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Getting Around in Costa Rica

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Costa Rica is a place built for visitors, and because there are so many each year there are several options that tourists can use for getting around. Itís really up to each tourist to decide which mode of transportation is best for them. There are options for flying, taking public transportation, and renting a car.

Country Hub

If you fly into San Jose, you can pretty much get anywhere you need to go since it is the hub of public transportation. Many travelers will return to San Jose no matter where they are traveling to or from because they know they will be able to find the transportation they need. While that is a great option for travelers that want things to be simple and certain, there are other options for traveling around in Costa Rica.

One thing you may notice when you arrive in Costa Rica is that many of the locals donít own their own cars. Similar major hubs in the United States, like New York and Chicago, public transportation is plenty and convenient. Using public transportation buses, locals and visitors can get to almost any part of the country. There are, of course, small or remote towns that wonít have frequent buses, but as long as you time it right, you can get anywhere using the bus system. Timing is crucial, because the buses in Costa Rica run on a tight schedule. Plan to always be at the bus stop or station several minutes before your bus is due to depart; the buses leave on time whether or not all ticketed passengers are on board.

Your Own Schedule

Another option for getting around in Costa Rica is to rent a car. There are some places that the public buses canít get to, that a rental can. Also, if you rent a car, you are able to travel on your own schedule, without worrying about being left behind by the public buses. You can see more on your trip if you rent a car since youíll be able to cover more ground, including those places that have limited buses. If you do rent a car, be very cautious driving at night. If you are on mountain roads it can be very hazardous, and you need to be cautious about sharing the small road with large trucks. Avoid driving at night if you can, since there are too many blind corners and someone that isnít familiar with the area could easily be intimated.

Time Saver

Costa Rica also has domestic airlines that allow travelers to buy a package for unlimited flights. If you can find one of these and have the extra cash to spend during your trip, they are a great option since they will get you places much faster, especially if you are looking to go to remote areas Ė it is often much easier to fly to these places than to drive or take a bus. The bus rides can sometimes be eight hours or longer. Even if you donít use those airlines, you can still fly using a private charter.
Choose How To Get Around By Region
Click on the map to select a region.
Costa Rica Map

No matter where you go in Costa Rica, or how you choose to get there, youíre going to have an adventure. Costa Rica is filled with beauty that isnít too hard to get to and that is easy to fall in love with. Do some research before you arrive so you can have your transportation planned out ahead of time.

In order to narrow down your search, please choose the type of transportation you are interested in, to choose all of the types of transportation in a particular region or city click on the appropriate name on the left.
Choose How to Get Around in Costa Rica
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South Puntarenas Region (South Costa Rica)Cartago Region (Central Valley)Limon Region (Caribbean Coast)San Jose RegionNorth Puntarenas Region (Central Pacific Coast)Heredia Region Alajuela Region (Arenal Volcano)Guanacaste Region (North Pacific Coast)