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Transportation, Currency advice

Milton, Canada
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Transportation, Currency advice

Hi,

I'm coming to Costa Rica on Nov 26 and would like some information so that I can make this trip stress and hassel free. I hope you can help.

1- I'm thinking of taking the bus (www.thebusschedule.com/cr/) from hotel los volcanes - alajuela to La Fortuna (arenal backpackers resort). How much do you think that'll cost me as I couldn't see the cost online for some reason or maybe I was looking in the wrong area. Also, are the buses on time or are they usually late because I have to get to La Fortuna by 11am to 12pm most definitely.

- I see the schedule here but not sure where the cost is: http://www.thebusschedule.com/cr/index.php

- I contacted the hostel's shuttle service and they're charging me for pick-up and drop for $40 (will take approx. 3 hours) so I'm debating if that's a good deal or should I just take the bus? Can you please advise?

2- I will be traveling from La Fortuna to Esterillos Este on Nov 30. I found out that it'll be a 6 hour drive (bus or shuttle) from La Fontuna. Here is my destination so that you have a better

- If I don't want to take the bus/shuttle because it will take 6 hours, do you think it'll be much easier and convenient to go there by air from La Fortuna or go by private shuttle?

- If its private shuttle, then I can ask the resort to reserve me one. However, if flying from la fortuna to get to Esterillos Este is better, which airport would I land on in Esterillos Este?

I would highly appreciate if you can help me answer the above questions as it would really help me plan my trip better.

Thank you so much!

Edited: 07 November 2013, 21:20
Costa Rica
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1. Re: Transportation, Currency advice

1. There are no prices on the bus schedule. It will cost around $10 or 5,000 colones, more or less. The buses are on time unless there is some kind of traffic accident or road repair.

2. That $40 shuttle is a good deal, if you can afford it. Easy and not as expensive as other shuttles.

3. You can fly from La Fortuna to Quepos and taxi (or bus) from there to Esterillos. Look at Nature Air and Sansa.

Milton, Canada
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2. Re: Transportation, Currency advice

Thanks.

Is the shuttle service safe if I'm the only female traveling from alajuela to La Fortuna? Or is it better to take a bus there? I'm just concerned about safety at this point if the traveling time for both shuttle and bus is the same. Please advise if bus will take longer to get to La Fortuna than shuttle.

Costa Rica
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3. Re: Transportation, Currency advice

You will be safe on either the public bus or the shuttle. The shuttle will be quicker because they don't make stops like the public bus.

Milton, Canada
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4. Re: Transportation, Currency advice

Thank you. This helps.

Milton, Canada
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5. Re: Transportation, Currency advice

I have a few more questions:

Would it be better and cheaper to book the flight from La Fortuna to Quepos now online while I'm in Canada or do it a couple days before or on the day of when I arrive at the airport? I will be staying at Arenal Backpackers Resort so will be going to the airport from there.

In terms of carrying currency, I'm not sure how many Colones I need as my stay in Costa Rica is for 7 days. I will have my credit card with me but not sure how much currency I should carry. I'll be going to the bank this week to get colones or is it better to do it at the san jose airport when I arrive. Not sure how many colones its good to keep in pocket or should I just do all transactions with my credit card.

Also concerned about safety, theft, pick-pocketers. Is it safe to carry money and credit cards when out during the day?

Canada
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6. Re: Transportation, Currency advice

Do not get colones in Canada. The exchange rate will be awful even if the bank can get them Yes you should have some. Get them at the ATM at arrivals. 10,000 c is about 20 bucks.

Chicago, Illinois
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7. Re: Transportation, Currency advice

The flight will cost the wherever you book it. However the cheaper fares sell out in advance so I would book as soon as you are sure of your dates. The cheaper promotion fares are ususually gone long before you arrive. Word of warning - there are very tight luggage restrictions on these small planes and even tighter limits if you book a promotion fare. Be sure are read the fine print as the flights are non-refundable.

Do not get colones in advance. That would be a serious mistake as you are likely to get a really rotten exchange rate compounded by transaction fees. Best thing to do is to wait until you are in Costa Rica and use an ATM to get cash. There are ATMs at the airport. DO NOT exchange cash at the airport currency exchange as the rates are rotten. Try and carry the equivalent of 3-4 days cash with you. How much that would be depends on what you are planning to do and where you are staying. Many tours offer cash discounts in low season and some lodging owners prefer cash as well. Sodas, taxis and buses all require cash (colones). Most hotels and nicer restaurants all accept credit cards so how much cash depends on how far off the beaten path you intend to go and whether you are staying in hostels or hotels.

Milton, Canada
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8. Re: Transportation, Currency advice

Thanks guys. This helps! :)

Milton, Canada
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9. Re: Transportation, Currency advice

Would anyone know which website I can book a ticket from La Fortuna to Quepos?

Costa Rica
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10. Re: Transportation, Currency advice

For shared van shuttle: www.anywherecostarica.com (click on transportation) or www.interbusonline.com If you are thinking of the public bus - you can't book a ticket online.