Exploring Costa Rica: Best Way to Get from Manuel Antonio to San Jose

From vans and buses to taxis, there are a ton of ways to get around in Costa Rica. Principally in relation to hitting one of the most famous routes in the country, Manuel Antonio to San Jose is easy and accessible. Also, you’ll be able to enjoy the natural beauty of the country on this scenic drive.

Costa Rica is especially known for its nature and green spaces, one of the must-visit and popular attractions is Manuel Antonio. A stunning national park, packed with abundant rainforest, and super diverse wildlife. It’s suitable for any kind of traveler and has everything you can expect, from some of the best beaches in Costa Rica and water activities to canopy tours, hiking, and more.

Now, the road to get to San Jose from Manuel Antonio and vice versa is remarkable with the most popular pullover spots. Plus there is a wide range of ways to do this transfer.

Manuel Antonio beach and trees

Best Way to Get from Manuel Antonio to San Jose

Getting around in the country, in general, can be a whole adventure in itself. This is particularly true for Manuel Antonio National Park, there’s a lot to cover and sights to see in the area. That’s why choosing the right transportation is a must for a comfy journey, it also will depend on your budget and how many people are you traveling with. 

The best options for safe, easy, and comfy travel:


One of the most common and popular ways to get from Manuel Antonio to San Jose are van, also it’s a nice option for both inside and outside the area. Vans offer a lot of space and are accessible to anyone, making it a very comfortable way of transport.

Also, vans are bigger with many windows, offering nice views of the route and making it easier for you to enjoy the contrasting scenery of the area.

There are shared vans, and you will be able to make some friends along the way.


You can find private and local buses, it will depend on how you want to get around and your budget. Private buses will have better service than local buses, and it will not get so crowded. Another good draw about buses is that they are easier to find or get than vans.

While it’s cheaper than other ways of transport, you’ll be sharing your ride with more people and have less space and privacy, but it’s still a convenient way of traveling.

Buses can be a great option for people that want to share, and meet new people while traveling on a budget.

Related Read: Interesting Facts About San Jose, Costa Rica


If you’re looking for a more private, and sometimes faster way, to get to San Jose from Manuel Antonio, then your best option is a taxi. Another super common way of getting around, offering a new experience for those that want a more personalized journey, extra assistance, and privacy.

Taxis can be more on the pricey side, but you’ll be able to choose the time of departure and have a more comfy, safe, and private trip.

Also, there are many options for this, you can choose the type of ride too. 

How Much Time Does it Take to Get There?

The time it takes to get from Manuel Antonio to San Jose will depend on the types of transport you choose, but it usually takes 3 hours to complete the route. It’s a 171 km road trip with stunning views and stops.


Carr. Pacífica Fernández Oreamuno/Costanera Sur/Route 34 and Autop. José María Castro Madriz

What are the best stops between Manuel Antonio and San Jose?

This route has many interesting sights and stops, if you’re willing to do some detours the options are wide, from Jaco, Manuel Antonio Beach, and Rainmaker to a beautiful Marina or Biesanz Beach.

Bridge over Rio Tarcoles

This is probably one of the best stops on your trip to Manuel Antonio and vice versa, it’s a huge bridge with the Tarcoles River below where you can spot the largest Northern Hemisphere crocodiles. This is an absolute MUST-Do.


The town of Jaco is a well-known place for surfing, to go for a laid-back feeling with a lot of beach activities, surfing obviously, plus sailboat tours, sunbathing or head to the beachfront restaurants and bars.

You can enter on the first exit and drive around the town and get out on the other exit to get back on the road to San Jose or Manuel Antonio.

Los Sueños Marriott in Herradura

This is a hidden gem on the way to Manuel Antonio, you can see a beautiful marina at Los Sueños Marriott in Herradura, enjoy the scenic views of the beach landscape and the marina. To get there, you just need to turn right after you see a sign that reads “Los Sueños Marriott”, just drive to Los Sueños and be done.

Last Updated on October 24, 2023

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