We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro

Which Puerto Viejo de Talamanca hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Miami, Florida
posts: 2
reviews: 1
Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro

We're thinking about staying in Puerto Viejo for a few days and heading on to Bocas del Toro. Can anyone recommend a ferry service? And how is the border crossing handled?


Chicago, Illinois
posts: 634
reviews: 135
1. Re: Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro

There is no ferry. You can take the bus from PV to Border at Sixoala, keep in mind Panama is 1 hour later as well, from border, you then get a bus, or taxi hire, there are touts on the bridge areas for this, or get bus then once to port get the ferry, figure 4-5 hours from PV to BDT. There is also a shuttle service you can arrange in PV area, that will get you between these areas.

But there is so much to see and do in the PV areas. First, no trip to the caribe is complete without going to Tortuguero Canals 2 nights, teaming with nature and wildlife one the best eco systems there is in the country, no roads, all boats, its a must IMO. Then you have the Playa Cahuita area, a national park to hike, the Sloth Sanctuary, and also the funky jive ramshackle town, great afro caribe cuisine, folk music, and nice cabina style lodging, or the best thatched bungelows on the coast, Alby Lodge.

Pt Viejo area, a larger town and version of Cahuita, with more diverse food scene, has some of the best beaches in the country, nicer than most in BDT too, Playa Cocles just south of town, and Playa Punta Uva, stunning and natural, as this coast is undeveloped and very rustic, scuba dive, or head to Manzinillo-Gonduca marine refuge, kayak, horseback, and enjoy pristine beaches secluded. Then you have La Amistad, with indigenous indians, as well as the PV area Jaguar Rescue Ctr, and also the botanical gardens, and also the waterfalls. You can raft to or from PV area via the Rio Pacuare, a blast, over the continental divide and thru the indigenous indians lands.

So, unless you have more than a week on the caribe coast, why go to all the trouble of going to BDT?




San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 43,081
2. Re: Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro

Once in Puerto Viejo you can shop aroundc...stop by Tamaras restaurant...ask for Edwin Paterson...he is a real 100% local...incredible nice decent person...he will guide you in the correct direction...be extra carefull with some expats around...just looking for commisions...and some of them not nice at all...

Merry xmas


Edited: 10:19 am, December 25, 2012
Puerto Viejo, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
posts: 1,484
reviews: 37
3. Re: Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro

So sad that local people feel the need to discredit people from other countries. I am surprised that forum moderators continue to allow posts of these types. Please know he does not represent the majority of Costa Ricans.

and btw, Edwin Paterson does not even own Tamara Restaurant anymore.

4. Re: Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff removed this post either because the author requested it, or because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum guidelines.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 12:30 pm, December 27, 2012
Miami, Florida
posts: 2
reviews: 1
5. Re: Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro

Thanks for the advice - now I won't be waiting for a non-existent boat :)

Lake Havasu City...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
posts: 6,798
reviews: 6
6. Re: Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro

Is posible to go by boat, but much complicated and expensive getting the "legal" immigration and customs requirements in Limon. Its easy to do on your own, as mentioned above, or let the http://caribeshuttle.com/ do the work for you.

San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 43,081
7. Re: Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro

Just a short clarification...

I have a lot of expats that are my dear friends...my respect for all of them...I.m glad that some expats also do not represent the majority of the nice expats..

BTW...Edwin Patterson a great well educated ex costarican Congressmen...is leasing his restaurant TAMARAS to a great guy Julian Castro...but Edwin's wife is running the restaurant...and very soon they are opening a great Tour Opertor next to Tamaras...I can hardly wait to start sending my clients to that part of our country with the help of Edwin...Julian ,,, and a great expat from Chile...that is a great travel agent and tour operator...and of course have all my respect!

I have dinner december 24th with Edwin at TAMARAS...great food and great people..I was there with a group of friends that includes two expats from Australia that are part of my dear expats friends...

As we said in Costa Rica...to talk and eat fish...you have to be extra carefull!!


Milwaukee, Wisconsin
posts: 1,231
reviews: 4
8. Re: Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro

It's very easy to get to Bocas from PV. First of all don't pay attention to hobo, he gives bad info. DO NOT try to get the ferry to Bocas town, you want the water taxi, they are two different things. It's easy to cross the border by yourself but you can take a shuttle service, i figured out you were spending 12 more dollars to take the shuttle than doing it yourself. The vibe in Bocas is fairly different in many ways than PV so it's worth it for a change.

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 634
reviews: 135
9. Re: Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro

I meant water taxi, not ferry, anyone in PV can tell you what to do, its as easy as 1-2-3. Just get to border before 1pm.

Costa Rica
posts: 23,913
reviews: 26
10. Re: Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro

I would definitely just go ahead and arrange a "package." It's so much easier.

Here's one option: www.puertoviejosatellite.com/tours.php…

Your lodging will be able to help you with this, also. I would definitely NOT just ask "anyone in PV" - you really don't know what you would end up with!

And yes, I agree with geojack about solohobo.