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How to travel from San Jose to Los Chiles, Costa Rica

In this article, you’ll learn about the different ways to get to Los Chiles from San Jose, Costa Rica.

Los Chiles is located in the northern part of Costa Rica. It is near the border with Nicaragua, so the place is a popular crossing point between the two countries. 

Los Chiles is a small district, so direct connections from San Jose are rare. However, Costa Rica generally has a great line of interconnected transport routes. This makes traveling from the central city of San Jose to Los Chiles entirely possible. 

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How far is Los Chiles from San Jose?

The distance between San Jose, Costa Rica, and Los Chiles, Costa Rica, is 129 miles or 209 kilometers.

Transportation Options from San Jose to Los Chiles

The following table outlines all transportation options from San Jose to Los Chiles:

MethodTravel timePrice
Bus from San Jose to Los Chiles3 hours 30 minutes
Shared Shuttle from San Jose to Los Chiles3 hoursUSD 55
Private Transfer from San Jose to Los Chiles~2 hoursUSD 250+
Flight from San Jose to Los Chiles20 minutesUSD 75
Rental Car~3 hoursUSD 170

Getting to Los Chiles from San Jose

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1. Bus from San Jose to Los Chiles

Journey Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes

Coming from Upala in San Jose, you can take a bus going to San Carlos or Ciudad Quesada. Transfers will be made in Ciudad Quesada before you arrive at your final destination in Los Chiles. 

Traveling by bus from San Jose to Los Chiles takes three and a half hours. The trip will cost you less than six USD—Transportes San Carlos, Transporte de Upala, and Chilsaca service these routes.

If you come from Juan Santamaria International Airport, you must travel by bus to the Tica Bus Office at Terminal 7-10. As discussed above, it will take about 40 minutes to reach this place to board a bus going to Ciudad Quesada.

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GuateGo

On GuateGo, you can check all available transportation options in Costa Rica. It is a reliable and easy-to-use platform to compare prices & schedules and make a booking online.

From Any Place In Costa Rica - Guatego

2. Shared Van Shuttle

Journey Duration: 3 hours

The shared shuttle service starts at 55 USD, depending on which transport company you are going for. Allot at least three hours to travel from San Jose to Los Chiles.

Not many vans are going to Los Chiles from this side of Costa Rica, so it is wise to research this option. One alternative way is to look for a shared shuttle servicing Caño Negro. From there, you are just 30 minutes away from Los Chiles.

3. Private Transfer from San Jose to Los Chiles

Journey Duration: ~2 hours

Companies like Interbus provide private shuttles. The price starts at 250 USD, and at this rate, you get to enjoy the convenience of a door-to-door service that follows your schedule, your choice of stops, and your number of guests (up to six passengers.)

It takes approximately two hours to arrive in Los Chiles by private shuttle. This depends on the length of stops you will take along the way.

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Port of departure in Los Chiles

4. San Jose to Los Chiles Flight

Journey Duration: 20 minutes

It does not seem efficient to book a flight to Los Chiles. First of all, there is no airport in Los Chiles. You can only catch a flight en route to Los Chiles by coming from Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) to Fortuna Airport (FOT.)

This will be a 20-minute flight which will cost about 75 USD. From La Fortuna, you have to continue your journey in Ciudad Quesada to Los Chiles via other transport modes. If by bus, it’s another two hours from there.

GuateGo

On GuateGo, you can check all available transportation options in Costa Rica. It is a reliable and easy-to-use platform to compare prices & schedules and make a booking online.

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5. Driving with Rental Car

Journey Duration: ~3 hours

It takes three hours to drive yourself from San Jose to Los Chiles. This, amongst all options, is the best way to travel between the two destinations.

It proves to be cheaper than flying and more time-efficient than taking a bus. You can also maximize the use of your vehicle, be it your own or rented.

From Juan Santamaria International Airport, the fastest route is via Route 35. It is connected to Avenida 7, which will take you directly to Los Chiles, Costa Rica.

To rent a car for this drive, the price starts at 170 USD for a round trip. Pick-up points at the Alajuela Province are nowhere near Los Chiles, making booking a one-way rental car a bit challenging.

How To Travel From San Jose To Los Chiles Costa Rica1

Best day tours in Los Chiles, 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.

The following widget shows some of the best tours in Los Chiles, Costa Rica.

How To Travel From San Jose To Los Chiles Costa Rica2

Protect your trip: With all our travel experience, we highly recommend you hit the road with travel insurance. SafetyWing offers flexible & reliable Digital Nomads Travel Medical Insurance at just a third of the price of similar competitor plans.