Monteverde / Santa Elena


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This tiny town makes getting in and out really very simple. The bus leaves for both San José and Puntarenas from the TransMonteverde bus depot in the middle of town. You can’t miss it as it is right beside the Super Mega grocery store. You can book tickets online here: transmonteverde.com

 

Monteverde to San José

There are two buses per day both ways at 6:30am and 2:30pm. The price is 2945₡ (May 2018). The trip takes about 4.5hrs. See photo of schedule below and have a look at the 7-10 Terminal to see where you end up.

 

San José to Monteverde

There are two buses per day both ways at 6:30am* and 2:30pm. The price is 2945₡ (May 2018). The trip takes about 4.5hrs. (*possibly 7am departure now)

From San José you catch the bus from the 7-10 station in the city center, although if you are out by the airport in Alajuela, then you can also get the bus from the Villa Bonita Station. This is essentially a bus stop on the side of the highway near a gas station named Villa Bonita. It is a common spot for travellers to grab the bus when out by the airport. It is listed as a stop for buses headed to Monteverde but if it is full there is a chance it may not stop. You can book tickets online here: transmonteverde.com

 

Monteverde to Puntarenas

The bus leaves for Puntarenas  at 4:20am, 5:30am (except Sunday!), 3pm. See schedule photo below. The 5:30am bus isn’t in the photo of the schedule, but two travellers have confirmed it exists. (see comments) and we have had confirmation that the 6am bus still exists too.

You will arrive at the main Puntarenas bus terminal. The trip takes about 3hrs and costs about 1590₡.

If you are headed to Santa Teresa or Montezuma, we are told you can arrive at the ferry in time if you take the 5:30am bus! (see comments below). This may not be the case in the busiest months when buses take longer.

Puntarenas to Monteverde: 8am, 1:30pm and 2:10pm.

 

Monteverde to La Fortuna/Arenal

This may be the coolest way to go: Monteverde to Arenal – by horseback! Check out this unique and awesome looking way of going between these two mountain paradises. A half day adventure that may even be quicker than taking the bus!

 

Thinking of going to La Fortuna/Arenal after Monteverde? 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.

 

via Tilarán

Should you chose the local bus route you can catch one to Tilarán at 5am, 7am, 12:00pm or 4pm (TilaránTransportes 2695-5998.) . The cost as of Dec 2018 is 1300₡. The trip takes about 2hrs and 15min. The bus stop last time we were there was in front of the Farmacia Vitosi, which is across from the main Tourist center. See photos below for the location to wait for the bus. Then from Tilarán you will take another with bus to La Fortuna which will take about 2hrs. We have had one traveller report that she took a bus at 3:30pm (Dec 2018) and it cost 2975₡

 

Coming from San Juan del Sur?

Check out our route page for this trip. We have two great travel blogger experiences to help guide you step by step on this trip! San Juan del Sur to Monteverde

 

Going to Playa del Coco?

Have a read through the comments, one couple gave a step by step.

 

Tours

There is so much to do in this area that it can be hard to choose! Have a look at Gecko Trail tour options for some inspiration.

 

Cloud Forest

Headed to the cloud forest? Check out this blog post by the legendary Costa Rica travel duo at Mytanfeet: Which Monteverde Cloud Forest Should You Visit. Want someone to show you the way? Check out a Gecko Trail guided tour of the Cloud forest.

 

The bus goes back and forth a few times a day and costs 600₡.  Here are the times (May 2017):

Santa Elena to Monteverde
6:15am, 7:30am, 9:30am (only high season), 1:20pm, 3pm

Monteverde to Santa Elena
6am, 8:30am (only high season), 11am, 2pm, 4pm

 

Santa Teresa to Monteverde

This trip is easy and saves you a bunch of money. Have a look at the route here: Santa Teresa to Monteverde.

 

Help your fellow traveller

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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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 Transmonteverde bus depot/office in Santa Elena. *See above for updates to this schedule photo.

Photo taken: February 20, 2016

Current schedule for bus to the cloud forest

Photo taken: February 21, 2016

Puntarenas - San José Schedule
Posted in Puntarenas
Photo taken May 2017

Monteverde to Tilarán
Photo June 2017

submitted by your fellow traveller, Jason
May 2018

submitted by your fellow traveller, Jason
May 2018

submitted by your fellow traveller, Jason
May 2018

Standing in front of the TransMonteverde office.

Looking towards the the TransMonteverde office.

Town

If you are headed to Tilarán you can head over to the Farmacia Vitosi and wait there. Bus passes at 7am.

View from the side of the road :)

HIGH FIVES

77 travel tips for Monteverde / Santa Elena - share your tips below!

  1. Francesca

    Hey! I’ve been travelling in Costa Rica and your bus guides have been a god send! Just to give you some updated info on Monteverde to La Fortuna, which I did today, the bus to Tilaran is now 12.10 (rather than 11.30) and costs 1300 colona, it took approx 2 hours and then I picked up the 3.30 from Tilaran for 2975 colona to Fortuna and was in my hostel for 5.20 which I thought was pretty efficient 👍🏼 Even managed a sneaky beer in Tilaran as I had an hour to kill – it’s definitely an easy journey to make and a fifth of the price of the transfer (which I did the other way and it was nice – great boat ride and awesome viewpoint from the bus)

  2. Abigaël

    Hi!!
    Just found this incredible we site, so helpful!
    We actualy are in Quepos and Would like to get to Monteverde / Santa Elena, would it be better to do Quepos-SJO-MV or Quepos-Puntarenas-MV?
    Also any recommendation for best zipline in MV/SantaElena?
    Thank you very much!!

    • AJ

      Hey! I would go via Puntarenas. It’s faster! Also, it’s been 7yrs since I went ziplining but we went to Xtremo I think it was called and it was supposed to have the longest ride.

  3. Jade M

    Hi, Transmonteverde has a new timetable.

    Monteverde-San Jose
    5:30am and 2:30pm

    San Jose-Monteverde
    6:30am and 2:30pm

    Cost is ₡3035

  4. Pavelito

    Bear in mind that the 5:30 bus from Monteverde to Puntarenas is not going on Sundays. The 6:00 is, though, current price 1590 colones.

    • centrocoasting

      Thanks! Always good to know when Sunday buses are different.

  5. Daniel tomenendal

    Hey guys, the 6am bus from Monteverde to Puntarenas still exists. I used it 3 days ago and it was quiet easy.
    Does anyone have a good idea how to come relatively easy from Quepos to the Corcovado National Park? And where would be the best town to stay for 2-3 days? Would like to see the Park and do a kayaking tour in Golfo Dulce.
    Thanks guys

    • centrocoasting

      Thank you for the info. Sorry for the slow reply. Hope you had a great time in the Park!

  6. Brian

    Hi, what would be the best way to get to Hojancha from Monteverde? I see that the bus is not currently operating due to the road closures but trying to plan the trip for whenever they resume service again.

    Many thanks 🙏🏼

    • centrocoasting

      Hi Brian, sorry we don’t have any alternate route info for the road closure right now. I recommend going to the tourist information or to the bus terminal where you buy the tickets and see what they recommend.

  7. Lauren

    We’re a couple traveling from Canada and we just completed the route from Monteverde (Santa Elena) to Playas del Coco. Here is what we did, as I’m sure it will help some people:

    1- We took the TransMonteverde bus at 6am, headed to Puntarenas with a stop in Lagarto. The ticket cost 875 colones.

    2- We got off the bus at Lagarto, right at the entrance of the InterAmericana Highway. There is no official station or bus stop, but you’ll know it’s there because the dirt road stops and a paved road cuts the way. There’s also a green road side indicating « Puntarenas » left and « Liberia » right. We got there at about 8am.

    3- At 8:30am, a blue bus came down the highway with a Liberia sign in its front window. We flagged it down and got on board. The ticket cost 2350 colones.

    4- We arrived in Liberia, walked a couple blocks to the Pulmitan Terminal, bought our tickets (710 colones each) and got on the bus right away. It left 5 minutes later, at 10:30am.

    5- We arrived in Coco at 11:30 am! The trip went just fine. The connections were easy and the buses were on time. All in all, we only waited 30 minutes in Lagarto. The trip took 5h30 and cost about $8 US per person, versus 4 hours and $40-50 for a shuttle. Totally worth it 🙂

    • centrocoasting

      Thank you! this is helpful.

  8. Anna

    We just did the gecko trail tour from fortuna to monteverde: it is just a 1,5 h horseride, the rest of the tour will be done by car and boat, plus our baggage which we of course could not take with me on the horse has been opened by somebody. So I would not recommend it to anyone. Greetings, Anna

  9. Sky

    Just want to verify the La Irma schedule. I forgot to snap a picture of the board above the stop but the bus passes at 10 am and 3 pm. it works as a good waypoint for anyone coming from Samara, Nosara, or elsewhere in that part of the peninsula. There is a covered bus stop along highway 145 across from the gas station on 1 (the Inter American highway?), past the taxi lot. Though I can’t speak to how consistent the taxis are, there was at least one waiting in the little lot for the better part of the day to catch passengers who were headed in one direction or the other.

    • Sky

      Oh! the fare was about 2500 colones for two people at the time of posting (7/14/2018) and getting on at that stop we were not allowed to put baggage beneath the bus though we didn’t press the issue.

      • centrocoasting

        Thanks, Sky! Great info contribution.

  10. Michael Kensington

    Hi there – this information was very helpful before we took the bus from San Jose to Santa Elena. Here is our summary of he trip from yesterday (15 June).
    We flew into San Jose in the morning landed at 9.30 and were out by 10.30. We caught an orange taxi (registered airport taxi) and it cost C 17000 to get to 7-10 Terminal. I tried to book ahead on the transmonteverde website but it wasn’t working. We simply went to level 2 in 7-10 and purchased our tickets, cost was C 2945 each I think. 7-10 is a great place to chill and wait for the bus level 3 had heaps of space and views over San Jose. The bus itself left on time just after 2.30pm and we arrived in Santa Elena at 7.20pm including one short stop. We were very glad that we booked our tickets early as the bus was chockablock, about 15 people were standing in the isle the whole way. I can’t comment on whether we stopped at bus stop close to the airport. I don’t think we did, but maybe that is because no one had booked a ticket with that bus stop. Cheers and hopefully this helps.

    • centrocoasting

      Thanks, Micheal! Great info.

  11. Narelle

    The schedule for the bus going from monte verde from San Jose has been recently updated to 7am and 2:30pm everyday (ie 6:30am bus got moved to 7am). However this is not reflected on the 7-10 bus terminal website. The price for this bus is 2,945 colones.

    Also anyone know how long they journey from Monteverde to Santa Teresa is by public transport?

    • Narelle

      Going to Monteverde from San Jose***** oh dear.

  12. Piet

    Hi,
    I left Montezuma today and can confirm that there is a 5.30 am and a 6 am Bus. The price is still 1500c to Puntarenas and 500c to Lagartos the crossing at the highway if you want to go north. Expect them to still ask for the full price or getting charged crazily if you travel with a surfboard (3000c to Lagartos) and they refuse you to enter the bus if you dont pay. I didnt have the problem on my way to Monteverde and only paid 1500c from Puntarenas.

    Regards Piet

    • centrocoasting

      Thanks, Piet! Really high surfboard fees make me crazy in Costa Rica – since often you can pay more for your board than you do for your seat! I now ask for a receipt each time but nobody will ever give me one.

  13. Melody

    Hi there. We are 3 people in Montezuma going to Santa Elena next. We are planning on leaving Montezuma very early to take the 530 am ferry to puntarenas to catch the 815 bus to Santa Elena to avoid travelling for so long during the day. I’m wondering if there is another option I’m missing that wont involve us having to wake up so early. Also staying a night in santa Teresa is an option for us. Thank you for your great tips on this blog! They have been helpful so far in the travels

    • centrocoasting

      Montezuma to Santa Elena is a long trip! So no matter what bus you take its a long day. You don’t need to be on the 5:30am ferry if you want to sleep in. You just need to get on the 9am ferry sailing so you can get the 1:15pm bus to Monteverde. You have two bus options from Montezuma. You can take the Transportes Cobano bus leaving from Montezuma to Puntarenas. Its a nicer bus but you have to pay the full fare all the way to San Jose even if you get off in Puntarenas. Or you can take the local bus to Cobano then Cobano to Paquera then get on the ferry. It will save you a bit to do this, check out this page for more info on prices https://centrocoasting.com/costarica/montezuma/ You will end up in Puntarenas a bit early if you take the 9am ferry so you can get to the bus station and have some lunch before getting on the bus to Monteverde/Santa Elena. You can try doing the 11am ferry but I think its nicer not to rush and get to Puntarenas with enough time to eat and use the toilet and relax before another long bus trip. Here is a bit of route info: https://centrocoasting.com/routes/santa-teresa-to-monteverde/

      • Kelly Top

        Do you know if the construction on 606 has effected any bus routes/times?

        • centrocoasting

          Hi Kelly, I believe the construction is interrupting traffic and they are allowing vehicles to pass at different points in the day. However, I don’t know if this will affect the bus’ ability to get there. The Transmonteverde website is still selling tickets for two buses per day and so my assumption is that they will time it to let the bus through. You could Transmonteverde and ask https://www.transmonteverde.com/

  14. Mary Henry

    I go to Tilaran from Santa Elena often. I always have a coffee at the coffee shop next door to Vitosi and wait for the noon bus. I don’t know anything abut any earlier bus at all. There is one later in the afternoon.

    • centrocoasting

      Thanks, Mary!!

  15. James

    Hey!

    Wanted to check the times for the bus from Monteverde to Punta Arenas is 4:30am or 3:00pm? My spanish isnt the best but i believe that is what the first picture says?

    Hoping to make it as close to Dominical as possible in 1 day, leaving from Tilaran on the 8:30am-Monteverde first.

    Thanks!

    • centrocoasting

      Hi James, I never realized that sign isn’t super clear. It’s 4:20 and 3pm. There is also one at 5:30am that takes a different route but also goes to Puntarenas. It says 6am via Sardinal but I believe that was changed to 5:30am. If you are in Monteverde I would buy your ticket in advance or get there early. My last experience in busy season had a very full bus!

  16. Kate

    Santa Elena to Arenal (not La Fortuna)

    This one is too easy!

    7am Santa Elena to Tilarán (leaves from outside the Tourist information)

    10am Tilarán to Arenal

    Arrive in Arenal around 11am.

    We can’t remember the exact price but we think the whole journey was around $7 dollars.
    There isn’t a shuttle from Monteverde to Arenal, the shuttle only goes to La Fortuna (even though it has to pass Arenal to get to La Fortuna). We were quoted $250 dollars!!!

    • centrocoasting

      Thanks again, Kate! I am happy to hear that this trip was so easy for you! That is a crazy shuttle price quote!

      • Mary Henry

        It’s really crazy. But people charge it. I go to Tilaran by bus and stay the night then at 6:00 the next morning I take a shuttle all the way to the border and back for $50.

  17. Sam

    Just to say we’re in Santa Elena now and have discovered that the 5.30am bus to Puntarenas does exist but doesn’t run on Sundays.

    • centrocoasting

      Thank you so much for this update Sam! Sorry if you had been there for 5:30am. We just got reports from two travellers that this new bus time exists but I guess they did not travel on Sunday. I have updated the info above.

      • Sam

        No worries, luckily our hotel let us know so we were not waiting around! So you know, the 6am bus got us to Puntarenas in time for the 9am ferry. It was a little tight as we had to clear the road of a fallen tree en route from Santa Elena but should normally be fine. Police met the bus in Puntarenas and were very helpful finding taxis and explaining the cost so travellers weren’t ripped off. They seemed concerned for tourist safety and to be honest Puntarenas didn’t seem somewhere I’d want to hang around on my own! Also worth noting that the buses meeting the ferry/connecting to Santa Teresa at Cobano all wait for each other so don’t worry if your bus is running quite late, your connection will still be there. Thanks for the amazing resource – travelling Costa Rica has been so easy with the info from your site.

  18. Sarah Kemp

    Love this website – it’s helped so much while travelling! Yesterday I travelled from San Juan del Sur (Nicaragua) to Monteverde, so thought I’d post my route in case it can help anyone else avoid paying for an overpriced shuttle!

    San Juan Del Sur – La Virgen (take the bus for Rivas, ask to be let off at La Virgen junction)
    8.00-8.40 ~40mins
    Should cost 10 cordobas but the guy charged us 30 cordobas and wouldn’t give us change!

    La Virgen – Peñas Blancas (bus arrived 2 mins after we got off the Rivas bus, I think they run every 20mins)
    8.40-9.05 ~25mins
    20 cordobas but again think we were overcharged, locals looked like they were paying 10 cordobas

    35mins border crossing
    40min wait for bus

    Peñas Blancas – Liberia (there is a ticket office at the border but when closed you can just pay the bus driver before boarding)
    10.20-12.10 ~1hr 50mins
    $3.50 / 2000 colones

    Liberia – Irma (take the 1pm bus for Puntarenas, ask to be let off at Irma junction and then walk across the road to the Monteverde stop)
    13.00-14.40 ~1hr 40mins
    2000 colones

    Irma – Monteverde / Santa Elena (Sign on the bus stop reads “10am y 3pm” – there is no bus later than 3pm so you need to make sure you arrive early!)
    15.00-17.00 ~2hrs
    1200 colones

    Total time = 9 hours (departing San Juan del Sur at 8am, arriving Santa Elena at 5pm)

    Total cost approx. $12 (vs. $65 shuttle booked with private company!)

    • centrocoasting

      Awesome, Sarah! You rock. I have added your advice to the route page and linked it above to be sure travellers can always find it. https://centrocoasting.com/routes/san-juan-del-sur-to-monteverde/ Also, if you get a second, come like us on FB and give us a rating too!! facebook.com/centrocoasting. Bien Viaje!

  19. Anni

    We took a bus from Monteverde to Puntarenas at 5:30 am (July 2017), which is not on your list yet. Surprisingly, it was really fast and took us about 2 1/2 hours, so perfectly in time to still catch the 9am ferry to Paquera. I’m sorry but I can’t remember the price for the bus ticket anymore, but I think it was about the price you mentioned. We then shared a taxi to the ferry with two other travelers and paid ₡2000 altogether.

    • centrocoasting

      Thanks, Anni! I will look into that 5:30am bus. That’s really useful if there is one that can get you to the ferry at 9am. When you were at the office did they have a new schedule posted? And, was the bus in addition to the one at 6am?

      • Janneke

        Hi guys! We also took the bus from 5.30 am, we arrived at Puntarenas around 8.15, so we could get the Ferry to Paquera at 9.00 am, just like Anni. We also shared a taxi with two other travelers and paid ₡1650. When we arrived at Paquera there was already a bus waiting to go to Montezuma (takes about 1-1,5 hrs). But you have to be quick if you would like to have a seat 😉 If you are heading to Santa Teresa/ Mal Pais you have to leave the bus at Cóbano and jump on the bus to Santa Teresa/ Mal Pais (the green one on the pictures). From Cóbano to Santa Teresa/ Mal Pais is 30 minutes.
        I couldn’t find a schedule at the office in Monteverde, I got the information of our hosts. But there is also a bus going to Puntarenas at 6.00 am.

        • centrocoasting

          Thank you, Janneke!

          • Anni

            Thanks Janneke for chipping in!
            We had the same experiences as Janneke, there is no bus schedule in the Monteverde office, but I found out about the 5:30 bus on horariodebuses/thebusschedule.com and just went to the office the day before and asked whether there is also a bus departing at that time. I bought the tickets then, but you can also buy them when boarding the bus.

            • centrocoasting

              Awesome, you two! Thanks for helping centrocoasting and for helping your fellow travellers! Keep us posted if you see any other schedule changes 🙂

  20. Ralph

    The information here is very useful, thanks!

    Do the buses to Monteverde have bagage storage?
    Is a suitcase doable or is a backpack recommended when traveling to Monteverde?
    Can I buy tickets in advance or only on the day of departure?

    • centrocoasting

      Hi Ralph! Happy to know we have helped. To answer your questions: the buses do have baggage storage underneath. Whether you bring a backpack or suitcase is up to you. There are taxis to help you get your stuff to your hotel if it’s far away or if you can walk if it’s close. You can buy your ticket in advance if you want. This time of year there are less tourists so there is likely several open seats on the bus. You can purchase your ticket at the 7-10 station in San José or you can purchase online with laterminalcostarica.com – they provide a per-purchase service for a $3 fee. Have a great trip!

  21. Laura

    Hello! Thinking of taking this bus from San Jose to Monteverde and then back again. Does it have a toilet? Thanks!

    • centrocoasting

      Hi Laura! None of the one’s that I have ever been on have had a toilet. The bus to/from San José isn’t too long though so you should be ok as long as you don’t have a coffee before you get on! 🙂

      • Laura

        Does it have restroom stops?

        • centrocoasting

          I can’t remember 100% but I feel it is very unlikely it doesn’t stop. Usually any bus ride over 3hrs has at least a 15min break.

          • Laura

            Ok thanks. I have read this is a 4 1/2 hour trip.

  22. Marsha

    Thanks a lot for that confirmation. I have booked the accommodation with Maleku Hostel following your recommendation. I will share my ‘bus story’ after I came back from the trip:) Also, thanks for letting me know about possibility of buying the ticket online. I might do it on the bus in case of the bus not stopping in Villa Bonita or a driver not noticing me. On the other hand maybe if I reserve online they will know that there is someone that needs to be picked up in Villa Bonita…Anyhow – thanks once again for the info.

    • centrocoasting

      Sorry to be slow with this reply, Marsha! So great to hear that you are getting ready and excited about your upcoming advernture. Definitely come back and let us know how it all went! Pura Vida.

  23. Marsha

    Thank you so much for this website, Centrocoasting! I have been looking for some recent info on busses from Alajuela to Monteverde and couldn’t see anything dated after 2015 and then I came across your website. Thanks!
    would you happen to know whether the morning bus from San Jose also stop in Vila Bonita and if yes – what time more less should reach Vila Bonita. I think the morning bus departures from the capital at 7 am.
    Thanks in advance for your help,
    Marsha

    • centrocoasting

      Hi Marsha! Sorry for the slow reply. This bus does pass by the Villa Bonita stop. It takes about 30 mins if traffic is smooth to get there from the 7-10 station. So I would plan to be at the Villa Bonita by about 7:20am. I have not taken the bus to Monteverde from here but I did recently ask to double check if they still stop there and I was assured it is a pickup spot. You will likely need to wave at it so keep your eyes pealed and let the locals there selling water/snacks to help you keep watch. There is a new business in town that will sell you tickets online for this bus if you want to pre-purchase laterminalcostarica.com. Drop us a comment back here after the trip and let us know how it goes to share your experience with others! 🙂

  24. Angelica R

    Would anyone know if I would be able to make the 2 pm bus to Monteverde from Villa bonita bus stop if my flight arrives to San Jose International at 12:30 pm during the week? How much time would it take to exit customs and get to this stop which is about 3.2 km away it seems. Also what is the best way to get to the villa bonita stop from the airport? Any suggests would be much appreciated?

    • centrocoasting

      Hi Angelica, it is highly unlikely that you will clear customs and exit the airport before 2pm. I suggest planning on heading to Monteverde in the morning. I like the hostel Melaku http://www.malekuhostel.com/ (reserver in advance) just a quick taxi ride away from the airport (~$5). It’s cheap and you can grab a taxi from there in the morning (~$5) to meet the bus at Villa Bonita. If by some miracle you get through customs quickly then just take a taxi from the airport to Villa Bonita – head out of the airport and to the bus stop in front of the airport to get a taxi. The bus should pass Villa Bonita at 2:30pm since it leaves San Jose at 2pm. Just to note, there is a major construction happening on a bridge in San Jose right now that is slowing traffic and changing some routes. I have messaged the bus company and will let you know as soon as I hear anything. If you decide to stay in San Jose close to the 7-10 station where the bus to Monteverde starts from then I recommend Gaudys Backpacker http://www.backpacker.co.cr/

      • centrocoasting

        I just received confirmation that the bus to Monteverde will still pass the Villa Bonita. As mentioned above the bus will pass around 2:30, but get there a bit early if you can. Good luck!

  25. Julia Bauerdick

    Hey guys, do you happen to know if there is a way to get from Peñas Blancas or at least Liberia directly to Monteverde/Santa Elena without passing through San José? Thanks, Juli

    • centrocoasting

      Hey Julia! I haven’t done this route myself but the trick is to route through La Irma. Have a look at this page and you can find a link to a blogger who has more or less done that route https://centrocoasting.com/routes/san-juan-del-sur-to-monteverde/ Have a great trip! And, if you can, we would love for you to follow up below this comment and tell us how your trip went. This travel guide is all about sharing bus travel experiences and passing along your knowledge to the next traveller whenever we can! 🙂

      • centrocoasting

        Also, a backpacker recently told us that the bus to Monteverde passes La Irma at 10am and 3pm.

  26. Janusz

    Hallo, can you advise the best way to get from Puerto Viejo to Monteverde (Santa Elena). We have booking at the hostal in Santa Elena the same day, we leave Puerto Viejo morning. We get the public bus from P V to San Jose and than swith to one that going to Monteverde.
    Can we catch the bus in S Jose going to Santa Elena (2.30pm.?.)?? Have we change bus terminal in San Jose?. Thank you for your help. With regards Janusz

    • centrocoasting

      Hola Janusz! The bus from Puerto Viejo to San Jose will take about 4.5hrs. The bus from San Jose to Monteverde leaves at 2:30pm as you said. So if you take an early bus form Puerto Viejo then you should have enough time to change bus stations and get to Monteverde in one day. The bus from Puerto Viejo will arrive at Terminal MEPE https://centrocoasting.com/costarica/san-jose-terminal-mepe/. Have a look at the map on this page. If you zoom in a bit you will see a station just 2 blocks away called Empressa Alfaro. This is the new 7-10 station. https://centrocoasting.com/costarica/san-jose-7-10/ It used to be called Alfaro. As you can see it is a very close walk so changing bus stations is easy and quick. Have a great trip!

  27. Nicole

    Hello. I hope you can help me. I arrive late on 26th of january in San José airport. I want to take the bus to Monteverde the following day, friday the 27th. Should I stay one night in San José and take the bus from from the 7-10 terminal? Or is it possible to stay one night in Alajuela and take the bus from there to Monteverde? Does the bus stop close to Alajuela? Thanks for your help!

    • centrocoasting

      Hi! I am sorry I can not confidently answer this question as I have not done this option for Monteverde. There is a stop called Villa Bonita near the Airport that many buses pass by as they are headed towards the coast, but I am not positive if the Monteverde bus will pass this spot. Have a look at where I am talking about here: https://centrocoasting.com/costarica/villa-bonita-station/. One option would be to phone the hostel and ask them, they would likely know. I like to stay at a place called Melaku http://www.malekuhostel.com/. It’s simple but the beds are comfortable and the staff is very nice. Book in advance if you decide to stay here (no affiliation to this website, I just like them). If you do this route and it works out from Alajuela, please come back and leave a comment here to help other travellers 🙂

  28. Tom

    And there is no Option First to Drive to puntarenas and then take a bus to Jaco? Thanks for your help

    • centrocoasting

      Yes, you can also do this. Sorry, I should have suggested this option first. You can take the bus from Monteverde to Puntarenas and then switch to the bus to Jaco in Puntarenas. Both options require two buses. Have a look at the Puntarenas page for the schedule. https://centrocoasting.com/costarica/puntarenas/

  29. Tom

    Can you advise the best Way to Get to Jaco tomorrow? Please incloude the departute Times. Thanks Tom

    • centrocoasting

      Hi Tom, your easiest option is to take the bus from Monteverde to San José tomorrow morning at 6:30am. It would be best for you to buy the ticket today to be sure that you get a spot. If not, get to the station early. If the bus is sold out, ask if you can still get on and stand. They usually say yes. Have a look at the photos above to see the front of the office where you will see the departure time of 6:30am. This bus will take you to the 7-10 station in San José. From there you can get on a bus to Jacó with the company Transportes Jacó. There is a bus leaving every hour until 7pm (until 8pm on Fridays). This is a long day but it is the easiest as you only have to change buses once and the buses come/go from the same place in San José. Have a great trip!

  30. David

    Can you advise the best way to get to Santa elena from Tamarindo. Thanks

    • centrocoasting

      Hi David! If I were you I would choose one of these two options:

      1) Take the bus from Tamarindo to the Liberia Municipal Station. Take an early bus as this bus is ~2.5hrs (or 3.5hrs for some buses which take a longer route). From Liberia head to Puntarenas. The trip from Liberia to Puntarenas is about 3-3.5hrs and buses leave almost every hour so you need to arrive in Liberia from Tamarindo by ~9am to take the 9:30am bus headed to Puntarenas). https://centrocoasting.com/costarica/liberia-municipal/ From Puntarenas grab the bus heading to Monteverde (this bus leaves a few times but the best option is the one that leaves at 1:15pm).https://centrocoasting.com/costarica/puntarenas/

      2) Take a bus from Tamarindo all the way to San Jose. This is a long trip (about 7hrs) so you need to leave early. In San Jose the bus to Monteverde leaves from the 7-10 Terminal. There are two buses each day and the afternoon bus leaves for Monteverde at 2:30pm.

      **You will have to double check with a hotel or tourist info center in Tamarindo for the schedule for buses leaving Tamarindo to San Jose or Liberia. When I was last there the schedules were in a state of change. Sorry about this. I will be updating my Tamarindo information soon. For now, check with a local business or find the updated schedule in the Local Magazine.

      There is a 3rd option – but it is not any easier or any more convenient than these two.

      These two locations are a far distance away and so this is a long day but you can do it.

      Hope this helps! Have a great trip!

  31. Laura Hattrick

    Hello wondering what the journey is like from San Jose to Monteverde. And time and wheee the bus stops and arrives. Thanks!

    • centrocoasting

      Hi Laura! The journey from San José to Monteverde is about 4hrs. You will take the bus from the 7-10 terminal (https://centrocoasting.com/costarica/san-jose-7-10/) in San José. Have a look at that page to see where it is located. You will find a photo of the schedule on that page. The bus leaves 2 times per day at 6:30am and 2:30pm. The first part of your journey will be just getting out of the city. The second half of the journey will have you climbing in elevation on a windy road towards Monteverde/Santa Elena. The bus goes slower as the road becomes more curvy. Much of the road is not paved and is dusty. The bus wont likely be a/c but it is comfortable – and the views are stunning! Enjoy the trip!

  32. kevin

    how can i catch the bus from monteverde to tamarindo on wednesdays….thanks

    • centrocoasting

      Hi Kevin, there are a few ways to do this. 1) you can take the bus from Monteverde to Puntarenas, then switch busses in Puntarenas to the one going to Liberia. Then in Liberia grab one of the several buses leaving Liberia to Tamarindo from the Municipal Station. or 2) You can take the bus from Monteverde to San Jose and then switch to a bus heading directly to Tamarindo from there (see the 7-10 station or Terminal Tralapa pages). Have a great trip!

  33. Bret

    I feel so silly if I had known it was so cheap and easy I would have come i just didn’t want to pay the shuttle cost from santa teresa and thought it was too dificult and long by bus. thanks for this next time. B

    • centrocoasting

      Don’t feel silly Bret, lots of people choose the shuttle because it is faster and well promoted. The trip by bus is pretty nice and pretty easy. You have to change busses a few times and there is a layover in Puntarenas, but if you are on a budget then it’s a much cheaper option!

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