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Cat 125 posts

I just thought I’d post about getting around Costa Rica too.

While private transfers and taxis are available readily between destinations, they are likely to be much more expensive than you’d expect. At the other end of the scale, local buses are cheap, but rarely ply the routes tourists want to take, often necessitating a change of buses along the way. For me, the best option was usually taking tourist shuttle buses from A to B, with one of the bonuses being that they pick up and drop off from your hotel (less of a bonus if you’re the first one picked up, or the last one dropped off along the route!).

To give you an idea of the costs, and companies out there, this is the route I took:

San Jose to Cahuita – public bus from MEPE bus station, about £6 ish (if memory serves). The views are stunning on this route, BTW. Take a seat on the LHS of the bus, if possible.

Cahuita to Playa Chiquita – public bus, around £5 ish (again, based on memory)

Playa Chiquita to La Selva in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui – Interbus shuttle booked through the Transportation in Costa Rica website, $64

Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui to La Fortuna – public bus to Ciudad Quesada, where I changed buses on to La Fortuna. This was the cheaper option, but turned a 1 hour £60 trip into a 4 hour stressy, sweaty unpleasant experience (I couldn’t book onward tickets until I got to CQ, and then couldn’t find the ticket office in a crowded bus station – as it turns out, there wasn’t one). In the end, this, and my 30kg of rucksack, convinced me to take shuttles where possible from that point onwards.

La Fortuna to Santa Elena/Monteverde – $25 on the taxi – boat – taxi route (by far the easiest option, and you get to enjoy the views of volcan Arenal from the lake of the same name). Readily bookable through your hotel or a local travel agent, a couple of days in advance. I took the afternoon service, in order to enjoy the hot springs at my hotel and my late check out for longer!

Santa Elena to Manuel Antonio – $50, I think, booked through my guesthouse in Santa Elena

Manuel Antonio to Drake Bay – $47 shuttle service to Sierpe dock, booked with Easy Ride Costa Rica, followed by the morning boat to Drake Bay ($15, I think), where I was picked up from the boat by the nice people at Sunset Lodge. Don’t take the boat unless you can cope with a rough ride!

I then largely got around the Osa peninsula by boat or ATV. I returned to San Jose on a flight (Sansa airlines), as I wanted to maximise time on the Osa peninsula.

Let me know if you have questions!

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