Costa Rica

San Jose to Santa Teresa

July 8, 2021 4 min read


San Jose to Santa Teresa

5 min read
Reading Time: 4 minutes


Santa Teresa is a small beach town located on the southern Pacific coast of the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica and is a consistent haven for yogis and adventure seekers. The scenery is gorgeous and the waves are perfect for intermediate and advanced surfers. Buzzing with liveliness, yoga centres, cute cafes and beautiful sunsets this former fisherman’s village is a must-visit.

Travelling in Costa Rica is relatively easy since the country is leading as a top destination in Central America. Whether you are on a budget or you prefer private transport, Bookaway is a great and reliable service provider that covers most of the options on the route from San Jose to Santa Teresa. You can also use it to go in the reverse direction, making your way back from Santa Teresa to San Jose.

Read our complete guide from Santa Teresa here

Expect a tropical warm climate all year round. Rainfall is highest (rainy season) between April and November. The most popular time and drier months to come are from the beginning of December until April. The country boasts pura vida lifestyle, jaw-dropping nature and friendly people. What’s more, Costa Rica is considered the safest country in Central America.


Juan Santamaría International Airport is the main entry point to the tropical paradise. It’s located in Alajuela, about 20 minutes drive west of San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. Although there are a couple of landmarks to consider in San Jose, we wouldn’t recommend spending there more than a day.

There are several options for how to get to Santa Teresa from San Jose that include bus&ferry, a minivan or renting a car. The most popular way to cover the distance of 185km (115 miles) is a 4.5 hours trip with a minivan.

Transport modeDurationCostFrequency
Minivan6 hours$60Daily
Bus&ferry4.15 hours$902 times per week
Private Car4.5 hours$365Daily
Public bus6 hours$12.5Daily
Most of the transportation includes a ferry trip from Puntarenas to Paquera

San Jose to Santa Teresa by Minivan

Duration: 6 hours

Cost: ₡37.250 ($60)

Standard minivan from San Jose to Santa Teresa departs usually around 7 am and arriving at 1 pm. The cost is around $60 and it includes either hotel or airport pickup. The most common route for the combined minivan and ferry is San Jose – Puntarenas – Paquera – Santa Teresa. When looking for the best price and biggest selection of transport check Bookaway. The platform receives very good reviews and they operate with several companies.

San Jose to Santa Teresa by Bus & Ferry

Duration: 4.30 hours

Cost: ₡55.900 ($60)

A combined bus and ferry ticket from San Jose is another convenient option for getting to Santa Teresa. Direct bus and ferry trip always include free hotel pick up / drop off and it takes 4.30 hours to arrive. Make a quick, easy transfer and purchase your tickets here

San Jose to Santa Teresa by Car

Duration: 4.5 hours

Cost: ₡226.585 ($365)

It will be highly convenient to rent private transport if you are travelling with kids or a group of friends. This mode of transport will be your best option if you’re looking for a quick, problem-free transfer. Costs may vary depending on how many people and what date you travel. Bookaway gives an option to book up to 14 people and provides free cancellation fee up to 24 hours before departure. That being said, booking your transport in advance is definitely a great idea to consider.

San Jose to Santa Teresa by public bus

Duration: 6 hours

Cost: ₡7750 ($12.5)

A public bus is another alternative if you are already in San Jose. The buses depart from Terminal 7-10 in the city centre and the whole journey takes around 6 hours. You can purchase bus tickets directly from the bus driver. This is definitely the most affordable option, yet have in mind the bus won’t take you directly to your hotel. The first part of the trip leads to Puntarenas Ferry Port when you have to hop on the ferry. Ferry tickets can be purchased at the Puntarenas ticket office. If you carry extra equipment for example a surfboard we recommend getting your ticket in advance here. A ferry ride across the peninsula takes you to Paquera from where you will get on the bus to Cobano connecting Mal Pais and Santa Teresa.

So what makes Santa Teresa so unique? You will find most of the cool places along the main unpaved street. The dusty two-way road only adds up to the cool surf beach town vibe. In the last couple of years, Santa Teresa became a place to get away from big city life and to live off-the-grid. Whether you are on holiday, long term travel or working as a digital nomad there are plenty of exciting things to do here for everyone. We hope that you also get to experience the magic of Santa Teresa! Let us know in the comments if you already have!