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How do I get a "legitimate" airport taxi at San Jose?

How do I get a "legitimate" airport taxi at San Jose?

Old Jul 21st, 2005, 05:02 PM
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How do I get a "legitimate" airport taxi at San Jose?

Help! I will be arriving alone at the San Jose airport next week, & I am confused about how to get a "real" taxi, not a pirate taxi. My hotel cautioned me in an e-mail to be careful: they said to take an ORANGE cab (official cab), and avoid a RED cab. But on a Costa Rica web site I visited, they spent 2 pages talking about being careful with taxi's & they cautioned about the orange airport taxis. Then another site said that there was a official taxi booth outside the airport door with a bi-lingual attendant who would just sell me a ticket for my destination for a flat fee; then a taxi would take me directly there. I am a very experienced traveler, but I look like an easy target since I a middle-aged woman traveling alone - I am getting nervous about this! Does anyone have recent experience with the airport taxis?
MLMom is offline  
Old Jul 21st, 2005, 06:02 PM
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Have you asked your hotel if they would arrange for a taxi? When you leave the terminal you will see a hige number of taxi drivers waiting with signs with peoples' names on them; these are the hotel-arranged taxis.

On our trip last year to Costa Rica, our b&b had a cab ready for us, and it made the beginning (and end) of our trip a lot less stressful. The very friendly driver took us back to the airport as well, and even hugged us when we left! Hardly cost us any more either!

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Old Jul 21st, 2005, 11:23 PM
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Hotel Villa Bonita, Alajuela, has a nice section on their web-site explaining how to recognize the official orange taxis. Also I can recommend this clean, safe, inexpensive hotel 5 minutes from the airport... www.hotelvillabonita.com We stayed there in June 2005. Humberto and Carmen are nice and they will give you a nice breakfast. $47 for a double room.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2005, 04:31 AM
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There are two booths for purchasing taxi fare. One is just inside to the left, before exiting the airport and the other just outside the airport to your left. You tell them where you want to be taken, purchase your fare, then give the slip to the airport attendant, who is normally standing just outside the first set of doors in like an all glass foyer area, (this is the area where drivers will have their signs stuck against the windows to get the attention of their passengers), the attendant will then escort you through to your cab.

This has changed a bit over the past few years as they have upgraded the airport. This was the way it was in Feb and all went smooth.

Hope that helps.
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Old Jul 24th, 2005, 01:16 PM
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Thanks so much, everybody! I am considering all your advice. I feel much better about things now!
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 05:52 PM
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I just came back from costa rica; and did exactly melissa's advice.
Stayed at Villabonita, handed de directions that I printed from their web site.
Used the flat rate from the booth inside the airport; charged 3.00 USD
Had not trouble at all.
But I think if You decide to stay at Villa bonita; umberto and Carmen will
Arrange your "pick up for $7.00.
Thats what I heard; even though we did no do it like that.
We use just the regular taxis.
If you are not going to stay there just go in their web site and print the informartion on the taxis so you get the idea.
Good luck!!
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Old Jul 26th, 2005, 07:46 PM
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dfarmer did a fine job explaining the location. I will put in a comment or two.

Several years ago the taxi and van situation became very difficult. Still today, there are people standing outside in the huge bunch of "signed" people that you would NOT want to ride with.

The airport now has a fleet of AIRPORT taxi. They are kind of deep ORANGE in color. They are lined up at the door ready to transport.

Because of tourist unknowing the rates, sometimes taxi drivers will forget to cut on the meter or perhaps not inform you of the correct amount since it is in Costa Rica colones.

The airport stopped this problem by providing you with the little taxi booths for your convenience.

One inside and one just outside the glass doors to the left.

Don't worry, you will definately find them. Shark type taxi men have priviledge to stand INSIDE the airport area to invite you to the little window before you get out to the crowd.

At that little window, have your address or hotel ready. The lady behind the glass will give you a rate you may pay in dollars there at the window. It is on a sheet. Everyone pays according to the area or hotel they are going to so the Taxi driver can not cheat you. EASY. You get the little ticket that dfarmer told you about. The driver stands there waiting for the ticket and you to finish and off you go.

This works best. Hotel pickups are fine until the plane is very late or you miss your connection, then what? Just plan on the airport taxi. Buy your ticket at the little window before you get out to the crowd and you will be just fine.

NOW... later.... a red taxi, meter called a MARIA. Hotels can call them for you or you can get one at the main square in each town. Some towns have special jeep type like Monteverde.
They may not have a meter but you can ask the charge before you go. All taxi are cheap in Costa Rica.

Airport taxi to Alajuela hotels between $5 and $7 to San Jose hotels $12-$15.

Taxi around towns, almost never more than 2,000 or $4.15 !

The license plate on a REAL taxi will also have the number of the taxi which is located on a yellow triangle on the side of the door. Without these, and sometimes with a temporary taxi name on top, you are looking at a pirate. Some of our pirates are nice folks.... but you should not go with them, ever.

There, you are set!
hopabout is offline  
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