Traveling to Pavones

Yes, Pavones is hard to get to. The roads are bad. The rivers are powerful and the little wooden bridges often wash out. And will the ferry be running when you get there? Its remoteness is one reason it's such a fantastic place for your vacation. No highrise hotels, no bright lights or honking horns, and the traffic is mostly pedestrian.

You land at SJO International Airport in Alajuela, a suburb of San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. Depending on the time of arrival, we may book you into our favorite bed and breakfast hotel for the night and arrange your return to Sansa Airlines in the sansamorning or early afternoon. Sansa provides a fun ride in a small plane to Golfito, the town nearest Pavones with an airstrip, where we will meet you.

A one-hour drive over bumpy roads through lovely rural Costa Rica, across the Rio Coto on the ancient ferry, and winding down the hills brings you closer and closer to the pot of gold at the end of the dusty rainbow. But there are incredible views along the way.

Yes, it is possible to rent a 4x4 and drive to Pavones in about eight hours, or even take a bus, but we don't recommend it.

On your return to SJO, we offer the option of riding back in a comfortable van accompanied by one of the best, most charming, and most knowledgeable Costa Rican nature guides, who will stop along the way to show you some of Costa Rica's other beautiful and unique sights.

All in all, you can sit back and relax, knowing that we'll get you to Pavones and back with a minimum of stress!


There is a lot of choice in accommodations. We know and can recommend from clean & cheap, to sparkling clean and very comfortable, up to spotless and luxurious. We will help you choose what would make you happiest and take care of the rest.


The price of our ecotours does not include meals, because we wouldn't want it that way ourselves. Half the fun is sampling the local cuisine and meeting people. There are several excellent restaurants, including vegetarian, that serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some accommodations include kitchens. Others have their own restaurants on site. Pavones is a fishing village, so if you like fish, it will be super fresh! The tropical fruit smoothies and the hummus plate at Cafe Suerte are out of this world! Meals are very reasonable. Every restaurant is open-air. You never know who might drop in for a bite.


—William Patterson and hungry chestnut-mandibled toucan.

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