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SJO Interbus Pick Up at Denny's

Level Contributor
3 posts
48 reviews
SJO Interbus Pick Up at Denny's

If you book an Interbus from SJO to out of town the pickup will be at Denny's opposite the Holiday Inn Express. Now how do you get to Denny's?

Holiday Inn Express has a shuttle, it is shared with the Hampton Inn next door and the Hampton Inn signage is more prominent on the outside of the bus. The shuttle runs every 30 mins most of the day.

The pickup point is on the main roadway outside the terminal, next to the parking garage. When you get outside arrivals walk through the sea of people asking if you want a taxi, cross the road and turn right, walk along a bit to stand under the first walkway connecting the parking garage to the departure hall, protects you from the rain and/or sun. There is no sign saying hotel bus pick up or similar, just wave down the bus when it comes.

If you go to get a taxi they will tell you to get the shuttle as they don’t want to make a short trip, there are looking for a passenger for downtown.

Once on the bus the driver will ask you if you have a reservation, you have two choices, lie and say yes, or be honest and say you are getting Interbus. If you are honest the driver will start telling you that the shuttle is for Holiday Inn/Hampton Inn customers only, at this stage an early tip of c500/USD 1 per bag/person will help the driver focus on driving. Either way do tip the driver when you get off.

If you walk around looking lost it is likely a helper will come, this is a helper not someone looking to steal your bags, who will ask you which shuttle you want and even call the hotel on his cell phone to check the shuttle time, but he expects to be paid, again c500/USD 1 per bag/person.

So do have some USD 1 bills ready on arrival, the airport AMTs will give you c10,000 approx USD 20.

When you arrive at the Holiday Inn Express you can walk over to Denny’s who will welcome you as an Interbus customer, let you sit until the bus comes, as long as you order something. Denny’s menu is pretty similar to the US, but includes Gallo Pinto They will even give you a traffic update and likely delay for your bus. There is outside seating in the Denny’s entrance area and the covered driveway of the Casino (same building as Denny’s)

In most cases the Interbus driver will come inside Denny’s looking for passengers.

Around the Denny’s/Holiday Inn Express area there is not much. If you want to get cash, snacks, SIM card, postcards, etc. get them inside the arrival luggage area or walk into the departure area, upstairs, and get them before getting on the shuttle.

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,653 posts
25 reviews
1. Re: SJO Interbus Pick Up at Denny's

I understand that you are writing from your experience - but what you are writing is very specific and not always the case.

1. Pickup point with Interbus: You are right, they do not pick up at the airport. But Denny's is not the only choice. You can arrange a pickup at the Holiday Inn Express and take the shuttle there.

2. Getting the Holiday Inn Express shuttle: Typically, they will be waiting across the street from where you exit the main terminal. Just make your way through the crowd and go across the street towards the parking garage. If the shuttle isn't there, just wait for it.

I have used the shuttle quite a few times and have never been asked if I have a reservation.

3. Getting a taxi: If you don't want to deal with the shuttle, it's a 5-minute taxi ride and you CAN most certainly get a taxi to take you to either the Denny's or the Holiday Inn Express. I've also done that several times.

4. If you want to buy anything between getting off your flight and getting picked up by Interbus, your only real choice will be either the Malinche's restaurant which is outside the main terminal and has snacks, or the Malinche's little "snack bar" which is to the left as you exit the terminal. You can also go up to the Departures area and go up to the mezzanine for Lavazzas where you can get coffee and drinks and baked goods and sandwiches.

You can't get to the boarding area where there is the food court, convenience store, etc. To get there, you have to go through security and for that, you need a boarding pass.

There is an ATM in the baggage retrieval area of the main terminal so you can use this if you need cash.

And finally -- Interbus has a new website which I find almost impossible to use. (What were they thinking?) So I usually just use the AnywhereCostaRica transportation to book a shuttle.

Level Contributor
3 posts
48 reviews
2. Re: SJO Interbus Pick Up at Denny's


Thanks for your update.

Before coming to Costa Rica I was looking for details on the shuttle to Holiday Inn Express and did not find much, the hotel web site just says they have a shuttle not details on timing, on request etc.

On your points:

1. Thought Holiday Inn Express was essentially the same place as Denny’s. Does Interbus pick up from the Holiday Inn Express lobby?

2. One girl on the bus next to me got an earful from the driver when she mentioned Interbus, he looked like he was going to ask her to leave, I suggested she offer a tip and then everything was OK. Yes just my experience but could happen to other people as well.

3. Both I and the girl on the shuttle had the taxi issue where the driver did not want to go to Denny’s and suggested the shuttle. Given my experience at other airports this seemed normal as taxi drivers are looking for long distance rides. Again could happen to other travelers as well.

4. I did not get cash in luggage retrieval, ended up using the ones next to the Exit Tax counters in departures. Would have been simpler to get the cash in the luggage retrieval area.

Do agree about the Interbus website. I ended up booking by e-mail with them. Sure AnywhereCostaRica would have been simpler.

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,653 posts
25 reviews
3. Re: SJO Interbus Pick Up at Denny's

Interbus picks up right in front of the Holiday Inn Express. There is a covered area where people arrive and unload their luggage and in this area, there is a bench where people wait. No problem with waiting in the lobby if you are early.

I've never EVER had a taxi driver tell me he wouldn't take me somewhere, especially somewhere close. I mean -- it's a quick $5 and he can be back at the airport for another fare. Of course, if you were using a pirate taxi, all bets are off.

As for the shuttle: just give the guy your luggage and get in. Don't say anything about Interbus or shuttle or whatever. If you feel funny about using the shuttle, then just take a taxi.

And I don't agree with your assessment of taxi drivers who don't want to take short fares. That has not been my experience anywhere. Obviously, your experience is different.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
51,477 posts
98 reviews
4. Re: SJO Interbus Pick Up at Denny's

YEP Holiday Express across from Dennys…


5. Re: SJO Interbus Pick Up at Denny's

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