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San José - La Fortuna

2 posts
2 reviews
San José - La Fortuna

Two of us in 60s, bilingual, two suitcases, trying to figure transport from San José (Xandari) to La Fortuna.

Should we take bus (on a budget but worried about suitcases) or rent a car or hire a driver?

For our ten days in La Fortuna hope to use taxis or hopefully one or two go to drivers, any recommendations

Here’s hard one, after La Fortuna thinking of hitting Dominical for a week or two. How do we make that trip?

12 replies to this topic
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
3,589 posts
51 reviews
1. Re: San José - La Fortuna

Shared shuttles will cost less than private drivers. Check out Interbus schedules and fares.

By the time you factor in transfers and local taxis, it may not be more expensive to rent a car. You may even be able to manage with a sedan. Have you definitely ruled that out?

Level Contributor
10 posts
48 reviews
2. Re: San José - La Fortuna

I would suggest renting a car, there is so much to see and it will be much more easy to get around, including planning.

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
4,065 posts
27 reviews
3. Re: San José - La Fortuna

I'm a car rental guy. Convenience of own wheels.

Level Contributor
44 posts
4. Re: San José - La Fortuna

Hello, you can take a share shuttle witj Interbus or Gray Line, most popular shuttle services in Costa Rica or you can take a public bus, check the full info: ( shared shuttle is $51 per person and takes 3:30


Public bus takes around 5 hours and charge $6

Pura Vida.

Destination Expert
for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
Level Contributor
7,642 posts
262 reviews
5. Re: San José - La Fortuna

We've stayed at Xandari and loved it, but I don't think the shuttle services pick up near there; it's in an isolated area high in the hills. Your best bet is probably to rent a car; if you don't want to do that, get estimates for private drivers from your hotels. In our experience, Xandari's quotes will be a little higher than others. Where are you staying in the Arenal area?

Level Contributor
1 post
8 reviews
6. Re: San José - La Fortuna

I don't know how comfortable you will be on a public bus, because I don't know your health condition. You can open windows but if it rains, yeah, not a lot of air flow. There's usually only one break to use the restroom.

Your luggage will be pretty safe. It's kept under the bus the whole time and they unload when you arrive at your destination for you to grab. It's items in the bus, left on the seat or in the overhead, that would be more susceptible to theft. Just keep an eye on your stuff and you'll be fine, which I'm sure you'll do anyway. I had no security issues taking public buses. They are like coach buses in terms of cushioned seats and legroom. It boggles my mind how cheap it was!

As others have mentioned, shared shuttles and renting a car may be more comfortable or give you more freedom and flexibility. It may come down to what you want to pay for those two aspects.

2 posts
2 reviews
7. Re: San José - La Fortuna

Thanks everyone. Took a very pleasant Uber for $88 for two of us

Level Contributor
5,079 posts
68 reviews
8. Re: San José - La Fortuna


Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
3,589 posts
51 reviews
9. Re: San José - La Fortuna

Perfect? A lot of people have had good experiences with Uber in CR but it's not legal. Not everyone is comfortable with that.

I have a different question for Denis. I love the La Fortuna area but are you sure you want to spend a full ten days there? The cost of taxis everyday will add up.

If you had your own vehicle, it would be easier to explore a few more locations. Depending on if you can get by with a sedan, and whether you are traveling during peak times, the cost may not be much more than relying on other to get you around.

Level Contributor
22 posts
2 reviews
10. Re: San José - La Fortuna

planning 2 nights in arenal in Feb (from SJO) and looking for recommendations on rental car vs. uber (how are the driving conditions?)

and any feedback on accommodations there are many that look great. We would love a lodge or resort that has its own springs, without being overrun by day passes.

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