A Short Guide to the Local Transportation in Costa Rica

traffic in San Jose


If you are planning a visit to Costa Rica, this short guide to the local transportation in Costa Rica, will help you to be aware the popular means of transportation in the country. In spite of the fact, that we are talking about a relatively small country, there are lot of things to choose from and hopefully this short guide will help you to find the most convenient one. In order to get the most regions, you should definitely start from San José, as it is the known as the hub of public transport in Costa Rica. So the public transportation system in the country is well developed and here you can find out more about them.

By plane

 passenger plane in Costa Rica


Taking an airplane for getting around in Costa Rica is the best option, not just because you can save time, but the flights are short and they are offering affordable prices. There are two domestic airlines in Costa Rica: Sansa and Nature Air, offering flights to the main cities and tourist spots of the country. In the peak season from November to April as the space is limited, it would be wise if  you book you reservations in advance to be sure to get ticket for your desired flight. Due to the fact that both airlines operate with small passenger planes your baggage can be more than 12 kg.

All domestic flights originate from San José and terminate here as well.

By bus

It is known to be the cheapest way for getting around in Costa Rica. There are excellent bus services in Costa Rica involving 4 basic types: local, city, minibuses and express, you can get almost anywhere with them. The buses that serve for longer routes are clean, comfortable and quite cheap. Most of the tourist destinations are serviced at least 1 daily bus; almost all of the routes are based in and out of San Jose.

By taxi

They offer excellent services and they are much cheaper than in any other countries. All of the taxis have meters and you can avoid any problems if you make sure that they are turned on. Taxis are very common means of transportation in Costa Riva, they are considered as a major form of transportation outside of the urban areas, they can be hired for hours, half days or for a full day as well, in these cases meters are not used, so you can discuss the fare beforehand. You can use a taxi in cases when public transportation is not available in the area which you want to explore for ex. visiting some National Parks.

Rent a car

Hiring a car in a Costa Rican holiday, it turned to be a very popular method, because it has some great advantages such as the freedom to travel where you want and to stop whenever you want. If you decide to rent a car, you should keep in mind a few legal facts that you should be aware before renting a car: if you are a foreigner you must be 21 years old, holding your passport and your tourist driver’s license. Some other useful facts are the road conditions, that most of them are riddled with potholes.

By ferry

There are 3 ferries that run across the Golf of Nicoya. There are two car ferries from Puntarenas to Playa Naranjo and Puntarenas to Paquera. The third one is a passenger ferry which runs between Puntarenas and Paquera. There are also other regular services from cities of Golfito and Puerto Jiménez.

Leave a Reply