is made up of a street with some restaurants and a viewpoint next to it from the sea.

At the end of it all is a beach where people hang out. The water is very calm and the beach at high tide almost disappears, leaving a path full of palm trees with people sitting having a coconut or a beer.

On the beach itself there is a restaurant in particular that always plays loud music, and it is very fun to buy a coconut, sit on the sand and listen to the music while surrounded by families who go there to spend the afternoon.

Although there are restaurants, this place is not non-touristy or cramped, and you can eat something and enjoy the views of the bay.

Playa Preciosa (Beach)

Playa Preciosa is a very long beach that is quite close to the center of Puerto Jiménez and It has some accommodations.

This is a wild beach with an area of ​​palapas and the sea is suitable for taking a dip. The landscape is very natural, and it is a quiet place away from the crowds.

It’s a good option for a half-day excursion, but take sunscreen because there’s not much shade on this beach!

Crocodile Park

This is a park next to the lagoon where wild crocodiles quietly inhabit. But without bars or any kind of protection, they run around freely while people stroll or sit quietly on a bench.

You will also be able to observe other animals such as monkeys and different types of birds. I recommend that you go as it is a fun place and in the heart of Puerto Jiménez.

To complete the experience to this crocodile park, the entrance is half hidden between bushes and makes it a book adventure.

Blanca Beach

Playa Blanca is located in the part of above Golfo Dulce and its waters are very calm, as if it were a lake; although the beach itself is not particularly pretty.

People usually get together to ride to have lunch on the beach and swim for a while and, in addition, you can snorkel. I spent the afternoon there and was able to see two rays, puffer fish, a giant tortoise and a dolphin from afar.

For me it was one of the best excursions I did in Puerto Jiménez, due to the authenticity of the place and the huge turtle I managed to see.

Sándalo Beach

Playa Sándalo is another place to snorkel in Puerto Jimenez. Not far from the coast there is a reef with different types of fish and the water is not too deep.

Unlike Playa Blanca, Sándalo is much quieter and more relaxed, as the beach is quite muddy and not comfortable to walk on.

These two beaches are very close to each other, and can easily be visited in the same day using public transport.

Is Costa Rica SAFE to Travel? 

Costa Rica is a moderately dangerous country, where nothing should happen to you if you go carefully and take precautions. Remember to follow these recommendations:

  • In case of robbery, do not resist physically.
  • Do not show a high purchasing power, that is, do not go with jewels, bags, etc … that are expensive.
  • Be careful if you go out at night, and stay in crowded places where you are surrounded by other people.
  • Thefts are usual, so don’t go with the camera or mobile in your hand or hang out of your neck.
  • Try to avoid carrying the backpack on the back. Put it in front of you, or use a belt pouch or a cross bag.

Personally, I spent 3 months traveling alone in Costa Rica (I visited San José, Puerto Viejo, Tortuguero, Dominical, Uvita, Bay Drake and Puerto Jiménez) and I did not find myself in any really serious situation.

Going down the street with the camera, several Costa Rican people approached and warned me that they were carefully with robberies, since they told me that they are very frequent.

In my case, during the trip they tried to steal 2 times and, luckily, I realized on time and I could avoid it. In any case, it is always a good idea to have travel insurance (👉5% discount) that can compensate you financially and help you if a medical emergency occurs.

If you are interested in traveling alone, I recommend this article about the reasons and benefits of traveling alone and this other article with tips for traveling alone being a woman. I encourage you to try it since it is a great and very profitable experience for oneself.

Eating VEGAN in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is not a country faced with vegan food. Anyway, they have some traditional dishes that are vegan or that you can ask without egg or sauces such as the pico of rooster (rice with beans for breakfast), black bean soup or rice with vegetables.

You should always ask if the purés or soups are made with some type of dairy product or meat broth, since at first glance they might seem vegan dishes but not be.

In San José you can find some vegan restaurants, but when you leave the capital the offer is very limited or non -existent. Next, I make three recommendations and in this link you can read tips to travel vegan.

  1. Try to stay in hotels that are characterized by cooking vegan and vegetarian dishes. This is the best option and the most practical for not having to be looking for places where to eat comfortable without always repeating the same dishes.
  2. Before going on a tour that includes a meal, always mention that you are vegan or vegetarian, so that they can adapt the food.
  3. Costa Rica is a country where you can find a variety of fresh products (fruits and vegetables) to prepare salads and breakfast with fruits. In any city or town, you will easily find some supermarket or stalls on the street where you can buy groceries.

I hope you enjoy Puerto Jiménez and that you arrive at your destination without problems!

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