Getting there & away
All buses currently stop at Parque Central, though a real bus terminal is currently in the works.
Keep an eye on your bags, particularly on the weekend San José run.
Ciudad Quesada (Auto-Transportes San José-San Carlos) US$1, one hour, departs 5am, 8am, 12:15pm and 3:30pm.
Monteverde US$2, six to eight hours, 8am (change at Tilarán at 12:30pm for Monteverde).
San José (Auto-Transportes San José-San Carlos) US$3, 4½ hours, 12:45pm & 2:45pm.
Tilarán (Auto-Transportes Tilarán) US$1.40, 3½ hours, 8am and 5:30pm.
The fastest route between Monteverde–Santa Elena and La Fortuna is a jeep-boat-jeep combo (around US$30, three hours), which can be arranged through almost any hotel or tour operator in either town. A taxi from La Fortuna takes you to Laguna de Arenal, meeting a boat that crosses the lake, where a 4WD taxi on the other side continues to Monteverde. This is increasingly becoming the primary transportation between La Fortuna and Monteverde as it’s incredibly scenic, reasonably priced and it’ll save you half a day of rough travel.