Updated: Oct 31, 2021
Tips for getting in the country, getting to Ojo del Mar, and getting around the Southern Osa
To enter Costa Rica, you must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months from the time you enter Costa Rica. Generally, citizens from most countries, including the EU and the United States, don’t need a visa.
Before you leave home, also check to be sure your shots (and shot records) are up to date. If you are entering Costa Rica from some South American countries, you will need proof of vaccination for yellow fever.
For more on these policies, you should always check the Costa Rican Embassy, your country’s Foreign Affairs offices (or in the US, the State Department) - their web sites will give you up to date information, as well as details on natural and political issues that may impact travel in the region.
If you are traveling internationally by air, you will probably fly into San Jose, the capital. If you plan to stay overnight in San Jose, we recommend the following accommodations:
- Tierra Magica Bed & Breakfast in Escazú
- Los Volcanes Hotel in Alajuela
Getting to Us
There are several ways to get to Ojo del Mar:
Take one of the regional carriers into the Puerto Jiménez (PJM) airport. The small propeller plane gets you from San Jose in about 50 minutes, and you will be introduced to the Golfo Dulce from the air.
Once in Puerto Jimenez, you can be met by taxi. Let us know your arrival time and we will be happy to send you one ($40 for 4 people). Or, pick up a rental car - see information below.
San José is about 200 miles/375km from Puerto Jiménez; driving takes 6 to 8 hours, depending upon road and weather conditions, time of day, and of course, the driver.
There are several rental car companies in San José. Three of the agencies also have offices in Puerto Jiménez, should you want to pick up (or drop) your car nearby:
Four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended, particularly once you are on the Osa. We recommend you do not drive at night.
Daily bus service leaves from San José (Barrio Mexico) to Puerto Jimenez at 8 a.m. and 12 noon, and departs for San José from Puerto Jimenez at 5 A.M. and 9 A.M.
Address: Barrio Mexico de la Parada de San Carlos 25mts Norte, San José.
There are no reservations; you should call Transportes Blanco once you are in San José to confirm your travel plans. The ride takes approximately 8 hours, and costs approximately $13 per person each way.
Many of the tours and activities on the Osa require ground transportation (and sometimes, ground leading to a boat.) Generally, roundtrip transportation is not included in the price of tours. With a little pre-planning, you can decide whether relying on taxis, or renting an All-wheel Drive (4x4) vehicle is a better choice for you-- it largely depends on the number of trips you will take, time of year, and the like.
Being as rental cars are available in Puerto Jiménez, it’s wise to consider your overall plans before you decide whether to bring a car from San Jose (or elsewhere) or rent one on the Peninsula. Many people rent a car from San Jose and drive it to the Osa; others rent a car in Puerto Jimenez. (Either way, you want a 4x4 vehicle.)
If you are going home from here, the best use of time is to drop your car in Puerto Jimenez with an additional fee and fly back to San Jose - you can maximize your time in Costa Rica, and make sure your travel is predictable (and faster) to catch your return flight.
Directions to Ojo del Mar
These links take you to Google Maps for directions
From San José (or the north), take the "Pista del Sol" highway (Ruta 34) and Ruta 27 to Puerto Jimenez. Or take the Pan American highway over the mountains.
From the area around Golfito, you will need to come north and around the Golfo Dulce, as the ferry does not carry cars, only foot traffic.