Driving distances in Costa Rica

[View of Arenal Lake & Volcano]

Wondering to spend some Costa Rica vacations but not knowing how to travel inside the country? Here in the country it is possible to travel easily from one place to another. Costa Rica offers one-of-a-kind experience to all those who venture to drive in this wondrous haven.

So whether it’s full relaxation or high adventure that you seek for your vacation, this small but beautiful country provides boundless excitement and ultimate pleasure for an unforgettable Costa Rica vacation. Driving by your own in the country can be both challenging and fun and, additionally, it allows you to discover the country in so many exciting ways.

The traveling time that takes you to travel in the country, really depends on the road conditions, traffic and the also, the weather. It is preferable to travel during the dry season, as unpaved roads –mainly in rural places like beaches or mountains- tend to get washed away during the rainy season.

Costa Rica has a good public transportation system, as well as a private tourism buses and for those who want to explore the country on their own – car rentals are also available and we can help you booking yours-. Still those who prefer to travel in luxury and avoid any hassle can take direct flights from the various airports and airstrips around the country; and that way experience a luxury and more relaxed vacation.

Normally, the distances between places are relatively close but nowadays you have to take into consideration that the traffic in Costa Rica is dense and at certain hours it is preferable to plan your route –if you are driving- to get in time to your destiny.

Whether you travel by a plane, car or by bus, the table given below provides you with the approximate time table it takes to travel from one city to another one in Costa Rica.

From the main cities of the country, the best places to visit, all-inlcusive resorts, to the Costa Rica beaches, we hope this chart containing the main tourist attractions, distances in miles/kilometers and time you will need to get there will be useful to you.

** The distances below and the traveling times were calculated approximately.

From: San José Downtown

To Distance Car / Private transfer Regular bus Plane
Alajuela, Alajuela 9 miles / 15 km 30 min 36 min -
Cahuita, Limón 252 miles / 403 km 4 hr 30 min 4 hr 30 min -
Cañas, Guanacaste 118 miles / 189 km 3 hr 3 hr -
Cartago, Cartago 12 miles / 20 km 36 min 42 min -
Golfito, South Puntarenas 193 miles / 309 km 9 hr 9 hr 1 hr Taxi: 6 min
Heredia, Heredia 9 miles / 15 km 24 min 30 min -
Jacó Beach, Puntarenas 73 miles / 117 km 1 hr 1 hr 30 min -
La Fortuna, Alajuela 94 miles / 150 km 3 hr 30 min 3 hr 30 min 30 min Taxi: 6 min
Liberia, Guanacaste 136 miles / 217 km 2 hr 30 min 3 hr 48 min Taxi: 6 min
Manuel Antonio, Puntarenas 120 miles / 192 km 2 hr 6 min 2 hr 30 min 30 min Taxi: 12 min
Monteverde, Puntarenas 105 miles / 168 km 3 hr 12 min 3 hr 30 min -
Papagayo Gulf, Guanacaste 158 miles / 252 km 5 hr 5 hr 48 min Taxi: 1 hr
Poás Volcano, Alajuela 32 miles / 51 km 1 hr 18 min 1 hr 30 min -
Puerto Limón, Limón 88 miles / 141 km 3 hr 30 min 3 hr 30 min -
Puerto Viejo, Limón 256 miles / 410 km 4 hr 30 min 4 hr 30 min -
Puntarenas, Puntarenas 72 miles / 115 km 1 hr 30 min 1 hr 48 min -
Quepos, Puntarenas 116 miles / 185 km 2 hr 12 min 2 hr 30 min 30 min
Santa Elena, Puntarenas 103 miles / 165 km 3 hr 12 min 3 hr 30 min -
Santa Rosa, Guanacaste 168 miles / 269 km 4 hr 30 min 4 hr 30 min 48 min Taxi: 30 min
Tamarindo, Guanacaste 171 miles / 274 km 4 hr 30 min 5 hr 48 min
Tambor, Puntarenas 103 miles / 165 km 3 hr 3 hr 24 min 
Tilarán, Guanacaste 119 miles / 190 km 3 hr 30 min 4 hr -
Turrialba, Cartago 44 miles / 70 km 2 hr 2 hr -

From: La Fortuna of San Carlos, Alajuela

To Distance Car / Private transfer Regular bus Plane
Jacó, Puntarenas 109 miles / 175 km 2 hr 18 min 2 hr 30 min -
Manuel Antonio, Puntarenas 153 miles / 245 km 3 hr 3 hr 30 min -
Monteverde, Puntarenas 101 miles / 162 km 3 hr 3 hr 30 min -
Puntarenas, Puntarenas 71 miles / 113 km 2 hr 30 min 3 hr -
San José Downtown 94 miles / 150 km 3 hr 30 min 3 hr 30 min 30 min Taxi: 6 min
Tamarindo, Guanacaste 138 miles / 220 km 3 hr 3 hr 30 min -

From: Liberia, Guanacaste

To Distance Car / Private transfer Regular bus Plane
Alajuela, Alajuela 125 miles / 200 km 3 hr 12 min 3 hr 42 min 1 hr 12 min Taxi: 6 min
Dominical, Puntarenas 193 miles / 309 km 6 hr 7 hr -
Golfito, Puntarenas 288 miles / 461 km 9 hr 10 hr 2 hr 12 min Taxi: 6 min
Heredia, Heredia 128 miles / 205 km 2 hr 30 min 3 hr -
Jacó, Puntarenas 121 miles / 193 km 3 hr 30 min 3 hr -
La Fortuna, Alajuela 91 miles / 145 km 3 hr 3 hr 30 min -
Liberia International Airport 3 miles / 5 km 6 min 6 min -
Manuel Antonio, Puntarenas 164 miles / 263 km 4 hr 12 min 5 hr -
Monteverde, Puntarenas 88 miles / 140 km 3 hr 30 min 4 hr -
Nicoya, Guanacaste 52 miles / 83 km 1 hr 12 min 1 hr 42 min -
Peñas Blancas, Guanacaste 48 miles / 77 km 2 hr 12 min 2 hr 30 min -
Playa Flamingo, Guanacaste 53 miles / 85 km 54 min 1 hr 12 min -
Playa Panamá, Guanacaste 28 miles / 45 km 48 min 1 hr -
Playas del Coco, Guanacaste 38 miles / 60 km 42 min 1 hr -
Puntarenas, Puntarenas 82 miles / 132 km 1 hr 42 min 2 hr -
San Gerardo de Dota, SJO 189 miles / 302 km 6 hr 12 min 7 hr -
San José Downtown 136 miles / 217 km 3 hr 30 min 4 hr 1 hr 12 min Taxi: 6 min
Santa Cruz, Guanacaste 35 miles / 56 km 42 min 1 hr -
Tamarindo, Guanacaste 43 miles / 69 km 1 hr 1 hr 30 min -

From: Monteverde, Puntarenas

To Distance Car / Private transfer Regular bus Plane
Escazú, San José 79 miles / 127 km 2 hr 24 min 3 hr -
Jacó, Puntarenas 94 miles / 150 km 2 hr 2 hr 30 min -
La Fortuna, Alajuela 101 miles / 162 km 3 hr 3 hr 30 min -
Liberia, Guanacaste 88 miles / 140 km 3 hr 30 min 4 hr -
Manuel Antonio, Puntarenas 141 miles / 225 km 3 hr 30 min 4 hr -
Puntarenas, Puntarenas 50 miles / 80 km 2 hr 30 min 2 hr 30 min -
San José Downtown 105 miles / 168 km 3 hr 3 hr 30 min -
Juan Santamaria Airport 88 miles / 140 km 2 hr 36 min 3 hr 18 min -
Tamarindo, Guanacaste 109 miles / 175 km 3hr 3 hr 30 min -

From: Puntarenas

To Distance Car / Private transfer Regular bus Plane
Jacó, Puntarenas 47 miles / 75 km 1 hr 12 min 1 hr 30 min -
Liberia, Guanacaste 82 miles / 132 km 1 hr 42 min 2 hr -
Manuel Antonio, Puntarenas 96 miles / 154 km 1 hr 30 min 2 hr -
Quepos, Puntarenas 88 miles / 140 km 2 hr 2 hr 30 min -
San José Downtown 69 miles / 110 km 1 hr 30 min 2 hr -
San Ramón, Alajuela 33 miles / 53 km 1 hr 6 min 1 hr 30 min -

From: Quepos, Puntarenas

To Distance Car / Private transfer Regular bus Plane
Damas Island, Puntarenas 8 miles / 12 km 12 min 18 min -
Dominical, Puntarenas 28 miles / 45 km 36 min 54 min -
Esterillos Este, Puntarenas 24 miles / 39 km 36 min 48 min -
Golfito, Puntarenas 122 miles / 195 km 4 hr 4 hr 30 min -
Jacó, Puntarenas 39 miles / 63 km 1 hr 1 hr 6 min -
Manuel Antonio, Puntarenas 9 miles / 14 km 12 min 18 min -
Playa Hermosa, Puntarenas 37 miles / 59 km 57 min 1 hr 3 min -
Playa Herradura, Puntarenas 44 miles / 70 km 1 hr 9 min 1 hr 18 min -
Playa Uvita, Puntarenas 39 miles / 62 km 1 hr 1 hr 30 min -
Juan Santamaria Airport 119 miles / 190 km 2 hr 48 min 3 hr 12 min 30 min

From: Samara, Guanacaste

To Distance Car / Private transfer Regular bus Plane
Alajuela, Alajuela 139 miles / 222 km 3 hr 54 min 4 hr 42 min -
Cartago, Cartago 164 miles / 262 km 5 hr 30 min 6 hr -
Heredia, Heredia 146 miles / 234 km 4 hr 12 min 4 hr 42 min -
La Fortuna, Alajuela 166 miles / 265 km 5 hr 12 min 6 hr -
Liberia, Guanacaste 75 miles / 120 km 2 hr 2 hr 30 min -
Monteverde, Guanacaste 95 miles / 152 km 4 hr 4 hr 12 min -
Nicoya, Guanacaste 23 miles / 37 km 30 min 42 min -
Playas del Coco, Guanacaste 70 miles / 112 km 2hr 2 hr 30 min -
Puntarenas, Puntarenas 97 miles / 155 km 2 hr 30 min 3 hr -
San José Downtown 149 miles / 239 km 4 hr 12 min 5 hr -
Tamarindo, Guanacaste 68 miles / 109 km 2 hr 2 hr 30 min -
Tambor, Puntarenas 56 miles / 90 km 2 hr 2 hr 30 min -

From: Jacó, Puntarenas

To Distance Car / Private transfer Regular bus Plane
Carara, Puntarenas 12 miles / 20 km 18 min 24 min -
Damas Island, Puntarenas 32 miles / 51 km 54 min 1 hr 6 min -
Dominical, Puntarenas 66 miles / 105 km 1 hr 30 min 2 hr -
Manuel Antonio, Puntarenas 47 miles / 75 km 1 hr 12 min 1 hr 24 min -
Monteverde, Puntarenas 97 miles / 155 km 2 hr 2 hr 36 min -
Playa Herradura, Puntarenas 4 miles / 7 km 12 min 12 min -
Puerto Caldera, Puntarenas 31 miles / 50 km 57 min 1 hr 12 min -
Puntarenas, Puntarenas 47 miles / 75 km 1 hr 12 min 1 hr 30 min -
Quepos, Puntarenas 44 miles / 70 km 1 hr 1 hr 12 min -
San José Downtown 73 miles / 117 km 1 hr 36 min 2 hr 6 min -
Tamarindo, Guanacaste 152 miles / 243 km 3 hr 3 hr 24 min -
Tambor, Puntarenas 106 miles / 169 km 2 hr 2 hr 30 min Ferry: 1 hr 12 min -

From: Peñas Blancas, Guanacaste

To Distance Car / Private transfer Regular bus Plane
Alajuela, Alajuela 173 miles / 277 km 4 hr 4 hr 30 min -
La Fortuna, Alajuela 155 miles / 248 km 4 hr 30 min 5 hr -
Liberia, Guanacaste 48 miles / 77 km 2 hr 12 min 2 hr 30 min -
Punta Islita, Guanacaste 134 miles / 215 km 4 hr - -
Puntarenas, Puntarenas 131 miles / 210 km 2 hr 42 min 3 hr -
San José Downtown 190 miles / 304 km 4 hr 30 min 5 hr -

From: Dominical, Puntarenas

To Distance Car / Private transfer Regular bus Plane
Cartago, Cartago 87 miles / 139 km 3 hr 4 hr -
Golfito, Puntarenas 95 miles / 152 km 3 hr 30 min 4 hr -
Manuel Antonio, Puntarenas 62 miles / 100 km 1 hr 30 min 2 hr -
Puerto Jiménez, Puntarenas 109 miles / 175 km 3 hr 42 min 4 hr 18 min -
Quepos, Puntarenas 28 miles / 45 km 42 min 1 hr -
San Isidro del General, Puntarenas 18 miles / 28 km 1 hr 30 min 2 hr -
San José Downtown 101 miles / 162 km 4 hr 5 hr -

From: Tamarindo, Guanacaste

To Distance Car / Private transfer Regular bus Plane
Alajuela, Alajuela 161 miles / 257 km 4 hr 18 min 4 hr 42 min 48 min Taxi: 6 min
Dominical, Puntarenas 223 miles / 357 km 4 hr 48 min 5 hr 18 min -
Jacó, Puntarenas 152 miles / 243 km 2 hr 42 min 3 hr -
La Fortuna, Alajuela 134 miles / 214 km 4 hr 30 min 4 hr -
Liberia, Guanacaste 47 miles / 75 km 1 hr 1 hr 30 min -
Manuel Antonio, Puntarenas 196 miles / 314 km 3 hr 3 hr 30 min 1 hr 12 min Taxi: 6 min
Monteverde, Puntarenas 112 miles / 180 km 3 hr 30 min 4 hr -
Nicoya, Guanacaste 45 miles / 72 km 1 hr 1 hr 30 min Boat: 1 hr -
Playas del Coco, Guanacaste 38 miles / 61 km 1 hr 1 hr 18 min -
Puntarenas, Puntarenas 119 miles / 190 km 2 hr 48 min 3 hr -
Samara, Guanacaste 68 miles / 109 km 2 hr 2 hr 30 min -
San José Downtown 171 miles / 274 km 4 hr 30 min 5 hr 48 min Taxi: 6 min

As you can see, the Costa Rica driving times range between an average of an hour and a half and 5 or 6 hours, always taking into consideration the condition of the roads and the climate conditions, as specified above. It is possible to find some variations according to the day of the week you are traveling. On weekends it is possible to find more traffic, as well as the payment days which are usually between the 13th and 15th of each month and the last three days of it.

Taking a plane is a great option to have more time for your holidays and less driving time. But you have to take into consideration that the flights are usually more expensive and the fact that not all the destinies have airstrips or the possibilities to be accessed by plane.

Have you ever drove in Costa Rica? Which was your experience? Please feel free to share with us your comments. Surely they will be helpful to other adventurous visitors.

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