We will tell you how to get from San Jose airport to Tortuguero. The distance from Juan Santamaría Airport to Tortuguero is 127 kilometers. Click here to book online Costa Rica activities and Day Trip
The travel time from San Jose Costa Rica airport to Tortuguero is around 2 hour and 15 minutes by car to La Pavona where you can get the boat to Tortuguero. If you go by bus the travel time will be around 5 hours and 30 minutes from San Jose to Tortuguero.
The cheapest way from San Jose airport Costa Rica to Tortuguero is by bus plus boat $12 USD. If you go by taxi, Uber or private transportation prices will be around $130-140 USD.
SIM CARD AT SAN JOSE COSTA RICA AIRPORT
I wouldn’t recommend you to buy a sim card at San Jose Costa Rica airport. If you wish comfort you can buy eSim online and if you aren’t in a hurry just go around phone shops in the city and compare prices to buy the cheapest sim card in San Jose Costa Rica. Read here Costa Rica eSim and best Costa Rica Sim card for tourist
You can find the cheapest Costa Rica eSim with Airalo Costa Rica eSim prepaid for $8 USD with 1 GB data valid for 7 days (USING DISCOUNT CODE GAMINTRAVELER 10%). You can get an eSim for Costa Rica for €24 with 4 GB data valid for 14 days with MTX Connect eSim.
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WHERE TO STAY IN TORTUGUERO
There are dormitory rooms that you can rent the bed for as low as $8-10 USD a night if you want the cheapest option in Tortuguero. A double room hostel can cost up to $30-40 USD a night while mid-range hotels cost more or less $80 USD a night.
BOOK YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE
You can read Heymondo Vs Safetwing cheapest travel Insurance. You can get for $135 USD your Heymondo Travel Insurance with Heymondo discount code valid for 90 days. Read our full Heymondo Travel Insurance Review
You can get Safetywing Travel Insurance for Digital Nomads valid for 28 days Safetywing for $50 USD per month with kids until 10 years old included
SAN JOSE TO TORTUGUERO
BUS FROM SAN JOSE AIRPORT TO TORTUGUERO (CHEAPEST WAY)
The cheapest way from San Jose airport to Tortuguero is by bus. First you will have to ride a local bus going to Grand Caribe Bus Terminal where the buses are leaving from San Jose to Cariari on the way to Tortuguero. There are two bus services running from San Jose airport to city TUASA (Red and white buses) and Station Wagon (Yellow and orange buses). The buses are running every 10 minutes starting from 4 am until 11 30 pm.
The total travel time from San José Juan Santamaría Airport to city is around 30-40 minutes. The bus fare is 675 CRC which is $1.10 USD for one way and you don’t have to pay extra for the luggage. You will ahve to walk outside to get the buses are leaving from the main road outside the airport. You can buy the ticket direct to the bus driver.
The final destination for both bus companies is Tuasa Terminal which is on the Second Avenue at Merced Park in San Jose Market where you can walk 10 minutes distance to Grand Caribe Bus Terminal to get the bus to Tortuguero.
BUS SAN JOSE COSTA RICA TO TORTUGUERO
The bus from San Jose to Tortuguero are leaving from Grand Caribe Bus Terminal. The buses are leaving early morning on the way to Cariari where you will have to transfer to another bus going to La Pavona. You will have to get an early bus if you want to reach Tortuguero on the public boat.
The bus from San Jose to Cariari will take around 2 hours and you will have to transfer to another bus getting to La Pavona. There are only 4 buses leaving from Cariari to La Pavona starting at 5 am, 9 am, 11 30 am and 3 pm with all these buses you will get the public boat from La Pavona to Tortuguero. The total bus fare is around $7 USD and the travel time from San Jose to La Pavona is 4 hours and 30 minutes.
BOAT FROM LA PAVONA TO TORTUGUERO
Once in La Pavona you will have to get a boat. You can buy the tickets in the restaurant and it will be a shared boat up to 20 people going from La Pavona to Tortuguero. The boat fare from La Pavona to Tortuguero is around $5 USD and it includes a suitcase/backpack.
The boats departure schedule from La Pavona to Tortuguero is starting at 6 am, 11 am, 12 pm, 3 pm and last one at 4 30 pm (when the bus from Cariari to La Pavona is getting). The boat ride from La Pavona to Tortuguero will take around 1 hour (it can be less or more). Outside these boats schedule (estimated time not fixed) there are also private boats (more expensive) going from La Pavona to Tortuguero.
TAXI FROM SAN JOSE AIRPORT TO TORTUGUERO
If you go from San Jose airport to Tortuguero by taxi the most comfortable, available 24/7 and fastest way. The travel time by taxi is around 2 hour and 30 minutes to La Pavona and 4 hours included the boat to Tortuguero. The taxi fare from San Jose airport to Tortuguero is around $120-130 USD. The prices and travel time aren’t fixed and it will depending on traffic and your final destination.
UBER FROM SAN JOSE COSTA RICA AIRPORT TO TORTUGUERO
Uber App can be useful for traveling around Costa Rica but they have similar fare than taxis. You can expect going from San Jose airport to Tortuguero reaching La Pavona around $120 USD depending on the traffic or time of the day.
CAR RENTAL AT SAN JOSE AIRPORT
There are many options for renting a car in San Jose’s airport. It’s the most convenient option if you have a place to park your car in Tortuguero or you would love to move around. It will take you 4 hours to get to Tortuguero from San Jose airport with a private car plus the boat. There are a few agencies like Hertz, Avis, Centauro available in the airport for $30 USD per day.
PRIVATE TRANSPORTATION SAN JOSE AIRPORT TO TORTUGUERO
Hotel transfers are also very easy and convenient but can be a little bit pricey. The transfers are usually available 24 hours and is only ideal if you have the budget and you really want comfort after your flight to San Jose. Prices are around $130 USD and you will be able to fit up to 4 people. It could be $30 USD per person.
BEST WAY FROM SAN JOSE AIRPORT TO TORTUGUERO (SAN JOSE TO TORTUGUERO)
The best way from San Jose Costa Rica airport to Tortuguero is by bus plus boat if you go on a budget for a total of 6 hour and 30 minutes travel time. You will pay around $12 USD included the bus coming from San Jose Costa Rica airport to La Pavona and the boat to Tortuguero.
If you wish more comfort taxi, Uber or private transportation from San Jose to Tortuguero is around $130 USD and 4 hours travel time.
ACCOMMODATION BUDGET TRAVEL IN TORTUGUERO
There are dormitory rooms that you can rent the bed for as low as $8 USD a night if you want the cheapest option. AirBnb are also available, mostly for about $20-25 USD a night. Double room hostels can costs up to $30-40 USD a night while mid-range hotels costs more or less $80 USD a night.
FOOD BUDGET TRAVEL IN COSTA RICA
Breakfast will be the cheapest meal of the day and you can load up on Gallo Pinto, tortillas, eggs, fried plantains and some fresh fruit too for around $3-4 USD per person. At lunch you might want a chicken sandwich for $8-10 USD salad, burger and pizza with a fresh fruit drink for $3 USD.
You can have a budget of $15-20 USD a day and it can already get you more then enough decent meals. Costa Rica is little bit pricey comparing to the other countries like Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua in Central America.
BEST TIME TO VISIT COSTA RICA
In Costa Rica their summer (December to April), there are fewer rains than normal. In their winter (May to November), rains are almost non-stop. For most tourists best time to visit Costa Rica is from December to April because of easier transport.
CASH AND ATM IN COSTA RICA
The currency of Costa Rica is called Colòn and as of now, $1 USD is worth 600 Colòn. Do not exchange your currency at the airport because you’ll get less than what you’ll get with the city’s exchange. Anyway if you are bringing USD you can use them while traveling around Costa Rica no need to exchange them.
Bank or debit cards in an ATM are the recommended way to access your funds while traveling in Costa Rica. Know real-time currency exchange here!
Having insurance while you are traveling outside your home country is very important. Make sure that you have one too, to keep you safe in your trips around the world.
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