above photo courtesy of
Costa Rica by Bus
Perfect for adventurers on a budget. Costa Rica has a extensive system of buses the reach almost every corner of the country. You can reach beaches and national parks, travel to distant cities even neighboring countries—all by bus.
Tickets are inexpensive and the buses are clean and relatively modern. They don't have any chickens or livestock filling the aisles. And the in-route sights are worth gold.
The Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (Costa Rican Department of Tourism) puts out a bus schedule with routes maps and contact information.
Purchase tickets ahead of time. If you are planning to take a long distance bus, you will want to buy your ticket ahead of time. Since buses are common transportation for local people they can fill up, especially on weekends and near holidays.
Running down to the bus station for tickets is no problem if you are already in Costa Rica. Some travelers have the luxury of simply arriving in town and then figuring out where to go. But your plans are not that flexible and you need to secure a bus seat before you get to Costa Rica, it might be worth going through a travel agency. There are also online bus ticket booking services in Costa Rica, like Easy Ride.
Watch your luggage! As is true with public transport all around the world, buses sometimes attract opportunistic thieves. With people getting on and off along the way, definitely don't put valued items in over-head racks or leave backpacks unattended in an empty seat.
LINKS TO OTHER BUS-RELATED INFORMATION IN COSTA RICA
Tica Bus runs through Costa Rica and offers access to other Central American countries.
Tracopa offers routes to various parts of Costa Rica
Grupo Caribeños has scheduled routes and also offered group charters.
OTHER TOURISM-RELATED INFO
Looking for a wild experience? Visit Costa Rica!