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Unless your hotel is picking you up ...

Travel, Vacation and Adventure Guide to Costa Rica

If you donít know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else. ~ Lawrence Johnston Peter, 1919-1990

Unless your hotel is picking you up at the airport, the main choice of transportation upon arrival in Costa Rica is by taxi. One-way taxi tickets to San Josť are sold at the airport at a fixed price of around US $15.00. If you use the Shuttle Transportation Form of, the cost is only US $5.00 for the San Josť and surrounding areas. Some Hotels will cover this cost, then the ride is free and in addition you will avoid the discussion with the taxi driver, that will try to bring you to another Hotel.

The less common choice of transport directly to downtown is by public bus, which you can catch across from the airport entrance. Ask the driver to be sure the bus youíre on is heading for San Josť. It drops you downtown across from the Parque Merced, Av 2 and Calle 12. The bus isnít a good choice if youíre carrying a lot of luggage. There are numerous car rental desks at the airport; their shuttle will take you to your auto. If you plan to explore only around San Josť, consider that a car is a liability in the traffic and parking is hard to find. Public buses or taxis are the way to go.

If airport transfers arenít included in your hotel price, itís most convenient to take a taxi to the airport for your departure. Or perhaps you can make a deal with a van driver at one of the hotels who pick up for the package vacation crowd. Agree on the price before you leave. From downtown, a public bus takes passengers with luggage to the airport. The bus terminal is the one for Alajuela, Av 2 and Calle 12, across from Parque Merced. Service is very frequent and takes a half-hour or less.

Donít forget to leave yourself enough money to pay the departure tax, about US $20. You can pay it at any San Josť travel agentís office or at the airport. If you pay at the airport, avoid the men outside the terminal who claim to be legit and will happily collect your money and even provide a receipt. Itís not legal. Flight reconfirmation and reservation phone numbers in San Josť are: Continental ( 506/296-4911), American ( 506 / 257-1266 ), Delta ( 506 / 257-3346 ), LACSA, ( 506 / 296-0909 ), and United ( 506 / 220-4844 ).

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