The table below provides a comparison of the various transportation methods available in Costa Rica. If we can answer any questions about any of these we'd be happy to help:

Private Van with guide/ Pura Vida Hotel

Car Rental


Interbus (semi private)

Public Bus

CONVENIENCE . . . Pickup and delivery to your hotel. We will meet you at the breakfast table of your hotel, villa or airport of choice.

Some rental companies pickup and deliver to your hotel, some better ones will bring your car to the breakfast table, for others you may need taxi (extra $10)

Needs taxi to and from hotel (add $10) for SANSA, Skyway and Green Airways based at SJO. Aerobell & TAC are based at Pavas 40 minutes and more.  

This end you need a taxi (about $10 to the Rio Segundo location) sometimes needs taxi at destination (add $5 to $20)

Needs taxi to and from hotel (add $2 to $25). Not recommended if you have a short vacation - especially if you have to transfer through San Jose.

FLEXIBILITY . . . Stops anywhere you like en route, unlimited destinations, take a guided tour as you transfer, 15 passenger vans. We can reroute or make a new tour as needed.

Stops anywhere you like en route, unlimited destinations, up to 5 passengers usually. Be aware most 7 passenger rental vehicles are really 5 seater with 2 seats where your luggage should be.

Stops nowhere (hopefully), limited air strips. Avoids our bumpy roads.

Bathroom stops, goes to most tourist end stops, does not stop at national parks, shops and points of interest you may discover.

Stops to pickup everything that waves a hand, available everywhere. Difficult to make connections quickly when you need to be somewhere today or before dark.

LOCAL SCOOP . . . Driver is also your cultural guide and has been there and most importantly speaks English. Learn about Costa Rican history, flora and fauna and make digressions en route to our "special spots".

Your mother-in-law is also your cultural guide - but we do recommend carrying a good map (we like the Toucan map best) and a guide book.

Your pilot is too busy checking gauges.

The Interbus drivers are very good but may not always speak English.

Please don't bother your bus driver.

VALUE . . . Cost less than air or interbus for 4 or more to many destinations. Same price for 2 people or 10 people (except multi day tours) e.g. $185 total to Arenal for 2 to 10 persons.

$45 to $120 a day including mandatory basic insurance (cannot be declined on 4WD). You'll need a second vehicle or van for 6 or more persons.

By air (depends on season) - around $100/person (depends on route)

By Interbus or Anywhere or Gray Line $40 to $50/person

Very inexpensive $5 to $10/person

TAKE YOUR TIME . . . Take your time and see the sights with your own English speaking guide on board e.g. M. Antonio - 3 to 6 hours if you turn the transfer into a tour

Same time but no on board guide and may miss points of interest and sights along the way

Fast and usually less bumpy, 45 minutes plus 1 hour or so waiting. Set schedules once or twice a day.

3 to 6 hours plus pickup time - set schedules once or twice a day

4 hours to a day of travel/wait time

WEIGHT LIMITS . . . Nearly unlimited baggage in car/4WD or in large van, surf boards, etc.

Limited by trunk size.

25 or 35 pound weight limit for  small planes in Costa Rica.

Generally unlimited

Generally unlimited

FACILITIES ON BOARD . . . Air conditioned, wifi hotspot on some vans, free water/soft drinks cooler, spotlessly clean, late model.  And importantly our guide will be your own security for your bags if you want to sight-see en route.

Air conditioned, spotless, late model, need to be careful about parking with baggage (do not leave car unattended with baggage)

Air conditioned, usually spotless, no security concerns, weight limit

Air conditioned, usually spotless, late model, your own security

Can be hot & muggy, baggage security can be a concern for some (keep an eye on it at all times), no seat belts on some

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