Guests of our Green Coast villas have several transportation options for travel from San Jose (Juan Santamaria International Airport) to the Quepos/Manuel Antonio area. You may use your own rental car or take a short commuter or regional flight; and we will be happy to arrange a private van and driver for you. Even a taxi is an additional option.
There are several rental car companies from which to choose but we find that our guests have had the easiest transactions with either Adobe Car Rentals or Hertz. The drive from San Jose to the Quepos/ Manuel Antonio area takes about 2 1/2 hours and the roads are good. You do not need a 4 wheel drive vehicle. However, we do not recommend driving this route for the first time at night. The advantages to having a rental car are that you can stop and see the sights along your route at your own pace, including the Crocodile Bridge at the Tarcoles River, just outside of Jaco. Additionally, you can take a short day trip to nearby areas like Dominical, if you don’t have a day of tours planned. See Driving Directions below (San Jose to Manuel Antonio area).
We will be happy to arrange a private van and driver for any size party. Your driver will meet you and your party at the airport, your hotel, or wherever you specify, and take you in air conditioned comfort to your villa. Of course, return trips are also available and we usually arrange trips between San Jose or Arenal to/from Manuel Antonio, but many other areas are available. The preferred payment method is to pay your driver directly (cash only); however, you may also pay by credit card (with a small surcharge) if this is arranged in advance.
Of course, if you find yourselves in Manuel Antonio and decide then that you want a rental car, we can assist you in obtaining one out of the Quepos airport which is only minutes away.
The price for a private van and driver (one way, to or from San Jose) is $180 for up to 4 people. For each additional person it is an additional $15. Prices to/from other cities vary. Contact us for rates.
Commuter or Regional Airplane
To get to Manuel Antonio/Quepos quickly, you can take a commuter flight on either Sansa or Nature Air. The short flight takes about 25 minutes and there are several flights daily. Even though it is a short flight, allow about 1 1/2 hours between your arrival at San Jose and the commuter flight to change planes, go through baggage claim, customs and immigration. The cost is about $71 per person one way (as of March 2017). Nature Air is located in the main terminal; Sansa Air is located in its private hanger just next to the airport (about 100 meters away).
Upon your arrival in San Jose, you will see several orange taxis outside the airport. These are all legal taxis and they work for the airport. Red taxis are also legal and they work in the city and the rest of the country. The cost from San Jose to Quepos is around $150. You may be able to negotiate a lower price.
DRIVING DIRECTIONS from San Jose to Quepos
With the new highway between San Jose and Quepos, this is an easy and pleasant drive. However, we do not recommend driving this route at night; especially for the first time you try it. It will take you about 2 1/2 hours; obviously longer if you like to stop along the way whenever you see something of interest. Have a small amount of money available in Costa Rican colones (about USD $5) for tolls.
Start off by going west on Route 1, past the airport. Follow the signs to San Ramon and continue straight for about 10 km. Once you have crossed the second bridge, prepare to take a right at the next exit (Route 3) for Jaco/ Quepos/ Manuel Antonio. You will also see signs for Punta Leona and Atenas. Turn left at the stop sign, crossing back over Route 1.
Follow Route 3 for about 3 km. Just after the soccer field, take a left. This is the road to Turrucares. There are no signs yet. It is a secondary road and will be your best connection to the toll highway.
Go about another 3 km to the highway intersection and turn left BEFORE the highway. (No signs yet and it is a narrow gravel access road.) Go another 300 meters to the roundabout. Make a right and follow the highway signs to Orotina and Atenas.
Keep going… through 2 toll booths. Take the next right exit to Route 34 and follow the signs for Jaco /Quepos. Jaco will be about 36 km.
Keep on Route 34 (“Costanera”) and you will soon come to a long bridge crossing the Tarcoles River. Many people like to stop here to view the many crocodiles that are usually under the bridge. About 2.5 km (2 miles) further, on the left, is the administration building for Carara Biological Reserve. This is a nice stop, with trails along the river and abundant wildlife and waterfowl. Scarlet macaws are frequently seen.
You will soon see the Pacific ocean on the right and the road parallels the coast. Follow the signs to Jaco and Manuel Antonio; this road leads directly to Quepos. Watch for a pull-off and a small shelter with a great view of Jaco Beach. About 2 km further (1.5 miles) is an area on a ridge where you can look down on Playa Hermosa, a popular surfing destination, with powerful beach-break waves and dark sand. You will soon see rice fields and African Palm groves as you approach Parrita.
The road forks on the approach to Quepos. Follow the road to the right with signs indicating “Quepos”. You will cross a small bridge and enter Quepos. Veer to the left after the bridge and turn left on the main street, by the Hotel Best Western Kamuk (the first hotel you will see upon entering Quepos). You’ve arrived! Bienvenidos!
Contact your concierge with your estimated arrival time and he will arrange a meeting place either in town or at your villa.