San Jose – La Fortuna – Santa Elena/ Monteverde – Manuel Antonio/ Quepos via Puntarenas – San Jose

Let the adventure begin

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Evelyn Tanaka Day 1 arrived at Juan Santamaria airport at 7 am. We chickened out and took the $20 USD taxi to bus station 7-10  

Evelyn Tanaka Day 1 bought bus tickets to La Fortuna on the top floor of the 7-10 bus station. I think the bus company was called Venecia and they had a 11:50 am bus to La Fortuna. Cost 2,380 Colones and took about 5 hours with lots of stops.

Evelyn Tanaka Day 4 did the jeep-boat-horseback-van tour around Lake Arenal to get to Monteverde. Cost $85 USD/person and the horseback riding was for about 10 km and took a couple hours. It was awesome! Road to Santa Elena was unpaved but not as bad as I thought it was going to be. I heard some horror stories from friends.

Evelyn Tanaka's photo.
Evelyn Tanaka Charter bus from Santa Elena town to Santa Elena reserve was $4 round trip.
Evelyn Tanaka Day 7 Caught the 4:20 am bus from Santa Elena to Puntarenas. It picks up at the top of the hill near the Banco Popular and Sabor Tico not at the Banco Nacional as Lonely Planet said. We had a fun run up the hill with all our gear! Can’t remember how much this bus cost but it wasn’t much. I believe there was free wifi too. Took about 3.5 hours to get to Puntarenas.
Evelyn Tanaka Day 7 Last stop in Puntarenas is the bus station and we bought tickets for the 9 am bus to Quepos. Cost was 2305 Colones and there was free wifi. This bus broke down (the engine seized) so we had to wait until they sent another bus to pick us up. It was 36C with no A/C and it was a very long bus ride (felt like 3+ hours plus the delay). Didn’t feel super great once we got into Quepos. But free wifi – yay!
Evelyn Tanaka's photo.
Evelyn TanakaBus from Quepos to Manuel Antonio was like 295 colones, super cheap!
Evelyn Tanaka Day 9 bus from Quepos to San Jose. We paid a little more to get a “directo” bus back to San Jose. Tickets were 4365 Colones and you can buy them from the main bus station in town. The bus was late because it stops in Manuel Antonio first but it only make one bathroom stop. There was A/C on this bus but no free wifi. Took about 3 hours I think.
Evelyn Tanaka's photo.

 

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2 thoughts on “San Jose – La Fortuna – Santa Elena/ Monteverde – Manuel Antonio/ Quepos via Puntarenas – San Jose

  1. What did you do with your backpack/luggage while on the buses? Was it stores under the bus, overhead, did you keep it with you? I’m going to Costa Rica later in the year, and I wasn’t sure what to expect for that or if theft is common. I have a carry-on size bag that has straps, so not small enough to be comfortably in a lap for hours.

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    • Personally I only travel with a 28L backpack so I only have carryon. It is small enough to fit between my legs which is ok but not comfortable. long distance buses have overhead storage but it varies in size so sometime my pack won’t fit and goes between my legs. I put my back in the over head across from me so I can always see it. I also wrap the strap around a support to prevent any snatch and run. The local buses are school buses and luggage can be problematic. The long distance buses have you put luggage under the bus. I have only heard of it rarely being stolen. Of course keep everything you can not lose on your person

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