By bus, shuttle or by taxi? On the road in Costa Rica. The decision is never easy. Depending on your budget, how good you find the ways by yourself, and how independent you are, you choose your transportation. We help you with it! The language is not important, you just need to know how!
How do bus stops look like? How much does it cost? How can you pay? How can you stop the bus to get inside or to leave the bus?
Public bus in San José
More comfortable than a public bus is the shuttles that many companies, like Interbus, offer. They offer connections between many places and you are travelling more comfortable with normally just 2-10 others. With 50-70 USD you can get to many places in Costa Rica. Your luggage is saved, too. The driver knows because of the reservation where you need to go, so you don’t need to pull any cord.
The probability that another guest is travelling with a fried chicken and is eating it inside the bus is very low compared to public busses.
Shuttlebus of Interbus
You recognize public taxis by their red colour and a symbol on the sides with a mark. You should remember the mark in case you forget something inside the taxi and you want to have it back.
If you need a taxi, you can call one with a phone or just wait in the street and wave when one is passing. Normally taxis are waiting at bigger bus stops, for example in San Jose (terminal 7-10). But there are some places where are just one, two or no taxis at all, for example in Tamarindo. There are the so-called “Piratas” (illegal), that drive taxis privately.
When you enter the taxi, you tell the driver where you want to go. He should turn on the “María”, which is the name for the taximeter here. Unfortunately, some drivers use the ignorance of tourists and drive long ways or turn the maría off or don’t turn it on at all and charge a more expensive price later. Choose your driver carefully, if you have the chance!
At night, I recommend you to take a taxi, it is the safest option.
Taxis in Costa Rica
For some chosen distances there are flight connections. The runways are mostly very short, so just small planes can operate. The airlines in Costa Rica are for example Sansa or Aerobell. From or to San José you can find direct flights that take about 20- 55 Minutes and cost around 40- 100 Dollars per person. But if you want to travel for example from a place on the Pacific coast to another place besides San José, you usually have to stop and change the plane in San José. Anyway, a short flight is a nice experience. Enjoy the view of the rainforest from the top, watch the beach of Bahía Ballena that transforms into a whale fin during low tide, and see the breathtaking green mountains!
Next to these transportation options, you can also choose private transfers, rental cars or boats. By the way, there are some places, like Tortuguero, where you just get by boat.
Apdo 799 – 1007
San José, Costa Rica
Licenced by the Costa Rican Tourist Board: Lic ICT OT 294
Liability insurance: Instituto Costarricense de Seguros (INS) Coverage: Territory of the Republic of Costa Rica