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Day trip to Bocas del Toro from Puerto Viejo

Sisters, Oregon
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Day trip to Bocas del Toro from Puerto Viejo

we are going to Puerto Viejo in March and would like to find a day trip by boat down to Bocas del Toro. Any suggestions?

Puerto Viejo de...
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31. Re: Day trip to Bocas del Toro from Puerto Viejo

My business, Wahoo Fishing & Tours, offers this tour, and yes, it is expensive, time consuming, and requires a fair amount of trust/confidence in your vendor (me). I must take all travellers (including boat crew) passports as well boat papers to Limon prior to travel. While they've always honored this, technically, they are supposed to have the actual person present each passport. Entry into Panama is easy and pretty quick. Upon re-entry to Costa Rica, we must first go back to Limon (an extra 90 or so minutes via water) to again have the papers stamped.

All that being said, what a great way to get to Bocas! Regardless of your choice of travel, I hope you enjoy your time in our little slice of paradise.

Puerto Viejo de...
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32. Re: Day trip to Bocas del Toro from Puerto Viejo

OK, before you all point it out first... yes, I realize this original post is a year old, and, more than likely "dead in the water"--bad pun. That being said, there is still some valuable info in the thread.

Further, I also realized that the original poster is a man who won a week in my rental house as part of benefit auction I donated to in my old home state... what a small and tangled world we live in.

Puerto Viejo de...
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33. Re: Day trip to Bocas del Toro from Puerto Viejo

As far as I know, trips to Bocas have not resumed. What I have heard confirms and agrees exactly with what GeckoTrail said. Traveling to Bocas is not really that time consuming, any way. It makes for a nice trip.

As for me, I prefer Puerto Viejo and tell my friends and guests that until you have spent two weeks here with all there is to see and do, there is no need to go to Bocas. I think Bocas del Toro is alot like Puerto Viejo but not as nice. I will admit that there is much better opportunity for diving and snorkeling at the right time of year, though.

Puerto Viejo
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34. Re: Day trip to Bocas del Toro from Puerto Viejo

Before I began the Bocas Shuttle three years ago (since renamed as Caribe Shuttle), I looked into starting a fairy service between Bocas and Puerto Viejo. In fact, I started testing the PV-Bocas ferry idea with beta trips in order to get a feel for the legalities and logistics. So I know first hand about this issue. On these beta trips we would bring clients' passports to Limon the day before the trip from PV to Bocas, and then pass through immigration in Bocas. From Bocas to PV, we had clients pass through the immigration in Bocas and then upon landing in Puerto Viejo, we would again take the clients’ passports to immigration in Limon for processing into CR. This worked well for the first couple trials. On the third or fourth rip to Limon, the head of Costa Rican Security for Limon pulled me into an office and confiscated the passports. He interviewed me at length and scrutinized each passport from cover to cover carefully several times. At the end, he thanked me for trying to do something legally and said that he knows that several people do it illegally from time to time. But, he said, there is no way to do it legally from Puerto Viejo. There are only two legal ports of entry on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, Moin and Limon. Boats entering or departing Costa Rica must check in at one of those ports, and each passport must be accompanied by its owner. A legal port of entry must have an immigration official, a customs official, an agricultural official, and a Capitan of the Port. When you think about the needs of national security and law enforcement, this all makes perfect sense. I thanked him for the clarification, told him I would be working on plan B, transport by land, and he offered his assistance. I’m glad I tested the waters, so to speak, first.

Regarding the day trip to Bocas, it is operated by a Panamanian company and available through several agencies in Puerto Viejo and elsewhere. We have some clients thoroughly satisfied with the trip and others that think it was not worth the time. It is expensive but not a rip off at all, as the cost of running the trip is also very expensive. Personally, I think if you want to see Bocas, I recommend you plan on two nights minimum if you can, three nights is perfect, but at least one night. If you really want to see the islands and collect another stamp in your passport, but you do not have time, the one-day trip from PV to Bocas may be a good value for you.

Regarding Roadadvisor's comments about non Costa Ricans owning Costa Rican corporations, I believe his comments are unfair and unrepresentative of the views of most Costa Ricans and certainly of Costa Rican government policy. Costa Rica actively seeks foreign investment in developing the economy here, with special emphasis in the tourism sector. They spend millions of dollars trying to get foreign agencies to send their clients here, as well. But with locally foreign owned tourism businesses, the profit is immediately recirculated and multiplied in the local economy. We are not born here, but this is our chosen home, and many of us chose it because we love it. And if it were not for foreign biologist researchers first, and Californian surfers second, and the intrepid backpacker pioneers kick-starting the tourism sector in this country, I believe Costa Rica would still be a minor backwater in tourism. Remaining a minor backwater in tourism may have been a good scenario depending on your point of view, but that is not part of this discussion. The fact is, Costa Rica did not want to remain a backwater and invited foreign professionals to start businesses here. Do you think there would be any rafting companies or surf schools in Costa Rica if foreigners did not first bring their passions to this country. Just about every lead surf coach that ever worked for my surf school now has their own surf lesson business in competition with mine, and they often started by renting boards and kayaks from me. Is that not good? Roadadvisor's comments remind me of the bigots in the United States ignorantly bitching about Latinos invading their country and stealing their jobs, or the Japanese buying up all the assets in the USA, etc. I am sure that Mr. Roadadvisor does not intend to portray that image, and I am not saying he is a bigot; but I am reminded of that. I understand where his fear comes from, and there are some valid arguments to be made against foreign investment/involvement, but his claim that foreign owners of Costa Rican business care less about clients than Costa Rican owners is not a valid argument. It is misguided at best, and even dangerous to his own reputation as some would see the comments as racist, or at minimum nationalist. Promoting either perception is dangerous to world harmony, to world tourism, and to the health of tourism in Costa Rica in particular. That is my two colones.

-john

Puerto Viejo
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35. Re: Day trip to Bocas del Toro from Puerto Viejo

btw, i did not mean "fairy" service. We do not have any fairies to offer, and we do not offer service to faries, and we do not believe in them. However, we recognioze your right to believe in fairies and respect if your chosen faith. Rather, I meant that we were testing a "ferry" service.

Edited: 4:18 pm, January 17, 2012
Philadelphia...
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36. Re: Day trip to Bocas del Toro from Puerto Viejo

yes but have you even been there? going to salt creek after vacationing in your neck of the woods.

Puerto Viejo, Costa...
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for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
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37. Re: Day trip to Bocas del Toro from Puerto Viejo

John.. You don't offer shuttle service to fairies? As a casual member (on sabbatical) of The Radical Fairies, I am truly saddened :-(

I can assure you that a van load from a Radical Fairies event is something you will never forget.

Punta Uva, Costa...
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38. Re: Day trip to Bocas del Toro from Puerto Viejo

is really best to either with the Caribe Shuttle, or do on your own on public bus-taxi-water taxi, any other way is more expensive and/or illegal.

Surrey, Canada
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39. Re: Day trip to Bocas del Toro from Puerto Viejo

Hi Lisa... do you have his phone number?

40. Re: Day trip to Bocas del Toro from Puerto Viejo

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