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Direct bus Montezuma to SJO

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London, United...
posts: 7
reviews: 2
Direct bus Montezuma to SJO

Hi

We need to get to SJO airport by about 2pm tomorrow, from Montezuma.

I have seen and heard different websites and people stating a direct bus leaves Montezuma at 5.30am, 6am, 6.20am and 6.30am... Does anyone know the correct time?!

And, other than the ferry, is it the same bus all the way or do we have to change buses in Cobano?

Thanks

19 replies to this topic
Sutton, Canada
posts: 322
reviews: 2
1. Re: Direct bus Montezuma to SJO

Cant answer your question but just wondering why you are asking this question less than 24 hrs from the time that you have to catch the bus to get to the airport to catch your flight. To be on the safe side you may want to consider catching the next bus leaving today.

Winnipeg, Canada
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 6,001
reviews: 16
2. Re: Direct bus Montezuma to SJO

Here is the facebook page of the company that operates this service.

https:/…112259365485269

There are several contact numbers given:

Contact info

Phone (506)22217479 -26421112 -26421117 -26420992

Email transportescobano@gmail.com

Maybe you can get someone to call - though not sure if any will answer on Sunday - to see the current departure times.

The say that bus departure times are based on the ferry times and both are subject to change.

Good luck.

raquel

On a slight tangent; One thing that this Facebook page did tell me is that from San Jose to Montezuma, the bus will stop at Puente de Villa Bonita near SJO.

Dearborn, Michigan
posts: 481
reviews: 9
3. Re: Direct bus Montezuma to SJO

Check the time posted at the bus stop (there is a painted sign) and be there there. My experience with the bust from Montezuma to SJO is that it's 6:20 (it's a bus, so it's not always on-time), realistically, if it's shown up at 6:30 I'm not going to tell you it's 6:30 if everyone told me 6:20. I know in January it was at least 6:20, because I took sunrise photos on the north beach and then ran to hotel for luggage and then to bus stoop and then still took a lot of photos from the bus stop (the sunrise was awesome from the bus stop actually!). I've never heard anyone tell me 5:30.

My experience has never been that have I boarded the directo in Montezuma and been on it non-stop to SJ, the times I've taken it has always been a regular bus to Cobano and then catch the bus there to SJO (it's been the same way when I've come to Montezuma (even when at the SJ bus station the lane I'm in is labeled "Montezuma"). Maybe at busy times of they year have additional people so separate busses go to Montezuma and Santa Teresa but I've done it in multiple times (Nov, Jan and Feb) and it's always been the switch in Cobano.

Be sure to tell the Montezuma bus you want the directo, if there is something else to wait for, he'll tell you. In my experience, he also doesn't charge you for the ride to Cobano, you pay there. Most (all) of these drivers do not speak English (my experience is the same on the phone) but "aeropuerto" and "directo" have always gotten me where I want to go.

When you board the directo, which (in my experience) is air conditioned and nice. They'll check your luggage in the bottom, be sure to tell them your going to the airport (I think they generally ask) and they'll give you a claim ticket (and then they lock it up). When you get off at the ferry you get handed a ticket to walk on the ferry (make sure you have your bus receipt to get back on the bus).

Unless there is something wacky going on (traffic or ferry), I think it usually gets me there (SJO airport) easily by 2pm. For some reason I'm thinking I had taken it to my Alajuela hotel (after catching a bus from SJO airport) and I still think it was before 2 (but I was on vacation, so maybe I'm mistaken, someone correct me if I'm wrong on this).

Keep in mind the SJO airport is NOT in San Jose, it's in Alajuela (25-30 minutes away). I do the directo going east Montezuma to Alajuela; I take the hired shuttle busses (Montezuma Expeditions) when going west to Montezuma. the half hour east to the bus SJ station from Alajuela east and then the half hour back west combined with the higher cost (a cab ride or staying in a SJ hotel) isn't worth it.

On holy week (this week, right?) they usually do a mass exodus from the central part of the country to the coast. On some days during the holiday I think they close the east bound lanes of the highway so it's all lanes heading west on a particular highway) they do the opposite at the end of the week. Usually I see notices for that but haven't seen them yet. That could possibly cause some delays but at this point there really isn't much you can do about it (unless you rented a car to catch the 5:30 am ferry or left tonight).

Gary

Dearborn, Michigan
posts: 481
reviews: 9
4. Re: Direct bus Montezuma to SJO

Now that I think about it, I met some people last time that were taking the early directo and they had a 3:30 pm flight and they made it in time (factoring in check-in and security, etc).

That's cutting it too close for me, too many things to go wrong when you are so many hours away from the airport. I think I had the same flight as them (for my first connection going home to Michigan a few weeks later), but I went back the day before and goofed around in San Jose and Alajuela that evening and the next morning.

Gary

London, United...
posts: 7
reviews: 2
5. Re: Direct bus Montezuma to SJO

Thanks very much, really appreciate it. Will check the sign now.

Costa Rica
posts: 21,742
reviews: 26
6. Re: Direct bus Montezuma to SJO

Keep in mind, Greydog, that you will need to be at the airport no later than 12:00 noon for your 2 pm flight - and preferably 11:30 am. You will need to pay your departure tax, fill out a form and stand in line with everyone else on your flight to check in, then go through security. Keep your fingers crossed that there are no traffic accidents, vehicle (or ferry!) breakdowns, protests or anything else to delay your trip to the airport. It's about 5 hours from Montezuma to Alajuela where the airport is located.

Frankly, if I were you, I would head to Alajuela on an afternoon bus, spend the night there and then have no worries about catching or missing your flight.

Edited: 2:32 pm, April 13, 2014
London, United...
posts: 7
reviews: 2
7. Re: Direct bus Montezuma to SJO

Flight time is 15.45, so aiming to be at airport at 2pm latest... Sounds like we should have time even if it takes closer to 7 hours from Montezuma... Thanks for your help.

Costa Rica
posts: 21,742
reviews: 26
8. Re: Direct bus Montezuma to SJO

Sounds good, greydog. From your original post, I was thinking your flight was at 2 pm! You should have no problem with that.

Another option to look at: take the water taxi from Montezuma to Jaco and the bus from Jaco to the airport.

You should arrive Jaco at 11 am and it should take 1.5 to 2 hours from Jaco to the airport. There's a bus from Jaco at 11 am that should get you to the airport around 1:30 or 2.

Dearborn, Michigan
posts: 481
reviews: 9
9. Re: Direct bus Montezuma to SJO

Hopefully it won't be 7 hours, 3:20 would not be a good time to show up!

Please come back and tell us how your times work out! (And if you had a directo or had to switch in Cobano).

AIRPORT TIPS: (since you'll be in a rush)

If you don't know that you need to pay an airport tax (you do now), make sure you do that as soon as you get there (you need all the people's passports to pay). It's about $28 (maybe a few more if it's gone up), in my experiences they'll take any combo of dollars and colones; if you charge it, they will do it as a cash advance and you'll have fees from your bank. Splitting up can help if lines are super long, but the line for the airline will only let you go so far (if not kick you out) in that line without those tax forms.

Security is slow sometimes so go there as soon as you check in. There are multiple shops and food on the other side (besides you can't bring liquids through security).

Speaking of liquids:

You will do security again at board time, sometimes it might not look like it, but they'll set up at the last minute. I'm mentioning this because IF they SEE bottled drinks (open or unopened), they will confiscate them even though you bought them after security. (I assume they do the same for paper cup drinks from the fast food places).

Gary

Costa Rica
posts: 21,742
reviews: 26
10. Re: Direct bus Montezuma to SJO

You cannot get into the check-in line until you have paid your departure tax and filled out the form. Period. It's $29 and you can pay with dollars or colones or a combo of both. If there is more than one person in your group, only one person needs get in line with passports and money.

The departure tax desk will be on your right as you enter the terminal, across from the airline check in desks. If you have written down some information ahead of time, it will help you fill out the form. Passport number and airline and flight number are the main things - everything else you already know.

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