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5 Best Ways to get from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

You can get from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa by shared shuttle, bus + ferry, private transfer, rental car, or taxi.

The cheapest option to travel from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa is by bus + ferry, which costs USD 15.50. The journey takes about 8.5 hours.

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

The fastest way to travel to Santa Teresa from San Jose is by private transfer, rental car, or taxi, which takes under 4 hours.

I’ve traveled from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa numerous times, each offering its adventure.

Let me take you through the best ways to make this journey, filled with practical advice to ensure you enjoy every moment, from the surf waves of Tamarindo to the laid-back vibe of Santa Teresa.

Check our guide for the best options to travel from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa.

Transportation Options from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa

The following table outlines all transportation options from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa:

Tamarindo to Santa Teresa Shuttle4.5 hrs$62 to 65
Bus + Ferry from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa8.5 hrs$15.50
Tamarindo to Santa Teresa Private Transfer~4 hrs$195 to 330
Rental Car~4 hrs
Taxi~4 hrs

How far is Santa Teresa from Tamarindo?

 The distance from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa is 122.2 miles or 196.6 kilometers. A drive to Santa Teresa usually takes about 4 to 5 hours.

Getting to Santa Teresa from Tamarindo

1. Shared Van Shuttle from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa

Journey Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes

Taking a shared shuttle from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa is a popular and cost-effective transportation option for travelers.

Multiple companies, including Interbus and Paradise Shuttle, offer this service.

Multiple daily departures throughout the day provide door-to-door convenience from hotels, hostels, or houses in the Tamarindo beach area.

The journey typically takes around 4.5 hours, subject to road conditions, and costs between USD 62 and 65 per person.

You can expect a ride in a 10 to 15-passenger minibus. While the minibusses are generally punctual, additional time may be needed to pick up passengers throughout Tamarindo. The ride includes travel over bumpy and dusty roads, characteristic of Costa Rican geography, which may affect the trip duration​.

This is a popular transportation option from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa, so I recommend booking your tickets in advance!

Tamarindo to Santa Teresa Shared Van Shuttle Schedule:

The table below displays the shared shuttle timetable for trips from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa, detailing departure times, journey lengths, and fares.

02:00pm05:30pm3h 30m$62Book Now 3 E1661788865313
02:00pm05:00pm3h$62Book Now 3 E1661788865313
07:00am10:00am3h$62Book Now 3 E1661788865313
07:00am11:30am4h 30m$65Book Now 3 E1661788865313

2. Bus + Ferry from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa

Journey Duration: 8 hours 30 minutes

If you’re looking for a cheap way to visit Santa Teresa, here’s your answer!

Santa Teresa can not be reached directly by bus from Tamarindo. Despite this, services depart from Tamarindo and arrive at Santa Teresa via other locations, including taking a ferry boat.

It is not as convenient as other options, but it is a very cheap alternative and only costs USD 15.50 for the adventurous at heart.

Buses cannot travel directly between these two towns because of unfavorable road conditions. To get there, you must travel to Liberia and Puntarenas by land, take a ferry back to Paquera, and then travel once more to Cobano and Santa Teresa by land. That’s four buses and one ferry! 

It’s a long trip, but you might want to take this detour if you are up for adventure and exploring new places!

Make sure you depart early from Tamarindo if you decide to go on this long journey!

How To Get From Tamarindo To Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
©Juhku via

3. Private Transfer from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa

Journey Duration: Custom Time

So you’ve decided to travel in a small group to Santa Teresa, Costa Rica? If so, you’ll probably want a private transfer to get you there.

Choosing this option is not a bad idea because it can be a long journey by public transportation, plus once you split the price with your group, this transportation method becomes convenient!

This option gives you great flexibility when scheduling your departure time, break time, and pick-up and drop-off locations! A private transfer makes getting between Tamarindo and Santa Teresa easier as they take a direct route and reach the destination the fastest! 

Several companies offer a private transfer and excellent service between Tamarindo and Santa Teresa. Paradise Shuttle, Suntrails, and Relaxury are among the best choices! 

All offer airconditioned and comfortable transport, with English-speaking staff that is uncommon in Costa Rica, along with amenities like food, drinks, and Wifi.

They run daily every hour, from 00:00 to 11:00 PM, pick you up at your location in Tamarindo, and drop you off in Santa Teresa. The cost for this journey starts at USD 258 up to USD 285 for all passengers, depending on the company you choose.

A great deal for the entire group!

Prices for a private transfer from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa

  • 1-4 passengers: USD 195
  • 1-13 passengers: USD 245
  • 7-9 passengers: USD 290
  • 5-12 passengers: USD 330

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4. Driving with a Rental Car

Journey Duration: 3 hours 45 minutes

Traveling to Santa Teresa, Costa Rica can be an unforgettable experience, especially if you decide to make all your travel arrangements yourself!

Traveling by car may not be the most common transportation option, but for those who love to make journeys on their own and want to spend more time exploring what a particular area has to offer, renting a car is an excellent choice that can also be quite affordable.

It gives you the independence to get around at your own pace. This can be great for those who want to make a few stops and even venture out for lunch!

Choosing a rental car can be tricky with so many vehicle options. This is why we are here to help!

Here, you can check out some different rental options to plan your holiday and get on the road! 

5. Uber or Taxi

Journey Duration: 3 hours 45 minutes

If you’ve run out of options, consider going to Santa Teresa by taxi. Taxi fares are set, and the price should be agreed upon before the trip begins. 

Each taxi has a list of destinations, with prices per trip, so ask the driver to agree on a price before setting off if you want to know the cost in advance.

Remember that this option is potentially more expensive, so organize a group of friends to split the cost if possible.

In this case, you may find the option to be more convenient.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the closest airport to Santa Teresa?

There is no airport in Santa Teresa Beach. The closest one is in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, which is 168 kilometers or 104 miles apart. This route includes a ferry from Puntarenas Port.

Is there a public bus from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa?

Unfortunately, there is no direct public bus from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa.  But there is an option if you are ready to spend more time on the road. Although it’s not the most convenient way, it’s very affordable once you make all the other connections.

Is there an Uber in Tamarindo?

You will find Uber in Tamarindo, but it is not as common as in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica.

What is the cheapest way to get from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa?

The cheapest way to get from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa is to drive, which costs USD 14 – USD 21 and takes three h 45m.

Is there a direct bus between Tamarindo and Santa Teresa?

It is impossible to take a bus from Tamarindo straight to Santa Teresa. Nonetheless, some services depart from Tamarindo and arrive at Santa Teresa via San José. That journey can last about 11 hours, including transfers.

Where do I catch the Tamarindo to Santa Teresa bus from?

Tamarindo to Santa Teresa bus services, operated by Empresa Alfaro, depart from Tamarindo station.

Can you fly into Santa Teresa, Costa Rica?

You can not land a plane directly in Santa Teresa; however, Tambor is the closest airport to Santa Teresa. Tickets generally run about USD 60-USD 90 each way, depending on the time of year and availability.

Are there taxis in Santa Teresa?

Yes, there are. However, it is not common for taxis in Santa Teresa to wait on the street corner for customers; they need to be contacted directly. These taxis do not run on meters, and their prices are predetermined.

How far is the drive from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa?

It takes four hours to drive from Tamarindo to Santa Teresa, nearly the entire Nicoya Peninsula length. As you head south out of town, there are several options for covering the 123 miles (198 km).

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