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 5:30am and 2:30pm. The price is 3035₡ (Dec 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 3035₡ (Dec 2018). The trip takes about 4.5hrs.
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.
Should you chose the local bus route you can catch one to Tilarán at 5am, 7am, 12:10pm 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₡
Via La Irma
A lot of travellers use La Irma as a mid point to get switch directions when coming/going from Monteverde to places like Nosara, Samara, Tamarindo, etc. There is a photo of the schedule below, the bus passes at 10am and 3pm. There is a covered stop there on the side of the highway where you can wait. We have had reports from travellers that they didn’t put luggage under the bus, they had to carry it on. Let us know your experience below.
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.
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.
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!