While some of the roads may be troublesome, getting from the misty cloud forests in Monteverde to the majestic rainforests and beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park is well worth it. You’ll see some of the most biologically diverse places in the world, and this 7-day itinerary lets you explore both regions.

For the best of convenience and affordability, shared shuttles offer daily service at a fair rate. Private transfer is the easiest and most costly option. Driving your own rental vehicle is fine for the adventurous traveler, keeping in mind that the road conditions are not always ideal (see our Driving in Costa Rica FAQ for more). Traveling by bus is the most time-consuming and least flexible choice.

By Shared Shuttle

Duration: 4.5 hours

The most cost-effective and uncomplicated way to traverse this route is to have someone else do the driving for you. Shared shuttles run twice daily, in the morning and afternoon, and operate door to door. The driver will pick you up at your hotel and drop you off at your next accommodation, stopping halfway for a break and to stretch your legs.

By Car or Private Transfer

Duration: 4 hours

If you choose to drive, know that the roads leading out of Monteverde are bumpy with some sections unpaved, and it is recommended to rent a 4X4 vehicle. It is not advisable to drive after dark (around 6 pm), as the roads are very windy and dark. Consider downloading Waze, a free app that is more accurate in Central America than other navigation tools.

Private transfer is a comfortable and effortless way to travel. While this is the most expensive mode of transport, it can be surprisingly cost-effective with large groups. Ask your local specialist for details.

By Bus

Duration: 6 hours

This is the least convenient option, but it's helpful to know that the bus system in Costa Rica is reliable and economical. Your route will take you first to Puntarenas, then to Quepos and finally Manuel Antonio. The bus station is actually in Santa Elena, the neighboring town to Monteverde, where the bus departs three times a day. You’ll change buses in Puntarenas, then again in Quepos, before a quick 20-minute trip into Manuel Antonio.


Map of How to Get from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio National Park
Map of How to Get from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio National Park