The most affordable and convenient way to get from the scenic peaks of Arenal to the coastal paradise of Manuel Antonio is driving the circuitous 168 miles (271 km). Another... read more
Getting Around Costa Rica
Given the challenges of driving, it's easiest to hire a private transfer or use a shared shuttle to get around. These services will pick you up directly at your hotel, and take you to your next destination, and you can leave the driving to someone else.
If you do want to drive, we highly recommend a 4WD. In metropolitan areas (and the immediate surrounds), highways have well-marked signage in Spanish and are mostly paved with painted lines. As you venture into rural areas, you'll encounter potholes and dirt roads—this is true between Arenal to Monteverde, for example, a common travel route.
Don't attempt to drive at night, and make sure you have a GPS available. Read through our Driving in Costa Rica FAQ for more tips.
For the off the beaten path locations, or to save time, Costa Rica has a good system of inexpensive flights between key locations.
Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.
Manuel Antonio and Corcovado National Park are separated by only 77 miles (125km) when traveling by land. When visiting the park, most people stay in one of two nearby towns and... read more
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... read more
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... read more
Because they're both on the Caribean coast, the 129-mile (208 km) trip between Tortuguero and Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is a bit more challenging than you might expect. Since... read more
The best way to get from Costa Rica's capital city of San José to Tortuguero National Park is with a direct flight. The thirty-minute journey doesn't cost much more than a... read more
Traveling from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to La Fortuna, gateway to Arenal Volcano National Park, takes you almost all of the way across the country. The 170 miles (274 km) will... read more
When heading from Arenal/La Fortuna to the Gulf de Papagayo, the 108-mile (173 km) trip will take you almost directly west to the coast. These two locations are connected by... read more
The best way to hit the trail from the Costa Rican capital to the Caribbean coast is by taking a shared shuttle. The 135-mile (217 km) drive from San José to Puerto Viejo de... read more