Transport in Costa Rica


Traveling in a car around Costa Rica is probably the best option, although it is a little more expensive than other forms of transportation. In San José, inside the airport and the main cities you can easily rent a car. We recommend renting an ATV (All-Terrain vehicle) so you have more options, in case you want to travel around difficult terrains. The highways are narrow and most of them are only one lane by way, making the travels a little bit slower, but the main roads are paved. Before renting a car be sure that your driver’s license allows you to drive in Costa Rica. Also you can’t travel with a rental car outside the country. It is important to check on the car before renting it and write down any sort of marks and scratches.. If the car malfunctions, do not try to fix it and contact the renting agency. Most of the Costa Ricans move around with a car, so sometimes there will be traffic. You have to be patient and be careful at every moment, sometimes the infrastructures aren’t in optimal conditions, and sometimes there are floods, fog or landslides.


MOPT - Interlínea
The bus, although one of the most spotted methods of transport in all Costa Rica, is not the best way to get around, but it is one of the most economical ways. The lines connect the main urban zones and the suburban ones, although in some occasions, to move a few kilometers, you have to take more than one form of transportation than one, more than once. There are two types of routes, direct and collective. The theory says that the direct route goes from one place to another without stopping too much, although most drivers in Costa Rica stop the bus when they see someone walking in the middle of the road. The collective buses, on the other hand, are pretty slow and non-efficient. The hours of service change a lot and there is no central terminal, so you better get information before using this service so you know where to go.


The taxi is a good way of transportation, mostly for travels that require punctuality, but not so recommended to explore around the isle. In this case it is better to rent a car or a hire a driver. The taxis have taximeters, the “Marias”. It’s important that you check that they activate the meter when they start your ride. Most drivers like to set a price but that is not recommended, because you can end up paying more than what the ride can actually cost. In many areas it is common to share the cab, although nowadays there are fewer vehicles that do this. Generally you don’t tip the driver, but that depends on if you had a good time or not.


The bike is an authentic experience in Costa Rica, although it is important to be careful at all times. The most recommended way is to rent one to go to the mountain or to go around the centric zones of the city, but sometimes the cars around can be stressful.


In Costa Rica there are many companies that work from the ports, to move between places, also to arrive at the neighbor country: Panama. Depending on where you want to go, it is recommended that you inform yourself about the schedules and rates of the companies. Many of them work regularly.

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