- The Best of Costa Rica
- Costa Rica’s Top Spots for WIldlife
- Costa Rica’s Most Beautiful Beaches
- Costa Rica’s Best Beaches for Wildlife
- Best Surfing Beaches in Costa Rica
- Costa Rica’s Unique Retreats & Resorts
- Surf’s Up in Costa Rica
- Off-The-Beaten-Path Eco-Adventures
- Costa Rica Family-Friendly Adventures
- Adrenaline Rush
Buses serve even the most remote towns: Generally, if there’s a road, there’s a bus. Popular destinations are served by both fast buses (directo) and slower buses (normal or corriente), which make stops en route. Most buses serving major towns from San José are modern air-conditioned buses with toilets and sometimes even movies. In the boondocks, local buses are usually old U.S. high school buses with arse-numbing seats. You can travel to most parts of the country for less than $10.
Buy tickets (boletos) in advance for long-distance travel (for local buses, you’ll have to pay when getting aboard). Get there at least an hour before departure or your reservation may not be honored. Long-distance buses have storage below; local buses do not. Travel light; a soft duffel is preferable, so you can tuck it under your seat or carry it on your lap.
Bus stops (paradas) nationwide are plain to see; most have shelters. Elsewhere, you can usually flag down rural buses anywhere along their routes. Long-distance buses don’t always stop when waved down. To get off, shout “¡Pare!” (pa-reh).
Many buses don’t run on Thursday and Friday during Easter week.
You can check schedules online at www.thebusschedule.com.
Interbus (tel. 506/2283-5573, www.interbusonline.com) operates scheduled shuttles between major tourist destinations, plus airport transfers. Complete listings of routes, schedules, and fares are available online. Grayline Fantasy Bus (tel. 506/2220-2126, www.graylinecostarica.com) offers a similar service to destinations throughout Costa Rica.
Costa Rica Shuttle (tel. 506/2289-9509, U.S. tel. 305/720-2787, www.costaricashuttle.com) and Coach Costa Rica (tel. 506/2229-4192, www.coachcostarica.com) offer customized shuttle service nationwide using minivans, as does Transport Costa Rica Monteverde (tel. 506/2645-6768, www.transportcostarica.net).
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Costa Rica, 8th Edition