Getting Around: Transportation Tips For Costa Rica - Answers & Video

Getting Around: Transportation Tips For Costa Rica

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Getting Around: Transportation Tips for Costa Rica

Costa Rica, known for its stunning natural beauty and biodiversity, is a popular tourist destination. Whether you’re exploring the rainforests, relaxing on the beaches, or visiting the charming towns, getting around the country efficiently and safely is essential. In this article, we will provide you with transportation tips for Costa Rica to help you navigate the country with ease.

Public Buses

Public buses are a common and affordable way to travel within Costa Rica. The country has an extensive bus network that connects major cities, towns, and tourist destinations. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Frequent Routes: Buses operate on frequent routes, especially between popular tourist destinations. You can easily find buses to popular places like San Jose, Manuel Antonio, and La Fortuna.
  • Comfort: While some buses may be basic, many intercity buses offer comfortable seats, air conditioning, and even Wi-Fi on board.
  • Ticket Purchase: You can buy bus tickets at the bus station or directly from the driver. It’s advisable to have cash in local currency (Costa Rican Colón) for ticket purchases.
  • Schedules: Bus schedules may vary, so it’s recommended to check the departure times in advance. Keep in mind that buses may not always run on time, so it’s best to be flexible with your plans.
  • Bus Stops: Buses have designated stops along their routes. Look for bus stops with signs indicating the destinations served.
  • Baggage: Buses usually have storage compartments for luggage, but it’s a good idea to keep your valuables with you.


Taxis are a convenient and widely available mode of transportation in Costa Rica. Here’s what you need to know about taking taxis:

  • Red Taxis: Official taxis are red in color and have a yellow triangle on the doors. Look for taxis with a visible license plate and a working meter.
  • Metered Fare: Taxis in Costa Rica operate on a metered fare system. Make sure the driver starts the meter at the beginning of the ride. If the meter is not available, negotiate and agree on a price before starting the journey.
  • Safe Taxi Services: To ensure your safety, consider using registered taxi services offered by reputable companies or ask your hotel to arrange a taxi for you.
  • Uber and Rideshares: Uber and other rideshare services are available in major cities like San Jose and Liberia. They offer a convenient and often cheaper alternative to traditional taxis.
  • Payment: Taxis accept cash in local currency. It’s always a good idea to carry small bills as drivers may not have change for larger denominations.

Car Rentals

Renting a car in Costa Rica gives you the freedom to explore the country at your own pace. Here are some important points to consider when renting a car:

  • Driving License: You need a valid driver’s license from your home country to drive in Costa Rica. An international driving permit is not mandatory but can be useful.
  • Insurance: It’s essential to have adequate insurance coverage when renting a car. Check with the rental company about the types of insurance available and their coverage limits.
  • Driving Conditions: Costa Rica has diverse terrain, and road conditions can vary. Be prepared for narrow and winding roads, especially in rural areas. It’s advisable to drive during daylight hours and exercise caution.
  • Gas Stations: Gas stations are available throughout the country. Some stations are full-service, while others are self-service. Carry cash or a credit card for fuel purchases.
  • Parking: Most hotels and tourist attractions have parking facilities. In cities, look for secure parking lots or park in well-lit areas.

Domestic Flights

For longer distances or to reach remote destinations, domestic flights are a convenient option. Here’s what you need to know about domestic flights in Costa Rica:

  • Airports: Costa Rica has several domestic airports, including Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose and Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia.
  • Airlines: Several local airlines offer domestic flights, including Sansa Airlines and Nature Air. It’s advisable to book your flights in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.
  • Baggage Restrictions: Domestic flights may have baggage restrictions, so check with the airline regarding weight and size limits for both checked and carry-on luggage.
  • Check-In: Arrive at the airport at least one hour before your domestic flight. Some airports have additional security procedures, so allow enough time for check-in and security checks.
  • Connecting Flights: If you have connecting flights, ensure you have sufficient time between flights to clear immigration and collect your baggage before checking in for the next flight.


Costa Rica’s coastlines are dotted with beautiful islands and peninsulas, and ferries provide a unique way to travel. Here’s what you need to know about ferry travel:

  • Popular Routes: Ferries operate between several destinations, including Puntarenas and Paquera, as well as from the mainland to popular islands like Isla Tortuga and Isla Chiquita.
  • Schedules: Ferry schedules can vary, so it’s advisable to check the departure and arrival times in advance. Some routes may have limited daily departures.
  • Ticket Purchase: Ferry tickets can be purchased at the ticket office or directly at the ferry terminal. It’s recommended to arrive early, especially during peak travel seasons.
  • Vehicle Transportation: Ferries often accommodate vehicles, including cars and motorcycles. If you plan to take your vehicle, confirm the availability and any specific requirements in advance.


Navigating Costa Rica’s transportation options can be an adventure in itself. Whether you choose public buses, taxis, car rentals, domestic flights, or ferries, each mode of transportation offers its own unique experience. By following the tips provided in this article, you can make your journey through Costa Rica safe, convenient, and enjoyable.


– Visit Costa Rica:
– Lonely Planet Costa Rica:
– Costa Rica Guide:
– Costa Rica Tourism Board:

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