a VirtualTourist member from London
I am going to Costa Rica for the first time in June. I have some questions that I'd like to pose to anywone that can answer.
1) What is the weather like there in June?
2) What are the best beaches to go to?
3) Is there anywhere to change money there, pound sterling?
4) How much do things cost, like how much is a can of coke?
With regards to San Jose can anyone tell me a reasonably priced hotel near the airport?
How much does it cost to get from San Jose to Puerto Viejo?
Thanks in advance!
Due to extreme climatic changes the World is experiencing at the moment, trying to predict the weather can be difficult because of local, on the day variations.
Most places now are seeing weather conditions well outside the norm.
The information below should be used as a guide only.
Here is the average weather for San Jose for this time of year.
Enjoy your holiday.
High 76f / 25c
Low 63f / 17c
Rain 11.70in / 296.0mm
Rain days 21
Hours of sun 7
Daylight hours 13
UV level 11 = Extreme
Humidity = Low
We take the cheap buses from San Jose to Puerto Viejo. The fee is nominal--$7-$8 US. I highly recommend that you change your money to colones because they rip you off if you give them US dollars--and they prefer dollars to colones because they figure 500 colones as1 dollar, even though it is 569.495 colones for 1 dollar on 5/14/09. I'm not sure about Euros or Pounds.
Just tell your cab driver that you want the "Terminal Caribe de buses" (you can write this down to show him if you need to). Just be very careful when buying your bus tickets because there are 2 Puerto Viejo's in Costa Rica. Tell them Puerto Viejo de Talamanca if you are going to that one (where I assume you are going). The other is "de Sarapiqui). I almost learned this the hard way!
You'll get rained on in June, but it's not too bad. It will rain very very hard for maybe an hour or so, then clear up-usually in the morning.
You can always change money in a bank (Banco Coasta Rica--BCR---is where you'll get the best rates), but like one other poster said, it's better to get colones from an ATM. I usually take about200 dollars cash,change that the day after arriving, then just go to ATM's for more money when I need it.
We stay here when we get into San Jose:
We are a family of 5 and Johnny (the manager) lets us have a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom condo for around60 if we pay him cash--we are a family of 5 so we'd have to get 2 hotel rooms. These are very nice condo's on the golf course of the Cariari Country Club in Heredia. Johnny will pick you up from the airport free of charge, too. Be sure to ask for a cash discount if you stay there. It's about 10 minutes from the airport. Also, he will call you a cab and tell the cab driver where to take you--he's great and very helpful. He's Tico, but grew up in the US.
Have a great trip!
Some good info above. I travelled to Costa Rica in Sep 2008.
ATMs in CR give you the choice of colones or US$ and there is one in the baggage collection hall at the airport, which I used. The rate when I was there was 555 to the USD and I found the rate offered around PV was usually 540 which was fair. I found both currencies interchangeable everywhere and carried only a small number of colones. There is at least one ATM in PV - I used it without problems but I understand it can run out of money at weekends.
I travelled from San Jose airport to Puerto Viejo. Took a cab for US$25 to the main bus station (fixed fare) then took a local bus for8 to PV which took 5 hours. There are 4 buses per day direct to PV, leaving at 6, 10, 14 and 16.00, but as all buses were full they put on an extra one on the day I travelled which left at 16.30. The journey took 5 hours.
https://www.interbusonline.com/ is a mini bus service which will collect you from the airport and take you direct to your hotel in PV. I returned from PV to San Jose airport using interbus which was fine - cost35 - 4 1/2 hours.
I stayed in a dump near the airport but friends of mine stayed at a hotel in downtown San Jose which came highly recommended and which they liked; www.hotelaranjuez.com/
In PV there are plenty of hotels. I stayed at Casa Verde lodge at42 single room if you pay cash (low season rate). You can stay cheaper but it was clean with a nice pool and I would recommend it:
On the interline bus back to San Jose I met Pamela, the joint proprietor of Loco Natural jungle houses who was a very smart woman with wonderful local knowledge. I learned much about PV on my way out of the place ! She gave me her card with website:
There are a wide range of eating options and two of the better PV restaurants which I would recommend are Le Bistrot du Port (French (doh!)) and Chilero, quasi Asian/Mediterranean. They are next to each other in the main street. PV is small - about 10 streets. It has several internet cafes. For good coffee try Caribeans coffee shop, 50 metres from the bus stop: http://www.caribeanscoffee.com/
Writing this has brought back many fond memories. Have fun.
Thanks [VT member df097]! I think withdrawing from the ATM when I get there will be the best option for me. Do you know what the daily withdrawal limit is? Because I would like to take out enough to cover the whole trip. Thanks [VT member df097] the link to Johnny's place. I am only there for one night but haven't decided on where to stay yet. Is there anything to do there nearby?
Royslaven I'm staying at the Totem Hotel in PV, but I've not decided on where in SJ. Thanks [VT member df097] much for the tip. Would you recommend taking the private bus over the local as when you add taxi far on top it is roughly the same cost.
The public bus is ok but my preference would be for the private bus.
When I went to Cahuita, which is just a few km north of Puerto Viejo, the most expensive part was the Taxi ride from the Airport to San Jose and then to the bus terminal which turned out to be over 25! The bus ticket was really very reasonable. About 12 dollars when converted(for a 3+ hour trip).
The bus ride was very easy. Comfortable, clean, and prompt.
I went on both the public bus and the private one and I can honstly say that there is not enough difference to warrant the difference in price.