Getting Around Costa Rica
  • Before you come: Make sure you have your passport updated, having not less than six months before it expires.

Car Rentals

You can book a car before you arrive, at the airport, from your hotel or from several car rental offices in various cities. Of course you will get better rates if you rent before you arrive. If you have been here before, you may want a car awaiting you at the airport. Or, you may want to have a taxi take you to your hotel and have a car ready for you when you want to start travelling around the country. You may want public transportation (taxis and/or buses) for local travel, and only want a car for leaving the city and heading out to the rest of the country.

In any case, you can reach out to us and we will be happy to help you. Booking in advance can work in your favor by ensuring that you get the type of vehicle you are seeking and which is appropriate for the type of adventure you are seeking. There are areas available only via 4-wheel drive, and then perhaps you are only going from San Jose to your hotel in Guanacaste and don’t need something that heavy. Don’t hesitate to contact us and ask for a recommendation.

Ask for more information

Taxi

The official airport cabs are orange, and are available upon your arrival. From the San Jose airport into town is approximately $15.00. Many of the drivers speak English or other languages.

In town, taxis are plentiful and relatively inexpensive. The taxi meters, start at 265 colones (around to 50 US cents). They charge distance and time, but still are a very good bargain. For driving around town, you can avoid searching for parking, parking fees, local driving “customs” (some of which are quite “exciting”). Also, there are many taxis which you can hire for the day, or to take you on the long distance drives you may require. This, of course, will not be metered, but negotiated. However, in town you should be able to see a working meter. Use the red cabs that have the triangle visible on the car doors.

You may get an offer from a “pirate taxi” – what we might call in North America a “gypsy cab”. These are big gamble. You can get cheated, robbed and stranded or have a perfectly fine trip.

Shuttles and Buses

Private Shuttles:

There are several companies that offer private or shared transfers to hotels and areas of touristic interest. We can arrange transfers for you in some of the most comfortable buses and shuttles available. These services can be booked though us at discount rates. Please contact us for more information.

Tour Buses:

A bit slower than a car but safe way to travel. You also can enjoy the countryside without worrying about driving. Buses that head all the way to Panama or Nicaragua quite often have air conditioning, and some show movies if you are making the long haul. Make sure you arrive early, in order to make sure you get a seat, as a 6-hour ride standing can be quite painful. If you buy your ticket before the day of your trip, it is even better.

Public City Buses:

You can get anywhere. Buses are very inexpensive here, and there is no transfer system. For every bus you need, in whatever direction, you pay a separate fare. But keep in mind that fares run from the equivalent of $0.30 to $0.50 and the seats may not be very comfortable and there might not be space for luggage.

Air Travel

There are many airports in Costa Rica. Juan Santamaria (SJO) and Liberia (LIR) are the airports used for international travel. All main airlines can be accessed by these airports. Private charter flights can put you down and/or pick you up anywhere in the country. Tell us what you want….we will arrange it.

Airport Code City/Airport Name Region
BCL Barra Colorado North Caribbean Region
BAI Buenos Aires South Pacific
CSC Cañas North Pacific Region
RIK Carrillo North Pacific Region
OTR Coto 47
FMG Flamingo North Pacific Region
GFT Golfito South Pacific
GPL Guápiles Caribbean
LIR Liberia North Pacific Region
LIO Limón Caribbean
LSL Los Chiles Northern Region
NCT Nicoya, Guanacaste North Pacific Region
NOB Nosara Beach North Pacific Region
PMZ Palmar Sur South Pacific
PLD Playa Sámara North Pacific Region
PJM Puerto Jiménez South Pacific
XQP Quepos Central Pacific
RFR Río Frío Caribbean Dish
SJO San José Santamaría Cental Valley
SZC Santa Cruz Guanacaste North Pacific Region
TNO Tamarindo North Pacific Region
TMU Tambor North Pacific Region
TTQ Tortugero Caribbean Dish
UPL Upala Northern Region

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