This guide about Costa Rica transportation provides all information that you need to travel around Costa Rica. Scroll to the end of the post to find detailed guides about how to get from San Jose to Costa Rica’s most popular tourist destinations.
Costa Rica is a relatively small country. You can reach almost every place from the capital city, San Jose, within a few hours.
Nevertheless, Costa Rica has so many different sights to offer from spectacular volcanos to beautiful beaches to some of the most bio-diverse national parks like the Monteverde Cloud Forest.
There are different ways to travel around Costa Rica, depending on the destination, your budget, and your travel style.
You can choose between public transportation, shared shuttle van, private transfer, rental car, taxi & Uber, plane or boat.
- 1. Public Costa Rica Transportation
- 2. Shared Van Shuttle
- 3. Private Transfer
- 4. Travel by Plane
- 5. Rental Car
- 6. Uber & Taxi
- How to travel around Costa Rica
- How to get from San Jose to Monteverde Cloud Forest
- How to get from San Jose to Manuel Antonio
- How to get from San Jose to Tamarindo
- How to get from San Jose to La Fortuna
- How to get from San Jose to Jaco Costa Rica
- How to get from Puerto Viejo to Bocas del Toro, Panama
- How to get from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio
- How to Get from San Jose to Corcovado
- How to get from San Jose to Tortuguero
- How to get from Jacó to Montezuma & Santa Teresa
- How to get from Jaco to Manuel Antonio
- How to get from Liberia Airport to Tamarindo
- How to get from San Jose to Quepos
- How to get from San Jose to Puerto Viejo
- How to travel from San Jose to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
- How to travel from San Jose to Panama City, Panama
- How to travel from San Jose to Los Chiles
- How to travel from San Jose to Santa Teresa
- How to travel from La Fortuna to Monteverde
1. Public Costa Rica Transportation
Traveling within Costa Rica by bus is easy and very affordable. The buses run frequently, even in remote places, and are quite reliable.
Most places are well connected with the capital city San Jose.
Just be aware that you will have to travel back to San Jose most of the time before continuing to the next place.
A shared van transfer is an economic and easy way to get from point A to B.
You can for example book a shuttle from the airport in San Jose to the most popular tourist destinations.
Tip: On GuateGo you can check all available transportation options to travel around Costa Rica as well as to its neighboring countries Panama and Nicaragua. It is a reliable and easy-to-use platform where you can compare prices & schedules and make a booking online.
3. Private Transfer
A private transfer is especially interesting if you are traveling in a group or with your family.
The driver will pick you up at your hotel and gets you exactly where you want to go. You don’t have to first take a taxi to a pick-up point.
If you want you can also negotiate some stops on the way to your destination or hire a driver who works as well as a guide.
A private transfer is a great choice if you want to travel independently but don’t want to drive by yourself.
4. Travel by Plane
If you want to visit different places in a short time traveling by plane will definitely be the best option for you.
Aerobell Airlines and Sansa are connecting many popular destinations with San José.
Both airlines use small aircrafts so you should pack light and book your flight in advance to get the best price.
5. Rental Car
The best way to explore Costa Rica independently is by driving around in a rental car.
This way you don’t depend on bus schedules or flight availability.
Before deciding for a car you should think about where you would like to go as you will need a 4×4 for certain destinations.
6. Uber & Taxi
Especially in San Jose Uber is making your life really easy.
You don’t have to fight with taxi drivers who might try to rip you off and it also works well without Spanish skills.
From my experience, I can tell that Uber drivers usually have way better and safer cars and sometimes even provide water or snacks.