La Fortuna


Tag us on instagram @centrocoasting. We love to see where you're going!

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. 

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₡

 

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 June 2017 the cost is 2750₡ 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!

FIND A PLACE TO SLEEP

Booking.com

Help us fill in any missing information
Let us know if we have something wrong
Share your knowledge in a comment below

FINE PRINT

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!

CONNECTING STATIONS

PHOTOS TO SHOW YOU THE WAY

Posted at the 7-10 station in San José
Photo May 2017

Posted at the 7-10 station in San José
Photo May 2017

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

San Jose to La Fortuna.
Same as above photo but this one posted in La 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

Add Info

Update Image

HIGH FIVES

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

  1. Marguerite

    Hi Everyone! Last week I took the bus from San Jose to La Fortuna, but we took the bus at the stop in Alajuela (nearest to SJO airport). You should keep in mind that the times the busses leave in Alajuela are around 30-60 minutes later than stated above. This can save you some time maybe.

    • centrocoasting

      Hey Marguerite! Can you send us the exact location the bus stopped in Alajuela? Maybe a Google Maps link? We love to re-confirm details as often as we can!

  2. America

    Hola buenas me podrian decir en que parte de la fortuna puedo tomar el nis a tilaran o a quezada quiero ir al rio celeste pero los tours son muy caros help!!
    Saludos desde chile

  3. Nick

    Hi guys,

    Just did La Fortuna to Montezuma. Ended up being just over 12 hours but of it wasn’t for me about to board a cruise instead of a ferry at Puntarenas, could have been more like 9…

    Details as follows:

    La Fortuna 5:30am – San Ramon arrived 7:45am (supposed to be 7.30 but bus driver liked a chat…. cost COL 2,350

    In San Ramon you walk to the next crossroads straight ahead from where the bus drops you off and then turn right, 2 blocks down in the bus station.

    There is a a 7.35am to Puntarenas , but unless you mask tape the bus driver, that ain’t happening. Next one is as follows…

    San Ramon 8.35am – Puntarenas 10.15 am (supposed to be 9.35am, we will call it bad traaffic) cost COL 1,800

    Now in Puntarenas there is a dock when you come out to your left and there might be a big queue , that is NOT the ferry. I nearly accidentally went for a cruise and missed the 11am ferry which departs on the other side of town, 20 min walk or 5 min taxi. The next one is now at 3 as the ferry device has changed (one boat out of action)

    Ferry – Puntarenas 3pm – parquera 4.10pm cost COL 810

    Bit of a scramble off the boat and there are a few buses lines up, so just ask if you are going to Montezuma or Santa Teresa. The guys at Santa Teresa for off after an hour at Coban, so not sure about that last bit. For Montezuma, it was

    Parquera 4.45pm – Montezuma 6.15pm cost COL 1,800 ( beware of the bus drivers charging you more, I paid double but after chatting to a sweet old Costa Rican lady she got my money back).

    Tickets can be bought from the driver at la Fortuna and Parquera, from stands at San Ramon and Puntarenas.

    Tiring journey, but kind of fun and you feel a lot more intrepid than getting a shuttle. It only cost about COL 6,700 so about $11 compared to $67 for a direct shuttle.

    I’d do it again,but maybe miss standing in line for the cruise… Happy travels people and hope this helps!

    • centrocoasting

      Hey Nick, super awesome post about your experience. Thanks so much for sharing and helping out your fellow travellers!

  4. Ping

    hello, I was wondering if anyone knows where (approx. street name) the bus would drop us off in San Jose? So I know where to book hotels or plan for taxi pick up. Thank you!

    • centrocoasting

      Hi Ping, the bus will take you to the 7-10 station. If you put that name into Google Maps you should see it pop up.

  5. Andrew

    Is there a time table for what time the bus departs from the main station in alejuela going to la Fortuna? Is it the same bus departing from San Jose Central or a different one?

    • centrocoasting

      Hey Andrew, sorry to be slow on this. You actually head to Ciudad Quesada and then on to La Fortuna from there. If you look above you will see Ciudad Quesada in the photos. Buses from Alajuela to Quesada are frequent though I don’t have the schedule for that. If you go this way please send us a shot of the Alajuela bus station schedule to the FB page so we can post it!

  6. Fabian

    Hi, we took the same route from La Fortuna to Peñas Blancas as Louis did (on June 6th 2018). We were told that the bus from El Tanque to the border leaves at 7.15am.

    So we took the 6.30am bus from La Fortuna to El Tanque (~20min, CRC 790). At 7.10am the bus to Peñas Blancas (CRC 3700) arrived. On the way we stopped in Upala for about 15min. We also arrived at the border around 12.30pm.

  7. eliza

    Hey, is there a name or address for the bus station in La Fortuna? I am coming from Monteverde and then going back to San Jose, so I won’t be familiar with the terminal when I get there. Also, when do I buy the ticket for the trip from La Fortuna to San Jose – is it same day or can I purchase the day before? Thank you.

    • centrocoasting

      Hi there, sorry to be slow! If you zoom in on the map above you can find the little bus marker. I don’t believe at this time you can buy your ticket in advance online anywhere, but you should be able to buy it from the terminal.

  8. Jan

    Hey,
    we are traveling right now in Costa Rica with Public Transport.

    Is their a possibility to come from la Fortuna to Santa Teresa or Montezuma in one day by public Transportation?
    Thanks a lot !

    • centrocoasting

      Hi Jan, sorry to be slow on this, could you post your journey here so others can benefit from your new Costa Rica bus knowledge!

  9. Rosie Cox

    Hi, is there a bus after midday to La Fortuna? We won’t make it into San Jose much before then as we are taking the 7 am bus from Manzanillo.

    Thanks in advance!

    • centrocoasting

      Hi Rosie, the only information we have for schedules to La Fortuna is what is on this page.

  10. Paul

    Hi, what is the name of the station in San Jose where I can catch buses to la Fortuna?
    Thanks 🙂

  11. Louise Mitcheson

    If you take the 6.30am bus to El Tanque, which takes around 10 minutes, you can then wait for the 7.30am 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 2pm. 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.

    • Louise Mitcheson

      Bus leaves the border at 2.30pm sorry.

    • centrocoasting

      Thanks! I added this to the main info above. 🙂

  12. Theo Risley

    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.

    • centrocoasting

      Thanks, Theo! I have added this info above.

  13. Laurie

    Hey,

    In case someone is looking for the info :
    It is possible to go to La Fortuna from the Airport (SJO)
    – Take a taxi (2000₡) to the bus station of Alajuela. Or walk (20min walk in the sun) . I choose to take a taxi
    In the bus station there is only one company selling direct tickets from Alajuela to La Fortuna.
    I took the 9:30 am bus.
    Sorry I can’t remember the schedule but there were about 4 or 5 buses during the day.
    I paid something like 2500₡ or 3500₡, and it took 3 hours.
    Keep your backpack with you if you can, keep your small bag with you too (never put it in the overhead compartment) & enjoy the view !
    It is a public bus so there are many stops. The bus makes a 10 min stop midway in Ciudad Quesada (you can buy food & use the bathrooms). Keep an eye on your luggage and everything will be fine (99,9% of the costa ricans are helpful, nice & adorable; however I saw a girl got her bag stolen in that bus, that is why I insist) .

    Did that trip on March 4th, 2018

    • centrocoasting

      Thanks, Laurie! Great info!

  14. Melanie

    Hi! Does anyone know whether it is possible to go from La Fortuna to Puerto Viejo in one day? From this site I know there is a 9.15am bus to San Jose and there is a 2pm (or 4pm) to Puerto Viejo but I guess that is not the same San Jose station? Does anyone know if it is doable? Otherwise we might just plan one night in San Jose and take it slowly. Thanks!

    • centrocoasting

      Hi Melanie! Yes the bus to Puerto Viejo is this one https://centrocoasting.com/costarica/san-jose-terminal-mepe/. It’s is about 1km from the 7-10 station where you arrive from La Fortuna. I haven’t had an update on the PV schedule for a bit but the last update in May 2017 has the last bus to Puerto Viejo at 6pm. The trip to PV is ~4.5hrs with a price of 5590C. I don’t see why it wouldn’t be possible if you left La Fortuna early. It looks like a combined total of about 8-9hrs of bus travel. One of my favourite things when travelling Central America is these epic distances but definitely a LOT of bus time! The only tricky part may be getting a seat on the bus to PV if you don’t get there a bit early as I am told it’s a busy bus.

      • Annika

        Hi,
        i just did this trip and it worked out great!
        Took the direct bus from La Fortuna to San José at 9:10am, got to San José at around 1:35pm, asked taxi drivers for the way to the Mepe Terminal which was only a 4 minute walk;
        Easily got a ticket for the 2pm bus to Cahuita! (It was a wednesday)

  15. Kate

    We just came from Arenal (not La Fortuna) to Manuel Antonio and the bus route and times was as follows:

    7:15am Arenal to Tilarán

    8:30am Tilarán to Cañas (the Cañas bus might be waiting in the station for the Arenal bus so jump off your bus straight into this one).

    9:30am Cañas to Puntarenas

    11:15am (we think this was a late 11am bus as we literally jumped off our bus straight onto this bus) Puntarenas to Quepos
    Arrived around 2:45pm

    Buses run every 15/20 mins from Quepos to Manuel Antonio.

    The whole journey cost us around $10 dollars each.

    We had amazing connections but doing this route gives you the most options as they are all busy bus stations.

  16. Lau

    Hi,
    Thanks for your information.
    We did the same tour like Tanja, leaving Liberia at 8:30 am (1500 c), then went in Canas at 10:40 am (600 c) with the Bus to Tileran to get the final bus at 12:15 pm to Fortuna (2700 c) arriving there at approx. 2 pm.
    I think this ist the best timing die the Route 🙂

    • centrocoasting

      Thanks for adding your input! Traveller comments like this are so helpful to everyone. Keep us posted if you have any additional info to add with other routes and stops. 🙂

    • Sarah Wright

      Hi! I did this one too yesterday – really simple. The bus times have changed slightly from Cañas to Tilaran so I took photos – where shall I send them?!
      Sarah 🤗

      • centrocoasting

        Great! You can send them to centrocoasting at gmail com

  17. Tanja

    Hey guys, I took the bus from Liberia to la Fortuna on 17th of August.
    Your information helped us a lot!

    8:30 Liberia – Canas (punta arenas) 1475 ¢ 1h

    10:40 Canas – tilaran 600 ¢ 45min

    12:15 Tileran – la fortuna 2750¢ 2h

    • centrocoasting

      Hey Tanja! So glad we could help you and thanks for paying it forward with some extra info for the next traveller!

Leave a Comment