Bus Schedule

Buses are a great way to get around Costa Rica if you’ve got the time to explore.

The best buses (fewest stops, fewest connections, fewest station changes, fewest layovers) are shown on the schedule below.

There are over 160 destinations on this bus schedule so it’s much easier to search than scroll through all of them (how to search webpage contents on any device).

If the trip you’re trying to take is not listed there is no direct service and you probably have to go to San José or another hub to make a connection (see below for routing suggestions).

Skip down to “Getting Tickets” or go to the “San Jose Bus Station Map” if you already know when you’re headed where and just need logistics information.

→ ←
Alajuela every hour 6:00-22:00 → ← every hour 5:00-22:00 Atenas
Alajuela every hour 6:00-22:10 → ← every hour 4:30-21:00 Fraijanes
Alajuela 9:00 → ← 14:30 Poas
Alajuela every 10 min 4:20-23:00 → ← every 10 min 4:20-23:00 Juan Santamaria Airport
Alajuela every 30 min 6:00-21:00 → ← every 30 min 6:00-21:00 La Garita
Alajuela 8:30, 9:00, 10:30, 12:30, 13:00, 14:30, 15:00 → ← 9:10, 9:40, 11:10, 11:40, 13:10, 13:40, 15:00, 15:40, 17:05 La Guacima
Alajuela 8:30 → ← 14:00 Volcan Poas
Alajuela every 30 min 5:00-22:00 → ← every 30 min 5:00-22:00 Sarchi
Boca Tapada 5:00, 12:00 → ← 9:30, 16:00 Pital
Canas 5:00, 6:00, 9:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:45 → ← 5:00, 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, 11:30, 15:30 Tilaran
Cartago every hour 8:45-16:30 → ← every hour 8:45-16:30 Charrarra
Cartago every hour 4:30-18:30 → ← every hour 4:30-18:30 Orosi
Cartago every 5 min 4:30-22:00 → ← every 5 min 4:30-22:00 Paraiso
Cartago every hour 6:00-17:00 → ← every hour 6:00-17:00 Turrialba
Cartago 8:45 → ← 12:00 Volcan Irazu
Ciudad Cortes 5:00 → ← 5:30 Uvita
Ciudad Neily 6:00, 15:30 → ← 10:30, 15:30 Dominical
Ciudad Neily 14:15 → ← 5:00 Zancudo
Ciudad Quesada 6:00, 10:30, 13:00, 15:30, 17:00, 18:00 → ← 5:00, 8:00, 12:00, 15:00 Fortuna
Ciudad Quesada every hour 5:30-20:30 → ← every hour 4:30-19:00 Pital
Cobano 10:30, 14:30 → ← 7:00, 12:00 Mal Pais
Dominical 4:30, 10:30 → ← 8:30, 17:00 Ciudad Cortes
Fortuna 8:00, 16:30 → ← 7:00, 12:30 Tilaran
Golfito 10:00, 15:00 → ← 5:00, 12:30 Pavones
Guapiles 4:40, 6:00, 7:30, 10:00, 15:00, 16:30, 18:30 → ← 5:30, 7:00, 8:00, 11:00, 13:30, 15:00, 15:30, 17:30 Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui
Heredia 6:25, 11:45, 15:55 → ← 7:30, 13:00, 17:00 Sacramento
Liberia 5:30, 6:45, 7:30, 12:00, 13:30, 16:30, 17:30 → ← 5:30, 6:45, 7:30, 12:00, 13:30, 16:30, 17:30 Canas
Liberia 5:30, 15:30 → ← 5:30, 15:30 Cuajiniquil
Liberia 5:30, 8:30, 9:00, 11:00 → ← 5:30, 8:30, 9:00, 11:00 La Cruz
Liberia every 30 min 4:30-20:20 → ← every 30 min 3:50-20:20 Nicoya
Liberia 5:30, 8:30, 9:00, 11:00 → ← 5:30, 8:30, 9:00, 11:00 Penas Blancas
Liberia 6:10, 8:10, 10:00, 11:10, 12:45, 16:00, 18:00 → ← 6:00, 9:3012:00, 13:30, 15:30, 17:30 Playa Flamingo
Liberia 5:30, 7:30, 11:30, 13:00, 15:30, 17:30, 19:30 → ← 6:10, 7:40, 10:10, 14:10, 17:10, 19:10 Playa Hermosa
Liberia 5:30, 7:30, 11:30, 13:00, 15:30, 17:30, 19:30 → ← 6:00, 7:30, 10:00, 14:00, 17:00, 19:00 Playa Panama
Liberia 6:30, 7:30, 8:30, 9:30, 11:00, 13:30, 16:00 → ← 6:30, 7:30, 8:30, 9:30, 11:00, 13:30, 16:00 Playas del Coco
Liberia 5:00, 8:30, 9:30, 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 14:30, 15:30 → ← 4:50, 5:30, 7:00, 8:30, 9:50, 11:00, 12:15, 15:00, 8:30 Puntarenas
Liberia every 30 min 4:30-20:30 → ← every 30 min 3:30-20:20 Santa Cruz
Liberia 5:30, 6:10, 8:10, 10:00, 11:10, 12:45, 14:15, 16:00, 18:00 → ← 5:30, 9:00, 11:30, 13:00, 17:00 Tamarindo
Limon 7:10, 7:30, 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 11:30, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 16:30, 19:00, 20:00 → ← 6:00, 6:30, 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 17:00, 18:00, 19:00 Bribri
Limon 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 17:00, 18:00, 19:00 → ← 6:30, 7:30, 8:30, 9:30, 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 13:30, 14:30, 15:30, 16:30, 17:30, 18:30, 20:00 Cahuita
Limon 6:00, 10:30, 150018:00 → ← 5:00, 8:30, 12:30, 17:00 Manzanillo
Limon every 30 min 5:00-23:00 → ← every 30 min 5:00-23:00 Moin
Limon every hour 5:00-18:00 → ← 6:45, 7:30, 10:30, 11:30, 13:30, 14:30, 15:30, 16:30, 17:30, 19:30 Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Limon every hour 5:00-18:00 → ← every hour 5:00-18:00 Sixaola
Los Chiles 5:00, 14:00 → ← 7:00, 12:00, 18:00 Cano Negro
Nicoya 5:00, 10:00, 12:00, 15:00 → ← 5:00, 7:00, 12:00, 15:00 Nosara
Nicoya 5:00, 6:00, 8:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:30, 18:30, 20:00, 21:45 → ← 5:00, 6:30, 8:00, 10:00, 11:30, 12:30, 13:30, 15:00, 16:00, 17:45 Samara
Palmar Norte 4:30, 7:00, 9:30, 11:00, 13:30, 14:30, 17:00 → ← 5:30, 8:30, 10:30, 12:30, 15:30, 18:00 Sierpe
Paquera 6:00, 8:00, 10:00, 14:00, 16:0018:00 → ← 5:30, 8:15, 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00 Montezuma
Paquera 6:00, 8:00, 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00 → ← 5:30, 8:00, 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00 Cobano
Pital 9:30, 16:30 → ← 5:30, 12:30 Boca Tapada
Puerto Jimenez 6:00, 13:30 → ← 8:30, 16:00 Carate
Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui 5:30, 8:30, 10:30, 12:30, 14:30, 16:00, 18:00, 19:00 → ← 6:00, 9:00, 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:30, 17:30 Ciudad Quesada
Puntarenas 5:45, 10:45, 13:15, 16:00, 17:15 → ← 5:30, 8:15, 13:15, 15:15. Costa de Pajaros
Puntarenas 6:30, 9:30, 12:30, 16:00, 18:00 → ← 6:00, 9:00, 12:00, 16:30 Jaco
Puntarenas 4:50, 5:30, 7:00, 8:30, 9:50, 11:00, 12:15, 15:00, 8:30 → ← 5:00, 8:30, 9:30, 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 14:30, 15:30 Liberia
Puntarenas 5:00, 8:0011:00, 14:30, 16:30 → ← 4:30, 7:30, 10:30, 12:30, 15:00 Quepos
Puntarenas 14:15 → ← 6:00 Santa Elena
Quepos 4:30, 7:30, 10:30, 12:3015:00 → ← 6:30, 9:3012:30, 16:00, 18:00 Jaco
San Isidro del General 7:00, 9:00, 13:30, 16:00 → ← 8:30, 9:30, 16:45, 17:30 Dominical
San Isidro del General 6:30 → ← 13:00 Puerto Jimenez
San Isidro del General 7:00, 9:00, 13:30, 16:00 → ← 6:30, 7:30, 14:45, 15:30. Quepos
San Isidro del General 5:30, 16:30 → ← 7:00, 16:30 San Gerardo de Rivas
San Isidro del General 5:45, 8:15, 11:30, 14:45 → ← 5:00, 7:30, 10:00, 15:00 San Vito
San Isidro del General 9:00, 16:00 → ← 6:00, 13:45 Uvita
San Jose every 30 min 5:20-22:30 → ← every 30 min 4:10-21:00 Acosta (San Ignacio)
San Jose every 10 min 4:20-23:00 → ← every 10 min 4:20-23:00 Alajuela
San Jose every hour 5:50-22:00 → ← every hour 4:30-20:30 Atenas
San Jose 6:00, 15:30 → ← 4:45, 14:30 Bejuco
San Jose 6:00, 10:00, 13:30, 15:30 → ← 6:00, 8:00, 10:00, 15:00 Bribri
San Jose 8:30, 14:30 → ← 7:30, 9:30, 16:00 Buenos Aires
San Jose 6:00, 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00. → ← 7:00, 8:00, 9:30, 11:30, 16:30 Cahuita
San Jose 8:30, 9:20, 11:50, 12:20, 13:40, 16:45, 18:15 → ← 4:00, 4:50, 5:40, 9:00, 12:15, 13:30 Canas
San Jose 6:30, 9:00, 10:30, 13:00, 15:00, 16:30, 18:00, 19:00 → ← 5:30, 6:30, 7:30, 8:30, 11:30, 13:00, 15:00, 17:30 Cariari
San Jose every 10 min 5:00-24:00 → ← every 10 min 4:45-23:00 Cartago
San Jose every 30 min 5:00-22:30 → ← every 30 min 5:00-22:30 Ciudad Colon
San Jose 8:30, 14:30 → ← 5:00, 7:30 Ciudad Cortes
San Jose 5:00, 10:00, 13:00, 16:30, 18:00 → ← 4:30, 5:00, 8:30, 11:30, 15:30 Ciudad Neily
San Jose 5:00, 5:30, 6:15, 7:40, 8:40, 10:15, 11:30, 12:45, 14:00, 15:30, 16:40, 18:15, 19:30 → ← 5:00, 6:00, 7:10, 8:15, 9:20, 11:40, 13:00, 14:20, 15:30, 17:30, 18:00 Ciudad Quesada
San Jose 10:00 → ← 4:30 Coto 47
San Jose 5:30, 15:00 → ← 5:40, 13:40 Dominical
San Jose 6:30, 10:00, 13:30, 15:00, 17:00 → ← 6:00, 8:00, 10:20, 13:00, 15:00 Filadelfia
San Jose 6:15, 8:30, 11:30 → ← 12:30, 14:30 Fortuna
San Jose 6:25 → ← 12:30 Nosara
San Jose 7:00, 15:00 → ← 5:00, 13:30 Golfito
San Jose every 30 min 5:35-22:10 → ← every 30 min 4:30-20:30 Grecia
San Jose 5:30, 7:00, 11:30, 14:00, 15:30, 17:00, 19:00 → ← 5:45, 6:30, 8:00, 9:45, 11:15, 14:15, 17:00, 18:30 Guacimo
San Jose every hour 5:30-22:00 → ← every hour 5:30-19:00 Guapiles
San Jose 5:30, 8:30, 11:30 → ← 8:00, 11:30, 15:00 Guatuso
San Jose every 10 min 5:00-23:00 → ← every 10 min 5:00-23:00 Heredia
San Jose every 10 min 5:00-23:00 → ← every 10 min 5:00-23:00 Heredia
San Jose every 10 min 5:00-23:00 → ← every 10 min 5:00-23:00 Heredia
San Jose 14:30 → ← 7:30 Hojancha
San Jose 6:30, 7:30, 10:00, 11:30, 13:30, 16:30, 18:00 → ← 11:00, 13:30, 15:00, 17:30 Horquetas
San Jose 7:30, 10:30, 13:00, 15:30, 18:30 → ← 5:00, 7:30, 11:00, 15:00, 17:00 Jaco
San Jose 6:00, 15:30 → ← 4:45, 14:30 Jicaral
San Jose every 10 min 4:20-23:00 → ← every 10 min 4:20-23:00 Juan Santamaria Airport
San Jose 9:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00 → ← 4:40, 5:50, 8:30, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00 Juan Vinas
San Jose 8:40, 10:30, 15:00Ret.6:00, 11:00 → ← 8:40, 10:30, 15:00Ret.6:00, 11:00 Juntas
San Jose 6:40, 14:45 → ← 4:00, 14:30 La Cruz
San Jose 7:00, 8:00, 11:00, 14:00 → ← 8:25, 12:25, 15:25, 17:25, 15:15 La Guacima
San Jose every hour 6:00-18:00 → ← every hour 4:00-20:00 Liberia
San Jose every hour 5:00-19:00 → ← every hour 5:00-19:00 Limon
San Jose 5:30, 15:30 → ← 5:00, 15:00. Los Chiles
San Jose 6:00, 9:00, 12:30, 14:30, 15:00, 17:00, 19:30 → ← 5:30, 6:00, 7:30, 9:30, 13:00, 15:15, 18:30 Los Santos
San Jose 7:00 → ← 4:30, 14:30 Mal Pais
San Jose 12:00 → ← 7:00 Manzanillo
San Jose 9:00, 12.00, 14:00, 16:00 → ← 5:00, 6:15, 7:00, 12:00, 15:00 Matina
San Jose 7:00, 12:30, 16:15, 17:40 → ← 4:30, 5:30, 7:30, 12:30 Miramar
San Jose 7:30, 15:30 → ← 4:45, 14:45 Montezuma
San Jose 7:40, 15:00 → ← 6:30, 14:30 Nandayure
San Jose 6:30, 10:00, 13:30, 15:00, 17:00 → ← 5:30, 7:30, 9:30, 12:30, 15:00 Nicoya
San Jose 6:00, 8:00, 10:30, 12:30, 14:00, 16:0018:15 → ← 3:45, 4:30, 5:20, 9:45, 12:00, 14:30, 17:20 Nicoya
San Jose 6:00 → ← 12:30 Nosara
San Jose 8:00, 9:30, 11:15, 12:30, 13:45, 14:45, 16:50, 17:50, 18:25, 21:00 → ← 5:00, 5:306:00, 7:15, 10:00, 13:00, 14:50, 16:00, 18:00 Orotina
San Jose 5:00, 7:00, 8:30, 10:00, 13:00, 14:30, 18:00 → ← 5:00, 7:00, 8:15, 7:00, 10:00, 13:00, 14:30, 16:45 Palmar Norte
San Jose every hour 5:00-18:30 → ← every hour 5:00-18:30 Palmares
San Jose 5:00, 7:30, 11:00, 13:00, 16:30, 18:00 → ← 3:30, 8:30, 11:30, 15:00 Paso Canoas
San Jose 8:30, 10:30, 14:30, 19:30, 21:00 → ← 4:00, 8:00, 9:00, 15:00 Paso Canoas
San Jose 4:305:00, 7:00, 7:45, 10:30, 13:20, 16:00 → ← 5:00, 7:00, 9:30, 10:30, 12:00, 13:30, 14:45, 15:30 Penas Blancas
San Jose 7:40, 12:45, 15:00, 19:30 → ← 6:30, 7:30, 11:00, 13:00, 17:00 Pital
San Jose 15:25 → ← 5:10 Playa Hermosa
San Jose 15:25 → ← 5:00 Playa Panama
San Jose 8:00, 10:30, 15:00, 11:00 → ← 2:45, 9:00, 14:00 Playa Potrero
San Jose 8:00, 14:00, 16:00 → ← 4:00, 8:00, 14:00 Playas del Coco
San Jose 6:00, 12:00 → ← 5:00, 11:00 Puerto Jimenez
San Jose 6:00, 7:30, 10:00, 11:30, 13:30, 14:30, 15:30, 16:30, 18:00 → ← 5:30, 7:00, 8:00, 11:00, 13:30, 15:00, 17:30 Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui
San Jose 6:30, 13:00, 17:30 → ← 5:00, 7:30, 11:30, 16:30 Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui
San Jose 6:00, 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00 → ← 7:00, 8:00, 9:30, 11:30, 16:30 Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
San Jose every 40 min 6:00-19:00 → ← every 40 min 5:30-19:00 Puntarenas
San Jose every hour 5:30-22:30 → ← every hour 5:30-22:30 Puriscal
San Jose 6:00, 12:00, 18:00, 19:30 → ← 6:00, 9:30, 12:00, 17:00 Quepos
San Jose 8:20, 11:20, 13:20, 17:20, 18:20 → ← 9:00, 12:00, 15:00, 17:30, 19:30 Rancho Redondo
San Jose 7:00, 15:30 → ← 9:15, 17:45 Rio Jimenez
San Jose 5:45, 8:15, 11:30, 14:45 → ← 5:00, 7:30, 10:00, 15:00 Sabalito
San Jose 12:30, 18:30 → ← 4:00, 8:45 Samara
San Jose every 25 min 5:20-22:30 → ← every 25 min 5:20-22:30 San Ignacio de Acosta
San Jose every hour 5:30-17:30 → ← every hour 5:00-17:30 San Isidro del General
San Jose every hour 5:00-18:00 → ← every hour 5:30-19:30 San Isidro del General
San Jose every 30 min 5:50-22:00 → ← every 30 min 5:50-22:00 San Ramon
San Jose 5:45, 8:15, 11:30, 14:45 → ← 5:15, 7:45, 10:15, 15:15 San Vito
San Jose 6:00, 14:05 → ← 4:00, 14:30 Santa Cecila
San Jose 9:00, 12:00, 16:00, 18:00 → ← 4:30, 8:30, 11:30, 17:00 Santa Cruz
San Jose 7:00, 10:00, 13:00, 17:00 → ← 4:30, 8:00, 12:00, 15:00 Santa Cruz
San Jose 7:00, 10:00, 10:30, 13:00, 14:00 → ← 3:00, 5:00, 6:30, 10:30, 13:30 Santa Cruz
San Jose 6:30, 13:3015:00 → ← 5:30, 7:30, 10:00, 12:30 Santa Cruz
San Jose 6:30, 14:30 → ← 6:30, 14:30 Santa Elena
San Jose every 30 min 5:00-22:00 → ← every 30 min 5:00-22:00 Sarchi
San Jose 6:30, 8:00, 9:30 every hour 10:00-18:00 → ← every hour 5:30-18:00 Siquirres
San Jose 6:00, 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00 → ← 5:00, 7:00, 8:00, 9:30, 15:00 Sixaola
San Jose 11:30, 15:30 → ← 3:30, 5:45, 13:00 Tamarindo
San Jose 7:30, 9:30, 12:45, 15:45, 18:30 → ← 5:00, 7:00, 9:30, 14:00, 17:00 Tilaran
San Jose every hour 5:15-22:00 → ← every hour 5:00-21:00 Turrialba
San Jose 10:15, 15:00, 17:15, 15:45 → ← 4:30, 5:15, 9:00, 9:30 Upala
San Jose 5:30, 15:00 → ← 5:00, 13:00 Uvita
San Jose 8:00 → ← 12:00 Volcan Irazu
San Jose 8:00 → ← 14:00 Volcan Poas
San Jose 9:15, 12:15, 16:15, 17:15 → ← 5:00, 5:30, 12:15, 14:45 Zarcero
San Jose every 30 min 5:00-19:30 → ← every 30 min 5:00-17:35 Zarcero
Santa Cruz 12:30 → ← 5:00 Ostional
Santa Cruz 5:00, 10:00, 14:30, 17:30 → ← 6:00, 9:00, 12:30, 16:30 Playa Junquillal
Santa Cruz 4:00, 6:00, 9:00, 11:00, 12:00, 14:00, 14:30, 16:00, 17:00, 19:00 → ← 6:00, 8:00, 11:00, 14:00, 16:00, 17:00, 19:00, 22:00 Playa Potrero
Santa Cruz 5:30, 9:00, 10:30, 13:30, 15:3017:00 → ← 6:00, 8:30, 12:00 Tamarindo
Santa Elena 6:00 → ← 2:15 Puntarenas
Santa Elena 7:00 → ← 12:30 Tilaran
Tilaran 12:00 → ← 8:00 Guatuso
Tilaran 12:30 → ← 7:00 Santa Elena
Turrialba 11:15, 15:10, 17:20 → ← 5:15, 7:00, 12:30, 16:00, Guayabo
Turrialba every hour 5:30-18:30 → ← every hour 5:30-18:30 Siquirres
Upala 11:00, 15:00 → ← 6:30, 13:00, 15:00 Cano Negro

 

Complete, Current Costa Rica Bus Schedule With Online Ticketing

Sorry, there is no such thing.  At least we saved you time hunting around for it.

It seems incomprehensible in the modern age that such basic information is unavailable but we’ve been watching for twenty years and would have noticed if it came along.   We maintain the limited list above in a limited fashion because it’s a lot of work and we do it for free.  I’d be more than happy to just provide a link to a current full schedule instead of trying to keep up with even the few we list.

Several small companies have tried over the years to do something to drag the Costa Rican bus system into at least the 20th century if not the 21st but none have succeeded.

How Can You Get Bus Schedules and Tickets?

The only reliable methods are in person or on the phone from the individual bus companies that serve the routes (and most won’t do reservations on the phone you have to go to the station and buy tickets).

The above schedule should cover most tourist destinations but if you’re headed off the beaten path there is an accurate comprehensive list of every current bus route in service in Costa Rica and the company that operates it.  We download the data from the government licensing agency Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos (ARESEP), filter out about 30,000 lines and 20 columns of regulatory crap to come up with the list of routes and operators.

Search for the destinations you want then give them a call for current schedule information.

Other Options

Costa Rica by Bus – the book

In 2011 John Wood wrote Costa Rica by Bus: The Insider’s Guide to Budget Travel which was pretty comprehensive and current but apparently didn’t sell to well because it’s never been updated so there’s not even a current printed version of the schedules (paper would be 20th century technology, right?).

The Ticket Buyers

From about 2009 – 2011 there was a company that had reps in most areas who would go to the ticket window and pay for a ticket to be held in your name for a service fee of $2-$5 after you paid them online.  I never tried it and it didn’t last too long.  I can’t remember the name of the company and the link I have for them goes to a “this domain for sale page.”

A Safe Passage

Since 1999 there has been a company called “A Safe Passage” that will buy bus tickets for you (you pay them via PayPal online) on limited routes.  It’s a bit pricy by backpacker’s standards, but not quite as much as a tourist shuttle bus all the way to your destination.  For example from SJO to Arenal

  • Do It Yourself – Airport > Alajuela Radial Station taxi $3.85 or public bus $1.05, Alajuela Radial Station > La Fortuna public bus $4.86  GRAND TOTAL = $5.91 to $8.71 per person
  • A Safe Passage – $45 per person (or $70 for two)
  • Chauffeured Van – Airport pickup and drop-off at your hotel in Arenal or withing 15km radius – from $55 to $105 per person depending on how many people and whether you want private service (only your party in van) or if you are willing to share.

TheBusSchedule.com

The most current comprehensive routing program that I know of is available at thebusschedule.com but I also know for certain that there are dozens of errors in their database for times, prices and locations of the stations.  They do not sell tickets – they just provide info and monetize the site with advertizing.

They have done a great job linking different routes together so you can search La Fortuna to Santa Teresa and find all four buses that you need to take but you’ll probably want to call the bus line to confirm the times and locations before setting out.

Bus Station Locations

Because every bus route is operated by a different company the stations are spread all over downtown San José and other cities.

It’s a bit of a pain if you know in advance and have to schlep your backpack fifteen blocks across town to make your connection but it’s a real pain if you miss your connection because you’re sitting in the wrong station.

This map shows the main stations in San Jose and others across the country.

Tips For Public Bus Travel

  • Advance reservations are strongly recommended around Christmas, Easter and if your departure or destination city is celebrating a local festival or fiesta.
  • Advance reservations are a huge pain and probably not worth the effort at other times.  Typically there is no way to make reservations online or by phone.  It can only be done in person.  There are a few webpages out there that advertise advance reservations for “bus tickets” but they are all selling tourist shuttle services ranging from $30-140 per ride.  There’s nothing wrong with shuttles but public buses cost 10 times less.
  • Especially in San José the station you arrive at may not be the station you depart from when trying to make a connection.  They may be miles apart.  Check in advance.
  • When trying to make connections it’s worth mentioning where you’re ultimately headed to the driver of the bus you start out on.  They may be able to drop you closer to your connection than their terminal and at the very least they’ll probably at least point you in the right direction if they can’t get you closer.
  • Buses and stations are prime targets for pickpockets, snatch and runs, and thieves in general.  I know at least a dozen people ranging from unaware novice travelers to Ticos who ride buses every week who’ve been victimized.  Do not put anything under your seat or in the overhead racks.  Keep your valuables in a bag in your lap.  Keep an eye on the baggage compartment at stops to make sure your backpack is not “accidentally” unloaded at the wrong stop.
  • Your surf board, bicycle or trekking pole may be broken by a 100 kilo crate of casava being dropped on them in the luggage compartment unless you tip the porters.
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