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Bus

The bus terminal is on the river road. Keep an eye on your bags as this is a busy transit center.

Ciudad Quesada (San Carlos)

Company

Auto-Transportes San José–San Carlos

Cost (US$)

2

Duration (hr)

1

Frequency

20 daily, 4:30am to 7pm

San José*

Company

Auto-Transportes San José–San Carlos

Cost (US$)

5

Duration (hr)

4

Frequency

12:45pm, 2:45pm

San Ramon via Chachagua

Company

Cost (US$)

2

Duration (hr)

2

Frequency

5:30am, 9am, 1pm, 4pm

Tilarán, with connection to Monteverde**

Company

Auto-Transportes Tilarán, departs from the Parque Central

Cost (US$)

3

Duration (hr)

Frequency

7:30am, 12:30pm, 5pm

* Alternatively, take the bus to Ciudad Quesada, from where there are frequent departures to San José. However, you'll pay more doing so.

** To reach Monteverde/Santa Elena (US$4, six to eight hours), take the early bus to Tilarán, where you’ll have to wait a few hours for the onward bus to Santa Elena.

A great and friendly source of bus information for the entire country is Red Lava Tours, located right next to the terminal. Co-owner Sonia is known to locals as the Google of La Fortuna.

Taxi-Boat-Taxi

The fastest route between Monteverde-Santa Elena and La Fortuna is the taxi-boat-taxi combo (formerly known as jeep-boat-jeep, which sounds sexy but it was the same thing). It is actually a minivan with the requisite yellow ‘turismo’ tattoo, which takes you to Laguna de Arenal, meeting a boat that crosses the lake, where a 4WD van on the other side continues to Monteverde. It’s a terrific transportation option that can be arranged through almost any hotel or tour operator in La Fortuna or Monteverde (US$25, four hours).

This is now the first transportation choice for many between La Fortuna and Monteverde as it’s incredibly scenic and reasonably priced.