You can get from San Jose to La Fortuna by bus, shared shuttle, private transfer, rental car, taxi, or flight.
The cheapest option to travel from San Jose to La Fortuna is by public bus, which costs only USD 5. The journey takes about 5 hours.
The most popular option is also the bus, offering convenience at a very affordable price.
The fastest way to travel to La Fortuna from San Jose is by flight, which takes only 20 minutes.
Costa Rica, with its verdant rainforests and vivacious wildlife, has been my tropical playground numerous times. So, I can say I’ve gathered quite the experience when it comes to navigating this region.
In this guide, we’ll navigate through this ecological wonder together, and discover how to get from San Jose to La Fortuna with ease!
Here you can find more information about Costa Rica transportation.
Transportation Options from San Jose to La Fortuna
The following table outlines all transportation options from San Jose to La Fortuna:
|Bus from San Jose to La Fortuna||5 hrs||$5|
|Shuttle from San Jose to La Fortuna||~5 hrs||$58 to 65|
|San Jose to La Fortuna Private Transfer||4 hrs||$155|
|Taxi from San Jose to La Fortuna||4 hrs||–|
|Flight from San Jose to La Fortuna||20 min||$90|
|Rental Car||4 hrs||$30|
How far is La Fortuna from San Jose?
La Fortuna is around 68 miles or 110 kilometers northwest of San Jose. The flight distance from San Jose to the Arenal Airport betrays 71 kilometers ( about 44 miles).
How to get from San Jose, Costa Rica, to La Fortuna
1. Public Bus from San Jose to La Fortuna
Journey Duration: 5 hours
Public transportation in Costa Rica is both convenient and reliable.
So if you are traveling on a shoestring or don’t mind if the trips take a little longer, the public bus from San José to La Fortuna will be the best choice.
The tour takes around five hours, depending on the traffic, and costs about five USD. You don’t have to pre-book your ticket; you can show up at the terminal and get your ticket there.
Should you miss the direct buses traveling from San Jose to La Fortuna, you can also take any public transport going to Ciudad Quesada and continue your journey from there. Public buses will take you from Ciudad Quesada to La Fortuna.
Within just around five hours – if you don’t miss the direct trip – you’ll get to the adventure heaven, La Fortuna.
Sure, it takes far more time than the other options we suggest, but if you are conscious of your budget during your Costa Rica trip, go for the bus.
2. San Jose to La Fortuna Shared Van Shuttle
Journey Duration: ~5 hours
If you want a rented car’s similar comfort plus the advantage of not driving the vehicle yourself, opt to go to La Fortuna from San Jose with a shared van shuttle.
Head to the pickup points at the San Jose Airport or downtown San Jose to catch the shuttle to La Fortuna.
Reservations are encouraged to reserve a guaranteed seat onward to your final travel destination.
Share a ride and make new friends along the way.
This is a great way to save some of your pocket money and a fun time to discover like-minded people traveling in the same tropical paradise as you are.
A shared van shuttle from San Jose to La Fortuna costs around 54 USD.
San Jose to La Fortuna Shared Van Shuttle Schedule:
The table below displays the shared shuttle timetable for trips from San Jose to La Fortuna, detailing departure times, journey lengths, and fares.
3. Private Transfer
Journey Duration: 4 hours
Arrive in comfort and style as you book a private transfer from San Jose to La Fortuna. These cars are equipped with everything to make your trip convenient and fun.
Enjoy your 4-hour journey with your trusty bilingual driver bringing you to good stopover choices where you can eat Costa Rican delicacies.
Pay for the comfort and privacy of having the car drop you door to door at the most efficient time possible.
A private transfer for up to six people costs around 155 USD.
- 1-4 passengers: USD 195
- 7-9 passengers: USD 255
- 5-12 passengers: USD 330
4. Flights to La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Journey Duration: 20 minutes
If you have limited time in Costa Rica or want to continue straight to La Fortuna after arriving at Juan Santamaria International Airport, consider taking a flight from San Jose to La Fortuna.
This flight drops you off directly in the Arenal area, checking both convenience and efficiency on your checklist.
The flight time from San Jose to La Fortuna is only twenty minutes.
This may not be the most money-saving option, but it gives you more time to explore La Fortuna.
Flights start at around 90 USD.
5. Driving with Rental Car
Journey Duration: 4 hours
Renting a car is one of the most efficient ways to go from San Jose to La Fortuna.
It not only allows you to drive at your own pace but also gives you the convenience to go from one Arenal tourist destination to another should you choose not to book tours to roam around Costa Rica.
San Jose to La Fortuna by rental car is definitely a more expensive option if we’re talking only about transportation. Still, the saved time, convenience, and money from going DIY with your tours are good points to consider.
Once you book a rented car, take the Inter-Americana highway and Route 702, passing through San Ramon and La Tigra, and you will reach La Fortuna from San Jose in a little over three hours.
Alternatively, you can also take the Naranjo and Ciudad Quesada route. It is going to take a little longer than usual.
Car rental prices start at around 30 USD per day.
Here are some things to consider when deciding how to get from San Jose, Costa Rica, to La Fortuna:
– Your budget. Check how far you can go money-wise to know which options to stay away from and which ones to consider.
– Your willingness to share. A shared ride is always a cheaper ride!
– Your time. Maybe you are in a rush for a booked tour or are moving forward to other destinations after La Fortuna.
You might have a weekend to spend all together. With this in mind, choosing the more expensive alternative may be wise, which cuts your travel time.
– Your comfort. You come to Costa Rica to enjoy yourself. Don’t let any hassles from getting there ruin your holiday mood. Listen to yourself when you know this option is where you’ll feel most at peace. A sound mind is priceless!
Best day tours in La Fortuna, 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 La Fortuna, Costa Rica.