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Getting to MA from SJ on bus while avoiding Coca Cola

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posts: 38
reviews: 19
Getting to MA from SJ on bus while avoiding Coca Cola

Is there a bus (anywhere) in the San Jose area(Alajuela?) that goes to MA without making you get on at the Coca Cola Terminal? I'm pretty terrified of going to this place from what I've been reading. Any help would be appreciated!

Grecia, Costa Rica
posts: 916
reviews: 15
1. Re: Getting to MA from SJ on bus while avoiding Coca Cola

To answer your concerns, Coca Cola is fine during the day, as there are police that tour the area and many bus employees watching their rigs and passengers, I would have no problem using it as a terminal. Now evenings are different, and the usual characters do hang around to sleep on the benches. The Alajuela terminal will get you a ride to Quepos, then a local bus to MA from there (even a taxi is affordable). I would suggest that you could stand on the platform across from Hospital Mexico (going west) where many different buses/routes go by, but that might be more than you want to experience. If you are coming into SJ airport (which is actually in Alajuela) then the Alajuela terminal would be best and the front of the bus will say Quepos.

Safe trip.

San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 3,527
2. Re: Getting to MA from SJ on bus while avoiding Coca Cola

I agree with CajonTraveler the Coca Cola terminal is fine during the day time. Now the bus stop for Manuel Antonio is no longer at the Coca Cola Terminal, now it is in a different area that is safer. San Jose 5th Avenue between 18th and 20th streets at the Tracopa Bus Terminal. There are also colectivos (Non direct buses) to Quepos that you can take at the bus stop of the Villa Bonita bridge close to the airport.

Edited: 6:20 pm, September 07, 2012
Grecia, Costa Rica
posts: 916
reviews: 15
3. Re: Getting to MA from SJ on bus while avoiding Coca Cola

Thanks Mike, I had forgotten about the direct (directivo) bus service to MA, and you are right about the terminal location. The collectivo to Quepos is the way I always went, different company, lots of stops on the way including a bathroom break and snacks, then local bus to the beach.

Best to get the right information.

posts: 38
reviews: 19
4. Re: Getting to MA from SJ on bus while avoiding Coca Cola

Great!!! So I can either take a direct bus to MA from the Tracopa terminal or a multi-stop bus to Quepos from the Alajuela terminal? On the busschedule.com, I see where they come up with dates and times and even the name of the bus company, but it doesn't say anything about which terminal to go to. It's very very frustrating! Thanks so much!

Grecia, Costa Rica
posts: 916
reviews: 15
5. Re: Getting to MA from SJ on bus while avoiding Coca Cola

Indeed it is, frustrating, but after living here for awhile, it becomes just a part of life. Don't be hesitant to ask anyone about the bus when you find your way to the terminal as many Ticos love to practice their English.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 39,180
6. Re: Getting to MA from SJ on bus while avoiding Coca Cola

I am one of them...and a proud one...NATIVE PRIDE!

The Tracopa bus station is...San Jose 5th Avenue between 18th and 20th streets Tracopa Bus Terminal.

Just common sense...alexis knows her way around!

roadadvisor

Winnipeg, Canada
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 5,833
reviews: 14
7. Re: Getting to MA from SJ on bus while avoiding Coca Cola

Since I have done this many times, I can answer your question. If you really want to avoid Tracopa, get a cab and ask him to take you to Puente Villa Bonita. It is about 5 minutes from SJO. It is a place along the road near a gas station where many buses including the colectivo to Quepos stop if you flag them down. If you look at the busschedule link and add about half an hour to the time the bus leaves Tracopa, that is the approximate time the bus will arrive at Puente Villa Bonita.

IF you decide to take taxi to Tracopa from Sjo it will cost about $30.

The colectivo just goes as far as Quepos so you will have to take a cab or local bus to get to where you are staying.

Actually the directo and the colectivos are both run by the same company Transportes Morales. Going back if you want to get off at the airport, you can take the colectivo.

If you want more info about the buses just ask.

Pura vida

raquel

posts: 38
reviews: 19
8. Re: Getting to MA from SJ on bus while avoiding Coca Cola

If I were to do the Puente Villa Bonita thing, would I just buy tickets right on the bus? So, for that, I would look at the bus leaving for Quepos from Tracopa and then be at Puente Villa Bonita thirty minutes after that? Do you know what the Transportes Morales buses look like? Also, what area in San Jose is the Tracopa terminal? Is there a bus from SJO to anywhere around the Tracopa terminal? We are spending the first night we fly in in San Jose and maybe we will look at getting a hotel near the Tracopa terminal so it will be easy to just take a quick taxi to the terminal in the morning to catch the bus.

Winnipeg, Canada
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 5,833
reviews: 14
9. Re: Getting to MA from SJ on bus while avoiding Coca Cola

Hi Youwinsome,

Yes, if you catch the bus at Puente Villa Bonita, you just pay the driver. A warning - sometimes there are no seats left on the bus and you may end up standing part of the way. But other times there can be lots of seats.

The buses to Quepos are pretty nondescript. Its not like they are all red or yellow or green.... One that we often take is sort of a grey with orange. You have to watch for it - it will say Quepos on the front and often there are others waiting to get on the same bus. But realistically, I do realize that the idea of flagging a bus down on a highway probably does not sound too appealing for a first trip so may not be for everyone.

Yes - if you look at the bus schedule (always subject to change ) and add about half hour that is about when the colectivo bus will arrive at Puente Villa Bonita - depending on traffic

There are buses from SJO into downtown San Jose - but they do not go to Tracopa. They are the Alajuela buses and stop right in front of the airport area and run very frequently. Then someone in the forum posted that if you get off that bus on the Paseo Colon you can catch the Sabana Cemetario Bus that goes to Tracopa. Though I am familiar with the Sabana cemetario bus I have never taken it past downtown - but the person wrote that the bus has several routings so you have to find one that says Tracopa.

Tracopa is on Calle 5 near Avenida 18 in a place called Plaza Viquez.

It probably would be best to stay in San Jose and take a cab to Tracopa. Getting into San Jose with the bus I talked about above is pretty easy.

Be aware that sometimes the directo buses to Manuel Antonio sell out so you may be unlucky and there not be a seat for you if you try to buy just before departure. (But other times you will be OK.....)

raquel

Edited: 6:59 pm, September 08, 2012
Grecia, Costa Rica
posts: 916
reviews: 15
10. Re: Getting to MA from SJ on bus while avoiding Coca Cola

I don't know why we are not suggesting Alajuela to Manuel Antonio (or Quepos), as the bus runs (Copetransatenas) from Alajuela, to Atenas to MA. A short bus ride from SJO to Alajuela is inexpensive, and then it is just a matter of getting a seat. I know that standing under Puente Villa Bonita works as well, but this seems more secure and convenient and the bus travels the new hiway.

Am I missing something here?

The Bus Schedule site http://thebusschedule.com/cr/index.php shows the connections.