The Osa Peninsula located on Costa Rica's southern Pacific coast is one of the most remote places in Costa Rica.  Travelers typically fly from San José to the Osa Peninsula, and once there, you may also need a shuttle/boat transfer to your hotel.

Driving from San José is much less common, as the journey takes 8 hours (typically spread over two days) and requires a 4WD vehicle for the last stretch of unpaved road. If you decide to make the drive, Manuel Antonio National Park is a great place to stop for the night. 

By Plane

Duration: 1 hr flight, plus appx. 1 hr of transfers

Most travelers that head to the Osa Peninsula choose to fly. The local carrier, Sansa Air, offers flights from San José Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) daily. You can fly into Puerto Jimenez, the main hub, or Bahía Drake on the northwest of the peninsula.  Which airport you fly into depends on where your hotel is located and what area of the peninsula you are hoping to explore.

Flights to the Osa Peninsula typically only run in the morning, so if you are hoping to connect directly from your international arrival flight, you should ensure that your flight arrives by 9 am at the latest to make the connection. If your flight arrives later in the day, you have the option of staying near the airport or heading into San José (45 minutes away) for the night—for example, this 5-day luxury Osa Peninsula itinerary includes a night in the capital. 

After you land at the airport, you will need a taxi or shuttle to get to your hotel. Most hotels in the Osa Peninsula offer transportation, and some of the more remote hotels will even involve a boat ride, as they are only accessible by water. 

By Car

Duration: Appx. 8 hrs, depending on traffic

It's a long drive from San José Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) to the Osa Peninsula, and probably not something that you want to attempt in a single sitting. The good news is that there are many great stop-off points along the way: Manuel Antonio, Dominical, and Uvita are all great places to stop for a night or two along your drive.  

For this drive, a 4WD vehicle is a must. While the roads are mostly well paved, the last hour of driving in the peninsula is on gravel—and on occasion, a river needs to be forded. If you are heading to Drakes Bay, consider dropping off your car at Sierpe and take a boat taxi from there. It's a gorgeous journey by boat, and there is not much driving to be done in Drakes Bay anyway.


Map of How to Get from San José Airport (SJO) to the Osa Peninsula
Map of How to Get from San José Airport (SJO) to the Osa Peninsula
Written by Yenyi Fu, updated Jun 13, 2019