Costa Rica by car or by shuttle busses


Nov 19th, 2017, 01:19 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 25
Costa Rica by car or by shuttle busses

Dear all

I've just started planning our trip to Costa Rica for the first 2 weeks of April. To choose the location of hotels it is important to decide wether we'll be travelling by car or by shuttle bus.
So I hope you can give us valuable advice.

I will be travelling with my 21 year old daughter.
Planning to visit Tortuguero, La Fortuna, Monteverde, Tamarindo, Manuel Antonio (and the rest we don't know yet).

The question is: what is the best way to move from one place to the other? Hire a small 4x4 car or travel by shuttle busses (not public transport)? Or a combination of both?

Thank you for any helpful information!!!
Jeanique is offline  
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Nov 19th, 2017, 02:42 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 3,860
First of all "Tortuguero, La Fortuna, Monteverde, Tamarindo, Manuel Antonio (and the rest we don't know yet)" is probably too much for two weeks. I hope you're not adding more when you say "the rest we don't know yet." I'd actually subtract something from such an ambitious itinerary.

Second, Tortuguero cannot be reached by car, shuttle, or bus at all. It's air or boat only.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
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Nov 20th, 2017, 10:34 AM
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 7
As Jeff said, that is a lot for two weeks. It takes a while to drive between places in Costa Rica. From San Jose to where you can park near Tortuguero to take the boat over is about a 3 hour drive. From Tortuguero to La Fortuna is three hours. La Fortuna to Monteverde is three hours. Monteverde to Tamarindo is about three hours and Tamarindo to Manuel Antonio will take five hours. This may not seem too bad, but some of the roads are not in the greatest condition and it can be exhausting to do all that driving. I'd suggest cutting out either Tortuguero or Manuel Antonio.

I suggest renting a car so that you don't have to depend on tours in the locations you visit. With a car you have the flexibility of planning everything yourself. Renting a car here is not cheap, but it will come out to cheaper than taking shuttles. Your other option is taking a shuttle (if you dont want to drive the long distances) and renting a car for a day or two in each location you want to explore.

I run a Costa Rica budget travel blog. I'll leave you a link to the destination so you can check out some more info on the places you listed. Each place has info on transportation as well.

Also, I have partneed with Adobe (my favorite rental car company here) and you can get a 10% car rental discount on my site. Either way you should read this first because there is mandatory insurance here which most companies dont tell you about until you show up to rent your car. It drives me crazy!

Anyway, let me know if you need more tips. I'm happy to help! I know it can be difficult to plan a trip to a country youve never visited.
costaricavibes is offline  
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