Which airport is better to fly in to, San Jose (SJO) or Liberia (LIR)?
It really depends on how you plan to travel. There are more transportation options available from San Jose, however most of them leave in the morning. If you arrive in Liberia then the two options available to travel right away are a Private Transfer or a Rental Car. There is also the option of a Shared Shuttle but it only leaves once a day in the morning.
Below are the different options of how to get to and from Montezuma.
Note:If your flight arrives after 7:00am and you are not planning to stay overnight in San Jose/Alajuela then most likely the only two options which will be available are the Domestic Flight or the Private Transfer options as the other options all leave by 8:00am. If you have any questions just contact us.
Do you Want to Book one of these Options Below?
Just Contact us and let us know which you want to book and we will be happy to Confirm it for you.
The Domestic Flight and The Taxi Boat you can book yourself with the links in each section lower on this page.
Private Ground Transfer
HALF or FULL Options
- Our friendly, trustworthy drivers who speak English & Spanish will be waiting for you outside the airport or at your hotel.
- Journey through the countryside in a 11 pers. (larger vehicles available upon request) mini-van complete with a/c, music and drinks on board (some trips may be in a large 4×4 SUV depending on availability).
- Enjoy the beautiful 1 hr 15 min ferry ride across the Gulf.
- An excellent Tour Guide, Eduardo (or his colleague) will entertain you along the way as you sit back and enjoy the ride. High marks for the personalized service.
- Departure Time from San Jose (Half Option): Anytime*
- Departure Time from San Jose (FULL Option): Anytime after 9am**
- Departure Time from Montezuma (Both Half and Full Option): Anytime
**We will provide options for the best time based on the ferry schedule.
**Also available before 9am for an extra $30.
HALF & FULL Private Transfer Explanation:
- The difference between the Half and Full Private Transfer is that the Half transfer is 2 drivers/vehicles.
- One vehicle picks you up and takes you to the ferry and then on the other side of the ferry another driver/vehicle pick you up and drive you to your destination.
- The ferry crossing you would do by yourself.
- The Full transfer means the driver and vehicle will go on the ferry with you so you don’t have to worry about your luggage as it will stay in the vehicle.
Base Rates for most traveled routes (One way – Up to 4 People in the vehicle, NOT per person)*:
|Route (One Way) Or Viceversa||Travel Time||Half Transfer||Full Transfer|
|San Jose – Montezuma||4 – 4 1/2 hr||$265||$360|
|La Fortuna, Arenal – Montezuma||4 – 4 1/2 hr||$265||$360|
|Arenal Observatory Lodge – Montezuma||4 1/2 – 5 hr||$300||$395|
|Monteverde – Montezuma||4 1/2 – 5 hr||$265||$360|
|Liberia – Montezuma||3 1/2 – 4 hr||$295|
|Samara – Montezuma||3 1/2 – 4 hr||$280|
|Tamarindo – Montezuma||3 1/2 – 4 hr||$295|
*Note: Prices are subject to vary in peak season dates. Price includes ferry tickets.
If you would like to know the rate for more than 4 people or for a different destination please contact us
Sansa/Taca Regional or Nature Air
- Sansa Airlines (also known as Taca Regional) flies from San José’s Juan Santa María International Airport (SJO) to Tambor Airport (TMU) and is the airline we recommend.
- Enjoy a scenic 25 minute flight over the countryside and blue ocean.
- We will arrange a taxi to and/or from the Tambor Airstrip ($50 each way).
- We recommend to book this option right away as they fill up quickly.
Available: To and from Tambor (TMU) (our nearest airport)
Total travel time: 50 minute check-in at airport + 25 minute flight + 30 minute taxi ride
Price: Starts at $105 per person* + $50 taxi ride (for up to 4 people)
*During the low season you may find prices lower than $105
How to Book your Flight:
Sansa/Taca Regional: Click Here to book your flight
Departure Time: Please see available flights on the above airline website.
- This shared air conditioned van will pick you up at your hotel and drop you and your luggage at the ferry where you will board the ferry on your own.
- When you get off the ferry, there will be another shuttle waiting for you to take you to your destination.
Available to and from Montezuma, Arenal, Monteverde, Samara, Tamarindo & Liberia. This option does not pick up, but will drop off, at the airport.
Total travel time: 4-5 hours (Depending on route)
|Route (One Way)||Pickup Time||Price per person||Minimum*|
|San Jose (Hotel**)- Montezuma||8:00am (8:30am in Alajuela)||$55||2 person|
|Montezuma – San Jose (Airport or Hotel**)||7:00am||$55||2 person|
|La Fortuna, Arenal – Montezuma||7:00am||$55||2 people|
|Montezuma – La Fortuna, Arenal||7:00am||$55||2 people|
|Monteverde – Montezuma||8:00am||$65||2 people|
|Montezuma – Monteverde||7:00am||$65||2 people|
|Samara – Montezuma||8:00am||$55||2 people|
|Montezuma – Samara||7:00am||$55||2 people|
|Nosara – Montezuma||8:00am||$65||2 people|
|Montezuma – Nosara||7:00am||$65||2 people|
|Tamarindo – Montezuma||8:00am||$55||2 people|
|Montezuma – Tamarindo||7:00am||$55||2 people|
|Liberia – Montezuma||9:15am||$55||2 people|
|Montezuma – Liberia||7:00am||$55||2 people|
* Times and minimum are subject to change depending on the season. If you have less than the minimum number of people for the shuttle to operate, you may be required to pay the price for the minimum of people, just ask us.
**This shuttle picks up/drops off at most hotels in San Jose, in Alajuela it picks up at the Dennys Restaurant next to the Fiesta Casino (5 minutes from the airport) at 8:30am.
Taxi Boat & Shared Shuttle
- An exciting 1 hour speedboat trip between Jaco (Herradura) and Montezuma over the blue Pacific Ocean.
- We can arrange a shuttle from San Jose or Manuel Antonio to the boat in Jaco. The shuttle will pick you up at your hotel.
Available: To and from Montezuma, San Jose, Manuel Antonio and Quepos. This option does not pick up, but will drop off, at the airport.
- The speedboat is also available beetween Montezuma and Jaco (without the shuttle).
Total travel time: 3 1/2 – 4 hours
|Route (One Way)||Pickup/Departure Time||Price per person|
|Jaco (Hotels/Rental Car) – Montezuma||9am-9:30am||$40|
|Montezuma – Jaco (Hotels/Rental Car)||8:30am||$40|
|San Jose (Hotel/Airport)- Montezuma||7am-8am||$75|
|Montezuma – San Jose (Airport or Hotel)||8:30am||$75|
|Manuel Antonio/Quepos – Montezuma||7:30am-8am||$75|
|Montezuma – Manuel Antonio/Quepos||8:30am||$75|
Private Taxi Boat
- If these departure times don’t fit your plans, we can always arrange a private taxi boat for you and your party.
- The price for a Private Taxi Boat to or from Jaco is $600 from 1-5 people or $700 from 6-10 people.
- For pricing of the Shuttle from your location to Jaco please contact us
Rental Car Options
If you are planning to rent a vehicle while in Costa rica, we recommend booking your vehicle with the following companies as they have offices here in the area:
Direct / Public Bus Service
- Transportes Cóbano, Tel. (506)2642-1112 and (506)2221-7479
- Bus Terminal in San José: Atlántico Norte (also called San Carlos) Calle 12 Av. 7 – 9
- Travel Time: 5 1/2-6 hrs. until Montezuma / Mal Pais / Santa Teresa 1 hour travel time is spent on the ferry crossing the Gulf of Nicoya
- Cost: $ 14 (plus ferry ticket: $ 1.50)
|Mal Pais/St Teresa||San José||6:00 a.m. / 2:00 p.m|
|Montezuma||San José||6:00 a.m. / 2:00 p.m|
|Cobano||San José||7:00 a.m. / 3:00 p.m|
|San José||Mal Pais/St Teresa||6:00 a.m. / 2:00 p.m|
To/From the Airport SJO:
- Coming from the airport, take a taxi to the bridge of Villa Bonita where the bus stops at around 6:20am and 2:20pm.
- Or take a taxi to the main bus station (see above).
- Going to the airport the bus drops you in front of the airport roughly around 12:30pm and 8:30pm.
- If the direct bus schedules do not suit you, you can also take the Bus from San José to Puntarenas which departs every 40 min from the bus terminal at Avd 12, Calle 16. Once in Puntarenas you take the Ferry to Paquera.
- In Paquera at the ferry terminal there are busses to take you to Cobano and on to Montezuma, Santa Teresa and Malpais. The last bus from Paquera is at 6:30 p.m. It meets the ferry which departs from Puntarenas at 5:00 p.m.
The easiest way to get around Costa Rica by car is to have your map (ask for it at the car rental office) and just follow the road signs to the next town in your path.
From Liberia and the Guanacaste Province:
Follow the road down to Nicoya, then Jicaral, then Playa Naranjo
then Paquera. In Paquera you will turn right (you will see a sign)
and that road will take you from Paquera to Cobano (about 35 Km).
Once in Cobano you turn left and Montezuma is 7Km away.
On Google Maps/GPS it’s route 21 to 160 to 624.
Total driving time: Approximately 4 – 4 1/2 hours.
From San Jose / Monteverde / Arenal / Manuel Antonio /Jaco:
Follow your map to the town of Puntarenas and drive to the ferry which is located on the point of Puntarenas. Take the 1 hour and 15 minute ferry to Paquera (not Playa Naranjo) and once you get off follow the main road until you get to an intersection in Cobano (35Km). In Cobano take a left at the bank (Banco Nacional) and drive all the way down to Montezuma (7Km). Arrive at Sano Banano Restaurant where the Front Desk will call the driver who will take you to Ylang Ylang. Approximate time from Paquera is 1 hour.
Alternate Route – New Toll Road:
Leaving the airport in Alajuela, take the Inter-american Highway to Puntarenas after 11 km when you get to the refinery RECOPE take the first exit on the right and then immediately left passing over the bridge. After approximately 5 km in the town of La Garita when you get to the soccer field turn left, drive about 3 km to Route 27 toward Caldera, when you get to Puntarenas just after the double Tree Resort exit right onto the ferry terminal to Paquera. We recommend to ask your rental car to show you on a map…
Traveling by Bus:
Take a taxi to the Puntarenas bus station in San Jose. Once you get to Puntarenas take a taxi to the Paquera ferry. The ferry takes one hour and 15 minutes and on the other side there will be a bus to Montezuma which departs according to the ferry schedule. Please note the Paquera bus stops running at 6:30pm regardless if there are later ferries.
Please note that our front desk closes at 9:30 pm so be sure to advise if you will be coming in later than 9:30 pm.
Estimated Travel Times
- Arenal – 4 1/2 – 5 hours
- Monteverde – 4 – 5 hours
- Cabo Blanco – 15 minutes
- Cobano (Bank/ATM) – 15 minutes
- Jaco – 4 hours
- Liberia – 4 – 4 1/2 hours
- Mal Pais/Santa Teresa – 30-40 minutes
- Manuel Antonio – 4 1/2 – 5 hours
- Paquera – 1 hour (must be at ferry at least 45 minutes before departure)
- San Jose – 4 – 5 hours
Estimated walking times from ylang ylang to:
- Montezuma – 10-15 minutes
- Montezuma Waterfall – 35 minutes
- Playa Grande – 25 minutes
- El Chorro Waterfall – 1 1/2 hours (One Way…Take Water!)
Estimated boat times:
- Puntarenas/Paquera Ferry – 1 hour 15 minutes
- Taxi Boat to Jaco – 1 hour
- Boat to Tortuga – 50 minutes
- Jaco by taxi boat, San Jose by shuttle – 3 1/2 hours
- Jaco by taxi boat, Manuel Antonio by shuttle – 3 hours
Important Check-in/Check-out Info
Kindly note that Ylang Ylang Beach Resort is a 10-15 MINUTE WALK down the beach from Montezuma center. We provide transportation to the Resort on your arrival date, from 8:30am until 8:00pm*. During your stay you can walk back and forth from the village on your own as we only provide transportation on your check-in and check-out days in order to reduce impact on the beach. The Front Desk can provide a flashlight for you to walk at night. It is a very enjoyable and safe walk.
*AFTER 8:00pm ARRIVAL:
Our regular transportation service to the resort ends at 8:00pm. We NEED to know if you will arrive in Montezuma later than 8:00pm so that we can coordinate the after-hours luggage transportation.
2:00pm, but you are welcome to come any time after 8:30am* and enjoy the pool, hammocks, restaurant, etc. You would leave your luggage at our Front Desk and once the room is ready we would let you know.
*IMPORTANT NOTE for CHECK-IN:
If you have scheduled your transport with us directly then we will always try and make sure our beach shuttle driver is waiting for you a El Sano Banano when you arrive (unless the driver is doing another check in right before or is on check-outs), but if you have scheduled transport with another company and we do not know the exact time you will arrive then there is a possibility that you will have to wait for our beach shuttle driver to pick you up. This wait time can be anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour. So for this reason we ask that you PLEASE let us know as much as possible about your arrival so that we will know at what time you will arrive (just send us an email) so that this way we can better coordinate your check-in.
*CHECK-IN BEFORE 11:30AM:
Please note that if you are arriving before 11:30am we can not guarantee that you will not have to wait for less than an hour as our driver and beach shuttle are designated for check-out’s between 6:30am-11:00am. We will be happy to have our driver pick you up as soon as he can, but it may take about an hour if he is in the middle of a check-out trip.
We have 3 shuttle times into Montezuma from Ylang Ylang, one at 6:40am another at 8:00am and the last one at 11:00am. If one of these times will not be used by other guests on your check-out day, we can gladly arrange a different time for your shuttle, but we will only be able to know this the afternoon or evening before your departure. Otherwise, you can either take one of these shuttle times and spend time in town or you can send your luggage and then just walk in later on (we would keep your luggage at El Sano Banano). If your departure from Montezuma is before 6:40am then we would need to send your luggage to El Sano Banano the night before and you would need to walk-in that morning and pick it up there. We can sometimes make exceptions for an earlier trip for this you need to send us an email and see if it will be possible.