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4 Best Ways to Get from San Jose to Jaco, Costa Rica

You can get from San Jose to Jaco by bus, shared shuttle, private transfer, or rental car.

The cheapest option to travel from San Jose to Jaco is by bus, which costs USD 13. The journey takes about 2.5 hours.

The most popular option is the shared shuttle, offering convenience at a very affordable price.

The fastest way to travel to Jaco from San Jose is by private transfer or rental car, which takes about 1.5 hours.

I’ve learned all the shortcuts and highlights after numerous trips across Costa Rica and between San Jose and Jaco.

Check out this guide breaking down all the ways to travel from San Jose to Jaco and benefit from my first-hand experience for a smooth journey!

Transportation Options from San Jose to Jaco

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

MethodTimePrice
Coach Bus from San Jose to Jaco2.5 hrs$13
Shuttle from San Jose to Jaco~2 hrs$47
San Jose to Jaco Private Transfer~1.5 hrs
Rental Car~1.5 hrs~$30

How far is Jaco from San Jose?

Jaco is a three-hour journey from Juan Santa Maria International Airport in San Jose. Their distance from each other is a little less than 100 kilometers.

You can travel from San Jose to Jaco by bus, shuttle, renting a car, or flying to any nearby airport.

Here, you can find more information about Costa Rica transportation

How to Get from San Jose, Costa Rica, to Jaco

1. Coach Bus from San Jose to Jaco, Costa Rica

Journey Duration: ~2 hours

Terminal 7-10 buses go to many parts of Costa Rica, including Jaco. Buses operate daily from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. All schedules have two-hour intervals.

The bus from San Jose to Jaco and vice versa costs about 13 US dollars. Older people are offered a discounted rate of about three dollars.

If you are traveling during the peak season like December, allot at least one hour for purchasing a ticket at Terminal 7-10.

The hub tends to get jam-packed, so it is best to come early. There is a waiting area on the second floor for travelers waiting for their bus to depart.

Alternatively, you can purchase your bus ticket online.

Should you choose this option, be at the station 15 minutes before departure because the buses leave on time.

San Jose to Jaco Coach Bus Schedule:

The table below displays the coach bus timetable for trips from San Jose to Jaco, detailing departure times, journey lengths, and fares.

DEPETADURPX
07:00am09:30am2h 30m$13Book Now 3 E1661788865313
09:00am11:30am2h 30m$13Book Now 3 E1661788865313
11:00am01:30pm2h 30m$13Book Now 3 E1661788865313
01:00pm03:30pm2h 30m$13Book Now 3 E1661788865313
03:00pm05:30pm2h 30m$13Book Now 3 E1661788865313
05:00pm07:30pm2h 30m$13Book Now 3 E1661788865313
07:00pm09:30pm2h 30m$13Book Now 3 E1661788865313
4 Best Ways To Get From San Jose To Jaco Costa Rica1
©depositphotos.com

2. Shuttle from San Jose to Jaco, Costa Rica

Journey Duration: ~2 hours

Shuttle buses from San Jose to Jaco offer a more convenient way to reach your destination. Transport companies like Interbus pick you up from your hotel lobby at your preferred departure time.

They have two schedules throughout the day: one in the morning at 8:00 and another in the afternoon at 2:30. 

It is essential to book a seat if you want to travel by shuttle. The company will contact you regarding your exact pickup time, depending on your hotel’s location in San Jose.

One trip costs 47 dollars for adults and half-price for children. Shuttles from Jaco to San Jose operate similarly and at the same price.

San Jose to Jaco Shared Van Shuttle Schedule:

The table below displays the shared shuttle timetable for trips from San Jose to Jaco, detailing departure times, journey lengths, and fares.

DEPETADURPX
07:00am09:00am2h$40Book Now 3 E1661788865313
02:00pm04:00pm2h$40Book Now 3 E1661788865313
07:00am09:30am2h 30m$42Book Now 3 E1661788865313
07:50am10:30am2h 40m$55Book Now 3 E1661788865313
4 Best Ways To Get From San Jose To Jaco, Costa Rica2
©depositphotos.com

3. Private Transfer from San Jose to Jaco

Journey Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes

One of the most convenient and comfortable ways to travel from San Jose to Jaco is by booking a private transfer. Private transfers offer a door-to-door service, allowing travelers to move directly from their location in San Jose to their destination in Jaco without the fuss of multiple stops or navigating public transport.

For those prioritizing speed and comfort, private transfers are often equipped with modern, air-conditioned vehicles ranging from sedans to larger vans, accommodating individuals and larger groups.

Given the tailored nature of this service, travelers can usually specify pick up times to fit their schedules, making it ideal for those on a tight timeline or preferring to avoid waiting.

In terms of cost, private transfers typically range from $150 to $210 for a one-way trip. It’s advisable to book in advance, especially during Costa Rica’s peak tourist seasons, to ensure availability and potentially secure better rates.

Prices for a private transfer from San Jose to Jaco

  • 1-4 passengers: USD 150
  • 7-9 passengers: USD 200
  • 5-12 passengers: USD 210

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4. Driving with a Rental Car

Journey Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes

If you wish to travel at your own pace, rent a car and drive from San Jose to Jaco. This option will cost you around 30 dollars a day. 

There are two routes you can take to get to Jaco. The first one is Aguacate Road, which is a two-hour drive.

This road takes you to the famous Tarcoles River Bridge, where alligators swim below.

The second route available is the “new” highway. You can cut your travel time to about one hour for a toll fee of five dollars.

When renting a car from San Jose to Jaco, be aware that choosing a car with a GPS or being ready with your GPS mobile phone application is best.

Driving here tends to be tricky, as road signs and street names are almost nonexistent. 

A note for the surfers: Transport modes may charge you extra should you bring your surfboards on your ride to Jaco Beach.

Best day tours in Jaco, Costa Rica

Book Your Tour With Get Your Guide

Get Your Guide helps you find the best tours wherever you are heading. 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 Jaco, Costa Rica.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the fastest way to travel from San Jose to Jaco?

The fastest way to travel to Jaco from San Jose is by private transfer or rental car, which takes about 1.5 hours.

What is the cheapest way to travel from San Jose to Jaco?

The cheapest option to travel from San Jose to Jaco is by bus, which costs USD 13.

If I prefer public transportation, is there a bus service available?

Yes, there is a public bus option from San Jose to Jaco, and details about its frequency, pricing, and other relevant information can be found in the main article.

Are rental cars a good option for this route?

Rental cars offer flexibility for those comfortable with driving in Costa Rica. The article provides insights into considerations when choosing this mode.

5/5 - (1 vote)

George & Peggy Gittins

Saturday 6th of March 2021

We are trying to find out about transportation from the SanJose airport to the Marriott Los Suenos property. We are arriving on April 7th. Muchas Gracias

gittinspk@comcast.net

kit kakad

Friday 27th of August 2021

@Tim Kroeger,

Tim Kroeger

Sunday 7th of March 2021

@George & Peggy Gittins, I am working with a local travel agency. If you want I can send you an offer for a private transportation from the San Jose airport to the Marriott Los Suenos property.