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How to travel from Manuel Antonio to San Jose, Costa Rica

If you’re looking for the quintessential Costa Rica experience, you’ll find it in San Jose. You will find some of the country’s best restaurants and vibrant culture in this city. Check out our guide for the best options to travel from Manuel Antonio to San Jose.

There’s so much to see and do in San José that it can be hard to know where to spend your time. You might fall under its spell if you spend some time exploring this bustling Central Valley city.

Politics, business, and culture are centered in the city of Costa Rica. With a soul that runs deep through its streets, buildings, and neighborhoods, it is both structured and chaotic in its composition.

Universal Traveller recommends the following websites to plan & book your trip

  • Get Your Guide helps you find the best tours wherever you are heading to.

There are congress buildings, museums, banks, restaurants, and even a notable natural history museum in San Jose. This capital boasts breathtaking views from atop volcanoes that alone make it worth visiting.

It’s loud, chaotic, and has a beating heart.

Want to know how to spend the best time while in San Jose? Get some fantastic recommendations while getting a private tour of the city by a local, and find out all about its hidden gems!

So pack your suitcase and get ready!

Check our guide for the best options to travel from Manuel Antonio to San Jose.

How far is San Jose from Manuel Antonio?

The distance from Manuel Antonio to San Jose is 167 kilometers or 103.8 miles.

The journey will likely take anywhere between 3 to 6 hours, depending on your transportation choice and route.

Transportation Options from Manuel Antonio to San Jose

The following table outlines all transportation options from Manuel Antonio to San Jose:

MethodTravel timePrice
Shared Shuttle from Manuel Antonio to San Jose3.5 – 4.5 hoursUSD 61
Shared Shuttle + Activity from Manuel Antonio to San Jose6 hoursUSD 203
Private Transfer from Manuel Antonio to San JoseCustom TimeUSD 208
Coach Bus from Manuel Antonio to San Jose4.5 – 6.5 hoursUSD 376-USD 400
Public Bus from Manuel Antonio to San Jose4 hoursUSD 9
Taxi from Manuel Antonio to San Jose2 hours 30 minutesUSD 110-USD 140
Rental Car2 hours 30 minutes

GuateGo

On GuateGo, you can check all available transportation options from Manuel Antonio to San Jose. It is a reliable and easy-to-use platform to compare prices & schedules and make a booking online.

From Manuel Antonio To San Jose

Getting to San Jose from Manuel Antonio

1. Bus from Manuel Antonio to San Jose

Journey Duration: 4 hours

In terms of cost, the bus is the least expensive option at USD 9. It may not be the most comfortable, but nothing else can beat the price if your priority is to travel cheap.

There are frequent busses to San Jose, from 04:05 AM till 05:00 PM.

Travel with the Tracopa bus service from Manuel Antonio station. The journey will take about 3 to 4 hours, depending on traffic.

How To Travel From Manuel Antonio To San Jose, Costa Rica
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2. Coach Bus from Manuel Antonio to San Jose

Journey Duration: 4:30-6:30 hours

You can also choose to travel by coach bus!

Want a bit more comfort than that of a shared shuttle? Check out this option!

The journey does take a little longer, but it does include two stops along the way, so you can take your time and relax!

Hotel pick-up is included in both options, so you don’t have to carry your luggage.

Zuma Tours Coach Bus from Manuel Antonio to San Jose

  • 01:00 PM to 07:30 PM: Coach bus to San Jose, Pick up from the hotel.
  • Total price: USD 376

Caribe Coach Bus from Manuel Antonio to San Jose

  • 09:00 AM to 01:30 PM: Coach bus to San Jose, Pick up from the hotel.
  • Total price: USD 400

We recommend purchasing your bus ticket online in advance to ensure availability at your preferred travel date!

3. Shared Van Shuttle

Journey Duration: 3:30-4:30 hours

A shared shuttle bus is always a good option if you want to travel economically.

And luckily, there are also several services to choose from, which all provide direct transportation from and to your hotel!

Caribe Shared Shuttle from Manuel Antonio to San Jose

  • 09:00 AM to 01:30 PM: Shared shuttle to San Jose, Pick up and Drop off at the hotel.
    • Total price: USD 61

Interbus Shared Shuttle from Manuel Antonio to San Jose

  • 08:00 AM to 12:30 PM: Shared shuttle to San Jose, Pick up and Drop off at the hotel.
    • Total price: USD 65
  • 12:30 PM to 05:00 PM: Shared shuttle to San Jose, Pick up and Drop off at the hotel.
    • Total price: USD 65
How-To-Travel-From-Manuel-Antonio-To-San-Jose-Costa-Rica1

Desafio Shared Shuttle from Manuel Antonio to San Jose

  • 08:00 AM to 11:30 PM: Shared shuttle to San Jose, Pick up and Drop off at the hotel.
    • Total price: USD 71
  • 12:30 PM to 04:00 PM: Shared shuttle to San Jose, Pick up and Drop off at the hotel.
    • Total price: USD 71
  • 12:00 PM to 03:30 PM: Shared shuttle to San Jose, Pick up and Drop off at the hotel.
    • Total price: USD 71
How To Travel From Puerto Viejo Talamanca To San Jose, Costa Rica
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4. Desafio Shuttle + Activity from Manuel Antonio to San Jose

Journey Duration: 6 hours

Another option is to combine your shared shuttle to San Jose with activity, and Desafio Shuttles offers a fantastic trip through the Tarcoles River.

Enjoy your journey and choose this option for more exciting explorations!

Manuel Antonio to San Jose Shuttle + Activity Schedule 07:00 AM to 01:00 PM: Shared shuttle to San Jose, with a Crocodile boat tour at Tarcoles River and lunch included.

Total price: USD 203

How To Get From Tamarindo To San Jose, Costa Rica

5. Private Transfer from Manuel Antonio to San Jose

Journey Duration: Custom time

With a private transfer, you can reach San Jose in the fastest and most comfortable way.

You can even request that your driver make stops as you travel. So you don’t have to worry about bus and shuttle schedules and have a carefree trip.

Our recommendation is for groups and families to go with this option. As long as the number of people joining the trip is sufficient, the price per person will be comparable with a shared shuttle.

Prices for a private transfer to San Jose:

  • 1 to 13 passengers: USD 208

GuateGo

On GuateGo, you can check all available transportation options from Manuel Antonio to San Jose. It is a reliable and easy-to-use platform where you can compare prices & schedules and make a booking online.

Going To San Jose?

6. Driving with Rental Car

Journey Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

In Manuel Antonio, car rental companies also offer affordable rentals you can use for an enjoyable trip to San Jose.

Consider stopping along the way and arranging your own time and schedule when choosing this mode of transportation. 

For explorers looking for more freedom, renting a vehicle is the best choice. 

How To Get From Tamarindo To San Jose, Costa Rica

7. Uber or Taxi

Journey Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

Taxis and Ubers are the fastest ways to reach San Jose from Manuel Antonio. The cost of this option will range from USD 110 to USD 140, and the time frame will be 2 hours 30 minutes.

Before you take the ride, though, negotiate a fixed price!

How To Travel From Manuel Antonio To San Jose, Costa Rica
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Best day tours in San Jose, Costa Rica

Get Your Guide helps you find the best tours wherever you are heading to. It’s usually the first website I check when I plan a trip to a new place.

Here you can find some of the best tours in San Jose, Costa Rica.

How-To-Travel-From-Manuel-Antonio-To-San-Jose-Costa-Rica1

Frequently Asked Questions

What is there to do between Manuel Antonio and San Jose?

The best places to stop on the drive from Manuel Antonio to San Jose are:
Aguas Bravas Rafting.
Dave & Dave’s Costa Rica Nature Park. 
Frogs Heaven.
Proyecto Asis.
Rainforest Adventures Braulio Carrillo.
Monteverde Butterfly Gardens.
The Bat Jungle.
Curi- Court Reserve.

Do you need a car in Manuel Antonio?

Unless you just like to go on the road and explore the area, you don’t need a car to enjoy Manuel Antonio. Taking a bus or a cab can take you to the beach, a park, a restaurant, a hotel, a bar, etc. You will usually be picked up and dropped off at your hotel if you are doing zip-lining, mangrove water safaris, and other activities during your stay there.

What airport do you fly into for Manuel Antonio?

The nearest airport to Manuel Antonio is Quepos (XQP) Airport, which is 4.2 kilometers away. Additionally, there are airports in San Jose (66.7 km), Tambor (103.7 km), Puerto Jimenez (130.8 km), and Golfito (134.6 km).

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