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How to get to La Fortuna Costa Rica?

10 de September de 2021

If you are coming to Arenal Volcano and you wondering How to get to La Fortuna Costa Rica. We are going to explain to you the easiest way to get to La Fortuna Costa Rica from the Airport and San José.

Share shuttle from San Jose to Arenal Volcano

They are vans, bus or buses that leave every single day from San Jose, this is a Door to door service, and usually, the vans pick up you at your hotel or hostel and drop of you in La Fortuna ( if you are doing Airbnb or VBRO) is better to ask if is possible.

Schedule Morning : 7am / afternoon 2.30pm

Another important topic and one of the most common questions is THE AIRPORT PICK UP in a Share shuttle service. The shared shuttle DOESN’T pick up at the airport, the closest place is at Dennis Restaurant in Alajuela ( outside of the airport) so you can take a taxi and go and wait for the Shuttle there.

Please beware of the hours this service doesn’t wait and if you have a delay or something for sure you’ll miss the transfers.

Price is $55 per person and works very well when your travel solo or couples.

contact us here Whatsapp here to reserve

Private Transfer

One of the easiest ways to get la Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano, the driver will pick up you at the Airport entrance and you´ll just jump of the van for 3 hours ride, they usually do a pit stop in the middle.

If you are a big group, want to get la Fortuna ASAP or you are not an adventure person for driving in Costa Rica best option is to get a Private Transfer.

Prices from San Jose to la Fortuna

1- 7 people $155

8 to 18 people $255

Contact us here Whatsapp here to reserve

Driving from San Jose to Arenal Volcano

Driving around Costa Rica will be an adventure and also are going to do your trip flexible, usually driving from San Jose to la Fortuna is not a big deal, however, are some things that you should know.


  • If you can get a 4×4 , Suv or tall car will be better ( small car are ok however will be better)
  • If you dont way to use the internation roaming you can buy a pre pay sim cart at the airport
  • Download Waze or google maps ( extra tip downlad WHATSAPP we use it for everything)
  • Easiest way to la Fortuna is route 1 until San Ramon and from there take the 702 to la Fortuna
  • If you are renting a Car doing in advance, specially in high season

The 3 hours rule

Something you need knows here Pretty much everything is around 3 hours, from 1 destination to another one ( ceteris paribus),

So, If you see the map from la San Jose is not too long, however, is not that easy because You’ll border mountains, lakes, rivers, the highways are just roads and of course, the traffic sucks

EXTRA TIP if your flight touches San Jose very late is better you can get a private transfer or stay in San Jose.

Tours on the way to Arenal Volcano

Also, another nice thing about Costa Rica is from one destination to another you can do something in the middle. Here are some nice tours on the way From San Jose to the Arenal volcano area

  • Coffe Plantation- Poas Volcano – la paz waterfall- La Fortuna
  • Sarchi ( crafts) – La Fortuna
  • Bunggee Jumping – la Fortuna

Public bus from San Jose to Arenal Volcano

Well, friends, something you need to know about public transportation in Costa Rica is that usually takes too much time.

Here are the easiest way to get to La Fortuna by public bus

Public bus San José – La Fortuna

If you are in San Jose or close by, getting to Fortuna is easy, you must go to  Terminal 7.10 here we leave you the link and the address and take the bus to Fortuna (by the way, it is the same Terminal where the buses leave buses to  Monteverde, Jaco, Cobano, Mal País, and Santa Teresa)

Friends,  SOMETHING very important at the terminal, you should look for the ticket office like buses San Jose – San Carlos (  San Carlos is the region to which La Fortuna belongs, where the main CITY is called Ciudad Quesada) 

SAN JOSÉ-LA FORTUNA bus schedule

The SAN JOSÉ-LA FORTUNA bus route operates every day. Regular hours are: 6:15 – 11:50

DayHours of operation
Monday8.40am and 2.45pm
Tuesday8.40am and 2.45pm
Wednesday8.40am and 2.45pm
Thursday8.40am and 2.45pm
Friday8.40am and 2.45pm
Saturdays8.40am and 2.45pm
Sundays8.40am and 2.45pm

Most import Once you have the tick you MUST KEEP   later they will request it at one of the main stops in  CIUDAD QUESADA 

Now, if you want to leave earlier or you just couldn’t get to any of these schedules on time, you can take the  San José-Ciudad Quesada route and from there take another bus to La Fortuna.

Bus schedules SAN JOSÉ-CIUDAD QUESADA- La Fortuna  

From San Jose to Ciudad Quesada (San Carlos) they are direct services, so they   don’t stop and they are continuous  (according to demand they can leave between 20 to 50 minutes)

  • From 5.45am which is the first until 5.45pm 

When you arrive in Ciudad Quesada (3 hours of travel) you must take the next bus to La Fortuna with the  TRANSPISA Company,  you do not need to buy a ticket, you pay directly to the Driver.

  • Ciudad Quesada- La Fortuna by the Tanque

4:00 am, 5:15 am, 6:30 am, 7:50 am, 9:00 am, 10:00 am, 10:45 am, 11:30 am, 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm, 5:00 pm, 6:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 9:00 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:10 pm

  • Ciudad Quesada La Fortuna by Chachagua 

5:00 am, 6:00 am, 8:00 am, 9:00 am, 10:30 am, 12:20 pm, 1:40 pm, (3:30 pm El Castillo), 5:15 pm, 6 : 30 pm, 8:00 pm.

Both options are ok you will end in la Fortuna

Public bus from Juan Santa María Airport SJO (Alajuela)

If you are leaving  the Juan Santa Maria International Airport (SJO)  you must follow the following steps

  1. First thing you should know is that you are not in San José, you are in Alajuela, so to get to Fortuna by public bus you must go to the  Bus Terminal to San Carlos, here is the exact address / CG3WgqmzBBcBGSt19,  you can order an Uber or Taxi and in less than 5 minutes it will be arriving at the Terminal.
  2. Second you need to find San Carlos bust ticket place and you can ask the schedule of the next bus to La Fortuna or Ciudad Quesada (this will be faster) 
  3. Third, you should know that the buses will not be here, more than a terminal it is a bus stop, in fact the buses that you must board come from San José , so you  can see the schedule here  and  add between 35 minutes 1 hour (it  will depend on traffic) so it is best to ask at the window wehen is the next bus.
  4. Finally all buses will make their stop in Ciudad Quesada  so from there you can board the buses from  Ciudad Quesada to La Fortuna with the schedule that we already  explained. 

Please if you have any questions about How to get to La Fortuna? or other activities contact La Fortuna Vacation Rentals or also Whatsapp + 506 87 90 90 50 call us + 506 2479 03 76

Finally, if you are looking your accommodation In the Arenal volcano in Costa Rica we have vacations homes you can check your options here