Costa Rica: Trips by bus to the beaches

When I started my researches about Costa Rica, I found some posts with many complaints about the bus system on how to go to the beaches, but, fortunately, when I have arrived here I discovered which bus system was good. But, in fact, there is not enough information about it. And there is not only a bus station, but in San José there are some bus stations for each bus company. Can be hard to find the exactly bus station do you need or where is each bus station. For this reason, I am translating this post to English to reach more people who need to take all of information to make a happier travel.

I am Brazilian and I live in Costa Rica for 5 months. I don’t have a car, and then when I travel, I took the bus and in some travels, I got lost to find information. I hope this post will be useful for you and make your travels more pleasant.

This post was published in Portuguese too: Click here

San José to Playa Manuel Antônio


Some tips:

  • In the National Park, take a lot of water and take your own food. There is not a single restaurant inside, but there are some restrooms and shower.
  • The beach is very touristic there are a lot of restaurants, stores and adventure rides.
  • You arrive by bus in the seashore and everything has a walking distance.
  • Buy your return ticket in San José already.
  •  A trip to Manuel Antônio lasts 3 and a half hour. There is a stop for 20 minutes in the middle of way.

Bus Station – Address: Entre Calle 05 y Avenida 20 en Plaza Viquez

How to arrive

Captura de Tela 2016-05-04 às 11.28.16

The company is Tracopa that besides making the route San José-Manuel Antônio, also does the routes to some cities in Panamá.

There are other destinations from this bus station:

Quepos – Uvita – San Vito – Paso Canoas – Golfito – Ciudad Neily – David Panamá – Sierpe – Buenos Aires – Ciudad Cortes – Rio Claro – Piedras Blancas – Naranjo – Palmar Norte – Copa Buena – Agua Buena – Coto 47 – Laurel – San Isidro – Bella Luz – Sabalito – Sabanillas – Parrita – La Cuesta

The ticket price to Playa Manuel Antônio is 4545 CRC or 8 dollars.

Tracopa Web-Site:

Unfortunately is not possible to buy on-line.

San José – Guanacaste (North Pacific)

Playa Tamarindo

There are some options to travel until Guanacaste:

Option 1

Alfaro Bus Line: With this company, you can arrive in these Guanacaste cities: Nicoya, Santa Cruz, Sámara, Hojancha, Tamarindo.

In the same company, you also can find destination out Guanacaste: Garza, Lagunilla, Santa Rosa, Santa Ana, Huacas, Villareal, Porte Golpe, Belén, Filadelfia.


Telephone: +506 8327 4262

Bus Station – Address: 10, Av. 7, San José, Costa Rica

How to arrive

Captura de Tela 2016-05-04 às 16.33.07

Option 2

Company Tralapa – I didn’t find a website, but there is a photo with schedule took in February, 2016.

Captura de Tela 2016-05-04 às 16.38.34

Telephone: 2680.0392

Bus Station – Address: Entre Av. 5 e Calle 20 y 22 – San José

How to arrive

Captura de Tela 2016-05-09 às 15.56.07

Option 3

Another option is the company Pulmitan.

Captura de Tela 2016-05-04 às 16.40.15

There is a Fanpage Pulmitan de Liberia, you can contact through this.


Bus Station: Address: Calle 24 con Tv 20

How to arrive

Captura de Tela 2016-05-09 às 16.09.24

San José – Puntarenas (Central Pacific)

Playa Jacó

The beaches in Central Pacific are the  nearest of San José, is possible to go and come back at the same day. To Jacó it lasts 2 hours and it has schedule since 6 am.

The bus company is Garabito.

The ticket price is less than 3000 CRC or 5 dollars.

Garabito Website:

Bus Station – Address: Terminal 7-10 –  Del costado Oeste del Mercado Central 500 mts norte sobre el bulevar de calle 8.

How to arrive

Captura de Tela 2016-05-04 às 15.09.21

For this route: San José-Jacó is possible to buy a ticket online: Buy online

In this bus station, there are some other routes to some places inside and outside of Costa Rica, you can travel to Nicaragua with the bus company Nica Express. You also can go  to some beaches in Guanacaste, San Carlos which is the region of La Fortuna with the Arenal Volcano and some waterfalls. Also, this bus station has options to the region of Cóbano that offers other beaches: Montezuma, Manzanillo and Malpaís, all of them in Pacific  Coast.

The bus station was built in 2015, it is quite new.

See all routes in the website:

San José to Atlantic Side (Caribbean Sea)

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Option 1

To go to the beaches in Atlantic Coast, we have an option from bus company Mepe, you can go from San José to: Puerto Viejo, Cahuita, Manzanillo, Bribri e Sixaola (boundary with Panamá) and Valle de La Estrella.

The trip until Puerto Viejo last 4 hour and a half.


Bus Station – Address in San José: Avenida 9, Calle 12

How to arrive

Captura de Tela 2016-05-04 às 15.31.05

Option 2

Also has a company Grupo Caribeños with another bus station in San José:

Bus station – Gran Terminal del Caribe – Address: Bajos de La Union, San José

How to arrive

Captura de Tela 2016-05-04 às 16.03.57

This company does routes to Limón, Siquirres, Guápiles in Caribeean.

Also there are options to Pacific: Peñas Blancas, Upala, Liberia, Las Juntas, Santa Cecilia, Cañas and Tilarán.

Horários Grupo Caribeños

So guys, I hope this post was helpful to you. If you have any more information and suggestions to do, feel free to comment below or send me an e-mail: It will be a pleasure for me meet you and share more knowledge about our sweet Tiquicia.

Let’s go travel and Pura Vida!

I appreciate your visit here.

Bruna Costa.

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