Getting to Jaco from San Jose

by Roger on April 16, 2009

by Roger | April 16th, 2009  

2050854702_0b96432bf2Jaco, otherwise known as “Playa de Jacó,” is located in Costa Rica and is perhaps one of the most frequented coastal destinations in Coast Rica. Tourists from Canada, the US and all over the world enjoy traveling to this paradise. Known for its surfing, beach life and parties, this two and a half mile beach strip offers everything a tourist needs: shopping, hotels, restaurants, parties, affordable accommodations and luxury. The big question is how do you get there?

By Car

Driving from San Jose is fairly simple. Plus, if you fly in to San Jose, you can rent a car for as little as $35/day. From San Jose. From San Jose, you’ll take the Pan-American Highway past the Juan Santamaria Airport in Alujuela and exit off the highway onto what is called the “old road” to Jaco. This ride will take you through the mountains and down to the coast. Be wary of the pot holes as finding assistants for something as simple as a flat-tire may not be easy. From San Jose, Jaco is about 110km or 68 miles. The roads are not known to be safe or, by and stretch, an “easy” drive. Make sure your vehicle is equipped for such conditions as sharp turns and pot holes.

You might also try a Taxi from San Jose or while you’re in Jaco. Taxi’s are extremely affordable but make sure you use the official red taxis with yellow writing; the others may not be as safe or reputable as you would desire. You can barter with the taxi drivers – some will charge as much as a million colones while others will do the same trip for 500 colones.

Check out these tips for having an indie travel experience in San Jose.

By Air

Jaco itself does not have an official airport. The closest airport to Jaco is Quepos and Manuel Antonio and you can board a Nature Air or Sansa Air flight from these airports to get to Jaco. If you choose to fly from the US to Jaco, you may be best off flying to San Jose which will run you anywhere from $350 to $650 out of LAX depending on the time of year. The fastest way of getting to Jaco is to take a flight from the San Jose airport. At the airport, you may choose to use a taxi for transfer. Use the official orange airport taxis to Jaco. Prices will run you from $30-$80 American dollars, but sometimes if you use colones you can get a better deal.

By Bus

To take a bus from San Jose to Jaco or from Jaco to San Jose the easiest way is to contact the San Jose airport for travel times. Usually bus rides take about three hours because of the stops they make. However, this is an inexpensive alternative because rates are extremely cheap depending on the service – anywhere from $1-$25 a person. Buses, though they make frequent stops, often take less time than shuttles. Buses fill up fast and get crowded, so be sure to secure your tickets ahead of time.

If you arrive in the San Jose airport and need a bus, exit the terminal and go left on to the street. You will be able to cross the street and see the bus stop. You will probably be able to get a bus for less than 500 colones if you come prepared with colones. That is equivalent to about $1. The buses are white and red or green and off white. Keep your valuables with you if they offer to Stowe your luggage.

For return tickets purchased in Jaco, visit the ticket office behind the Pizza Hut and across from the Best Western. Try the “easy ride shuttle” 524-0889, 812-4012


Karin March 13, 2010 at 10:22 am

Do NOT pay in advance for services from Easy Ride Costa Rica. I paid in advance and Javier Ortiz left us at the airport and never picked us up as arranged even though I confirmed with him via email the week before that he would be picking us up. The tourist officials at the airport tried to call him and he did not answer. He will not respond to my emails requesting a refund, and I had to dispute the charge through my credit card company. There are plenty of reputable and reliable services you can use – I do NOT recommend using Easy Ride Costa Rica because after this happened to us, I heard that it is a fairly common experience for customers of Easy Ride Costa Rica.

Charlotte July 10, 2010 at 1:31 pm

The best way to get around in Costa Rica, besides the direct bus (if you take the public bus, take the directo instead of the other one, as the directo stops a lot less frequently) is to use the Greyline or Interbus, which are both reliable and efficient.


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