Bus travel to and from beaches is economical, efficient and a great way to see the country and make friends.
Bus travel to and from beaches is economical, efficient and a great way to see the country and make friends.

Visiting the beaches is a favourite way for many to spend the Christmas and New Year’s holidays in Costa Rica. And what better than to make the trip to and from in a bus.

Bus travel is inexpensive and efficient.

A check of bus costs reveals that one can get to and from Costa Rica’s Pacific beaches from between ¢3.000 (US$9) and ¢7.000 (US$14), depending on the beach.  Many routes have direct service to and from San José.

According to the president of the Cámara Nacional de Transportes, Maritza Hernández, for the holidays bus operators add more units to their routes to handle the increased volume.

Hernández suggests to buy the return ticket in advance to avoid disappoinment or longer stays that can add costs, such lodging and meals, to a budget.

The Cámara has also a hotline – 2283 1820 – to provide information on bus routes and hours of operation.

The advantage of taking the bus are many, especially for foreigners, giving them the ability to see parts of the country they would normally not see and meet interesting people during the journey, even make friends..

For those who don’t have the patience to travel by bus, there is the option of flying.

Both Sansa and Nature Air offer regular daily flights to Costa Rica’s Pacific beach towns and resorts from San José. The cost of flying can be between US$100 and US$140, one way, per person, depending on the destination.

Sansa operates from the Juan Santamaría international airport, allowing arriving visitors the luxury of just walking a few hundred yards from the main terminal to the “national” terminal.  Nature Air operates from the Pavas airport, the official name is the Tobías Bolaños international airport, located on the west of Pavas, accessible from the Boulevar west of the La Sabana park.

Flying to locations like Tamarindo, Liberia (closest airport to Papagayo, Coco and Hermosa beaches), Tambor an Quepos can get you on the beach in less than an hour (30-50 minutes), instead of the several to many hours by bus. If you choose flying, remember, the schedules are not as flexible as buses and limits to and what you can carry.

Be it by bus, air or car, very important is to be careful. Enjoy the ocean, but respect it.