How to move around in Costa Rica

Public transportation

Airplanes, busses and cars, all are available for travel in Costa Rica. Which is best for you depends on your destination and on your needs. Have a look below for more information.

International Air Transportation

All air traffic to and from Costa Rica is handled through the Juan Santamaría Airport, located 29 minutes from San José, in the city of Alajuela.

Domestic Air Transportation

All flights leave from the InternationalJuanSantamaríaAirport or the TobíasBolañosAirport. There is a network of internal airports which not only serve important cities, but special tourist areas of interest. Amongst the most important are: Liberia, Palmar Sur, Tamarindo, Barra del Colorado, Limón, Quepos, Golfito, Coto 47, etc. From the TobíasBolañosAirport, located to the west of the capital city, private airlines with twin-engine airplanes for five passengers, offer charter flights to any destination in the country with a landing strip.

Domestic Bus Service

The country, in general, offers an adequate bus service. The majority are private companies which link San José with the principal provincial towns and cities, seaports and tourist areas. With good-quality vehicles and frequent itineraries, the user can easily travel throughout the country, leaving from different bus terminals. In the main cities and villages nationwide, there are taxicab companies that service the user to the more remote places in the country. Four-wheel drive vehicles are typical for the rural areas.

International Bus Service

Leaving from San José, there is bus service to Central America and Panama. The companies TICA BUS, SIRCA and TRACOPA have scheduled trips to Panama, Nicaragua and other countries.

Automobile Circulation

Costa Rica has a good highway network, the majority of which, for tourist use, is paved. In most places there are adequate traffic signs.

In the major highways there are toll booths (San José-San Ramón, San José-Guápiles, San José-Cartago, San José-Ciudad Colón). Throughout the country there are many gas stations, some of which offer round-the-clock service. Costa Rica does not have self-service gas stations.

Driver Requirements

A foreigner may drive with a current license from his country of origin and his passport, during the three months that his tourist visa is in force.

The warning triangles should be carried at all times by all drivers, and seat belts are also required for drivers and front-seat passengers. The use of helmets for motorcycle conductors is required.



Instituto de Español "Costa Rica"




This article has been submitted by Sabina de Serrano © 2003-2020 Just Landed