Local bus in Monteverde

Jan 20th, 2009, 03:58 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 301
Local bus in Monteverde


I have been trying for quite a while to find out the schedule, stops and itinerary of any buses or vans (means of transportation other than the quite expensive cabs) in Monteverde/Santa Elena and could not get any help. I tried the hotel where I will be staying and some other web based resources but it seems that tourists are assumed to take cabs. Paying $18 round trip from the hotel in Monteverde to the Cloud forest is very expensive, particularly reading on the forums that a ticket for the bus is $2 for the same. Any info would be appreciated.
Suzanna is offline  
Jan 20th, 2009, 04:23 PM
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We used taxis when we were there. We paid $8 for one fare and $5 for another. I guess maybe it depends upon where your hotel is situated, but $18 seems pretty steep to me. For tours, they came and picked us up which was nice. Which hotel are you staying in? I don't recall seeing any public buses when we were there.
volcanogirl is offline  
Jan 20th, 2009, 04:52 PM
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We are staying at El Sapo Dorado. The hotel told us about the $18 charge. There is no pickup included by either of the two cloud forest tours. Other posts mentioned $1 fares for this mythical bus that the hotel confirmed but had no info on and didn't know where to get info about it....

How long and easy/difficult is to walk from Santa Elena to El Sapo Dorado? Is walking as dangerous in Monteverde as it is in Manuel Antonio? Thanks.
Suzanna is offline  
Jan 20th, 2009, 05:15 PM
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While I was able to take a local bus from San Jose to Monteverde, once there I relied on taxis (I don't recall seeing local buses in Monteverde). Several taxis will certainly add up -- have you considered renting a car instead?
thit_cho is offline  
Jan 20th, 2009, 06:23 PM
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Suzanna, Pat Hewitt would be a good person to ask about the bus; he's our board Monteverde expert. His travel website just got unveiled on a separate post.
volcanogirl is offline  
Jan 20th, 2009, 07:39 PM
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Actually, I think Suzanna is a customer of mine. So we discussed this. But I may not have realized that this was round trip. Sorry Suzanna.

We usually have a car in Monteverde, so we don't take taxis. But eighteen bucks sounds high to me too, The couple of times we have taken a cab to our home (near the reserve) it has been about six or seven dollars, one way.

As always, the best way to do this it to negotiate with the driver directly, face to face. I think if you try to do it in advance, the rate is going to be higher. If the negotiations are not going well when you are actually there, you can always walk away. You can always find a better deal. If the driver realizes he is losing the ride, he may come down.

People walk everywhere in Monteverde. Since the roads are not as good, you don't see people driving as fast or crazy as you do in Manuel Antonio. Walking is not a problem. From Santa Elena, there is a small hill, then the road evens out before you go up a little to the hotel itself. Nothing that difficult.

I don't know the bus schedule by heart. But it seems to run every couple of hours. I am surprised that Sapo could not furnish this information. But is shouldn't be hard to get once you are there.

Hope this helps! Let me know if I can offer any more advice.

Warm Regards,
Pat Hewitt
Travel Professional
Pat_Hewitt is offline  
Jan 21st, 2009, 03:37 AM
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Suzanna, we did see some folks walking when we were there. As Pat said, people don't drive too crazy because a lot of the roads are hilly and unpaved. We found the cab drivers to be very honest. One even tried to return our tip telling us that we had overpaid him. I think it would be a pain to rely on the bus because things are so spread out, and it doesn't seem like it runs all that frequently.
volcanogirl is offline  
Jan 21st, 2009, 04:00 PM
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Thanks to all of you, Pat included. I am very glad to hear that if we want to, we can safely walk from the hotel to downtown.

In addition I found a GREAT source of local information, Camara de Turismo de Monteverde, Tel: 2645-6565,[email protected] Enervey Ramirez Vindas was VERY prompt and helpful. I learned from her that the bus schedule from Santa Elena downtown to the Monteverde Cloud Forest is the following:
Departures from St. Elena:: 6:15 am, 7:20, 9:20, 1:20, 3pm
Return from the Cloud Forest: 6:45am, 7:45, 11:30, 2pm, 4pm. This bus stops in the main street close to the hotels on the route.

The bus to the Santa Elena rain forest has to be reserved through Camara de Turismo and they have pickup at the hotel. The schedule is:

Departures: 6:30am, 10:30, 12:30, 3:30
Return: 9am, 11, 1pm, 4.

Round trip costs $4/person. Obviously this is not a very frequent bus, but it is handy to know about it.

I also learned that the Monteverde Reserve is at 4 km, Santa Elena at 7 km, Santa Elena Town is just 10 minutes walking from El Sapo Doro.

I do like to have this information before I leave because at home I have the luxury of a fast Internet connection whenever I need it, I can easily call anyone if I want to, instead of spending valuable vacation time figuring it all out on site, paying more than I should or missing out on doing things because I did not plan adequately.

Pura Vida!

Suzanna is offline  

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