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.


Lets help each other in our travels!


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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. Moa

    Hi and thanks for existing, this site is gold!
    I did Monteverde – La Fortuna yesterday and just want to say that it’s easy and very doable! It does take time and the road is bumpy but the scenery is amazing! (I also took some photos of time tables so let me know if I can send them somewhere).
    There is a bus that goes between Santa Elena (the city centre of Monteverde) and Monteverde cloud forest.
    I stayed at Selinas, that’s quite close to the cloud forest so I left there with the first bus at 06:40 to Santa Elena, it’s a journey down on ~10min. This cost me 700 colones.
    If you are starting your trip from Santa Elena the bus stop is right over the street from “El Sueño B&B”.

    From Santa Elena 07:00 (but left at 07:10) to Tilarán, 1400 colones and takes ~2h.
    Here you have to wait… because the next bus from Tilarán to La Fortuna is at 12:15. I had a book and some packed lunch with me and sat down in the sun 🙂
    12:15 leaving with the bus, 2975 colones ~2h.

    (If you visit the Arenal National Park during your stay in La Fortuna you can go with the busses towards/back from Tilarán and just ask to be let off at the entrance of the park.)

  2. Polly

    Hi all.
    Firstly amazing website- it’s been so much use already and we’ve only been here a few days.
    Can anyone help – we would like to go from San Carlos in Nica to La Fortuna crossing the border at Los chiles
    Would be great if anyone has any advice.

  3. Danny S

    La Fortuna => Alajuela 24 Dec 19

    Different route to the usual taken today, 0530 departing La Fortuna from the main bus station. Bus to San Ramón @ €1800 colons for 2.5 hours, then picked up the San Ramón to San Jose route at 0830 for €1400 colons at about 50 mins. Bus passes along route 1 and outside the airport. Bus runs every hour from both locations and is quicker then the Quesada route and more reliable. Plus it means I haven’t had to go to San Jose once for any of my connections!
    Great website, glad I could contribute having used it a lot!
    Got pictures of the timetable but can’t upload?

  4. Jessi

    Had a quick clarification on the Alajuela to La Fortuna route for anyone who may have done it recently. Online, a few places I have looked say there is a direct bus from Alajuela. Other places it seems to indicate that if you start from Alajuela you have to stop in Ciudad Quesada before continuing on to La Fortuna.

    This page is from 2018, but looking at it makes it seem like there is a direct at 5:00 AM, 6:15 AM, and 8:40 AM:

    I’m looking for a way to get to La Fortuna as early as possible and the place I will be staying is very close to the Alajuela stop.

  5. Melanie Serres

    From Liberia ,i will like to go to fortuna,then from fortuna to monteverde and monteverde to Liberia .i try to find how to do with bus because i dont have driver licence . I need your help .thanks you

  6. Cole

    Does the bus from La Fortuna to San Jose stop in Alajuela by the airport? Thanks!

  7. Matthew Z

    Thanks for all of the information, excellent resource.

    San Juan –> La Fortuna yesterday. No evidence of the 1150a direct bus, but I got a ticket to Quesada at 1020 for just under 2000 colones. Nice bus, made few stops, reached Quesada in about two hours.

    Just enough time to get a plate of lunch at San Carlos station in Quesada (chicken fried rice and black beans/chips, yum!) and get on the 1300 to La Fortuna. 1500 colones approx., AC bus, bit of a milk run but made it to Fortuna around 14.30. Easy peasy.

    My first Costa Rican intercity adventure, a fun day and I’m looking forward to the next one!

    • Matthew Z

      Erm, San Jose 7-10 to La Fortuna. I keep mixing up my saints, sorry…

  8. Batman

    La Fortuna => Tilaran

    Cost: 2975 colones
    Duration: ±2 hrs
    Times: 08:00, 13:00, 17:00

    The times listed in the la fortuna station are the times that the bus leaves from ciudad quesada I think.

    This bus stops at the terminal in Nuevo Arenal for about ten minutes before continuing to Tilaran. It arrives at the main terminal in Tilaran.

    If you are continuing to monteverde/ Santa Elena the connecting bus leaves tilaran at 12:30

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