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Best Mode of Transportation Around Costa Rica

Tempe, Arizona
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Best Mode of Transportation Around Costa Rica

I am a female traveling solo to Costa Rica in July, and I was going to take buses between destinations until I read several times that it is quicker/easier to use a shuttle van. However, when I looked into this, I read all of these bad reviews about popular van services, particularly Grayline and Interbus. Should I just take the public bus? I really liked the idea of hotel to hotel service, but I read that these vans don't show up or don't drop you off at your hotel. Can anyone recommend an alternative company that is not expensive? Are there other options? Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated!

guanacaste
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1. Re: Best Mode of Transportation Around Costa Rica

We use a lot gray line and interbus, but if it makes you feel more comfortable, contact a private transportation service,

Costa Rica
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2. Re: Best Mode of Transportation Around Costa Rica

I think you will be fine using either Interbus, Grayline or riding the public bus.

Interbus carries hundreds of thousands of travelers each year. You don't read about the hundred thousand times that they arrive on time with no problem. You only read about the few times there is a "glitch." I have used them more than once and wouldn't hesitate to recommend them. They do provide hotel to hotel service and there are many many hotels they use as pick up/drop off points, but not every single hotel in Costa Rica. In certain areas, you would get picked up or dropped off at a nearby hotel which you can travel to by inexpensive taxi.

The public bus is also fine, safe and very inexpensive although not as convenient.

The ultimate in private transportation would be a trip with Luis Chinchilla of Tucan Limo Services. He encompasses the best of Costa Rica - very knowledgeable, answers all your questions, points out things along the way,stops for photos or the best meal available and on top of it all, is a very kind and funny person. www.tucanlimoservices.com You couldn't do better for private transportation.

Of course, you don't have to travel all one way. Sometimes, the public bus routes are good and convenient, sometimes using the shuttle or private transportation would be best. It depends on where you are going and what time of day.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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3. Re: Best Mode of Transportation Around Costa Rica

Interbus and Grayline provide good reliable service and I do not think you would have any issues with them. Cheaper than them would be the public buses. Private transfers for just you would be expensive. Here are a few more options recommended on this forum for private transfers

Oscar Chavarria - oscardrivercr@gmail.com

Willy - w_opciones@yahoo.com

Wilson - wilson_elsy@yahoo.com

Leo Rodriguez - leratravelcr@yahoo.com

Punta Uva, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
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4. Re: Best Mode of Transportation Around Costa Rica

I would not hesitate using either of the shared transport companies you mentioned. Check http://www.thebusschedule.com/cr/index.php for bus connections, sometimes they can be just as efficient,safe, and a helluva cheaper way to get around Costa Rica.

Winnipeg, Canada
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for Costa Rica
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5. Re: Best Mode of Transportation Around Costa Rica

Which mode of transportation you choose may also depend on things like the places you are visiting, the time you are arriving (if you want to minimize your time in the SJO area) and how much time you want to spend travelling and of course the amount you want to spend.

On some legs you may want to fly via Sansa or Natureair.

As hattie has pointed out, you can mix and match your transportation.

Have a look at the Top Question "What options are there for travelling around Costa Rica?" on the right side f the main CR forum page. it gives an overview of transportation options.

In general Interbus and Grayline get good reviews.

pura vida

raquel

Brooklyn, New York
12 posts
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6. Re: Best Mode of Transportation Around Costa Rica

Does anyone know how long I should give myself to go through customs? If I land at 9:25 am would I make it to a Sansa flight at 11:05? I'm worried I may miss the flight. Also does anyone know how far away the airport for Sansa flights is from the main san jose airport? I'm trying to go from San Jose to Domincal on Sat April 21st and I'm lost here.

Thanks for the help!

Bermuda
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for Bermuda
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7. Re: Best Mode of Transportation Around Costa Rica

ashley, even if your flight lands on time you're still cutting it a little close. the sansa terminal is a 5 minute walk from the main terminal, out the door and turn right. having said that i've never flown on a sansa flight that left on time, 45 minutes late was the closest they've been to on time in my experience, but they may have changed for the better.

Canada
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8. Re: Best Mode of Transportation Around Costa Rica

Hi!

Just to weigh in--I have taken both Grayline and Interbus on numerous occasions and never had an issue with either. I have also taken public buses and my complaints would be that they are often very full, hot (without air conditioning), very stuffy, and long. Then again, they're much cheaper than shuttles. Private transfers are quite costly, and if you go that route make sure to get the taxista or guide to agree on a price BEFORE you start off, I've learned this lesson the hard way!

Depending on your destinations, also check out both Sansa & Nature Air flights. Sometimes there are great deals (almost comparable to a shuttle bus ticket fare) and these flights would get you to your destination much quicker than any bus could. Sansa's airport is right next to Juan Santamaria Airport, but Nature Air's airport, Tobias Bolanos is about a 15-20 minute drive. Keep this in mind.

It has never taken me too long to collect my baggage and make it through customs so I think you'd probably be ready by 10:30 if your flight landed at 9:25 am. I think you may be cutting it close with an 11:05 am flight though, check with Sansa, but I think the general rule is no check ins less than a half an hour early. I would want to leave an hour for a bit of wiggle room if something were to happen.

Tempe, Arizona
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9. Re: Best Mode of Transportation Around Costa Rica

Thank you so much for easing my mind about using a private shuttle. I have heard that you should call these places to book transportation because the online reservations are not reliable. How have you booked the shuttle services?

Winnipeg, Canada
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
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10. Re: Best Mode of Transportation Around Costa Rica

Hi,

Al;though I personally have never used the service Forum DE Prolijo and others on the forum have advised that you can actually book shuttle services through

http://www.shuttlebus.co.cr/

Their site is more user friendly and reports are that their prices are actually cheaper for the same services.

raquel