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How to travel from Arenal La Fortuna to Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Santa Teresa sits on the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica’s North, away from airports and city lights. It may be a jungle-backed beach town, but it is anything but boring. Check out our guide on what are the best ways to travel from La Fortuna to Santa Teresa!

Young ex-pats, hip restaurants, and shared workspaces make Santa Teresa feel like the next big thing. But most importantly, Santa Teresa’s accent is its beautiful beaches. 

The palm-tree-lined sands of the town are just a short walk away. Along the steep hillside behind the main road are also several homes and rentals. Many of these have spectacular ocean views you have to witness.

Naturally, surfing is a popular sport in Santa Teresa, but the waves can be rough, and the rip currents can make swimming more challenging.

But besides offering opportunities for surfing and sunbathing, Santa Teresa beaches are a popular gathering place, especially at sunset. Towards the end of the afternoon, when the sun has set, the entire town swarms outside.

Additionally, the restaurant scene in Santa Teresa is one of the best in Costa Rica because it has become such a popular tourist destination.

The Banana Beach Restaurant, Kooks Smokehouse, and Couleur Café are among the few of many fantastic restaurants in this beautiful city you just have to try!

There’s no wonder why Santa Teresa is Costa Rica’s next hot spot. It’s got consistent surf breaks, jaw-dropping sunsets, fantastic cuisine, and a social vibe that will make you rethink life on earth.

But keep in mind that it’s still a jungle out there. So, you should treat it well to keep it that way.

If you love exploring, get amazing daily guides and activities here, and find out what each place has to offer!

Ready for a trip to Santa Teresa?

Below are some of the best options for getting from La Fortuna to Santa Teresa!

Read also:

How far is Santa Teresa from San Jose?

Using Route 142, the shortest route between La Fortuna and Santa Teresa is 173.5 miles or 279.2 kilometers.

Depending on the type of transportation you use, the trip will take around five hours.

I recommend the following websites to plan & book your trip to Costa Rica

  • Check & book all available transportation options on GuateGo

The main transportation options to get from Arenal La Fortuna to Santa Teresa are:

  • Shared Shuttle
  • Standard Minivan
  • Private Minivan
  • SUV Car
  • Public Bus
  • Rental Car

GuateGo

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

From La Fortuna To Santa Teresa

Getting to Santa Teresa from La Fortuna

1. Bus from Arenal La Fortuna to Santa Teresa

Journey Duration: 9 hours 50 minutes

The cheapest option to Santa Teresa might be taking a bus, but there isn’t a direct bus, so you will need to switch between buses at various locations for almost 10 hours.

Nonetheless, it is a viable option. If you like to venture out and don’t mind having a longer ride, the bus is always an option to take without breaking a bank!

The journey only costs USD 18!

2. Shared Shuttle from La Fortuna to Santa Teresa

Journey Duration: 5-6 hours

If you want the most convenient and affordable option, a regular shared shuttle will never let you down.

Even though the journey takes a bit longer, it is worth the price since shared shuttles are not too expensive.

3. Relaxury SUV Car from La Fortuna to Santa Teresa

Journey Duration: 5 hours

Relaxury offers another type of private transport via SUV Car, for 2-4 passengers starting at USD 412.

So if you are a small group willing to splurge on a comfortable and fast journey, we recommend this option.

This is a direct car ride that takes five hours. There are early departures at 05:00 AM and late departures at 02:00 PM from La Fortuna – Any hotel.

Arrival time at station Santa Teresa Beach – is 10:00 AM and the latest arrival is 07:00 PM. You can enjoy many different amenities in this car from La Fortuna to Santa Teresa Beach.

Upon boarding, you will have access to air conditioning, food, and drinks, English-speaking staff, and wifi. 

It is important to note that between Paquera and Punta Arenas, a ferry ride is required. Unfortunately, there is no ferry ticket included, but tickets are available at the dock.

SUV Car from La Fortuna to Santa Teresa Departure Details

  • La Fortuna – Punta Arenas Ferry Terminal: 2 hours 30 minutes (Car)
  • Punta Arenas Ferry Terminal – Paquera Ferry Terminal: 1 hour 30 minutes (Ferry Boat)
  • Paquera Ferry Terminal – Santa Teresa Beach: 1 hour 30 minutes (Car)

GuateGo

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

Going To Santa Teresa Beach?

4. Montezuma Expeditions Standard Minivan from La Fortuna to Santa Teresa

Journey Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes

There is no better option than the standard minivan when it comes to comfort. Book your tickets in advance with Montezuma Expeditions company to reserve your seats and have a worry-free trip!

In addition, the trip is cheap and relatively faster than a regular indirect bus!

Additionally, these minivans provide luggage space for up to 20-kilogram bags plus 7 kilograms of handle bags per passenger.

There is only one departure daily, so make sure to get there early and catch it on time! 

  • 05:30 AM to 11:00 AM: Standard Minivan from La Fortuna to Santa Teresa, Pick up and Drop off at hotel.

Total price: USD 65

5. Private Minivan from La Fortuna to Santa Teresa

Journey Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes

Besides the standard minivan, Montezuma Expeditions also offers a bit more privacy when traveling to Santa Teresa.

Take their standard minivan, but with limited passenger seats. Gather a group and take this private transfer option that offers departure time flexibility, according to your preference.

The earliest departure from La Fortuna is at 00:00, and the latest departure is at 23:00. The earliest arrival at station Santa Teresa is 05:30, and the latest arrival is at 04:30. 

Since this is a private ride, you can select any time you want in 30-minute intervals, starting at 00:00.

Montezuma Expeditions Standard Minivan from La Fortuna to Santa Teresa

  • Private Transfer up to 4 passengers – Total price: USD 210
  • Private Transfer up to 8 passengers – Total price: USD 345

6. Driving with Rental Car

Journey Duration: 5 hours

It is also possible to drive to Santa Teresa by renting a car since the distance between La Fortuna and Santa Teresa is 173.5 miles or 279.2 kilometers.

You can stop for lunch, visit places along the way, and not have to worry about luggage restrictions when you take a rental car.

Luckily La Fortuna offers many rental companies with inexpensive options that are definitely worth the price!

How To Travel From Arenal La Fortuna To Santa Teresa Costa Ricahow To Travel From Puerto Viejo Talamanca To San Jose Costa Rica
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7. Interbus Standard Minivan from La Fortuna to Santa Teresa

Journey Duration: 3 hours

Want to arrive at your destination as fast as possible?

Interbus offers the fastest transport from La Fortuna to Santa Teresa, with their standard minivan, for an affordable price.

Guests can enjoy a variety of amenities in this minivan from La Fortuna to Santa Teresa Beach. With A/C and reclining seats, you can enjoy your journey in the most comfortable manner.

They also have one departure per day, so make sure to book your seats ahead!

  • 06:45 AM to 09:45 AM: Standard Minivan from La Fortuna to Santa Teresa, Pick up and Drop off at hotel.

            Total price: USD 77

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cheapest way to get from La Fortuna to Santa Teresa?

Santa Teresa can be reached by bus for $18 and takes 9h 50m, which is the cheapest option.

How do I get from La Fortuna to Santa Teresa the fastest?

Getting from La Fortuna to Santa Teresa by car is the quickest way. It will cost you $22 – $35 and take 4h 53m.

Is Santa Teresa Costa Rica safe?

There is no threat to public safety in Santa Teresa. As a matter of fact, Costa Rica is the safest country in the entire region. It is a friendly place, and as long as you use common sense, you should have an enjoyable vacation.