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Hotel Santa Teresa at Tripadvisor

Directions from San Jose (SJO) or Liberia (LIR) to Hotel Santa Teresa in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Directions to Hotel Santa Teresa

Once you arrive in San Jose or Liberia airport, you can travel to Santa Teresa by car, taxi, water-taxi, ferry, shuttle, bus, and/or a combination of one or more of these.

Fares are negotiable on shuttles and taxis, especially if you’re traveling with a group, or if you meet people on your journey, and you negotiate a fare together.

On the other hand, ferry and bus tickets, and car rental rates, tend to be fixed and non-negotiable in Costa Rica.

Fly to Tambor<br>

Fly to Tambor

Take Taxi to Santa Teresa
  • The quickest way to Santa Teresa
  • Arrive less than an hour and a half after you leave San Jose
Click Here for More Details About how to travel by plane
  • Sansa Regional and Nature Air are two companies with multiple daily flights from San Jose to Tambor.
  • Nature Air flights depart from inside the SJO Terminal. As such, you need to arrive at check-in a little earlier.
  • Sansa Regional flights depart outside the main terminal, about a 2 minute walk from the main terminal.
  • The flights take about 30 minutes, and from there a 35 minute drive brings you to Santa Teresa.
  • You can have a taxi waiting to pick you up, or arrange to have your rental car waiting for you at the airport. This needs to be arranged in advance.
  • These flights are small, and fill up fast, so be sure to book in advance.
  • Remember that these flights have low weight limits, with fees for extra weight. During busy times, they may refuse to take overweight luggage, or put it on a later flight.
  • Special restrictions apply to surfboards. Contact airlines for more information.
  • Hotel Playa Carmen's wonderful staff can help you arrange the flight, taxi, and/or rental car.
Drive from San Jose Airport<br>

Drive from San Jose Airport

Click Here For More Detailed Driving Directions

There are two possible routes to Puntarenas, which is where you need to go to catch the ferry to the Nicoya Peninsula. The ferry will take you across the Gulf of Nicoya with your vehicle, and drop you off in Paquera.

The Pan-American Highway (Carretera Interamericana Norte), or Route 1, takes about 2 hours. A newer toll road (about 500 colones per toll) is called the Caldera Highway (Autopista del Sol), or Route 27. This road cuts the driving time to about 75 minutes from San Jose to Puntarenas.

ferryWhen you arrive at Puntarenas, be sure to ask where the line is for vehicles boarding the ferry to Paquera (not Naranjo), and park you car there. You must purchase a ticket for the ferry at the ticket window. You will pay for the car, as well as every passenger in the vehicle. Only the driver may drive the car onto the ferry, and the rest of the passengers must board the ferry on foot. The driver can climb the stairs to the higher levels to reconnect with passengers, once he/she has parked the car on the ferry.

When you deboard the ferry in Paquera, you will then drive to Santa Teresa, which will take you past Tambor and Cobano before arriving in Santa Teresa. Signs for these places, including Mal Pais, will let you know you’re going the right way.

In Cobano keep going straight to go to Santa Teresa. Just outside of Cobano, follow the signs for “Mal Pais" and "Santa Teresa”. Drive for 10 kilometers on a jeep road, and when you arrive at the Playa Carmen crossroads, a quick left will take you to Mal Pais. A right will take you into Santa Teresa, and going straight towards the beach will take you to Hotel Playa Carmen. We are on the righthand side, about 50 meters after the crossroads. Park directly across from the hotel in the public lot, or in the spaces right in front of the hotel.

Google Maps: Driving Directions

Drive from (LIR) Liberia Airport<br>

Drive from (LIR) Liberia Airport

  • Option 1: To Puntarenas and the Ferry - Map
  • Option 2: Bypass the ferry (4x4 strongly recommended) - Map
Click Here For More Detailed Driving Directions

When driving to Santa Teresa from the airport in Liberia, there are two recommended driving routes.

1) Drive to the ferry in Puntarenas, and then drive from Paquera to Santa Teresa.

Drive south on the Pan-American Highway (Route 1), and turn off at the Puntarenas exit. Once you arrive in Puntarenas, the ferry will take you across the Gulf of Nicoya with your vehicle, and drop you off in Paquera.

ferryWhen you arrive at Puntarenas, be sure to ask where the line is for vehicles boarding the ferry to Paquera (not Naranjo), and park you car there. You must purchase a ticket for the ferry at the ticket window. You will pay for the car, as well as every passenger in the vehicle. Only the driver may drive the car onto the ferry, and the rest of the passengers must board the ferry on foot. The driver can climb the stairs to the higher levels to reconnect with passengers, once he/she has parked the car on the ferry.

When you deboard the ferry in Paquera, you will then drive to Santa Teresa, which will take you past Tambor and Cobano before arriving in Santa Teresa. Signs for these places, including Mal Pais, will let you know you’re going the right way.

In Cobano keep going straight to go to Santa Teresa. Just outside of Cobano, follow the signs for “Mal Pais" and "Santa Teresa”. Drive for 10 kilometers on a jeep road, and when you arrive at the Playa Carmen crossroads, a quick left will take you to Mal Pais. A right will take you into Santa Teresa, and going straight towards the beach will take you to Hotel Playa Carmen. We are on the righthand side, about 50 meters after the crossroads. Park directly across from the hotel in the public lot, or in the spaces right in front of the hotel.

2) Bypass the ferry, and drive down the Nicoya Peninsula

You can also bypass the ferry by driving down the Nicoya Peninsula. On your way you will drive through Santa Cruz, Nicoya, Jicaral, Naranjo, and then Paquera, Tambor, and Cobano, before arriving in Santa Teresa.

Because the section of road between Naranjo and Paquera is mostly unpaved, A SUV and/or 4×4 is highly recommended. (The rest of the road is paved, except for a portion of the road from Cobano to Santa Teresa).

Direct Bus from San Jose<br>

Direct Bus from San Jose

  • Two direct buses a day from San Jose
  • 6am bus arrives at about 12:30 pm
  • 2pm bus arrives at about 8:30 pm
Click Here For More Details About the Direct Bus

Twice a day, a direct bus leaves San Jose and brings you to Santa Teresa (You may have to switch buses in Cobano). The bus leaves from the San Carlos bus station in downtown San Jose. The bus fare is around $15 (give or take a couple dollars) per person, and includes the ferry as well (In the low season, there are times when the ferry fare is not included).

A taxi ride to this station from the airport takes between 15 and 45 minutes, depending on traffic, and the cost is roughly $30.00.

The bus company is a private company called  Transportes Cobano, and you can see their facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Transportes-Cobano/112259365485269

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When you board the bus, you will put your luggage under the bus.

  • you will get a bus ticket and a luggage ticket (if you put some luggage under the bus). Do not throw them away. You will need to present your bus ticket to get back on the bus after the ferry, and you will need the luggage ticket to get your luggage.
  • When you arrive at the ferry, leave your luggage under the bus, and board the ferry. When leaving the bus, present your bus ticket to the driver to receive your ferry ticket. (There are times in the low season when the ferry fare is not included, and you will have to purchase the ticket yourself, at the ticket booth).
  • The bus will get on the ferry with you (There are rare occasions when this is not the case. If not, the driver will announce in Spanish that you are to take your luggage with you, and another bus will be waiting for you in Paquera)
  • when the ferry arrives in Paquera, walk off the ferry and wait for the bus to get off the ferry. Present your ticket and get back on the bus.
  • The bus will stop in Cobano. If you need to switch buses in Cobano, take your luggage off the bus, and get on the bus to Santa Teresa/MalPais. If not, stay on the bus to continue on to Santa Teresa.
  • Get off as soon the the bus gets to town; it will stop at the crossroads at the entrance of town; walk 25 meters towards the ocean. You will see Hotel Playa Carmen on the right-hand side.

Bus Departure Times from San Carlos Station in Downtown San Jose:

  • Bus leaves Downtown San Jose at 6:00 am; arrives in Santa Teresa between 12:30 and 1:00 pm, depending on whether you change buses at Cobano.
  • Bus leaves Downtown San Jose at 2:00 pm; arrives in Santa Teresa between 8:30 and 9:00 pm, depending on whether you change buses at Cobano.

Bus Departure Option from San Jose airport, for Advanced Travelers – Puente Villa Bonita (Villa Bonita Bridge):

When traveling to Santa Teresa directly from the airport, you may not have enough time, or want to spend the money for a taxi ride to Downtown San Jose. If so, there is another option, which is recommended for advanced or adventurous travelers, with at least a basic knowledge of Spanish.

At least 20 minutes after the bus leaves Downtown San Jose, it passes by Puente Villa Bonita (Villa Bonita Bridge), which is a 5 minute taxi ride from the airport. The time it reaches the bridge depends on how bad traffic is leaving downtown. I've heard of people waiting as much as 55 minutes before the bus arrived. Traffic is heavier in the afternoon than it is in the morning.

The taxi will drop you off at a crude bus stop, next to the bridge. You'll see many people waiting for many different buses. All the different buses that pass by have their destination written on the front of the bus. The one to Santa Teresa will say something like "San Jose - Cobano", or "Santa Teresa", or "Malpais" (or perhaps even "Montezuma"). You'll need to flag down the bus as it approaches.

We highly recommend finding out if anyone at the bus station is also waiting for the bus to Santa Teresa, as they'll know which bus to flag down.

You pay on the bus.

Public Buses from Liberia Airport

Public Buses from Liberia Airport

Click Here For More Details About Public Transportation from Liberia

The bus station closest to Liberia Airport is La Radial, and you’ll need to take a taxi from the airport. In the bus station, find the bus to Puntarenas, which leaves every hour. The tickets should cost about $15.00, and the duration of the trip is roughly 3 hours.

The bus will drop you off at Cruces de Barranca, where you will need to take another bus to get to Puntarenas. The bus will drop you off in Puntarenas Downtown. You will be dropped off some distance from the ferry. (each bus to Puntarenas stops somewhere else, and the distance from the ferry depends on the bus you took). From there, you can take a taxi which might be up to a couple kilometers.

Once you arrive at the ferry, purchase your ticket to Paquera, take the ferry to Paquera (and not Naranjo), and then split a taxi with other passengers to Santa Teresa. If you split the fare and negotiate a little bit, 5 passengers in the same shuttle can arrive here from Paquera for $10.00 each.

Another option is to take a bus from right outside the ferry to Cobano, and from Cobano take the bus to Santa Teresa.

Water Taxi Across the Gulf of Nicoya<br>

Water Taxi Across the Gulf of Nicoya

Click Here For More Details About the Water Taxi

If you are in or around Jaco, which is just over 1 hour by taxi from San Jose Airport, you can take a Zuma Tours Water Taxi, which leaves Herradura Beach (just north of Jaco) every day at 11am, weather permitting. Passengers are picked up in Jaco and driven to the departure point. The Water Taxi arrives in Montezuma an hour later. From there, Zuma Tours takes you by shuttle to Santa Teresa. Reservations must be made in advance. You will get your feet wet, entering and exiting the boat. There is a weight limit for luggage; surfboards and boxes have an additional fee.

Zuma Tours can also pick you up from your hotel in Manuel Antonio, Jaco, Alajuela (by the airport), and bring you to the water taxi in Herradura. The exact price will depend on your departure point. (http://www.zumatours.net)

Information about different driving options<br>

Information about different driving options

Car Rental:

There are many car rental companies in Costa Rica. We recommend National, Budget, Alamo, and Toyota, because they are major, reputable companies, and they have offices in Santa Teresa. Go to their websites for rates and availability. An SUV and/or 4×4 highly recommended.

Shared Shuttle:

shuttle-minivan-costarica_croppedA Shared Shuttle is a great way to travel. The shuttles leave at fixed times, and take as many people as they can. They'll drop you off right at your hotel. Some shuttles will drop you off at the ferry, and arrange for another shuttle to pick you up on the other side. Some will take you on the ferry as well.

Below are links for 2 airport shuttle companies with service to this area. We recommend reserving a seat ahead of time, both for your ride here, and for your return trip to the airport.

The price per passenger from both airports to the hotel, ranges from roughly $50 to $100, depending upon the season.

http://www.montezumaexpeditions.com

http://www.tropicaltourshuttles.com

Taxi:

img_taxi-cabs-costa-rica-croppedThere will be several taxi drivers (and shuttle drivers) waiting outside the International Arrivals area of the San Jose airport. If your Spanish is decent enough, and you’re willing to spend a little bit of time negotiating, you can usually get a deal anywhere from $60 to $80 from the airport to the ferry station in Puntarenas. You can also split the fare with other passengers.

When you arrive at Paquera on the ferry, a taxi from there to Santa Teresa can cost as low as $50, but can also be up to $70. Here as well you can usually form a group of passengers and negotiate a lower rate.

From Liberia airport, a taxi ride is roughly 5 hours to the hotel, and can cost up to $200.00 for one passenger. Group rates can be negotiated if all of you are traveling to the same place, or other places on the way to the hotel.

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