San José – Tracopa Terminal

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The San José Tracopa Terminal is where you find buses heading South. Major destinations include: David (Panama), Paso Canoas, Golfito, Uvita, Dominical, Quepos and Manuel Antonio.


Tracopa Terminal is a nice, clean, open station with two spots for food and coffee, and has nice clean bathrooms. We have a recent photo of the schedule below (May 2017). If you want to double check times and prices, have a look at the Tracopa website.  Although the website only shows you the main routes and times and wont break it down to when buses pass stops along the way. In general with Tracopa however, even if you are getting off half way enroute, you pay full fare.
Surfers, you will pay an extra 2000₡ for your board.


I have had it recommended to me in the past to purchase tickets one day in advance during the busy season. I have never done this and have always managed to get a ticket on my day of travel. But be warned – if it is a very busy time of year and you are taking a popular bus route then it is definitely a good idea to show up at least an hour early in the morning to make sure you get a seat. If seats are full, ask if you can stand.


Need help planning activities on your trip?

If you need some vacation inspiration, check out some of the activities and tours offered for the Manuel Antonio and Central Pacific area. If you are still planning for your upcoming trip, I am told this Trip Planner from Gecko Trail is quite useful to help you prioritize where you want to spend your time! Gecko Trail is a ICT certified Travel Agency that has great core values and gives back to the community. So much to see and do in this beautiful country!


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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!



Photo Taken: May 2017

Photo Taken: May 2017

Coffee, soda, rice, beans, etc.

Ticket windows are along the wall on the left in front of the buses

Toilets - 200 colones!

Lots of seating and even a electrical outlet somewhere on one of the walls.

Another coffee spot

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65 travel tips for San José – Tracopa Terminal - share your tips below!

  1. Fernando Beltrán

    hola, quiero saber a que hora sale el primero bus hacia manuel antonio y si puedo comprarlo el mismo día que viajaré ? gracias saludos

  2. dolors

    Buenos dias
    me interesaria saber el mejor transporte para ir desde Sierpe A san José, tenemos el tiempo muy justo de regreso para tomar vuelo internacional
    el mes de <noviembre 2018, si alguien me puede ayudar, he visto un bus que pasa a las 7,30 am por Sierpe ,pero no coincide con el horarioi del ferry que sale de <<bahia Drake a 7.30 am
    muchas gracias

  3. Rūta

    Hello! I would like to travel to Sierpe from San Jose next day I arrive to Costa Rica, do they have a stable time-table, always leaving at 8.30, any other options in terms of times? How long does the trip last and how much is it (better to pay in colones rather than dollars)?

    I am arriving at late night, round 23.00, just would need to spend a night somewhere and take the bus in the morning in Tracopa, I suppose that it might be the most reasonable sleeping somewhere near the airpot and then getting a taxi in the morning to Tracopa terminal? Any recommendations in terms of economical accommodation (would prefer to have a private room if possible)?

    • centrocoasting

      I would stay near the airport when you arrive since it will be so late. I always stay at Melaku Hostel. But book in advance. The Tracopa schedule is stable. Best to check their website to be sure no changes have happened since I posted schedules here. To get to Sierpe you need any bus headed to the border or to Golfito that goes on the coastal route (costanera sur). I have never gone to Sierpe but I am guessing you get off in Palmar Norte and then get another bus. I would get some colones when you arrive. There are ATMs in the airport. Always nice to pay in the currency of the country you’re in!

  4. Tammy Brennan

    I no the bus goes to Golfito. But I need to go to Punta Banco. Does anyone no if the bus travels that far? If it doesn’t I’ll get off in Golfo & take a taxi the rest of the way. Thanks

    • centrocoasting

      Hi Tammy, hope the bus went ok. Sorry to be slow. You take the bus to Golfito, then to Pavones and after that I am not sure. The bridge was under construction last time I was in Pavones, but I am sure it is fixed now and I would call your accommodation in Punta Banco and ask for a pick up at the grocery store or something. Have a look a the Gofito Page.

  5. Olivia

    Is it easy to get a taxi from the San Jose Tracopa terminal? We will be arriving there at about 9pm at night. How would we find a taxi? Thanks!

    • centrocoasting

      Hi Olivia, there is a taxi stand at the station. I have never arrived at 9pm but I would assume there would be taxis there hoping to get customers from arriving buses!

  6. Moon

    Is the station safe to spend stay late night? We are catching an early bus and we get in late. I am sure we could get into a hostel but thought we may just wait it out in the station.

    • centrocoasting

      Sorry for the slow reply, Moon! I can’t comment on whether the station is safe at night. I don’t believe it is open at night so I would recommend checking that out before you make any plans. You’ll need to ask the station directly I would recommend getting a hostel, there are some close by. The area around Tracopa is so so. I’ve walked around in the day and some streets I felt comfortable and some not so comfortable.

  7. Flavia

    Hi hello! I need to go buenos aires on the 31 and i know trapoca goes there, but no idea of bus route and timetable ! Any advice? Thanks !

    • centrocoasting

      Hi Flavia! Sorry we don’t have specific information about Buenos Aires, but when you take the bus from Tracopa be sure you take the CERRO route though when heading south as the other route goes along the coast and will not pass near Buenos Aires. The Tracopa website shows Buenos Aires as a destination so I am assuming that one of the buses headed south from San Jose via the CERRO will pass there. Try calling them 2221-4214 or 2290-1308 or use the contact form on the website.

  8. Scott

    I am coming from Quepos to San Jose and need to get to the airport from the tracopa terminal. It seems like the best way is Uber. I am curious if you know if there is WIFI at the terminal?

    • centrocoasting

      HI Scott, I can’t say for sure. Last time I was at the station there was no wifi, but things are changing quickly in Costa Rica and there could be now! SIM cards are easy and inexpensive and so if you need to have wifi when travelling and your phone is unlocked then maybe a good idea to buy one! Have a great trip.

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