La Fortuna isn’t too difficult to come and go from. The easiest way is the direct bus from San José. In the past the trip from Monteverde by local bus was very long but that is improving. You can even go by horseback!
La Fortuna to San José:
9:10am, 12:45pm, 2:45pm, 4:10pm. The price is 2495₡ and takes about 4hrs.
San José to La Fortuna: From the 7-10 Station in San José : 5am, 6:15am, 8:40am, 11:50am. See photos of schedule and prices below. ** it is possible the 5am no longer runs, when you check the website now this time is missing http://terminal7-10.com/en/rutas/san-carlos-2/
If you are arriving by plane you can get a taxi to the station in Alajuela that has buses to La Fortuna. Taxi is 2000₡
San Jose Airport in Alajuela to La Fortuna
There is no bus going directly from the airport in Alajuela to La Fortuna. You can however get a taxi to the Alajuela bus station near the airport and then get a bus to Ciudad Quesada and then continue on to La Fortuna. Here is one traveller who did this recently: Alajuela to La Fortuna.
Monteverde to La Fortuna
This may be the coolest way to get to go: Arenal to Monteverde – by horseback! Check out this unique and awesome looking way of going between these two mountain paradises. A half day adventure that is quicker than taking the bus!
You can take a shuttle from here that will get you there in 3hrs for $25. It goes something like this: 4×4 Jeep – boat – 4×4 Jeep. Normally we don’t promote shuttles since this is a BUS travel site – but it is an option since the local bus is quite long. The full trip is about 9hrs by bus.
Local bus: Go from Monteverde to Tilarán @5am, 7am, 11:30am or 4pm (TilaránTransportes 2695-5998.). See photo below. The cost as of June 2017 is 900₡ and the trip takes about 2hrs and 15min. Then Tilarán to La Fortuna (7am and 12:15pm and 3:30pm), 2.5hrs. Check the Tilarán page for more details
Tilarán to La Fortuna
There are 3 buses each day to and from Tilarán:
from Tilarán to La Fortuna: 7:00am, 12:20pm; 3:30pm
from La Fortuna to Tilarán : 6:30am, 11:30pm, 3:55pm
The cost as of Jan 2019 the cost is 2950₡ and takes 2-2.5 hours. See photo of schedule below from June 2017.
Liberia to La Fortuna
We haven’t done this route but were told this is what you do to get from Liberia to La Fortuna:
“In Liberia take the bus to Cañas (~$3), from Cañas straight on the bus to Tilarán at 12pm (~$1.50), from Tilarán straight on the bus to La Fortuna at 12:30pm ($4) and arrive around 2pm. The next one is at 3:30pm and you will arrive around 5″.
Anther traveller, Tanja, did it with this timing:
8:30 Liberia – Cañas (Puntarenas) 1475₡ 1h,
10:40 Cañas – Tilarán 600₡ 45min,
12:15 Tilarán – La Fortuna 2750₡ 2h
Arenal to Manuel Antonio
One awesome traveller submitted the info from her trip to Manuel Antonio, have a look at it here – Arenal to Manuel Antonio
If you are coming from Nicaragua then check out this post about how to get to La Fortuna from San Juan del Sur.
Border (Peñas Blancas) to La Fortuna
One helpful traveller named Theo has shared this info:
“We got to the border at Peñas Blancas and found a direct bus to La Fortuna. It was from the second bus store in the line of booths. We caught it at 2.30pm and it dropped us off at Tanque which is 7km from La Fortuna. There is a connecting bus at this point or can easily get a cheap taxi. Cost of the bus was 3000 Colone. Trip took 4.5 hours, hence its easier, faster and cheaper than taking the 3 buses that it would take going via Liberia. I got the impression this bus only left once a day so I believe we were very lucky.”
La Fortuna to Peñas Blancas
I haven’t done this but one great traveller named Louise shared her knowledge (March 2018), she says:
“If you take the 6.30am bus to El Tanque, which takes around 10 minutes, you can then wait for the 7.30am(edit May 2018 – now 7:15) bus to Penas Blancas. The bus only goes once a day and arrived/departed 5 or so minutes early. The shops and cafes in El Tanque open at 7 so you can use up the last of your local money. This bus arrives around 12.30 and then departs back to El Tanque at 2:30pm. The bus was full when I got on it and I had to stand for the first two hours. This might have been because of Semana Santa, but as there’s just the one bus a day it wouldn’t surprise me if this happened often. The bus stopped after about two hours, for 15 minutes, so you could use the bathroom or buy stuff. They allow original passengers back on the bus first so they have priority on the seats then let new people on. They bus stops many many times along the way as its used as a local bus service too. It was super cheap, something like 3500 colones.
Price update June 2108: La Fortunat to El Tanque: ₡790, El Tanque to Border: ₡3700
Help your fellow traveller
Thanks to bus traveller Brian Driscoll for the 2017 update at the La Fortuna station.
If you have taken any of the buses on this page, please drop us a comment below about how the trip went, what time you left, how long it took and what it cost. And, definitely let us know if we have anything wrong.
Lets help each other in our travels!