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How to get from Tamarindo to La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Thinking about taking a trip to Costa Rica? There is no better place to go in Costa Rica if you’re looking for adventure than La Fortuna! Check out our guide for the best options to travel from Tamarindo to La Fortuna.

Are you ready for some of the best outdoor adventures of your life? Grab your boots, your bathing suit, and a hat because it’s time to make your way to the small town of La Fortuna!

La Fortuna is a town nestled in the northwest corner of Costa Rica at the base of dormant volcano Arenal. Surrounded by thick jungle and abundant wildlife, La Fortuna is a great home base for various adventure activities in Costa Rica.

The Arenal area is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Costa Rica and with good reasons. There’s a lot to see and do in the scenic areas around this town!

You could spend days exploring this place’s hiking trails, hot springs, and volcano viewing opportunities!

Why don’t you book a tour and experience all there is to see? With this tour from La Fortuna, you’ll experience three incredible activities.

Wander the trails of the Arenal Volcano, view the cascades of La Fortuna waterfall, and cross suspension bridges in the rainforest canopy at the Arenal Hanging Bridges Park!

What are you waiting for?

Check our guide for the best options to travel from Tamarindo to La Fortuna.

How far is Tamarindo from La Fortuna?

The distance from Tamarindo to La Fortuna is 129.3 miles or 208.1 kilometers. It can take a 4 to 5-hour drive, depending on what transportation vehicle you choose.

Transportation Options from Tamarindo to La Fortuna

The following table outlines all transportation options from Tamarindo to La Fortuna:

MethodTravel timePrice
Shared Van Shuttle from Tamarindo to La Fortuna5.5 hoursUSD 55 to 59
Public Bus from Tamarindo to La Fortuna7 hoursUSD 11
Private Transfer from Tamarindo to La Fortuna3 hours 45 minutesUSD 305
Driving with Rental Car from Tamarindo to La Fortuna3 hours 45 minutes

Getting to La Fortuna from Tamarindo

1. Shared Van Shuttle from Tamarindo to La Fortuna

Journey Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes

Taking a shared shuttle is a great option to reach La Fortuna! Thanks to the bilingual drivers and door-to-door service, your trip will be smoother than ever.

There are shared shuttles available in the morning and afternoon, provided by multiple companies. This option makes traveling easy, as it offers clean and comfortable transportation.

Some downsides might be having to wait for others to be picked up, which can take up some time, and not being able to stop whenever you want, for bathroom breaks or a lunch break.

Besides that, it’s a great service at an affordable price.

Shared Van Shuttle Schedule:

  • 02:30 PM to 08:00 PM: Interbus Shared Shuttle to La Fortuna from Tamarindo

Total price: USD 55

  • 07:30 AM to 12:30 PM: Caribe Shared Shuttle to La Fortuna from Tamarindo

Total price: USD 59

GuateGo

On GuateGo you can check all available transportation options from Tamarindo to La Fortuna. It is a reliable and easy-to-use platform where you can compare prices & schedules and make a booking online.

From Tamarindo To La Fortuna

2. Public Bus from Tamarindo to La Fortuna

Journey Duration: 7 hours

If you don’t mind several bus transfers and have plenty of time, you can take the public bus from Tamarindo to La Fortuna!

With this option, you will be traveling for 7 hours in total, including all the stops and transits.

From Tamarindo, you first have to take a public bus to Liberia. Next, you take a bus to Canas, then from Canas to Tilaran, and finally, from Tilaran to La Fortuna.

It is essential that you leave Tamarindo early in the morning if you plan to take the public bus option. You want to have plenty of time to make all your connections. Just remember that the last bus from Tilaran to La Fortuna departs at 05:00 PM.

This is an extremely cheap option, you’ll only pay USD 11 for the entire tour including all buses! Just make sure to check out all the schedules in advance.

How To Get From Tamarindo To La Fortuna, Costa Rica
©Andrew Morse via canva.com

3. Private Transfer from Tamarindo to La Fortuna

Journey Duration: Custom Time

Cars or private transfers are the best way to reach the Volcanoes of Arenal from the surf and sunsets in Tamarindo.

If you are traveling with your family or in a group, a private transfer is the best choice!

Take a break and consider stopping for lunch at a roadside soda, where you can sample typical Costa Rican food! In addition to making stops along the route, the driver will be happy to answer all your questions about the area!

Book your private transfer online and get a great deal!

Prices for a private transfer from Tamarindo to La Fortuna:

  • 7-9 passengers: USD 305

GuateGo

On GuateGo you can check all available transportation options from Tamarindo to La Fortuna. It is a reliable and easy-to-use platform where you can compare prices & schedules and make a booking online.

Looking For A Way To Get To La Fortuna?

4. Driving with Rental Car from Tamarindo to La Fortuna

Journey Duration:  3 hours 45 minutes

If you are daring and want to set off on an adventure between the two locations, the best option is to rent a car and explore on your own!

Renting a car and driving yourself may be a better option depending on your comfort level. It should be no problem to drive during the dry season when you have good, paved roads the entire way, so long as you follow some safety precautions.

Due to the unlit and winding roads, it is recommended to drive during daylight hours. Driving in Costa Rica in the rainy season may be problematic for first-time visitors, as heavy and sudden rains can obstruct roads and reduce visibility. 

Otherwise, if you are ready, grab a map and head over to one of the car rental companies in Tamarindo, or just book online!

Frequently Asked Questions

How many days do you need in La Fortuna Costa Rica?

For a more complete experience in La Fortuna, it is recommended you stay at least 3 nights.

Do you need a car in La Fortuna Costa Rica?

A car is not necessary if you stay downtown; however, you may want one if you stay closer to Arenal Volcano where things are spread out. 

Can you swim in the La Fortuna waterfall?

La Fortuna Waterfall, which towers over 230 feet high and is located inside a rainforest, is a must-see attraction. There is abundant wildlife at the waterfall, which is located within the Arenal-Monteverde protected area. It is allowed to swim in the river, but not near the base of the waterfall.

How far is La Fortuna from the beach?

Sadly, La Fortuna, Costa Rica does not have any beaches nearby. Three hours away is Puntarenas, one of the nearest beach cities.