Getting to Tulemar Transportation
Traveling in Costa Rica can be an exciting and educational part of your vacation experience, but it also has the potential to be challenging. Due to the topography of the country, the infrastructure and the weather, travel times can vary widely. You should fly into our international airport in San José (Juan Santamaria); from there you'll have several options to get to the Quepos/Manuel Antonio area. Your choice will probably be based upon the arrival and departure times of your flights in/out of San José, personal preferences, and your budget.
We recommend that you take advantage of our expertise and relationships with the local service providers and allow us to assist you with your transportation needs within Costa Rica.
For ground transfer options, you can let us arrange a private van and driver to bring you or rent a car and drive yourself. You can fly to Tulemar with one of our regional airlines or we can provide a charter service.
The roads in Costa Rica are generally pretty good and improvements are always underway. However, accurate road signs and an occasional disregard for the rules of the road on the part of fellow travelers can make navigation around the country a challenge for international drivers.
Private Van & Driver
With the new highway, the drive from San José to Manuel Antonio is roughly 3 hours. We can arrange a private van with a driver for about $170-$220 per trip (plus 13% Value Added Tax (VAT), depending on the number of passengers. It’s a great ride; much easier and safer than driving yourself. We can also arrange private van trips to other destinations like Arenal or the Osa Peninsula.
Shared Shuttles & Buses
The most economical way to reach Manuel Antonio, if you have the time and patience, is via the Shared Shuttle or national bus services. The travel time is a little longer than with a private van and driver, but the real trade-off comes in the flexibility of your itinerary. You’ll need to have an arrival and departure time that is compatible with their pick-up time. In each case, there’s one rest-break halfway through the journey.
Getting Around Tulemar
If you’re staying in Tulemar, you’ll have access to the free shuttle that operates within the resort, from the front gates to the beach and many points in between. Taxis will come right to your door in Tulemar and pick you up for a trip to the store, Quepos, the National Park or out for dinner. There is also a bus stop located right outside the gates of Tulemar (about 90 cents to Quepos or the National Park). We can also arrange for a private van/driver to take you wherever you would like to go. If you would like a rental car, we can have one delivered to you.
After a long, international flight, it can be very stressful and time consuming, picking up a rental car and finding your way to Manuel Antonio, especially at night.
If you really want a rental car, we suggest renting one with a GPS at the San José airport or we can arrange to have one delivered to you upon your arrival in Manuel Antonio.
A personal note from Tulemar Dave: I truly dislike most of the car rental companies in Costa Rica, except for one, Adobe Rent a Car. Most others, from the worldwide companies to the Costa Rican ones, do two things that are very disturbing; they will “hard sell” you to buy all the extra insurance coverage they can, no matter if you have an “elite status” with the company or what coverage you have with your credit cards or insurance company. They will not let up until you make the purchase, even threatening not to rent you the car. This transaction will take one hour. Count on it. No express service here. Upon returning the car, it will take 45 minutes for them to inspect it, close the contract and to get back to the airport. Only Adobe has proven to us that, besides the mandatory LDW (by all companies in Costa Rica), the other additional insurance coverages are truly an option and you will not leave angry. The transaction will be a little quicker as well. For reservations, information and preferred rates, just click here.
Flying to Quepos
We have a small, regional airport in Quepos, serviced by a commuter airline. None of the local airports in Costa Rica have runway lights or control towers, so the flights only operate from sunrise to sunset (about 6:30 AM until 5 PM) and less frequently from May thru November.
- Check baggage policies carefully. The weight limits are enforced, which means that they will take your bags, you’ll just pay for the extra weight.
- Upon arrival in San José, you’ll need at least 1½ hours before your flights to Quepos or another destination.
- Returning to San José to connect with your international flight, give yourself 2 hours to connect.
Sansa flies 12 passenger, single engine, turbo prop planes from the local terminal next door to the
Sansa flies 12 passenger, single engine, turbo prop planes from the domestic terminal next door to the international airport in San José. It’s very convenient. The flight is about 20 minutes and approximately $80-$100 per person, each way.
Unfortunately, Sansa has service issues. Not every flight is actually flown and advance notification is not always given until you arrive at the airport. If they do not fly, due to almost any reason or you miss your flight because your connecting flight was late or it took longer than expected to get through customs and baggage claim, Sansa will not refund your money, but issue a credit for a future flight instead (which you may never be able to use). They may not have another flight to get you to your destination (or on time for your connecting flight) so you may be forced to find another form of transportation at the last minute.
Please ask your concierge for additional information.
There are several excellent charter companies operating out of San José. We can provide you a quote. The cost depends on the number of passengers, size of aircraft, and flight times.
Although more expensive than a commercial flight, chartering a flight can be surprisingly affordable in Costa Rica. For example you can charter a 6 passenger plane for about $1200 total or a 12 passenger plane for about $1800 total for the one way trip from San José to Quepos.
Contact your concierge to receive a quote for a charter flight for your group.