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Getting to Montezuma

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Charleston, South...
posts: 35
reviews: 13
Getting to Montezuma

Well I am bummed. We just bought our tickets to Costa Rica and were planning on spending 2 nights in Montezuma but the afternoon flight we'd need to Tambor JUST got all booked up. :( I am wondering what other option would be best:

A) Bus > Ferry > Taxi (Is the bus okay??)

B) Private, or semi-private shuttle (that will use the ferry - anyone know how much would this run?)

C) Go to Jaco, spend a night there instead of Mont. and take water taxi over in the morning (which would only allow us to be in Montezuma for about 24 hours as we'd leave the next morning.)

I think a shuttle would be great because I don't want to worry with renting a car, but it sounds expensive. Anyone know any companies or have any feedback on the options?

Dallas, Texas
posts: 3
reviews: 2
1. Re: Getting to Montezuma

I know there is some information on Zumatours.com, if you havent already looked there. The bus - ferry- taxi is the cheapest option but it would eat up most of the day to get there. good luck

Charleston, South...
posts: 35
reviews: 13
2. Re: Getting to Montezuma

Great, thank you! I contacted them. We are interested in the following option -- if by chance anyone reads this who is going from San Jose to Montezuma on JULY 19, let me know and we can share the superfast private shuttle and private taxi boat. I know it's a long shot posting here but figured I'd try. ;)


1. The Best Way (To get to know Costa Rica)

San Jose to Herradura beach, (by land 1.5 hours in a private shuttle with your personal guide/driver) and from Herradura to Montezuma by private speed boat (1 hour approx.) the rate for these two services all together is:

US$380, max. 5 people.

Dearborn, Michigan
posts: 579
reviews: 9
3. Re: Getting to Montezuma

Rats, I just answered some info on the other thread you posted and now you're mixing it up :)

I'm under the impress the air conditioned 6am and 2pm directo (use that word) bus from San Jose to Montezuma generally (always?) stops in front of the airport on the way out of town. I'd guess around 2:30ish (give or take 10 minutes). I've never taken it this way, I suppose it could be full, I don't know. It's around $14 and seems like it'd be the easiest. I've only taken the 6am and it stops, and when I get on in Montezuma/Cobano, they ask if I want to stop at the airport. And the bus stop is right behind the El Sano Bananno, which is where you'll check in for the Ylang Ylang.

I've never seen this written up this way, people always say to go to San Jose to catch it, but that's a $25+ cab ride and defeats the purpose of the $14 bus to me (and I use to get a lot of 1 or 2 pm arrivals so that wouldn't work for me). But my last few visits, that's the way the bus goes.

I think it's in front of the parking structure that is right in front of DEPARTURES. Departures is actually up a level, so down the ramp and in front is a bus stop. I'd guess it's right in front (north) of the P on the parking structure on this map http://g.co/maps/ympsp

Or you might be able to make arrangements with Montezuma Expeditions for a pickup near the airport (as a transportation service, I'm not sure if they can go to the airport). I think they do an afternoon run. They're about $40-45 a person.

I used to always use Montezuma Expeditions, but now I do the public if the times work out. Either way is probably about 5 hours from the airport.

In a pinch you could always cab it to Puntarenas to catch the ferry to Paquera and get a bus waiting on the other side.

The problem with the taxi boat is making sure there is a boat available at that time. I guess if you're making it private they'll be there for you. It seems I was always waiting for the taxi boat to Montezuma, not a problem going to the other way so much.


PS - WIth the directo, you generally switch buses in Cobana (near the end of the trip).

posts: 16
reviews: 284
4. Re: Getting to Montezuma

Thanks for this info, Gary. I've seen your posts on Lonely Planet, too, and I always appreciate your attention to detail!

My wife and I will be doing the trek from SJO to Montezuma in about two weeks. My worry is that the bus doesn't stop at the airport for some reason, and we get left behind! How long is the cab ride from the terminal to the Coca Cola station?

Any tips on finding the correct bus once at the station? How much baggage is comfortable/safe to bring along? We're light packers, but I'm wondering if the rolling carry-on type suitcases will be too much hassle?

Where does the bus stop in Montezuma? How far a walk would it be to get to Amor de Mar?

Sorry for all the questions!

Santa Teresa, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Mal Pais, Santa Teresa
posts: 1,518
reviews: 15
5. Re: Getting to Montezuma


Don't depend on the bus to stop at the airport. It only picks up out going passengers as they head toward Puntarenas and you will have to call the bus company ahead to arrange for a pick-up. They sometimes stop at an area a few K. beyond the airport for pick-ups as they head out of town, but unless you know good Spanish and know the area, you may not know where the pick-up area is and it can get complicated. The best bet is to get into the Coca Cola Station and get on the bus. The areas for the buses are clearly marked. Most of the time, there are others hanging around waiting for the bus and just ask, someone will be able to tell you exactly where and when the bus will arrive and leave. Watch for the signs in the windows of the buses. The direct bus to Montezuma is the same one that goes to Santa Teresa/Mal Pais.

When the bus arrives and unloads, the crew spend a little time cleaning and getting it in order for their return to the beach, passengers then line up and wait to get on the bus, as you get on, you put your luggage underneath in the storage compartment and you are given a ticket for your luggage and you pay after you get aboard. Pay attention to your bags as you wait at the station, thieves are pretty cagey!

The bus stops in Montezuma central and it will be about a 5-10 min. walk to Amor de Mar depending on what kind of bags you have and how heavy they are. Rolling is fine, but keep in mind, the roads are dirt and rolling bags don't do well on that terrain. Backpacks are much more sensible.

Enjoy your time!

Dearborn, Michigan
posts: 579
reviews: 9
6. Re: Getting to Montezuma

The bus to Montezuma probably stops in Cobano, then you switch to a Montezuma one.

The bus is on this map.


I'd guess the cab from SJO to La Coca Cola is 30 minutes unless it's rush hour, then at least 45-60 (but I'm guessing, I've never directly gone there). And it's all in the wrong direction. I'm wondering what a cab ride to punterenus from SJO would cost if you didn't catch the directo?

I think it's bay seven (with a big MONTEZUMA sign).

I'd recommend a shuttle service like Montezuma Expeditions before backtracking to San Jose. And they'll drop you at your hotel (although they might not be able to pick you up at the airport).

(FYI the SJO airport is NOT in San Jose, just like the Detroit Airport is not in Detroit, it's 30 minutes in non-rush hour too!)

I think Amor de Mar is right across the street front the waterfall parking lot (so south on the map).


Dearborn, Michigan
posts: 579
reviews: 9
7. Re: Getting to Montezuma

Yes, that's where it is, see this map



San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 44,925
reviews: 3
8. Re: Getting to Montezuma

From San Jose can be about $ 115.00 and then the ferry and another private transfer from Paquera to Montezuma bout $ 70.00 at the ned less than $ 200.00 from SJO to Montezuma...about the same you will spend for a good hotel...breakfast dinner and taxis...


posts: 16
reviews: 284
9. Re: Getting to Montezuma

Thanks for all the advice, everybody. The taxi from SJO to Coca Cola was $25 and only took about 30 minutes around noon time. Bus to Cobano/Montezuma was $16 I believe. Fun trip!

The directo bus definitely did not stop at SJO on the way out of town, though it'd be great if that became a regular thing.

Dearborn, Michigan
posts: 579
reviews: 9
10. Re: Getting to Montezuma

Really, it didn't stop? Wow. Okay, I'll know not to count on that. It's just weird, I'd swear it stopped all times I've taken it. I know when they take our luggage they even ask if it's San Jose or Airport.

Did it take you directly to Montezuma or did you have to switch in Cobano?

What about on the way back? Or are you still there!