How to get from San Jose to Tamarindo

Have you experienced all that San Jose has to offer? San Jose, the busy, bustling capital, will have kept you on your toes with its many museums, theatres and cultural attractions, and plenty of lively bars and restaurants abundant with energy. Now, you’re ready to escape the Chaos and take in the lush landscape that natural Costa Rica has to offer. And what better place to do so than in Tamarindo? With its lush landscape and miles of sandy beaches along the Pacific Coast and year-round near perfect weather, it is the ideal place to relax by the blue waters or partake in one of many available outdoor activities if you prefer a little adventure. There’s plenty of wildlife to be appreciated too, including at the famous Monkey Park! But how do you get from San Jose to Tamarindo?

How do I get from San Jose to Tamarindo?

San Jose and Tamarindo are about 254 km apart and driving time is about 4 hours and 5 minutes.

There are many ways to travel from San Jose to Tamarindo, depending on your preference and your budget. For budget-conscious travellers, the cheapest way to travel from San Jose to Tamarindo is by bus. A private car or taxi is both the fastest way to travel from San Jose to Tamarindo and the best way to travel from San Jose to Tamarindo for both the convenience, and the opportunity to sightsee along the way.

Some direct flights are available from San Jose’s secondary airport, arriving to Tamarindos small, private airport.

San Jose to Tamarindo by bus

Travelling from San Jose to Tamarindo is the most budget-friendly option, though be aware that it is also the longest in duration as the bus has to make stops for other passengers along the way.

There are two companies that operate from San Jose and the pick-up point differs for each, though both are fairly central to the city. Be sure to check you have the right bus terminal in advance! The bus journey takes on average 6 – 6.5 hours and there are 4 services per day (two per operating company).  Tickets can be purchased on-the-spot, though it’s never a bad idea to go to the terminal a day before to pre-purchase your tickets at the ticket stand in case the service becomes too full.

The journey from San Jose to Tamarindo by bus typically costs around $10 for the ~254 km ride.

Time intervals4 times per day
First/Last Departure7 AM / 3:30 PM
Avg. Price$10
Distance~254 km
Duration6 – 6.5 hours
Operating CompaniesEmpresa Alfaro (Terminal 7-10), Tralapa (Tralapa Terminal)

San Jose to Tamarindo by plane

To travel by plane, head to San Jose International (SJO) airport where two flights per day head to Tamarindo. As usual with flights, but particularly as departures are so infrequent, you’ll want to purchase tickets in advance to secure your spot.

The flight takes less than an hour so it makes sense to take the direct route, though some routes via Liberia are available at certain times of the year. On average, you can expect a one-way ticket to cost around $120 per person, though this can fluctuate depending on the season and how far in advance you opt to book.

As always, it is recommended that you arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before departure to ensure a smooth transition through security to your departure gate. Taking this into account, flying from San Jose to Tamarindo becomes quite an expensive and inconvenient option for many.

Departure times06:10 AM, 2:10 PM
Avg. Price 2 persons$240
Duration0h 50
Operating CompaniesSansa Regional

San Jose to Tamarindo by Taxi

For speed and convenience, a private car transfer with Daytrip is the best way to travel from San Jose to Tamarindo. You will be picked up at your accommodation, and the driver will take care of your luggage. You’ll then be able to enjoy door-to-door service to your accommodation in San Jose, and can even add sightseeing stops on the way! Here are some of the highlights that you can see along this route…

With your comfort and convenience in mind, it is clear that a private transfer is the best option! To book a private transfer from San Jose to Tamarindo, click here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *