La Fortuna

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There is a direct bus to/from San José and also buses that pass frequently through Ciudad Quesada.  In the past the trip from Monteverde via Tilaran by local bus was very long and uncomfortable but these days it’s much better. You can even go by horseback!

** please note the schedules on this page need updating. Please read traveller comments about updates and check the 7-10 website for the La Fortuna schedule or here at Here is a photo of a schedule sent by a traveller on Mar 16, 2019

La Fortuna Costa Rica bus schedule Mar 2019

La Fortuna to San José:

This schedule has changed a bunch lately! Please leave us a comment if you’ve taken the bus and what time! We were told there was only one bus per day from La Fortuna to San Jose at 2:45pm – though this may be different now. The price is about 2495₡ and takes about 4hrs. The other buses route through Ciudad Quesada – have a look at the schedule above for those times or check the 7-10 website for the La Fortuna schedule or here at The cost from La Fortuna to Ciudad Quesada is 1915₡ and the expresso from Ciudad Quesada to San Jose is 1245₡. The expresso leaves frequently when full.

San José to La Fortuna: From the  7-10 Station in San José : 5am, 6:15am, 8:40am, 11:50am. BUT, we had reports lately that only the 8:40 bus is running. See photos of schedule and prices below. 

Sorry for not having any confirmed times, it’s been difficult getting them.

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 Feb 2019 – now 7:00) 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.


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We do not 100% guarantee that all schedules, times and prices are exact. The information in this website is based on personal experience and by information submitted by other travellers. Information has been gathered from station schedules, station managers, bus drivers and driver helpers. We have done our best to get as much accurate up to date information as possible, but prices and times change. Also, remember that you are responsible for your own health and safety. Travel safe and travel smart - and have fun!




March 2019

Schedule for Tilarán - Nuevo Arenal
Schedule for Tilaran - Fortuna
Photo June 2017

Full schedule for connecting locations. Doesn't list all San José times, see previous photo.
Posted in La Fortuna
Photo June 2017

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79 travel tips for La Fortuna - share your tips below!

  1. Madison

    This is such a great resource! The writer is super knowledgeable and a good friend of mine 🙂 I have actually started my own project! If you like learning about ecology and nature as you travel around, check out our ecology and naturalist guides ->
    We post guides every month based on where we are travelling including plant and animal species ID, cool, ecological hot spots and fun facts and articles about nature! Check it out if you’re keen 🙂

  2. Gail

    I took the bus yesterday from La Fortuna to Alajuela. There is one direct bus daily, at 2:45, but you need to be there earlier. (Direct means you don’t have to change buses at Ciudad Quesada, but the driver does make some stops along the way to pick up and drop off people.) Otherwise, if you do want to do the switch at Ciudad Quesada, you could probably leave La Fortuna earlier. I was only going to Alajuela but the bus carries on to San Jose afterwards. It dropped me off at the Radial station in the centre of Alajuela just after 6, but I understood the driver was stopping next at SJO Airport. Please note, the bus does not say “San Jose” on the front, but rather “San Carlos – Zarcero.” The cost was 3030 colones, and you don’t have to buy a ticket in advance, just pay the driver (who can give you change).

  3. centrocoasting

    Thanks to traveller Adele for submitting this update:

    – Liberia. I just took it,
    From La Fortuna there is a Bus at 8 infront of Mega Super
    La Fortuna – Tilaran 2:20 2975 Colones, can take longer sometimes, cause Its the local Bus that people take to get to work, so sometimes it stops very often.
    In Tilaran the Bus to Cañas waited for us
    Tilaran – Cañas 0:40 500 Colones
    Cañas – Liberia 1:00 1500 Colones, can Happen that there are mi more seats free and you have to stand.
    But all in all it took me a little bit more than 4h.
    Easy, everyone was friendly and helpful.

  4. Matt

    We travelled from SJDS Nicaragua to La fortuna, We arrived at the border early as we were not sure when the bus would leave as comments on here say 2:30 but the Costa Rica bus website says 1:30. It took us 40 minutes to clear immigration. The bus was at 2:30pm and took us from Penas Blancas to El Tanque. As some other comments on here say you buy your ticket at the green and white office as you leave immigration. Price was C3,620. We arrived in El Tanque at 19:15. There is a bus stop right where you get off the El Tanque bus and we caught a bus heading into La fortuna within 5 minutes for around c900

  5. Eilish

    On Sunday the 2nd of February we took a bus from la Fortuna to San Jose via San Ramon. To confirm, there is still only 1 direct bus from La Fortuna to San Jose on any day of the week.
    You can either take a bus to San Ramon (leave regularly) and change (as we did – it was straight forward, buy onward travel to San Jose at the bus terminal in San Ramon), or take a bus to Quesada (also leave regularly throughout the day) and change to San Jose.
    Hope this helps =)

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