Transportation

While we are not travel agents, we can in some cases help you get good safe transportation if you will not be renting a vehicle. If you are renting a vehicle or not sure, our thoughts are below. Please read that.

Please keep in mind that no current prices for transportation are listed as these can change. We can provide prices depending on type of service, locations etc. Just ask by e-mail.

Also Costa Rica can have some very interesting transportation challenges. Bridges go out without notice. Landslides close roads. Even public demonstrations by taxi drivers, farmers or whomever can create a road blockage. Anything can happen. So do like we do and go with the flow. Don’t get anxious or upset. And do not schedule things like trying to make an early flight and leave last minute. You may end up missing a flight and pay an extra fee or be stranded.

In general getting around in Costa Rica is not quick. When you look at a map you may thing that it should be quick from one place to another. That is not the case. Count on a minimum of 4 hours between locations either driving or on transport. Public buses will be even more.

You can get around on public buses but this can be time consuming and difficult. If you are trying to minimize transport costs you can do it. But plan on more time and some waiting around to get the bus.

Jeep Boat Jeep:

This service runs between Arenal – La Fortuna and Monteverde, in both directions.
With this service you are picked up at your hotel and taken by mini-van to the lake shore in Arenal. Then a half hour boat ride across the lake and then another mini-van either to Arenal – La Fortuna or up the mountain to Monteverde. 

There is a morning service and an afternoon service. Pick up times vary a bit depending on the hotel location and whether your service starts in Arenal or in Monteverde.
Generally the times are 8:00 Am and 2:00Pm pickups in Monteverde and 8:30Am and 2:30Pm in Arenal – La Fortuna. Specific times will be given to you when we know the name of the hotel.

Generally we can save you $5.00 - $9.00 on this service over the normal price offered at most hotels or on line. This can vary depending on the hotel you are at.

Some hotels in Arenal are isolated and not on the main route for pickup. This requires that the van detour off the main route to pick you up. Most Monteverde hotels do not require an extra fee. Some Arenal hotels are the ones that can be affected. Just give us the name of your hotel in order to determine the price.

If you have any questions just ask.

Shuttles:

Shuttles are shared transport in a mini-van. You generally will be with others but everyone has a seat and luggage is included (surfboards are extra). Shuttles do not pick you up at any airport as flights can be delayed causing other passengers to wait. Pickups from airports are at scheduled times and at a nearby restaurant or hotel which you will have to take a taxi to and be there on time. Generally airport pickups are at around 2:00Pm to come up to Monteverde. So you need to arrive and pass customs and get a taxi to the pickup location by then. Specific times need to be confirmed.
You can go to www.interbusonline.com which is the most well known shuttle company.
If you are arriving at the airport on a later flight we would recommend in general that you stay in Alajuela or nearby the airport the first night and get an early start the next morning.

We can help you with shuttle service leaving from Monteverde to almost any popular destination and save you $5.00 per person or more if you can pay in cash. Just let us know where you need to go and we are happy to arrange it for you with pickups here in the morning. Usually at 8:00Am.

The local company we work with is reliable and responsible and they also can pick you up from most locations coming to Monteverde if you leave in the afternoon. This company can provide shuttle service from both San Jose and Liberia airports in the afternoon also.

For any shuttle service needs just ask. We can usually help.

Private Transport:

Private transport is a mini-van and driver providing service just for you and your family.
With Private Transport a driver is waiting for you at the airport and will wait for you and be there as you leave customs even if your flight is delayed. You do not have to worry about anything. Or the driver picks you up at your hotel at the time you select. Not like a shuttle that has set pickup times.

So this of course is the best service however it is also the most expensive.
If there are three or more in your group Private Transport can end up being the same price or less based on shuttle service being charged per person. So consider this as possibly cheaper than shuttle service with better service if you have a larger group.

Many times people will pay the extra charge for this service in order to save time and enjoy more convenience.

With Private Transport you can stop along the route to have lunch, or see the crocs quickly.

If you would like Private Transport quotes we can provide them. We work with a local company that has provided great reliable service for 5 years and never screwed up. We are confident that you will have no problems.
Pricing varies based on the destinations. We have no idea what other prices you can find on the internet and encourage shopping around. We do this as a service and can not guarantee the lowest price but we are sure that the service will be good.

 

Public Buses:

It is possible to travel almost anywhere by bus in Costa Rica. The main caveat is that while it is the cheapest it is also somewhat difficult and time consuming. One web site that can help you if you are thinking of using the bus is here:

http://www.thebusschedule.com/cr/800.php

Since there are numerous companies and times and bus stops can change we can really only help you for buses coming to or leaving from Monteverde. If questions just ask.

Renting a Vehicle:

We really can’t recommend or not the rental of a vehicle. This is up to you. And rental companies change getting better or worse all the time and it is not possible for us to keep on top of it. So we can not really recommend a company for you if you are looking at renting.

What we can say is that most all people coming to Monteverde will rent a small or larger four wheel drive vehicle. Four wheel drive is rarely needed here in Monteverde. In other parts of the country particularly in rainy season it can come in very handy.

The main advantage of a four wheel vehicle for Monteverde is the extra road clearance that these vehicles typically have over a smaller automobile.

All entrances and exits to Monteverde are gravel. While there is some maintenance on these roads it seems there are always some potholes, rocks sticking out of the roadway and sometimes worse. So the extra clearance you get is helpful. In an automobile you will have to go much slower and be very careful not to bottom out and damage the vehicle.

In addition our rooms are downhill below the entrance level which is the same as the main road in front. So with an automobile driving up from below requires some Mario Andretti skills and a bumpy ride up as you need to gun it to make it up. If you do arrive in a smaller automobile you can park your vehicle up on top safely and walk up and down from below from your room. Typically we provide transfer service for your bags up and down in our trusty 1991 Mazda Pickup in this case.

If however you decide to rent a normal 4 by 4 (small or big) you should have no problem driving up and down to the rooms. No one has ever gotten stuck. And if you find that you have suffered a flat tire on the way up the mountain we can help get that taken care of.

 If you will have a vehicle let us know where you will be driving in from and we can send driving directions. We will also give you directions leaving here to your next destination.