How to arrive and leave
There are two different routes, via the east or the west of Braulio Carrillo National Park; you can go on a return trip without the need to take the same route. The journey time is about two hours to travel 96km. The west route goes towards the north of Juan Santamaría International Airport in the province of Alajuela and passes through the villages of Vara Blanca, La Paz waterfall and the villages of San Miguel and La Virgen. This route leaves San José via Barva, in the province of Heredia and continues along the Central cordillera between the Poas Volcano to the west and the Barva volcano to the east.
The buses to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí, take two different routes from San José: one is via Heredia, which is the west route. The east route goes through the Braulio Carrillo National Park and it is called the ‘Direct’, which means that you don’t stop in other villages and it is much quicker. If you take the route that goes through Braulio Carrillo, you will need to get off at the last stop in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí. Opposite the stop you will be able to see a football pitch and a taxi rank.
Route to the east
When you return from San José some 4km to the east of Puerto Viejo, the road passes by the entrance of the Biological Station La Selva. 15 km from there is Horquetas, 15 km from the rainforest conservation project and from the Rara Avis lodge. From Horquetas continue along a 17km road, passing by banana plantations and you will arrive at the San Jose – Puerto Limón Highway, close to the village of Santa Clara. To go to Guápiles and to the Carribean, you will need to turn east; to go to San José and to the west, continue along the road until you get to Braulio Carrillo National Park. Some 2 km to the south of Horquetas, you will find the village of Río Frío, an important banana plantation which is where the main road to Santa Clara and Horquetas was situated. There is a landing strip, and it is possible to buy plane tickets from Tortuguero.