Getting from the mountains of Monteverde to the beaches of Papagayo is fairly straightforward. There is no airport in Monteverde, which leaves you with one option–traveling by car. You can book a shared shuttle, the best option due to convenience and affordability. A private transfer is also a good choice, or you can rent a car and drive yourself. Check out this self-drive adventure itinerary that takes you to both destinations.
By Shared Shuttle
Duration: 4.5 hours
A shared shuttle is an easy, cost-effective option. There will be set departure times and other passengers will be picked up and dropped off, but it's an enjoyable ride out of Monteverde which can be tough to travel yourself. The shuttle will pick you up your hotel and take you directly to your next destination in the Gulf of Papagayo.
By Private Transfer
Duration: 4 hours
Private transfer is an efficient and comfortable way to travel. You will have a car and English speaking driver who can stop whenever is convenient: bathroom breaks, food, even to take a photo. Door-to-door service is provided with a car picking you up in Monteverde wherever you'd like, and dropping you off at your next hotel. A private transfer looks more expensive than a shared shuttle, but the price is per party, not per person. So with a larger party, it can be as reasonable as a shared shuttle.
By Rental Car
Duration: 4 hours
For the independent traveler who enjoys making their own schedule and doesn't mind sometimes tricky road conditions, renting a car and driving is an option. The best way to go is Route 606 and 605 for 16 miles to Route 1. Stay on Route 1 for 30 miles all the way to Liberia, where you will turn left onto Route 21 for 12 miles.
Finally, you will turn right onto Route 253 and follow it 14 miles to the Gulf of Papagayo. If you have questions about driving in Costa Rica or are unsure as to whether it's right for you, take a look at our Driving Guide for more information. We always advise 4X4 vehicles while driving in Costa Rica, and only driving during daylight hours (before 6:00 pm).