You can get from San Jose to Los Chiles by bus, shared shuttle, private transfer, rental car, or flight.
The cheapest option to travel from San Jose to Los Chiles is by bus, which costs about USD 6. The journey takes about 3.5 hours.
The most popular option is the shared shuttle offering convenience at a very affordable price.
The fastest way to travel to Los Chiles from San Jose is by flight, which takes only 20 minutes!
Having traversed these paths myself, I know the ins and outs like no other!
Let’s unravel the best ways to journey from San Jose to Los Chiles, ensuring you have a smooth trip ahead!
Here you can find more information about Costa Rica transportation.
Transportation Options from San Jose to Los Chiles
The following table outlines all transportation options from San Jose to Los Chiles:
|Bus from San Jose to Los Chiles||3.5 hrs||~$6|
|Shuttle from San Jose to Los Chiles||3 hrs||$55|
|San Jose to Los Chiles Private Transfer||~2 hrs||$250+|
|Flight from San Jose to Los Chiles||20 min||$75|
|Rental Car||~3 hrs||$170|
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.
Getting to Los Chiles from San Jose
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.
2. Shared Shuttle from San Jose to Los Chiles
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.
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.
5. Driving with Rental Car from San Jose to Los Chiles
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.
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.
Here, you can find some of the best tours in Los Chiles, Costa Rica.
Frequently Asked Questions
How far is Los Chiles from San Jose?
Los Chiles is approximately 129 miles or 209 kilometers north of San Jose, near the border with Nicaragua.
Is it safe to drive from San Jose to Los Chiles?
Yes, many tourists and locals drive this route. However, it’s always essential to be cautious, follow local driving regulations, and be updated on road conditions, especially during the rainy season.
What’s the best time of year to travel to Los Chiles?
The dry season, which typically runs from December to April, is considered the best time due to less rainfall and better road conditions. However, travelers can visit Los Chiles throughout the year.
Is there public transportation available in Los Chiles for getting around?
Yes, there are local buses and taxis available in Los Chiles for easy movement within the town.
What is the cheapest way to travel from San Jose to Los Chiles?
The cheapest way to travel from San Jose to Los Chiles is by bus, with tickets priced at only USD 6!
What is the fastest way to travel from San Jose to Los Chiles?
The fastest way to travel from San Jose to Los Chiles is by flight, which takes about 20 minutes.